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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, July 30, 2009

Josephine Krimsky

BERNE — Josephine Krimsky, loving wife, mother, and grandmother, died on Wednesday, July 29. She was 85.

Born in Manhattan, Mrs. Krimsky also lived in Charlotte, N.C., and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. She was a model, and homemaker, described as gracious and caring by those who knew her.

Josephine Krimsky is survived by her children, Mellisa Abuin, and Stephen Russell, and his wife, Evie; her sisters, May Ortiz, Genevive Marratti, and Lena Nichols and her husband, Harold; her brother Anthony Tourso; her sister-in-law, Julie Tourso; her brother-in-law, Anthony Pelegrino; and, many grandchildren, a great-grandchild, and many nieces and nephews.

Her husband, Ralph Krimsky, died before her, as did her sister Florence Pelegrino, and her brothers-in-law Joseph Ortiz and Ettore Morratti.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Aug. 1, at 10:30 a.m, at the Meyers Funeral Home in Delmar.

Memorial contributions may be made to Community Hospice of Albany, at 445 New Karner Road, Albany, NY 12205. 

Doris E. O’Brien

GUILDERLAND — Doris E. O’Brien, avid painter, crafter, and loving mother and grandmother, died Sunday, July 26, 2009, at Our Lady of Mercy Life Center in Guilderland. She was 83.

Mrs. O’Brien was born and raised in Lynbrook, Long Island. She lived for five years in the Rochester area, before she moved to Guilderland in 1962. She worked at the Teresian nursing home in Albany, where she also volunteered.

Mrs. O’Brien was a member of Christ the King Church, where she served as a greeter, a Eucharistic minister, and was a member of the funeral choir and the faith sharing group.

She was also an avid painter and crafter; she illustrated garden-club brochures and directories, and made wooden tree ornaments for the Mynderse-Frederick House annual holidy open house.


Doris E. O’Brien is survived by her sons, James R. O’Brien and his wife, Kathleen, and Richard O’Brien, of Guilderland, and Mark O’Brien, of Voorheesville; her daughter, Jacqueline Robinson, and her husband, Michael, of Naples, Fla.; her daughter-in-law, Linda O’Brien, of Syracuse; her brother, Walter Burns, of Vero Beach, Fla.; her grandchildren, Sean O’Brien, Phillip Robinson, Megan Robinson Griffin, Ethan Robinson, Devin O’Brien, and Sarah O’Brien; and, her great-granddaughter, Katelyn Griffin.

Her husband, James G. O’Brien, died before her, as did her son, Kevin O’Brien, and her brother, Frederick Robert Burns.

Funeral services will be held today, July 30, at 9 a.m., at the Hans Funeral Home, 1088 Western Ave., in Albany, and from there to Christ the King Church, 20 Sumpter Ave., Guilderland, at 10 a.m. Interment will follow in Fairview Cemetery in Altamont. Arrangements are made by the Hans Funeral Home.

Memorial contributions may be to the Christ the King Church Building Fund, 20 Sumpter Ave., Albany, NY, 12203, or to a charity of one’s choice.

To leave condolences for the family online, visit www.HansFuneralHome.com.

Dawn Soper

Kathryn Dawn Soper died on July 24, 2009 at Sylvia’s House, Hospice of Marion County in Ocala, Fla. Her husband of 43 years, Dr. Earl F. Soper, died before her. She is survived by daughters Kathleen Fulford and Susan Pape and sons William Marvin, Briggs Neil Soper, and Matthew Thornton Soper, as well as six grandchildren and twin great-grandsons.

Before they were married, Soper was elementary supervisor in South Glens Falls, N.Y. and hired Dawn who was teaching first grade in Scotia, N.Y. to teach kindergarten in South Glens Falls, N.Y. They were married on July 4, 1950 in Scotia, N.Y.

As a result of Dr. Soper’s school superintendent career they lived in Norwich, Kingston, and Long Beach, N.Y. They had a farm in Crawford, W. Vir. and maintained two homes, one at Lake Onderdonk in Westerlo, N.Y. and one in Belleview, Fla.

Mrs. Soper was an active member of many organizations over the years and was a supportive member of the Lake Onderdonk Improvement Association since 1959. She wrote The Lake Onderdonk column for The Altamont Enterprise for many years.

She was a member of the United Methodist Church in Belleview, Fla. and during the summer attended The Presbyterian Church in Rensselaerville, N.Y. and The Dormansville Methodist Church in Dormansville, N.Y.

Family was most important to her and after her husband retired, they spent almost 30 years gathering information on all of the Sopers in America and published several books on Soper genealogy.

In 1994, Mrs. Soper and her cousin Clyde Cullings wrote and published a booked called Mariaville Memories on the Cullings family. Over the years, she hosted family reunions and tried to keep in touch with family members all across America.

It was her decision to be cremated with her remains to be placed near her grandparents, C.A. and Minnie Cullings, in the cemetery at Mariaville Lake in Schenectady, N.Y.

Services will be private.


God hath not promised skies always blue,

Flowers strewn pathways all our lives through;

God hath not promised sun without rain,

Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

But God hath promised strength for the day,

Rest for the labor, light for the way,

Grace for the trails, help from above,

Unfailing sympathy Undying love... 

Memorial contributions may be made to: The Nature Conservancy, Post Office Box 6014, Account 12016638, Albert Lea, MN 56007 or to Hospice of Marion County, Inc./Sylvia’s House, Post Office Box 4860, Ocala Florida 34478-4860. 

Robert T. Stimson

GUILDERLAND — Robert T. Stimson, a dedicated teacher, musician, and loving father and grandfather, died on April 20, 2009. He was 73.

Mr. Stimson graduated third in his class from Westfield High School, in Westfield, N.Y. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Albany State Teachers’ College, where he graduated cum laude. He also completed coursework at Syracuse University, Rutgers University, Brown University, Pennsylvania State University, and Union College.

Mr. Stimson was a teacher, and a supervisor of math, for 36 years in the Guilderland school system. He was also a long-time member of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. He loved teaching, to which he dedicated much time and energy, and tutored many students throughout his career and after retirement.

In addition to teaching, Mr. Stimson had a great love for music and theater. He was a member of College Chorus, Statesmen, Albany Choral Society, Octavos, Mendelssohn Men’s Glee Club, and the Festival Celebration Choir. He was also an advocate for the Empire State Youth Orchestra.

Susan Skeels, Mr. Stimson’s daughter, said he often traveled to New York City to enjoy the arts. He also took a yearly trip to Cape Cod, where he enjoyed the beautiful beaches, and would read good books, his daughter said.

Over the years, he loved skiing, sailing, flea markets, reading, Broadway shows, and school-related activites, said Mrs. Skeels. He still kept in touch with his high school and college friends, by attending class reunions and corresponding by phone, mail, and even e-mail, she said.

Mr. Stimson had moved to Hilton, N.Y. last year, to be closer to family, said his daughter, where he made many wonderful friends who still talk about him.

“It is evident that he touched many and left a lasting impression,” said Mrs. Skeels.


Robert T. Stimson is survived by his daughter, Susan Skeels and her husband, Joseph, of Hilton, N.Y.; his grandchildren, Bradley Ingram, a corporal in the United States Marines, and Michaelyn O’Hearn and her husband, Eric, a lieutenant in United States Army; his brother Ira Stimson; and his sisters, Virginia Imm and her husband, Bill, and Alive Davis and her husband, Richard.

His parents died before him, as did his dear friend, Rosemary Branigan.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Aug. 1, at 3 p.m., at the Hans Funeral Home, 1088 Western Ave., in Guilderland, NY. Friends and relatives are invited to call at the funeral from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

To leave condolences for the family online, visit www.HansFuneralHome.com. 

Constantine Vlahos

ALTAMONT — Constantine Vlahos, who catered to decades of diners at the Altamont Manor, catered to his family as well.

“He was a wonderful father and very thoughtful husband,” said his wife of 68 years, Anne Vlahos. The couple raised two children — Kathryn and Harvey.

Mr. Vlahos died on July 21, 2009 at St. Peter’s Hospice Inn. He was 97.

“He was a happy, caring person with many, many friends,” wrote his son, Harvey Vlahos, in a tribute. “He had a wonderful dry sense of humor and was extremely well read and informed. He was a formidable force when watching and playing Jeopardy.”

The son of Catherine and Aristides Vlahos, he was born in Liodorikion, Greece on Christmas Eve in 1911. He came to America with his father at the age of 4.

“His life embodied the promise and dreams this country held for millions of immigrants in the early years of the last century,” wrote his son.

Known to his friends and family as Charlie, Mr. Vlahos graduated from high school in Pittsburgh, Pa. then moved to Wellsville, N.Y. to live with relatives when his father returned to Greece. He began his long restaurant career in their Texas Hot Restaurant, one of the country’s longest continuously operating family restaurants.

“Wellsville’s rural character made Charlie an avid outdoorsman,” his son wrote. “Once, while ice fishing with friends, he fell through the ice. Rather than return home, ending the fun, they built a fire, dried out his clothes, and continued fishing.”

It was in Wellsville that Mr. Vlahos met the woman who was to become his wife.

“I come from Alberta, Canada,” said Anne Vlahos. “My family was coming east. My father had a niece in Wellsville he hadn’t seen since he left Greece 25 years before. Charlie was working for her husband in their restaurant...It was love at first sight.”

The couple married twice — in September 1940 and again on May 4, 1941 — which Mrs. Vlahos termed “the real wedding date” and one they celebrated every year for 68 years.

She had gotten advice from a friend of hers in St. Catherine’s to marry at least six months before the actual wedding so they could be together after May 4.

“My friend had married a boy from the United States during the war and she could not come to this country after the wedding,” said Mrs. Vlahos. “She had papers and legal things to go through. She could not join her husband for six months.”

Still, after all the preparation, there was a hitch for the Vlahoses.

“When we crossed the border after we were married, we thought all the legality was over. But an immigration officer said to Charlie, ‘You have to pay a head tax on your wife.’ It was $8.”

“Charlie said to me, ‘You know how much your head is worth.’ He had a great sense of humor.”

Mr. Vlahos served in World War II. Because of his restaurant background, he started as a cook. “In a bit of irony,” his son wrote, “his outdoorsman’s experience enabled him to win the regimental shooting competition, prompting the commanding officer to utter, ‘What the hell is a marksman like that doing in the kitchen?’”

Mr. Vlahos was transferred to a chemical unit and served in New Guinea until the end of the war.

After the war, the Vlahoses purchased their first restaurant, on a main street in Bradford, Pa., the same town where Mrs. Vlahos’s friend from St. Catherine’s had settled with her American husband. The Vlahoses ran the Bradford restaurant successfully from 1947 to 1962.

“Then we lost our lease and had to leave,” recalled Mrs. Vlahos. “We looked at a lot of different locations. My husband wanted to own the building so he wouldn’t be at the mercy of a landlord again.”

She named the many different cities where they looked for a restaurant, saying, “He was quite particular. One by one, the real-estate agents were dropping us. Then we got an agent in Voorheesville who was very accommodating. He took us to a little bungalow by Thacher Park that was too small. My husband wanted a large kitchen....

“Making the horseshoe, we came down Route 156 and the agent said there was a restaurant down there,” pointing to what would become Altamont Manor. He didn’t have a key or time to show it, though.

The Vlahoses went up to take a look by themselves, and were put off by the overgrown driveway so far from a main road. “Charlie said, ‘We don’t want a restaurant down there.’ It reminded him of a speak-easy,” His wife recalled. They turned around.

Then the Voorheesville agent called and said he’d made an appointment for the Vlahoses to see it. When her husband got off the phone, Mrs. Vlahos was puzzled as to why he’d agreed to go. “The guy’s been so nice, I couldn’t say no,” Mr. Vlahos replied.

When they saw the grand old, if neglected, house, Mrs. Vlahos said, it, too, was “love at first sight.”

“It reminded us of our big old house in Bradford,” she said. “It was a lovely place to live.”

The Vlahoses moved in that July and turned on the heat in September. “Most of the walls cracked; some came apart,” said Mrs. Vlahos. The manor had bad plumbing, and needed new wiring and a new furnace.

“We worked for eight months, every day, restoring the place,” she recalled. They had the help of a Guilderland Center carpenter, Stanley Crounse. “He took just one week off in all that time — to go fishing,” said Mrs. Vlahos.

Once the restaurant opened, in 1964, Mrs. Vlahos said, “It was a lot of fun.”

“The Altamont Manor gained a reputation as one of the finest restaurants in the Capital District, being named to the Times Union’s and Gazette’s top-10 lists year after year,” wrote Harvey Vlahos.

The couple retired in 1982. The Vlahoses enjoyed traveling during their retirement. “We bought a motor home and crossed the country three times,” said Mrs. Vlahos. “Charlie loved traveling. He just liked going and going.”

“Charlie and Anne were loved and respected, not only by family and friends but by those who worked for them,” wrote their son. “Since retiring, some 27 years ago, they have held an annual Altamont Manor staff party, well attended by those who worked there during those years.”

“He was easy to get along with,” concluded Mrs. Vlahos of her husband. “He had a delightful personality.”


Constantine (Charlie) Vlahos is survived by his wife, Anne; daughter, Kathryn; son, Harvey, and his wife, Donna Abbot-Vlahos; and his much loved grandson, Konstantin, all of Altamont.

He is also survived by his sister, Zoe Triantis of Athens, Greece; his sister-in-law, Zoe Brigis of Queens, N.Y.; and his sister-in-law, Anne Brigis, of Canada as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Mr. Vlahos was a Mason for 62 years and active in the Eastern Star since 1990. He was a member of the Altamont Reformed Church and a Community Caregivers volunteer.

He made an anatomical gift of his body to Albany Medical College.

A celebration of his life will be held on Sunday, Aug. 16, 2009, at the Altamont Reformed Church. Friends and family are invited from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A combined Eastern Star and Reformed Church service in the sanctuary will follow.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the Altamont Reformed Church, Post Office Box 671, Altamont, NY 12009; or to Community Caregivers, 2113 Western Ave., Suite 4, Guilderland, NY 12084; or to Order of the Eastern Star, 73 Stempel Road, East Berne, NY 12059-2843.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

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