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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 3, 2009

Thelma Dearstyne

BERNE — Thelma Dearstyne was a wife and mother first and foremost. She died on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009 at Waterbury Hospital in Connecticut.

Born on June 12, 1935, in Schenectady, N.Y., to the late Jarvie and Florence Jansen, Mrs. Dearstyne grew up in Berne, N.Y, graduating from Berne-Knox Central School in 1953. She and her husband, Robert Dearstyne, still have a summer home in Berne.

“She was always there for all of us,” said her son, David Dearstyne. “Even when life’s circumstances caused us to drift apart, she was always waiting for us with open arms.”

David said his mother’s life was one of love, commitment, and faithfulness.

“One amazing thing about my mom was her gift of forgiveness,” her son said. “And she didn’t need to have her way; she didn’t push her will on anyone.”

Mrs. Dearstyne liked being outside, her son said, and particularly enjoyed gardening.

“She liked all the things that went along with homemaking,” Mr. Dearstyne said. “Taking care of her family was her purpose and goal.”

She also loved to do crossword puzzles, her son went on.

“She was a very intelligent, sharp person,” he said. “Most recently, we got her on the Internet; she enjoyed e-mailing her kids.”

Mrs. Dearstyne moved to Connecticut in the 1980s with her husband when he got a job with O & G Industries Inc, a construction company there.

“She was a harbor for her family,” her son said. “She was the one who kept things going.”


Thelma Dearstyne is survived by her husband of 54 years, Robert Dearstyne, and her sons: David Dearstyne and his wife, Cheryl; Mark Dearstyne; and James Dearstyne.

She is survived, too, by her sister, Norma Wilson, along with eight grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009, at 1 p.m. at Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont. Friends may call at the funeral home from 9 to 11 a.m. that day.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, Post Office Box 22718, Oklahoma City, Ok. 73123-1718.

— Zach Simeone

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