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Obituaries Archives The Altamont Enterprise, April 29, 2010
By Saranac Hale Spencer
VOORHEESVILLE Smiles surrounded Jerry Clark because he looked for ways to make them.
“That warm heart made him an extraordinary human being,” said his uncle, Jeff Clark. He was keenly aware of people’s feelings, his uncle said, and “he was always trying to make people around him feel good. He was very empathetic.”
Mr. Clark died unexpectedly on Tuesday, April 27, 2010. He was 17.
The Voorheesville high school wrestling champ had his first peewee match at the age of 6, his mother remembered. He took fourth place, she said, and that was “his first time on the mat.”
He had a natural ability and he grew up with an uncle and a father who were both wrestlers, she said, concluding, “The family taught him.”
Mr. Clark was a hard worker, said wrestling coach Matt Robinson, and he was quick and well balanced. He was the first Section 2 champ to come out of the program since the 1980s, he said. Jeff Clark took that title in 1984.
“He would get something in his sights and do what he could to achieve it,” Mr. Robinson said.
As a sophomore, he was a state qualifier in wrestling and Class C champion, said Joseph Sapienza, Voorheesville’s varsity football coach, and he was a Class C All-Star in football as a junior.
“He was the type of young man who liked competition, camaraderie,” Mr. Sapienza said.
Of his success in sports, his mother said, “He felt he had to live up to himself.”
But he also liked the social side of sports, she said, since he’d often spend more time on the opposing team’s bench, getting to know new people. “He made friends with everybody,” she said.
As a kid on a long car ride after a trip to Florida, Mr. Clark wanted to sit next to the baby in the back, his uncle recalled. He played with her until she fell asleep and wanted to play so much that he tried to open her eyes to keep her going. “A 12-year-old boy with that kind of love in him,” he said with wonderment.
Growing up, he was close to his sister, Samantha, who was four years younger, said Ms. Clark. He’d wrestle with her and sometimes let her win. “When they were together, they were inseparable,” she said.
Mr. Clark didn’t apply himself in school, she said, but he liked science. Often, he’d figure out what would happen in the experiment before the teacher had finished. “He was very intuitive,” she said.
He was interested in psychology, she said of his future aspirations. “He was a little confused himself,” she said, but mostly he was “interested in what makes the brain tick.”
Mr. Clark maintained an unusual dichotomy, his uncle said, since he was a tough athlete with “a very soft interior.” That was what defined him, he said.
“He was just so loving,” he said. “It was just part of his nature.”
Mr. Clark is survived by his mother, Wendy Clark; his father, Gerald Clark; his sister, Samantha Clark; and grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins as well as many friends.
Services will be private for the family.
Memorial contributions may be made to the International Foundation for Research and Education on Depression, Post Office Box 17598, Baltimore, MD 21297-1598.
KNOX Edna Saddlemire, a devoted family woman who loved to travel, died on Tuesday, April 27, 2010, at the Community Hospice Inn at St. Peter’s Hospital, surrounded by her family.
Mrs. Saddlemire was born in Knox, to the late Claude and Myrtle (Tousan) Saddlemire. She graduated from Berne-Knox-Westerlo High School. She was a laboratory technician for Albany Medical Center, Shands Hospital at the University of Florida, and, most recently, Bender Hygienic Laboratory, from which she retired.
She thoroughly enjoyed traveling, and sitting down with a good book, wrote her family in a tribute. Another of her favorite pastimes was attending family get-togethers, and her family wrote that Mrs. Saddlemire would say, “All those good groceries!”
She is survived by her brother, John Saddlemire, and his wife, Diane, of Knox, and her sister, Nellie Agosta, of Saratoga Springs. She was the cherished aunt of many nieces and nephews.
Her siblings, Lillie Mae, Rose, Jennie, Martha, Ernest, George, and Ogden, died before her.
A funeral will be held on Saturday, at 11 a.m., at the Knox Reformed Church, at 2175 Berne-Altamont Road. Interment will follow in the Knox Cemetery. Friends may call on Friday, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Newcomer-Cannon Funeral Home, at 343 New Karner Road, in Colonie.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Community Hospice of Albany, 445 New Karner Road, Albany, NY 12205; the Knox Reformed Church, Post Office Box 86, Knox, NY 12107; or, the Bethany Reformed Church, 760 New Scotland Ave., Albany, NY 12208.
Erna Bayliss Theisen
Erna Bayliss Theisen, an accomplished businesswoman, with a love for the arts, died on April 25, 2010, at home in Las Cruces, N.M., under the care of the Mesilla Valley Hospice.
Mrs. Theisen was born in 1926, in Schenectady, to Ellen Glen Bayliss and Harry Bayliss, who had immigrated to the United States, from Scotland, after World War I.
She met her husband, Theodore Theisen, when they were both 12 years old he lived down the street. The couple married in 1946, and raised their family in Altamont. In 1992, they retired to New Mexico.
In the early years of her retirement, Mrs. Theisen enjoyed traveling the Southwest with her sister, Martha Bayliss Winn, who died in 2002.
Her family wrote in a tribute that she was an accomplished businesswoman; she started working as a night-shift bookkeeper at General Electric, and rose to the position of chief financial officer of an insurance industry trade association.
She enjoyed the arts, music especially, and loved to help young people learn, her family wrote.
Mrs. Theisen’s proudest accomplishment was the impact she had on the character of her children and grandchildren, which was profound, said her family.
She is survived by her husband of almost 64 years, Theodore Theisen; their children, Theodore Theisen III, of Southbury, Conn., Harry L. Theisen, and his wife, Lynn Apkarian Theisen, of Washington, D.C., Katie Theisen, of Las Cruces, N.M., and Conni Theisen Brown, and her husband, Steve, of Nashville, Tenn.; her grandchildren, Mark and Kelly Theisen, of Katy, Texas, Madison Lewis of Schenectady, Brian Lewis of Phoenix, Ariz., and Emily and Theodore Theisen IV, of Las Cruces, N.M.; and one great-grandchild, Jordan Cole Wallace, of Katy, Texas.
She is also survived by her brother-in-law, George Winn; and her nephew, Russ Winn, and his wife, Billie Hughes, of Las Cruces, N.M.
Burial Notice Ruth Haley
Ruth Haley, known as “The Mitten Lady,” was laid to rest on April 24, 2010 with her son, John “Jack” Haley, in the South Berne Cemetery.
She died on Feb. 6, 2003. Her son died on April 25, 2010.
Burial Notice Martha E. Longacker
THOMPSONS LAKE Martha E. Longacker, a former nutrition instructor for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Albany County and a very active consistory member of the Thompson’s Lake Reformed Church, died on Jan. 31, 2010. She was 89.
She was a devoted mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother.
A spring burial will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 1, 2010, in the Thompson’s Lake Rural Cemetery.
Burial Notice Helen Cusack
Helen K. Cusack, a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who worked at the Watervliet Arsenal during World War II and later as a cashier for the Guilderland School District, died on Feb. 27, 2010.
She will be buried on May 1 at 10 a.m. in Fairview Cemetery. Arrangements are by the Fredendall Funeral Home of Altamont.
Burial Postponed Martha E. Longacker
THOMPSONS LAKE The burial planned for Martha E. Longacker on May 1 has been postponed because of the death of her grandson Everett G. Hallenbeck. He died after a car accident on Tuesday night. He was 23.
Mrs. Longacker, a former nutrition instructor for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Albany County and a very active consistory member of the Thompson’s Lake Reformed Church, died on Jan. 31, 2010. She was 89.