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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, September 2, 2010

Thomas A. Carpenter Jr.

A fun-loving person, Thomas A. Carpenter Jr. was also a hard worker. He committed himself whole-heartedly to whatever he did.

Mr. Carpenter, who grew up in Altamont, died in Florida, where he had lived for decades, on July 18, 2010. He was 70.

“He was always a jovial person,” said his wife, Sonia Carpenter. “He was very friendly, just an all-around nice guy.”

The couple moved to Venice, Fla. in 1979, where Mr. Carpenter worked for the Venice hospital as a comptroller. He also opened his own tax and bookkeeping business.

He was born on May 31, 1940 to Gertrude Carpenter and the late Thomas Carpenter. His mother, a homemaker, is now 93. His father worked for General Electric.

Mr. Carpenter graduated from Guilderland High School and went on to attend Ithaca College. He then transferred to Siena College, from which he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He also earned a master’s degree at Siena College.

He worked for a variety of state agencies, and met his wife when they both worked for the state’s Department of Taxation.

Mr. Carpenter was devoted to the Altamont Fair and served on the fair’s board. He had a concession stand at the fair, selling hotdogs, sausages, and hamburgers. “We all worked there,” said his wife. “He put himself through college, selling at fairs.”

She went on, “He loved the fair. We went back a couple of years ago, and it brought such memories that he was in tears.”

Mr. Carpenter never lost his passion for work. “He worked the day before he died,” said his wife.


Thomas A. Carpenter is survived by his wife, Sonia; his sister, Barbara Bettinger; and his brother, Alex Carpenter.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetic Association.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer 

Pearl Dougall

KNOX — Pearl Dougall was easy to get along with, said her brother, Don Bartow. She died on Aug. 22, 2010 at the age of 87.

Born in Schenectady and growing up in Chatham, Mrs. Dougall moved to the Albany area after high school. She got a job at General Electric and “worked on the assembly line during World War II,” making airplane parts, Mr. Bartow said.

When Mr. Bartow returned from the service, he introduced her to a friend of his and the pair fell in love. They married and lived for 43 years on Township Road.

Mrs. Dougall spent much of her married life knitting and crocheting, which she learned from her mother-in-law. She also enjoyed gardening and favored mums, her brother said, since “you could grow them anywhere, especially in shade.”

After her husband died, Mrs. Dougall went to work as a cook at an area nursing home — an occupation she liked, Mr. Bartow said.

She was a “very straightforward person,” he said, adding that she was patently kind and considerate.

In addition to her brother, Don Bartow, Mrs. Dougall is survived by many nieces and nephews.

Her brothers, John Bartow and Raymond Bartow, died before her, as did her sister, Martha Bagley.

Eddie Edwards

BERNE — Eddie Edwards was a man who loved hunting and fishing with his grandchildren, and he got along with everybody.

He died after a long illness on Saturday, Aug. 28, at St. Peter’s Hospice Inn, in Albany. He was 80.

“He was very jovial — a very outgoing, and social guy,” said his wife, Jeanne Edwards. “He was small in stature, but very woodsy, and very strong walking through the woods and all.”

Mr. Edwards’s love for hunting was the first of his interests that came to his wife’s mind.

“He’d go hunting with his coon dogs; I didn’t go out with him at night, but I supported his hobbies,” she said. But she did participate with him in the Mohawk Valley Coon and Cat Club, of which he was a trustee.

Mr. Edwards was born Oct. 19, 1929 in Shady Springs, West Virginia, a son of Willie Guy and Nellie F. (Osborne) Lucas. He graduated from high school in West Virginia and served his country in the United States Army during the Korean War.

He was a truck driver most of his life, his family wrote in a tribute, and was last employed at the Sager-Spuck Warehouse in Albany.

In 1986, Mr. Edwards pulled into the truck stop at 23 Plaza in Albany, where his future wife was working. On Oct. 6, 1987, the two were married.

One thing that the couple loved to do was go to the casinos — “It was just the chance of winning,” Mrs. Edwards said.

“Later on, we went to Mohican Sun,” she went on. “Before that, we went to Vegas three or four times, and we went to Atlantic City. But mostly, we liked the Mohican Sun when we couldn’t afford to fly places.”

Mr. Edwards was also a family man.

“His grandchildren were his life,” his wife said. “They adopted those dogs with him; they went hunting with him; they went fishing with him. We went to hunting events where the dogs competed, and we would take the grandchildren with us.”

They also liked to go camping at nearby Thompsons Lake, and Frosty Acres Campgrounds; they took trips to Ocean City, Md. every year, too.

“We liked the ocean and we liked the food,” Mrs. Edwards explained. They loved swimming in the ocean, miniature golfing, and the amusement parks.

“In the later years, we took our motor home,” she said. “There was so much to do.”


Mr. Edwards is survived by his wife, Jeanne (Wensley) Edwards; his two stepsons, David Blyth of Knox, and Richard Blyth of Howes Cave and his wife, Kelly; two stepdaughters, Bonnie Keenan of Berne, and Wendy Lounsbury of West Berne; and nine beloved grandchildren: Amanda, Ashley, Kaitlynn, Cassandra, Christopher, David, and Tessa Blyth, and Joseph and Catherine Keenan.

There will be no formal services or calling hours, and burial will be held privately at the convenience of the family.

Memorial contributions may be made to Community Hospice Inn at St. Peter’s Hospital, 315 South Manning Blvd, Albany, N.Y. 12208.

The Langan Funeral Home of Schoharie and Central Bridge and the Robert A. Guffin Funeral Home of Cobleskill made the arrangements.

 George J. Gearhardt

GUILDERLAND — George J. Gearhardt, a teacher with a strong sense of humor, died at home on Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2010. He was 82.

Mr. Gearhardt was born in Albany, the son of the late Margaret and William Gearhardt Sr. He graduated from Vincentian Institute and then went to Siena College, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

After serving in the United States Navy, in Bainbridge, Md., during the Korean War, he taught high school in Wells, N.Y. He worked at Guilderland High School as the business department chairman from 1957 until his retirement in 1983.

“He just sort of fell into teaching,” said his wife of 43 years, Barbara Gearhardt.

“We had a blended family, but everyone got along so well, which I know can be rare,” Mrs. Gearhardt said. She said Mr. Gearhardt had a great sense of humor; he loved to tease and could be very sarcastic.

Mrs. Gearhardt said her husband also loved to travel, and, after retiring from Guilderland High School, he became at partner in Young Holiday Travels in Guilderland.

“He made it to Japan, and we went to England a couple of times, and took a lot of cruises,” Mrs. Gearhardt said. At the travel agency, he enjoyed helping other people plan trips.

The Gearhardts also traveled to collect rocks. Mrs. Gearhardt called her husband a “rock hound.” He went to a mineral show in the early 1990s, and decided rock collecting would be fun. The couple joined the Capital District Mineral Club Inc. and collected rocks locally as well as in the Western United States. Mr. Gearhardt was a past president of the mineral club.

“He was a great father, and we had a lot of fun,” Mrs. Gearhardt said.


In addition to his wife, Mr. Gearhardt is survived by his children, Debra Castell, and her husband, Lawrence, of Saratoga Springs, Janet Bastiani, and her husband, Raul, of Esperance, Donna Gearhardt Healey, and her husband, Keith, of Hoboken, NJ, Peter W. Meyer, and his wife, Isabel, of Bedford, Mass., Richard Meyer of Guilderland, and John Gearhardt of Clifton Park; 11 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

His brothers, William Gearhardt, who had lived in Delmar, and Donald Gearhardt, who had lived in Albany, died before him, as did his wife of 15 years, Mary Young Gearhardt, and his son, Michael J. Gearhardt, who had lived in Guilderland.

Calling hours will be held on Friday, Sept. 3, from 4 to 7 p.m. at New Comer Cannon Funeral Home at 343 New Karner Road in Colonie. A memorial service will be held at a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Community Hospice of Albany County, 445 New Karner Road, Albany, NY 12205, or to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

To leave a message for the family online, visit www.NewcomerAlbany.com.

— Anne Hayden

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