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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, January 6, 2011

Virginia Fay Allan

KNOX — In taking care of her own family, Virginia Fay Allan fought for others, too.

“She was brave and strong,” said her granddaughter, Lisa Suzanne Chase.

Ms. Allan died on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2011, at Albany Medical Center. She was 76 years old.

Born in Pittsburg, Calif. on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 29, 1934, she was the daughter of George Dewey Adams and Margurite (Ward) Adams.

As a single, young mother, she went to work for General Mills in Lodi, Calif., hired as one of that company’s first women machine operators.

“She had young children to feed and felt she should be able to make as much as a man,” said Mrs. Chase.

It was hard work, made harder because “the men did not like women in that job or that place,” said Mrs. Chase. There were no female restrooms. “She felt like she had every right to be there,” said her granddaughter. Ms. Allan became an active union representative and an advocate for women.

“She was a feminist, a fighter for women’s rights,” said Mrs. Chase.

After retiring, Ms. Allan took up several causes important to her. She was an advocate for animals and children; she worked with the elderly and with women at risk. “She took classes so she could help women in bad situations such as rape,” said her granddaughter.

Mrs. Chase went on, “She suffered a lot with her own depression. She did a lot of counseling and learned a lot about people and herself. She would always listen and want to help other people. She wouldn’t tell them what to do; she’d listen to them and guide them.”

Ms. Allan was a solitary person, her granddaughter said, and she spent much of her free time gardening and reading. “She loved a mystery she couldn’t figure out before the first chapter,” said Mrs. Chase.

Ms. Allan moved to Knox in 2005 to be with Mrs. Chase’s family, providing love and support.

She loved her great-grandchildren — both in Knox and on the West Coast — with the same passion that she had loved her children and grandchildren.

Mrs. Chase said of her children, “They loved to see Big G coming.” She explained that the General Mills’ sign is a big “G” and Ms. Allan would sign her name “Big G,” and that became her name.

“She made my and my brother’s clothes when we were children and had no money,” said Mrs. Chase. Ms. Allan delighted in sewing costumes for her great-grandchildren— Daniel could be a cowboy or a knight or a vampire, and Emma and Jenna were all different kinds of princesses, “with capes and feathers and satin,” said Mrs. Chase.

“I have bins and bins of her fabric in my basement,” she said.

Ms. Allan also loved politics. “She was a lifelong Democrat, a fighter for the people,” said Mrs. Chase. “She was passionate about politics and righting injustices.”

During the 2008 presidential election season, Mrs. Chase and her grandmother started with different allegiances. “She wanted Hillary to win the primary. She wanted to see a woman president,” said Mrs. Chase.

Mrs. Chase was a Barack Obama supporter. “We talked about it a lot. I finally won her over,” said Mrs. Chase. “She voted for Obama….She wanted to see things change, to be better, for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren…She was upset with the way the middle class was disappearing. She could see how unfair and hard it was.

“She did not have an easy life. She had throat cancer when she was young and several bouts of cancer later. Nothing was easy for her,” her granddaughter concluded. “She died young….but she never gave up fighting. She was just an amazing woman.”


Virginia Fay Allan is survived by her children, Leslie Ann (Carroll) Lagerstrom and Lawrence Paul Carroll; her granddaughter, Lisa Suzanne (Ripp) Chase, and grandson, Robert John Ripp; and her great-grandchildren Ashlyn Ripp, Kason Ripp, Daniel Chase, Emma Chase, Josiah Ripp, and Jenna Chase. She is also survived by her brother, Michael Dewey Adams, and sister, Patricia (Adams) Lawrence.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011, at 11 a.m. at Mountainview Church on Route 155 in Voorheesville.

Arrangements are by the Fredendall Funeral Home of Altamont..

Memorial contributions may be made to Whiskers, Animal Benevolent Society, Post Office Box 11190, Albany, NY 12211.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer 

William H. Salisbury

KNOX — A well-known Knox native, William H. Salisbury was a farmer who spent much of his life working for the town of Knox.

“He was a strong, quiet person,” said his wife of 31 years, Shirley Clickman Salisbury.

Mr. Salisbury died on Jan. 2, 2011, at the Avenue Nursing and Rehabilitation Centre in Schenectady with his devoted and loving wife by his side. He was 83.

Born in Albany to the late Harrison Salisbury and Alta Hallenbeck, Mr. Salisbury was a graduate of Altamont High School.

In 2006, he retired from a lifelong career working for the town of Knox. He spent close to 30 years working for the town’s highway department.

“He was a heavy-equipment operator,” his wife recalled. “After he retired from there, he worked 17 years at the landfill there, where he really loved meeting the people, and he knew everyone in town. He loved that.”

The couple knew each other growing up, but it wasn’t until July 6, 1979 that they were married.

A farmer, Mr. Salisbury enjoyed cutting wood, and working on small equipment. His wife remembers him as a family oriented man. The two of them used to play cards, and they traveled together, too.

“We always used to travel to Arkansas and around New York most of the time,” said Mrs. Salisbury. “Up in the mountains and the Adirondacks he liked to go.”

And he loved to garden.

“We had a big garden…you name it, we had it,” his wife said. “I used to do a lot of canning and freezing.”

He was also a lifelong member of Thompson’s Lake Reformed Church.

In conclusion, Mrs. Salisbury said of her husband, “He was just a plain good person.”


In addition to his wife, Mr. Salisbury is survived by his sisters, Pauline Williman and Loretta Seidenberg, as well as his children: Patti Wolford and her husband, Paul; Peggy Serwanski and her husband, Rick; Bonnie Krasher and her husband, Jim; Gary Salisbury and his wife, Tracy; and Brad Salisbury.

He is survived, too, by his step-children: Kevin Cooke and his wife, Gail; Wayne Newcomb; Bruce Newcomb and his wife, Kelley; Lisa Richardson and her husband, Pat; and Tina Van Iderstine and her husband, Jeffrey.

He is also survived by his daughter-in-law, Sharon Newcomb, along with many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.

His sister, Grace Krause, died before him.

Friends called at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont on Wednesday, Jan 5. A spring burial will take place at Thompson’s Lake Cemetery at the convenience of the family.

The family would like to give a special thanks to the dedicated nurses and aids at The Avenue Nursing Home and Hospice.

Memorial contributions may be made to Thompson’s Lake Reformed Church, Post Office Box 94, East Berne, NY 2059.

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