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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, January 20, 2011

Walter M. Fisher Jr.

WESTERLO — Walter M. Fisher Jr., a family man and outdoorsman who worked for Hannay Reels, Inc., died of leukemia on Sunday, Jan. 16, 2011. He was 79.

He was born in Westerlo on May 10, 1931, the son of the late Walter M. and Ruth McMillen Fisher. “He said many times that he ‘was born in this house, and he would die in this house’ and that is exactly what happened,” wrote his family in a tribute.

They described him as the “devoted and best friend of his wife,” who was much loved as a father and worshipped as a grandfather.

Mr. Fisher was diagnosed with acute leukemia in December, and lost his fight quickly, his family said.

He worked for Hannay Reels, Inc. in Westerlo for a little over 33 years, and retired from there in 1996. During his lifetime, he worked at various other places, including the old Duffy Mott Mill.

“He was an avid hunter in his younger days, especially coon hunting or rabbit hunting with a really good dog along,” his family wrote. “He also enjoyed trap-shooting, snowmobiling; he loved plowing snow and even loved cutting the grass (most of the time).”

The tribute continues, “He was a great dad — and loved all of the kids in the family. Our boys have wonderful memories to fall back on. He will live in our hearts forever.”

“To all of our family members and friends, special thanks for always being there when we needed you,” his wife wrote, naming Dorothy Fisher; niece Dede Hagedone; son and daughter-in-law Michael and Vaunda Snyder. and their daughter, Krystal; and good friends and neighbors, Norm and Reda Brush. “We are so blessed with all of you….We thank God for all of you.” The family also thanks the hospice staff, Dr. Peter Forman of Delmar, and Sr. Mary Frederick from St. Thomas Church in Delmar.

“Walt was a good man. He will be so missed,” wrote Mrs. Fisher. “But we will see him again.


Walter M. Fisher Jr. is survived by his wife of 53 years, Patricia “Trish” Parker Fisher, of Westerlo; his son, Michael E. Snyder, and his wife, Vaunda, of Virginia Beach, Va.; and his daughter-in-law, Caitlin Fisher, of Barcelona, Spain. His son, Robert D. Fisher, Caitlin’s husband, died in 2005.

He is also survived by his granddaughter, Krystal Lynn Snyder, of Virginia Beach, Va.; his step-grandchildren, twins Denae and Oenone Acheson, of Barcelona, Spain; and his great-grandson, Carson McConnell, of Virginia Beach.

He is survived, too, by his loving brother, Douglas Fisher, and his wife, Dorothy, of East Berne.

His parents, Walter M. and Ruth McMillen Fisher, died before him as did his sister, Charlotte Fisher.

Mr. Fisher was cremated, with no ceremonies or viewing, as were his wishes. A memorial service will be held in the spring. Arrangements are by A. J. Cunningham Funeral Home in Greenville; mourners may light a candle at ajcunninghamfh.com.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Community Hospice of Albany, 445 New Karner Road, Albany, NY 12205, or to Helderberg Senior Services, Inc., care of Hiawatha Grange Hall, Route 32, Dormansville, NY 12055.

Joyce I. Lustenhouwer

Joyce I. Lustenhouwer of Granbury, Texas, died on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011, after a courageous battle with cancer for the past year. She was 70.

She was born Aug. 13, 1940, in Albany, N.Y., to Raymond and Florance Spore Hempel. She married Paul Lustenhouwer on Oct. 17, 1960, in Elizabeth City, N.C.

“Joyce was loved by all for her smile and she never met a stranger,” her family wrote in a tribute.

She was a member of the Gold Way Road Riders Association Chapter “P” of Granbury and loved to ride on the motorcycle.

She is survived by her husband, Paul Lustenhouwer; her son, Bruce Lustenhouwer; her daughter-in-law, Denessa Lustenhouwer; her grandsons, James Perkins, and his wife, Rachel, and Wayne Lustenhouwer; and her brothers, Bill Hempel, Russell Hempel, and Harold Hempel. She is also survived by her sister-in-law Yvonne Lustenhouwer of Altamont.

Her parents died before her, as did her son, Mack Lustenhouwer, and six brothers and sisters.

A graveside service was held on Jan. 10 at Long Creek Cemetery in Hood County, Texas. Arrangements were by the Wiley Funeral Home in Granbury, Texas.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Cancer Research Center at 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Doris Willsey O’Brien

BERNE — Doris Willsey O’Brien was a teacher, a golfer, and an independent thinker.

She died on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011 in Green Valley, Ariz. She was 87.

Born in East Berne, Mrs. O’Brien was one of eight children of the late Frank and Millie Willsey. She married her childhood sweetheart, John O’Brien — also from East Berne — nearly 70 years ago.

Mrs. O’Brien and her husband lived for many years in Altamont during the 1940s and 1950s while Mr. O’Brien was employed by General Electric in Schenectady. She joined her husband on GE management assignments to Illinois, Puerto Rico, and finally Mexico, after which they retired to nearby Green Valley.

While in Illinois, Mrs. O’Brien fulfilled a long treasured dream: obtaining a degree in education at Illinois State. She spent many rewarding years as an English teacher in the Bloomington school district. During their retirement years, she became an avid golfer and community volunteer in Green Valley, continuing her other favorite pastimes of reading and crossword puzzles until macular degeneration deprived her of eyesight.

In recent years, her daughter, Sharon, moved to Green Valley to be near her and Mr. O’Brien. Mrs. O’Brien and her husband last visited the Helderbergs for a family reunion to celebrate brother Bill’s 90th birthday in the summer of 2006. Sadly, Bill; their eldest brother, Bob; and both their wives have since died.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. O’Brien is survived by two children: Sharon O’Brien of Green Valley, and Michael O’Brien of Downs, Ill., and his wife, Denise.

She is survived, too, by her granddaughter, Amanda Schantz, of Evanston, Illinois and her husband, Brad; two sisters: Rose Mary Flint and Floy Behlmer of Chevy Chase, Md.; her brothers: Mike Willsey of East Berne and his wife, Whilma; Ted Willsey of Berne and his wife, Dorothy; and Charles Willsey of Tucson, Ariz. and his wife, Sara.

She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

At Mrs. O’Brien’s request, no funeral services will be held.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 Michigan Avenue, 17th floor, Chicago, IL. 60601-7633.

Kenneth A. Rivers

GUILDERLAND CENTER — Kenneth A. Rivers, a man of great faith, died on Monday, Jan. 17, 2011, after a long illness.

Mr. Rivers was born on March 29, 1941 in Albany, the son of the late Charles and Edith Rivers.

He worked as a hairdresser, first at various salons in Albany, then for many years at the Guilderland Center Nursing Home, according to his wife, Rocsanna Rivers.

“He had a lot of feeling for the residents he worked with,” Mrs. Rivers said. She called her husband a “true humanitarian.”

He was a long-time member of the Helderberg Reformed Church, where he served as a deacon. He also ran an American Red Cross blood drive for 14 years out of the church.

“In 1985, I had to have a blood transfusion, and he really felt we should give back to the community by holding the drive,” said Mrs. Rivers. “He loved his fellow man very much.”

His wife said he especially loved spending time with his family and friends.

“He was a gift from God,” she said.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by four children, Roseanne Palumbo and her husband, Jim; Kimberley Ann Zupan; Alesia Dawn Rivers; and Kenneth A. Rivers Jr. and his wife, Nancy. He is also survived by many grandchildren, several great-grandchildren, and his sister, Roberta Frampton.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 22, at the Helderberg Reformed Church in Guilderland Center. A private interment will be held in Prospect Hill Cemetery. Arrangements are by the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Red Cross, Post Office Box 4002018 Des Moines, IA, 50340-2018.

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