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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, February 10, 2011

Richard W. Griessel

GUILDERLAND — Richard W. Griessel, a former General Electric executive and beloved husband, father, and grandfather, died on Jan. 29, 2011, after a lengthy illness.

Mr. Griessel was born in Albany on March 1, 1927, to Albert and Wilhelmina Griessel. He graduated from Albany High School, and joined the United States Coast Guard, where he served as a LORAN (Long Range Navigation) technician on the Aleutian Island of Attu during World War II.

After he returned to Albany, Mr. Griessel received his bachelor’s degree in physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy.

He married his wife, Hilda Fern Rabeler, of Bovina Center, in 1949; the two were married for 61 years, and raise three daughters together.

“The biggest bonds between my parents were their children, their church, and their home,” said Mr. Griessel’s daughter, Denise Cavanaugh.

Mr. Griessel joined General Electric in 1951, as a scientist in the transmitting tube department. He helped establish the nuclear radiology lab and the mass spectroscopy lab. In 1961, he was named head of product planning for GE’s newly formed vacuum products operation; he later became acting manager of marketing for that group.

In 1965, he was selected to be part of a group that would become GE’s technology transfer and licensing firm; he became head of the firm in 1967, and remained in that position until his retirement in 1987.

After he retired from GE, Mr. Griessel operated his own technology transfer and licensing firm; was the licensing director for National Technologies in Sharon, Conn., until 1994; and joined Teltech Inc.

He was also a member of The American Institute of Physics, The International Vacuum Society, the Licensing Executives Society, the Elfun Society, and he was a past president of the RPI Mohawk-Hudson Retired Alumni. He also served as an Ambassador at the Albany International Airport and at the general aviation terminal of Million Air for many years.

“He was a very intelligent, brilliant man, and very precise,” Mrs. Cavanaugh said. She said he had a huge thirst for knowledge, and was very interested in people.

Mr. Griessel was a devoted member of Christ Lutheran Church in Albany, where he served as lector, lay minister, council member, Sunday school and Bible class teacher, and historian.

“He was a very spiritually grounded. He was a loving, caring, Christian man,” said Mrs. Cavanaugh.

Mr. Griessel’s daughter said that, although her father was a “white collar, professional man” by day, he was really an outdoorsy man who loved his tractors. He was always outside working on a project, like chipping wood, grooming trails, or upgrading his tractor, she said.

“There was nothing he loved more than giving the grandkids a ride on the tractor whenever they came to visit,” said Mrs. Cavanaugh.


Mr. Griessel is survived by his wife of 61 years, Hilda; his daughters, Darlene Chesnut, and her husband, Mark, of Niskayuna, Deborah Palmieri of Naples, Fla., and Denise Cavanaugh, and her husband, Barry, of Whitesboro; his grandchildren, Owen, and his wife, Angela, Lydia, Shaye, Emmett, Aidan, and A.J.; and his great-grandchildren, Jack and Safita.

A memorial service was held at Christ Lutheran Church, in Albany, on Feb. 5. Interment will be held at a later date at the Eagle Hill Lutheran Cemetery in Albany. Arrangements were by Newcomer Canon Funeral Home in Albany.

To leave a special message for the family online, go to www.NewcomerAlbany.com.

The family would like to thank the staff at St. Peter’s Hospital for their loving care.

Memorial contributions may be made to Christ Lutheran Church, 1500 Western Ave., Albany, 12203, or a charity of choice.

Margaret Elizabeth Knaggs

GUILDERLAND — Margaret Elizabeth Knaggs, a nun who worked in states across the country, died on Jan. 31, 2011. She was 79.

Most recently of Columbia, Mo., Sister Knaggs died at the University Hospital there.

Sister Knaggs was born on Dec. 21, 1931 in Guilderland to the late George and Lavina Grant Knaggs.

“Margaret labored in the work of the gospel from September 1953 until the day of her death in the states of New York, New England, Indiana, Arkansas, and Missouri,” wrote her family in a tribute.

Sister Knaggs is survived by her brother, Albert Knaggs of Brockport, Pa., and her sister, Edith Keys, and her husband, Ray, of Altamont as well as 11 nephews and nieces.

Her sister Ruth Radzewicz died before her as did her brothers Robert, Arthur, and Oscar Knaggs.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 12, at 2 p.m. at the DeMarco-Stone Funeral Home at 5216 Western Turnpike in Guilderland.

A funeral service was held on Saturday, Feb. 5, in Columbia, Mo., with interment in the Old Lamine Cemetery on Lodge Road in Lamine, Mo., about 30 miles west of Columbia and just a few miles from Blackwater, Mo.

Lucy A. Lomio

By Zach Simeone

DELANSON — Lucy A. Lomio was a caring and compassionate person, a nursing home secretary who loved to knit and bake, and the only pieces of jewelry she cared for were her wedding and engagement rings.

“She never disliked anyone,” said her husband of 27 years, Anthony J. Lomio. “She loved doing things for the older people in the nursing home because, most of the time, they don’t have family or anything. If someone in the nursing home needed a blouse, she’d go buy it. That’s the kind of person she was.”

Mrs. Lomio died on Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011, at her home in Delanson. She was 62.

Born in Gallupville on Jan. 4, 1949, the daughter of Wilber and Gladys Zimmer, Mrs. Lomio attended school in Schoharie, and was a secretary at the Daughters of Sarah Nursing Center in Albany for 15 years.

Her favorite activities included baking, gardening, and knitting.

“She was a great baker; banana bread, things like that,” her husband said. “Everybody fell in love with her miniature cheesecakes. They’re like a cupcake.”

Her baking became part of their holiday tradition.

“What she used to do is, at Christmas time, she made a lot of banana bread or pumpkin bread in small loaves, and we’d pack them up and give them to people for Christmas,” Mr. Lomio said. “Some years, she made applesauce and we canned it for people. We’d go to the orchard, and she knew what kind of apples to buy.”

And, just as Christmas time was a chance for her to capitalize on her baking skills, so it was for her knitting.

“She was very big into making the stockings for Christmas” her husband said. “So, if you had a kid and said, ‘Hey, Lucy, can you make a stocking and put ‘John’ on it?’ She’d knit this thing like 18 inches high, and you could get a lot of presents in it, and it was all handmade. She just loved doing it…I’ve got sweaters in the closet she made me.”

Mrs. Lomio was quite the homemaker, her husband went on.

“She was like the Mrs. Clean,” Mr. Lomio joked. “If I came home on a day like today, as soon as I got my foot in the door, she’d say, ‘Get them boots off!’”

He remembers her dedication to their garden, too.

“She took care of the lawn like it was a million dollar estate,” Mr. Lomio said. “We had a lot of flowers we kept around. She was raised on a farm with her family in Gallupville. She used to always tell me, ‘I’ve got to plant taters. Daddy would be proud of me.’ And we used to plant potatoes, and they’d come up.”

Mrs. Lomio was always a thrifty person, according to her husband.

“She’d get more enjoyment out of a brand new mixer for the kitchen than a diamond ring,” Mr. Lomio said. “The only jewelry she ever wore was her wedding ring and engagement ring.”

The two met in 1984, through their employers at that time.

They both worked at Big Dom’s sandwich shop in Guilderland, but on opposite shifts, and she also worked at the Guilderland Center Nursing Home, Mr. Lomio said.

“Both of our supervisors said, ‘Oh, I know someone nice to meet you,’ and we had both said, ‘Look, we’re not interested,’” said Mr. Lomio. “Then, eventually, I got a call on the phone, and it was her, and we talked for about half an hour. Then, one day, my insurance agent was in Schenectady on State Street, and I had to go there on a Saturday, and I told her, ‘I’m going to be in Schenectady, and I’ll stop by.’ We had coffee and were just talking and talking, and that was it.”

A year later, they were living together at their home in Delanson, where they lived until the day she died.

“She always said, ‘I want to live in the country,’ and we found this place,” her husband said.

On Aug. 20, 1986, the two were married.

“We got married on my birthday so I wouldn’t forget the anniversary,” Mr. Lomio said with a brief chuckle.

Ten years later, they renewed their wedding vows.

“What she didn’t know was, I got her a brand new wedding ring when we got re-married,” he said. “She didn’t wear her ring that day, so that I could put it on her. And, when I put the ring on her finger, she was shaking, because she looked and there were 10 diamonds in it.”

Ten diamonds for 10 years, her husband said.

“I was hoping maybe for 30 years we’d have another nice wedding,” Mr. Lomio concluded. “She always wanted to go to Hawaii and see what it’s like. But we never made it.”


In addition to her husband, Mrs. Lomio is survived by her brothers and sisters: David Zimmer of Esperance; Mary Ann Unser of Schoharie; Peggy Day of Texas; Ruth Tubbs of Knox; Gideon Zimmer of Duanesburg; Nancy Oderonk of Fort Plain; and Charles and Peter Zimmer of Schenectady.

The family would like to thank Mrs. Lomio’s sister Mary, Linda McDougall, and Jacki Zimmer for caring for Lucy during her illness.

A memorial service will be held in the Duanesburg Florida Baptist Church on Route 30 in Duanesburg on Sunday, Feb. 13, at 3:30 p.m.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Animal Shelter of Schoharie Valley, Post Office Box 40, 304 Howes Cave Rd., Howes Cave, N.Y. 12092.

Arrangements are by the Hans Funeral Home of Albany.

To leave a message of condolence for the family, or send a sympathy card, please visit www.HansFuneralHome.com.

Raye Cooke Saddlemire

WESTERLO — Raye Cooke Saddlemire was a woman who loved her family, an avid quilter and seamstress, and a dedicated Christian.

She died on Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011, surrounded by her family singing hymns. She was 78.

She also cared about preserving the town’s history.

“I worked personally with Raye Saddlemire and Catherine Latham on production of the Westerlo historical calendars for a number of years,” said Enterprise publisher James Gardner. “She took great interest and pride in being part of the Westerlo community. She really enjoyed bringing the town’s colorful history to folks in the preparing and printing of each year’s calendars.”

Mrs. Saddlemire was born on Jan. 12, 1933, in Albany, the daughter of the late Clayton R. and Marie (Haner) Cooke of Westerlo. A graduate of Berne-Knox-Westerlo, Mrs. Saddlemire was accepted at Syracuse University to study journalism, although she did not to attend. She was later employed at the University at Albany Bookstore, as well as at Linens by Gail in Delmar, and she owned and operated a local quilt and sewing business.

“Raye’s love of family, community, and church was prevalent throughout her life,” her family wrote in a tribute. “Visiting family to enjoy attending concerts, ball games, and life milestones were favorite times for Raye.”

She also loved antiques, genealogy, local history, and current events.

“Her love of reading and books was seen by her participation in the Westerlo Library,” her family wrote. She was also a member of the Hiawatha Grange, Westerlo Historical Society, Berne-Knox-Westerlo Alumni Association, and was active with the Rensselaerville Senior Citizens.

And, a longtime member of the South Westerlo Christian Congregational Church, Mrs. Saddlemire served as church secretary, superintendent and teacher of the Sunday school at the church, director of its children’s choir, and a member of its missions committee.

“She will be sorely missed by her loving family and friends,” her family wrote.


Mrs. Saddlemire is survived by her daughters, Shelly Taylor of Bellevue, Ill. and her husband, Michael; Nancy Barber of Binghamton and her husband, William; Laurel Scudder of Fredonia and her husband, Robert; and Dara Buchy of Greenville, Ohio, and her husband, John.

She is also survived by her grandchildren: Michael Taylor and his wife, Connie; Dayna Kinner and her husband, Chris; Allan Taylor and his wife, Tiffany; Daniel Barber and his wife, Erin; Julie Pluss and her husband, Dale; Joshua Barber; Erin, Ashley, and Kyle Scudder; Katelyn Wickham; and Jacob, Samantha, Aaron, and Sarah Buchy.

She is survived, too, by great-grandchildren Madison and Ella Taylor, and Paul Kinner.

Her husband, Ogden Saddlemire, died before her.

A memorial service will be held at the South Westerlo Congregational Christian Church on Saturday, Feb. 12, at 11 a.m. Friends may call prior to the service, starting at 10 a.m., or at the A.J. Cunningham Funeral Home, at 4898 State Route 81 in Greenville, on Friday, Feb. 11, from 4 to 8 p.m.

Interment will be in the Town of Catskill Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Raye Cooke Saddlemire Memorial Scholarship Fund, Berne-Knox-Westerlo Central Schools, 1738 Helderberg Trail, Berne, New York 12023.

— Zach Simeone

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