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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, April 28, 2011

Arthur James Armstrong

ALTAMONT — Arthur James Armstrong, quiet and perceptive, died unexpectedly at his home on April 24, 2011. He was 88.

Born in his family’s farmhouse on Dunnsville Road on Sept. 3, 1922, Mr. Armstrong grew up in a tight-knit family. He lived all of his life in Altamont.

He’d get out of the house as a young man when he went roller skating, which is how he met his wife, the late Dorothy Armstrong. The couple met at Hoffman’s roller rink and started dancing, said their daughter, Heidi Whelan. They would compete together, she said, and go skating a few times a week. Mr. Armstrong kept skating until Thanksgiving last year.
“He was darn good at,” Mrs. Whelan said, adding that her father was good at dancing, too.

After working first as a painter, Mr. Armstrong became a paper hanger when demand required as he supported his family with seven children. His son, Arn, took up the trade and continues working as a hanger.

Mr. Armstrong was “truly one of the greatest, kindest gentlemen of all time,” Mrs. Whelan said. He always supported his children, going the girls’ gymnastics meets and the boys’ soccer games.

Several years ago, he took up golf after finding that he was somewhat of a natural at it and frequented the Whispering Pines Golf Course with his daughters.

He was “very quiet, very observant,” Mrs. Whelan said. “He had a way of expressing himself without talking.”


Mr. Armstrong is survived by his children: Heidi Whelan and her husband, Gene, of Athens, Ga.; Arn Armstrong and Maria Musto of Guilderland; Bambi Swift and her husband, Bill, of Richland, Wash.; Shawn Armstrong of Altamont; and Shayn Armstrong and his wife, Karen, of Lake Placid.

He is also survived by his grandchildren: Nathan Morgan and his wife, Cari; Erien Gordan and her husband, Bill; Danny, Philippa, and Brooke Armstrong; Austin and Dustin Whelan; Jacqueline and Katherine Swift; Nina and Gabriella Armstrong; and by his great-grandchildren, Emma, Summer, Rose, and Elle Gordon.

His wife, Dorothy, died before him, as did his son, Mark, and his daughter, Sandra.

A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 30, at St. John’s Lutheran Church on Maple Avenue in Altamont.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Skating Club at the Rollarama, 2710 Hamburg St., Schenectady, NY 12303 or to The Guilderland Letterman Association, Post Office Box 284, Altamont, NY 12009.

— Saranac Hale Spencer

Clara B. Auerswald
ALTAMONT — Clara B. Auerswald, a happy, upbeat woman, died on Thursday, April 21, 2011, at The Avenue Nursing Home. She was 94.

Mrs. Auerswald was born in Schenectady on July 7, 1916, the daughter of the late Vincent and Anna Dziadul.

She worked as a cook and housekeeper at the Cobb School in Altamont, and loved playing and helping with the children, according to her daughter Frances Warren.

“She always had a kind word for everyone,” said Mrs. Warren.

Mrs. Auerswald was active in all the activities of her own daughters when they were children, Mrs. Warren said. She helped with the Girl Scouts and always made her famous cheesecake for bake sales.

Mrs. Auerswald’s hobbies included traveling — to place like Hawaii, San Diego, and Canada, among others; knitting and crocheting; bird watching; and reading.

“She also loved to play Uno and Bingo with the Altamont Seniors. She was very lucky and always won,” said Mrs. Warren. In addition to being involved with the Altamont Seniors, Mrs. Auerswald was a communicant at St. Lucy’s Church, a member of the Rosary Society, and a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies’ Auxiliary.

“She was a woman who just never complained,” said her daughter. “She just rolled with the punches.”


Mrs. Auerswald is survived by her daughters, Frances Warren and Eleanor Fry, both of Rosebud, Ark; her brother, John Jackowski; and several nieces and nephews.

Her husband, Carl F. Auerswald, died before her.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Lucy’s Church on Wednesday, followed by interment in the Fairview Cemetery. Arrangements were by the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Altamont Seniors, 106 Fairview Avenue, Altamont, NY 12009, or the St. Lucy’s food pantry, 109 Grand St., Altamont, NY 12009.

— Anne Hayden

Genevieve S. Jutzi

KNOX — Genevieve S. Jutzi was a feisty and independent woman, with a love for animals.
“She lived in her home right up until the end by being so independent,” said Virginia Stewart, a longtime friend of Mrs. Jutzi.

She died on Thursday, April 21, 2011, at St Peter’s Hospital. She was 96.

“Gen grew up being an only child,” Mrs. Stewart went on. “She didn’t have anyone around her. She got her first horse when she was 5 years old. Being she didn’t have any siblings, that started her love for animals.” Mrs. Jutzi rode horses into her 80s, her friend said.

Mrs. Jutzi was born on April 27, 1914 in Mansfield, Pa., the daughter of the late Frank and Alice Mudge. She worked for Corning Glass, and also managed several area retail stores.

After her retirement, Mrs. Jutzi began a new career of tole painting, a folk art of decorative painting on tin and wooden objects.

Quite, often her work would be compared to that of Grandma Moses. She continued painting well into her 90s.

“She would paint wooden bowls, she would paint baskets, blanket chests, cabinets, and they would take the finished pieces off to craft fairs,” Mrs. Stewart said. “She would take unfinished wooden pieces that someone would make for them and she would paint on them.”

Another passion of hers was square-dancing with her late husband George Jutzi.

Her husband died before her, as did her daughter, Shelby Jean Brown.

— Zach Simeone

Joseph Farkas Jr.

WESTERLO — Joseph Farkas Jr., a jack of all trades who proudly served in the Strategic Air Command, died unexpectedly at his home on Monday, April 25, 2011. He was 84.

He was born in Lowville on Sept. 5, 1926, the son of the late Joseph and Elizabeth (Badics) Molnar Farkas. Mr. Farkas attended the Reidsville Grade School and Berne-Knox Central for two years. He obtained his GED (General Education Diploma) while serving in the United States Air Force, which he joined in 1951. He served in the Strategic Air Command before being honorably discharged in 1955.

Mr. Farkas had various vocations, including being a farmer on the family farm, an artificial inseminator, a welder at General Electric, a yard foreman at Helderberg Bluestone, and since 1965, a plumbing and electrical contractor.

Active in many organizations, he held many offices in the Hiawatha Grange and the Albany County Pomona Grange. As a young man, he was a member of the 4-H and Future Farmers of America in high school. From 1948 to the present, he was a member of the Westerlo Volunteer Fire Company, and a member of the Clark White Post 589 American Legion.

In his spare time, he loved to work in his flower and vegetable garden and to travel.


He is survived by his wife of almost 63 years, Vera (Lockwood) Farkas; a daughter, Susan Telfer and her husband, Joseph, of Westerlo; a sister, Irene Molnar Bodi of Rensselaerville; and several nieces & nephews.

His parents died before him, as did his three sisters: Helen Molnar Stradley, Margaret Molnar Gardiner, Goldie A. Molnar Kropp.

A funeral service will be held today, Thursday, April 28, at 10 a.m. at the A.J. Cunningham Funeral Home, at 4898 Route 81 in Greenville. Friends can light a Candle at ajcunninghamfh.com.

Interment will be in the Westerlo Rural Cemetery.

The Hiawatha Grange and the Clark White Post 589 conducted memorial services at the funeral home on Wednesday.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church of Westerlo Missionary Fund, Post Office Box 130, Westerlo, NY 12193, or to the Westerlo Rescue Squad Inc., Post Office Box 12, Westerlo, NY 12193.

— Zach Simeone

Matthew Walter Purskowski

GUILDERLAND — Matthew Walter Purskowski, a farmer and loving family man, died on April 25, 2011, four days before his 87th birthday.

Mr. Purskowski was born in Schenectady, the son of the late Charles and Helen Purskowski.

“At the core of all his remembrances, his strong will and determination were expressed until his death,” wrote his family in a tribute. “He survived living on the farm alone by the devotion of his only son, Garry, and his special caregiver, Yvonne.”

“Marcia, his daughter, brought him joy from the grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The tradition of farming was continued by his grandson, Loren, who established a small vineyard on the farmland.”

Mr. Purskowski is also survived by two sisters, Diana O’Hare and Frieda Matvalwicz.

His brothers, Stanley and Edwin, died before him.

Friends may call on today, April 28, from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Fredendall Funeral Home, in Altamont. A private interment will be held in the Most Holy Redeemer Cemetery.

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