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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 15, 2011

Roger L. Bivins

BERNE — Roger L. Bivins, a man who loved trains and worked on a dairy farm, died unexpectedly on Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011. He was 65.

Mr. Bivins was born on Dec. 2, 1946, in Berne, the son of the late Peter and Martha Miller.

He worked for the Cappiello Dairy for 25 years, until he retired, and he also worked for the Mohonasen Central School District as a bus monitor.

He loved trains and in his free time he was an avid ghost hunter.

“He was always available to help a friend,” wrote his family in a tribute.

He is survived by his daughter, Jennifer L. Bivins; his son, Mark Bivins; and his granddaughter, Brooke Lorenia Bivins. He is also survived by many cousins, and his close friends Joseph and Michele Graffagnino and Anthony and Julia Costello.

A funeral service was held on Dec. 12 at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont, followed by an interment in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Berne.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Diabetes Association, Post Office Box 11454, Alexandria, VA 22312.

Rosemary Quay Tubbs

KNOX — Rosemary Quay Tubbs was a devoted mother to her eight children.

“She was a very loving and caring mother,” said her daughter Kathy Hempstead. “She held us all together.”

Mrs. Tubbs died on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011, at St. Peter’s Hospital. She was 81.

She was born on June 9, 1930, the daughter of the late Daniel and Bertha Quay. She married Merlin Tubbs and spent most of her life in the Hilltowns.

“You name it, she did it,” said Mrs. Hempstead. “She helped my father on the farm. We had horses, cows, chickens — a little bit of everything. She had her hands full with eight kids; she did a fantastic job.”

The family shared a home on Route 146 in Knox with a dear friend, Viola Martin, said Mrs. Hempstead. “After my dad died in 1969, Viola helped my mom raise the rest of the kids.”

She went on, “Mom was very outgoing, very friendly. She talked to everybody. When she was disgusted with you, she’d roll her eyes at you,” she said with a laugh.

Mrs. Hempstead concluded, “When she was dying, she wanted me to make sure every one of us was there in the hospital room. She sat up and said, ‘I did not have any favorites. I loved each and every one of you.’ And that’s true; she did.”


Rosemary Quay Tubbs is survived by seven children: Carol Denton and her husband, John; Sally Tubbs; Kathy Hempstead and her husband, Ron; Peggy Fish and her husband, Ron; Lori Marra and her husband, Scott; Lindy Slingerland and her husband, Mike; and Jamie Tubbs and his wife, Cathy.

She is also survived by a daughter-in-law, Ruth Tubbs; 25 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; a sister Helen Coulter and her husband, Walt; and a brother Richard Quay and his wife, Tita.

Her husband, Merlin Tubbs, died before her, in 1969, as did her son Tom Tubbs, and her brothers Thaddeus, Donald, Robert, and James.

A funeral service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17, at the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont, followed by interment in the Knox Cemetery. Friends may call Saturday prior to the service, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

Marguerite Ann Heath

KNOX — Marguerite Ann Heath was a caretaker — of the elderly in the nursing homes where she worked, of her many friends, and most of all of her family.

“She was a simple woman,” said her daughter, Holly Busch, of Knox. “She didn’t take luxury trips or have fancy things, but she leaves us being the richest person I know. With the compassion and love that she had for everyone, she shone brighter than the biggest star.”

Mrs. Heath died of cancer on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011, at the Albany Hospice Inn at St. Peter’s Hospital. She was 65.

Mrs. Heath was born in Albany on March 31, 1946. She and her three brothers were raised in Guilderland Center by her stepfather, John Flower, who worked for the department of transportation, and by her mother, Harriet, who worked for the state. “Her father died when she was 10 months old,” said Mrs. Busch. “She loved her stepfather; he was very good to her. But she always had a picture of her dad and loved hearing stories about him. It’s making us feel better now that she’ll finally get to meet him.”

After graduating from Guilderland High School, Mrs. Heath studied to be a nurse. “They told her to take care of the patients with money, the patients who could pay, first,” said her daughter. “She refused and quit.”

Mrs. Heath went on to work in local nursing homes, including the Altamont Home for Adults in Knox, where she became best friends with a co-worker there, Maura Willsey. “She loved taking care of elderly people,” said her daughter.

In her free time, Mrs. Heath liked to roller skate at local rinks and dance at local dance halls. One night, at Pat’s Ranch in Altamont, she met the love of her life — Allen Heath. “It was love at first sight,” said her daughter. “They just knew. They were inseparable. They didn’t do a lot of fancy things. They are not lavish people. They were constantly together and took simple pleasure in that.”

The couple enjoyed dancing together every weekend. Their marriage of 46 years ended only with her death.

The Heaths raised two children — Allen, known as Buddy, and Holly. “She was an amazing mother,” said Mrs. Busch, through tears. She fondly recalled the annual family picnics at Glimmerglass State Park. “It was all about the family,” she said.

 ”The kids always came first,” said Mrs. Busch. This applied to her five grandchildren, and the wife of her grandson who was like a grandchild to her, as well as to her four great-grandchildren.

Mrs. Heath was always willing to share. “You could go there, and she’d just have fixed supper for herself and Dad, and 10 people could show up and she’d make it stretch for everyone so everyone felt welcome,” said Mrs. Busch.

“All of my kids and their friends love her. She’s ‘Grandma’ to a lot of people,” said her daughter.

Mr. Heath served in the Navy and then worked as a truck driver for Nabisco. “She loved anything about the Navy,” said Mrs. Busch. Mrs. Heath displayed in her Knox home a picture of each of her grandchildren dressed in a Navy outfit.

“She made each of the grandchildren feel special; no one was more important than another,” said Mrs. Busch. She attended every one of her grandchildren’s concerts and school events.

She was also very fond of her Knox neighbors, the Lussiers, and attended the country music performances of Renée Lussier, and the twins, John and Jared Lussier. The twins specialize in singing Everly Brothers’ songs, which Mrs. Heath loved. “You would find her at the front of the crowd, clapping the loudest, really enjoying the show,” said her daughter.

Mrs. Heath was also fond of Bob Hope and Conway Twitty. Because the country singer collected Tweety Birds, Mrs. Heath did, too. She used to sing along with Twitty’s recording of “I’d Love to Lay You Down.”

“That was the most racy thing I ever heard come out of her,” said her daughter with a blushing laugh.

Mrs. Heath is going to be laid to rest in a Conway Twitty shirt, her daughter said.

Other interests included playing bingo and reading, especially mysteries. Mrs. Heath and her neighbor, Donna, liked reading a series of books about cats that solved mysteries. “They would finish them in a day and then patiently wait for months for the next one to come out,” said Mrs. Busch.

Mrs. Heath was fond of her tiger cat, named Tommy, who is 15 years old. “He looks like Garfield,” said Mrs. Busch. “When she shopped, she bought his favorite, turkey, to eat.”

Mrs. Heath had many, many friends. “She was a peacekeeper,” said her daughter. “She would always find the good part of someone or something.”

“She has touched many lives and left many good memories and life lessons by the way she led her life,” her family wrote in a tribute. ” She was ‘Mom’ and ‘Grandma’ to many, many people — always having a smile and compliment and, of course, some kind of ice cream.” Her grandson, Devin, fondly remembers that the last thing he did with her when she visited him in Oswego before she got sick was go to Friendly’s restaurant for ice cream.

“She was very loving and not judgmental at all,” said her Mrs. Busch.

A devoted reader of The Altamont Enterprise, Mrs. Heath “would wait every Thursday until one o’clock to be able to get her copy of the paper at Stewart’s,” her daughter said. In her later years, she worked at The Enterprise on Thursdays, distributing the papers. “It was a dream come true for her,” her family wrote in a tribute. “She loved being around the people that were down there every week.”

Mrs. Heath also loved Christmastime. “Right before she passed away,” her daughter said, “all she cared about was me picking up the layaway gifts so all the kids would have something from her.”

She concluded, “She loved taking care of people.”


Marguerite Ann Heath is survived by her husband of 46 years Allen Heath Sr.; her children, Holly Busch and her husband, Digger, and Allen Heath Jr. and his wife, Michelle; her grandchildren, Ricky Shoemaker and his wife, Michele, Devin Busch, Jenny Busch, and Damon and Haylee Simmons; her great-grandchildren, Kirstin, Dakota, Ava, and Willow Shoemaker; her goddaughter Roxann King; her brother, Robert Flower and his wife, Sandy; her brother-in-law, George Heath; her sister-in-law, Beverly Staulters and her husband, Carl; and many relatives and friends.

Her mother and stepfather, Harriet and John Flower, died before her, as did her biological father, Willard Bink Jr., and her brothers, Willard and Fred.

Calling hours will be at the White VanBuren Funeral Home at 1779 Main St. in Delanson on Friday, Dec. 16, from 4 to 7 p.m. The funeral will be on Saturday, Dec. 17, at 10 a.m. with burial in Grove Cemetery in Delanson.

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

“In honor of the way Marguerite lived her life, her family asks you to forgive someone today, say ‘I love you’ more often, play extra time with your children, and don’t ever forget to take the chance to dance!” her family wrote in a tribute.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

Edwin C. “Scooter” Wright

SLINGERLANDS — Edwin C. Wright was nicknamed later in life for his very first vehicle, a scooter. He died on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011, at the age of 71.

Mr. Wright always liked to drive — from the tractor on his grandparents’ dairy farm as a child to the Plymouths that he kept washed and polished as an adult.

Born on June 10, 1940, he grew up as the youngest of Leland and Esther Wright’s three children in a tenement house on his grandparents’ dairy farm. “He was always the first to help,” his sister, Olive Hallenbeck, said of their many chores.

Leland Wright had come to work as a farmhand on the land owned by Esther Wright’s parents, Mrs. Hallenbeck explained — the two were not related. They fell in love and “a Wright married a Wright,” she said.

As children, they’d pitch a tent with their father and grandfather on the shore of the Hudson River and row a boat out to fish, Mrs. Hallenbeck said. Her brother also learned to hunt from his father, she said.

Mr. Wright’s first job off the farm was for his cousin’s business, Robert E. Wright Refuse Service. He later worked with his brother-in-law, Ken Hallenbeck, at Altamont Tile and stayed there for 30 years.

One of his favorite parts of the job, not surprisingly, was the driving, his sister said.

“He took great pride in his cars,” she said, explaining that he usually drove Plymouths because of another family connection — a cousin worked at a Plymouth dealership.

About 15 years ago, Mr. Wright got another scooter, quite a bit faster than his first. He’d ride it in parades, his sister said, and he got the nickname of Scooter.

He loved his four children and relished being a grandfather, Mrs. Hallenbeck said.

“He was always happy,” she said. “He’d always buy you a cup of coffee or a penny candy when we were coming home from grade school.”

Growing up together, she said that her brother “always had an answer for every question.” Even when he didn’t know, she said, “He’d tell you something anyhow.”


Mr. Wright is survived by his children: Chuck Wright; David Wright; Dawn Keller and her husband, Brian; Lee Wright; and Donald Wright and his wife, Jen. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Jasmine Keller and Nicholas Wright, as well as his siblings, Olive Hallenbeck and her husband, Ken, and Scott Wright and his wife, Shirley. He is also survived by his former wife, Patricia, and special friends of the family, Joanne M. Wright and Becky Gross.

Calling hours will be from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and a funeral service will be at 7 p.m. today, Dec. 15, at the Applebee Funeral Home at 403 Kenwood Ave. in Delmar.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Brain Tumor Foundation, attention: Gift, 1350 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 1200, New York, NY 10019.

— Saranac Hale Spencer

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