June 17th, 2015

Tartza J. Behr

Tartza J. Behr of Wallkill, a longtime resident of the area died Saturday, June 13, 2015, in Highland. She was 89.

The daughter of the late Robert and Anna Schmidt, she was born January 31, 1926 in Chicago, IL.

She was a member of the Wallkill Reformed Church.

She was an avid fan of Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.

She was the widow of John W. Behr, Sr.

Survivors include her daughter Debra and her husband Ron of upstate NY; son John W. Behr Jr. and his fiancee Cherrie Sagun of Wallkill, granddaughter Amanda Nicole Behr.

She left behind her feline companion Gabi and her canine companion JoJo.

She was predeceased by brothers Albert Smith and Robert Smith and sisters Ella Gully, Marjorie Schmidt and Lillian Schmidt.

Visitation will be Friday, June 19, 2015 from 5-8 p.m. at Wallkill Funeral Home, 12 Bonaventura Ave., Wallkill, NY.
Funeral services will be Saturday, June 20, 2015, 11 a.m. at Wallkill Reformed Church, 45 Bridge St., Wallkill. Reverend Toni Macon will officiate. Burial will be in Wallkill Valley Cemetery in Walden, NY.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Walden Humane Society, P.O. Box 135, Walden NY 12586 or Wallkill Reformed Church, 45 Bridge St., Wallkill NY 12589.

Arrangements were made by Wallkill Funeral Home.

DeMaris Brian

Demi, or Deedee as she was called by family, passed away after a brief illness at Woodland Pond in New Paltz on Thursday, June 11. Surrounded by friends and family, she was the life of the party to the end. Demi was a survivor, always making the best of a situation. She had a tough childhood and lost her son 33 years ago, and yet she claimed to have had everything she ever wanted in life. She goes to be with her beloved husband Wallace Bernard Brian and son William Dallas Brian, as well as so many cherished friends and family accumulated over a rich 91 years.

She leaves to cherish her memory her daughter Jennie Duke and her husband Stephen Duke, her grandson Thomas Duke and his wife Abaigeal Duke, as well as a legion of relatives and friends.

Demi was a person who lit up a room with her humor and spunky attitude. She will be missed by all who knew her.
A memorial gathering will be held at Woodland Pond, 100 Wood Pond Circle, New Paltz, on Saturday, June 20 at 2 p.m. Please use the main entrance to the Performing Arts Center Room.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Carl J. DiDonato, Jr. of the DiDonato Funeral Service, Inc.

Phyllis Ann Brooks

Phyllis Ann Brooks of Marlboro, NY passed away on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at Kaplan Family Hospice Residence, Newburgh with her family by her side. Phyllis was born in Mt. Vernon, NY on Oct. 22, 1943. She was 71. Phyllis is the daughter of the late Henry Louis and Evelyn Marie Chase Haffen.
She married Charles Brooks who predeceased her.

Survivors include her sons and their wives, James Affinito & Virginia Ricciardone, Chase & Amy Brooks; her daughters, Debbie & Anthony Toussaint and Jamie & John Noto; sister Janet Carol Rice & Roger McNerney of Evans Mills, NY and 4 grandchildren, Kyle & Hayden Toussaint, Charles Noto and Savannah Brooks and several nieces and nephews.

Phyllis was employed as a telephone operator, secretary and certified real estate agent, although her greatest accomplishments were devoted mom, homemaker and caretaker of many animals. She owned and operated both a local hair salon and boutique and a teenage dance club through the years. Her personal talents were many. She could be called a craft designer, jewelry maker, interior decorator, comic and master storyteller. She had a flair for “dramatics” and a unique sense of style earning her the name “fancy pants”. She was eager to begin new ventures and gathered friends along the way. She was a woman with a huge heart and contagious laugh who will be sorely missed by many. Phyllis was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer and battled courageously for 18 months until her fight was done.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to HOSPICE of Orange & Sullivan Counties, Inc., Kaplan Family Hospice Residence, 1 Sunrise Lane, Newburgh, NY 12550.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Carl J. DiDonato, Jr. of the DiDonato Funeral Service, Inc.

Elizabeth Owens Cantline

Elizabeth Owens Cantline, wife of the late Peter Cantline, Jr., and a lifelong resident of the Orange County, died June 10, 2015 at the Glen Arden Health Care Center, Goshen, NY. She was 98 years old.

The daughter of the late William and Elsie Cromwell Owens, she was born in Highland Mills, N.Y. on November 6, 1916. She studied music at Skidmore College and Julliard School of Music and was musically active all her life. She was the organist at the St. George’s Episcopal Church in Newburgh for many years and continued to play at the Glen Arden Retirement Center in Goshen for many holidays and social activities.

She was President of the Historical Society of Newburgh Bay and the Highlands, a member of the National Temple Hill Association, the Orange County Historical Society, the Family Service Association of Newburgh, the Adirondack Mountain Club, and was President of the Alter Guild of St. George’s Church, the Episcopal Churchwomen, and a member of the Women’s Auxiliary of St. Luke’s Hospital, and the Powelton Club in Newburgh.

She and her husband traveled extensively visiting countries of unusual interest, and enjoyed many summer vacations in the Adirondacks and at beaches along the Atlantic Ocean, along with many cross-country camping trips with their children.

Elizabeth’s husband predeceased her in 2005 after 65 years of marriage, and a daughter, Elizabeth Owens Cantline in 1963. A daughter, Mary Owens Cantline of St. Regis Falls, a son, Peter Robert Cantline of New Paltz, a granddaughter, Lindsay Tyler Cantline, several nieces and a nephew survive her.

Memorial services were held Sunday, July 12, at St. George’s Episcopal Church. Reverend Wayne R. Schmidt will officiate. Burial will be private and at the convenience of the family.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. George’s Church, 105 Grand Street, Newburgh, NY 12550.

Funeral arrangements under the direction of White & Venuto Funeral Home.

Jean Durniak

Jean Durniak, a homemaker, of New City, NY passed away on Wednesday, June 9, 2015 at the Tolstoy Nursing Home, Valley Cottage.

The daughter of the late Anthony and Mary Elko Carman, she was born on March 10, 1920 in Brooklyn, NY. She was 95 years old. She was the widow of the late Nicholas Durniak.

Jean was a member of St. Gregory’s Russian Orthodox Church, Wappingers Falls, NY.

She is survived by a son, Richard Durniak and his wife Josephine, of New City, NY. In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by her brothers, Walter and Nicholas Carman.

Funeral services were held June 13 at the Gridley-Horan Funeral Home, Walden. Burial was in the Wallkill Valley Cemetery, Walden.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Arrangements are by the Gridley-Horan Funeral Home, Inc.

Bertha Louise Green

Bertha Louise Green of Walden, a retired School Bus Driver for First Student and a longtime resident of the area, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 9, 2015, in Middletown. She was 81. A mother to many, she will always be remembered as “Bert the Bus Driver.”

The daughter of the late Cortland Joseph DePew and Edna Alice Myers, she was born August 24, 1933 in Howells, New York.

She was the widow of Louis Eugene Green, Sr.

Survivors include her sons, Louis E. Green Jr. and wife Donnamaria of Newburgh and Barry W. Green Sr. at home; daughters JoAnn Cassidy and husband Robert of Newburgh, Kelly A. Wright of Walden and Christine Wood and husband Kevin of Stamford; brothers Joseph DePew of Middletown, Raymond DePew and wife Evelyn of Middletown, Louis DePew and wife Sharon of Middletown, Robert DePew and wife Nancy of Middletown, Thomas DePew and wife Jane of Walden and a sister, Catherine Mitton and husband Rodney of Bloomingburg.

She was predeceased by her daughter, Judith A. Green and brother, James DePew.

Services were held Sunday, June 14, 2015 at the Millspaugh Funeral Home, Walden. Cremation will be in Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Arrangements were made by Millspaugh Funeral Directors.

Sylvia Hannigan

Sylvia Ida Guido Hannigan of Highland passed away on Saturday, June 13, 2015 at Wingate at Ulster in Highland, after a long illness.

Sylvia is the daughter of Pietro & Margherita Artale Guido. She was born in Poughkeepsie, NY on September 22, 1940. She was 74. She was married to Lawrence Hannigan.

Sylvia was a homemaker. She was a 1959 graduate of Marlboro High School.

Survivors include her husband Larry Hannigan of Woodstock, GA; her son Joseph Hannigan and his wife Kim of Highland; daughters, Patty Hummel of Clintondale and Debbie Hannigan of Fishkill; 8 grandchildren: Jessica Ludlow of Highland, Christopher Hummel of Clintondale, Nicholas Hummel of Clintondale, Abbey Hummel of Clintondale, Austin Hannigan of Highland, Angel Hannigan of Highland, David Ludlow of Fishkill and Robert Ludlow of Atlanta and several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her son Dennis Hannigan, who died in 1997, and her brother Ignazio Peter Guido, who died in 2001.

A Mass of Christian burial was held Tuesday at St. James Church, Milton. Entombment was in Cedar Hill Mausoleum, Middle Hope.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Carl J. DiDonato, Jr. of the DiDonato Funeral Service, Inc.

Nora Ann Knapp

Nora Ann Knapp, daughter of the late Frank and Marion Annunziato entered into rest Friday June 12th after a brief and courageous battle with cancer. She was 71.

Nora, a 40-year resident of the Town of Newburgh, was born and raised in Yonkers, NY. She attended St. Barnabas Catholic High School in the Bronx, and the N.Y. Foundling Hospital where she received a diploma in Nursing.

As a Nurse, she loved working with babies and enjoyed that until she married and had babies of her own.

Nora married her first love, Thomas Reese, the father of her three children, in December of 1963. Although they divorced, and each remarried, they were equally committed to their children, and remained the best of friends. When Tom had a stroke in February 2014 she was with him every day, demanding the best care for him, until he passed in July of 2014. They were together for over 50 years.

Although she was an only child she was raised with her cousins, Pat, Liz, Louie, John, Angela and Rita, and never had the experience of being alone. She loved having her family and friends around, and her home was always open. Nora made friends easily, and kept them forever. Some of her closest friends she met in Kindergarten. When Tom became a cop, Nora befriended Marie Reynolds, the wife of a fellow policeman. Nora and Marie spent many years together; raising their children, and supporting each other through many of life’s challenges. They remained great friends.

Nora was an avid gardener, loved to knit and crochet, wrote poetry and in her earlier years enjoyed bowling and needlepoint. Her love was demonstrated in her cooking and in keeping the family together. She was proud of all her children and can rest peacefully in a job well done.

Nora was predeceased by her parents, her half-brothers, Frank and Edward Annunziato, her sister-in-law, Rose Annunziato, and her husbands Thomas Reese and Douglas Knapp.

She is survived by her three children, Robert Reese and his wife, June of Crestview FL, Jeanne Reese and Kathleen Reese of Newburgh, NY; her granddaughter (the light of her life) Emily Reese, her nephew, Tom Annunziato, her second husband, William Healey and many cousins.

The family would like to thank the caring staff at St. Luke’s Hospital 4N, as well as, Dr. Mitchell Garden (the best back doctor in the world according to Mom), Dr. Javier Ruiz (who supported her in beating breast cancer in 2009) and Dr. Carol Taylor, her longtime doctor and friend.

We would also like to acknowledge the tremendous support of her friends Charlotte Forrester, Patricia Larkin, and Karen Adams, all of whom made a very difficult time bearable.

Nora will be missed by her children, family and dear friends. She trusted in Jesus and his mercy, and prepared this poem in honor of her life:

“After I am gone, don’t be sad; Just always remember the good time we’ve had.

My life has been full, with great family and friends

And I’ll always be with you wherever your road bends

So go and raise a glass, have a toast or two; and always remember I love all of you.”

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Helen Hayes Hospital Foundation, or the St. Patrick’s Soup Kitchen.

William Edward Meuser, Sr.

William E. Meuser, Sr. of Highland, passed away June 8, 2015. He is survived by his loving wife, Frances Meuser, daughter Frances Sadiq, son William Meuser Jr., granddaughter Catina Leon, granddaughter Lynnette Smith, grandson Nicholas Lesko, great-granddaughter Christina Leon, great-grandson Michael Leon, great-granddaughter Brynn Fiorio, and numerous nieces and nephews.

William was a former employee of IBM and he loved being outside and taking care of his home and family. He served 16 1/2 years in the Navy and was a Veteran of WWII and the Korean War. He is a lifetime member of the American Legion and the VFW. While in the Navy, he received his diploma and graduated Junior college.

The family requests in lieu of flowers, donations be made towards the care of his wife, Frances Meuser. Donations can be sent to Catina Leon and Lynnette Smith, PO Box 6, Modena, NY 12548.

A service was held at the First Presbyterian Church, Highland, followed by burial in Lloyd Cemetery, Highland with Military Honors.

Alexa Brooke Perri

Alexa Brooke Perri of Marlboro, NY passed away on Thursday, June 11, 2015 at Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla, NY. Alexa is the daughter of Lauri J. Perri and the late Vincent Perri. She was born December 14, 1996 in Queens, NY. She was 18.

Alexa was a 2014 Graduate of Marlboro High School, Marlboro.

Survivors include her mom Lauri and fiancé Andrew Polizzi at home, maternal grandparents Laurence & Phyllis Schneider of Queens, NY and paternal grandparents Frank & Elaine Perri of Queens, NY, her sisters Samantha Perri of Marlboro and Nicole LaValle of NJ, her aunts and uncles Robert & Micki Raneri, Steven & Rose Schneider, Lynn & Joe Petrini, Elaine & Angelo Margiotta, Vinny Decongilio, Frank Perri, Jr. and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her father Vincent Perri, her aunt Gail Decongilio and her uncle Guy Perri, Jr.

Funeral services were held on Monday morning at 10 a.m. at the DiDonato Funeral Home. Burial was in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Middle Hope, NY

Memorial donations can be made to Project Paw it Forward, 578 Route 44-55, Apt. C, Highland, NY 12528.

Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Carl J. DiDonato, Jr. of the DiDonato Funeral Service, Inc.

Michael F. “Mickey” Pippi

Michael F. “Mickey” Pippi of New Paltz, formerly of Wallkill, a 30-year employee of the US Postal Service, died May 15, 2015, at home. He was 66.

The son of the late Albert Michael Pippi and Mabel Dundon Pippi, he was born July 30, 1948 in Bronx, NY.

Survivors include his brother Thomas Pippi and his wife Anna of Wallkill, sister Irene Oronato and her husband Jim of Baton Rouge, LA and nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents Albert and Mabel Pippi.
A memorial service was held Saturday, June 13, 2015, at Goodwill Historical Sanctuary, Montgomery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Walden Humane Society, P.O. Box 135, Walden, NY 12586.

Arrangements were made by Wallkill Funeral Home.

Francis H. Poffley (Frank)

Francis H. Poffley of Plattekill, a lifelong resident of the area, quietly passed away at the Wingate Rehab and Nursing in Beacon on Monday June 8, 2015. Francis was 95 years old.

Son of the late Harry A. Poffley and Elizabeth Hodge Poffley, he was born August 5, 1919 in Newburgh, NY. Frank retired from IBM Fishkill in 1977 as a Tech Associate after 25 years of service.

In addition to his parents Francis was predeceased by his wife Pauline, son Fredrick Henry, grandson Jerry Henry, brothers Harry and Richard.

Francis honorably served his country in the U.S. Army Air Corps in Panama during WWII, attaining the rank of Master Sergeant. In his youth Frank was an avid motorcyclist. Growing up on a farm Frank became an excellent mechanic, which he put to use while working for Brockway Motors in Newburgh after the war. He also learned to fly, earning his pilot’s license.

He was a member of St. Patrick’s Church where he married Pauline Yablonsky in December 1944. They were married almost 69 years before her death. He was a loving and caring husband and father with a wonderful sense of humor. We will miss his generous heart and warm, wonderful smile.

Survivors include his daughters, Paula Gliedman and husband, Jeffrey of Plattekill, Sandra Gabriel of Prattville, Alabama; sister, Lois DeGhetto and husband Ozzie of Bridgewater, N.J.; daughter-in-law Mary Henry of Plattekill; as well as grandchildren Jeffrey Jr, Erik and Timothy Gliedman, Chris and David Henry, Bert Sparrow and Brenda Ingram; 12 great-grandchildren: Marco, Alessandro, Megan, Emma, Kristin, Ryan, Emily, Jason, Julianne, Nicholas, Chip and Alex.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 17th at Our Lady of the Lake Church, Rt. 52 (Orange Lake), Newburgh with Monsignor John Budwick officiating. Entombment will follow at Cedar Hill Mausoleum in Newburgh.

If desired, please make donations to St. Patrick’s Soup Kitchen, 55 Grand St., Newburgh, NY 12550.

Funeral arrangements under the direction of White & Venuto Home, Newburgh.

Fran Quinn

Fran Quinn (don’t call her Frances) shuffled off to heaven, not Buffalo, on June 10, 2015. You have to be a tap dancer to understand that.

Fran loved life so much that she knew this was not her first life, nor her last. Her biggest sorrow is leaving her beloved spouse of 35 years Phillis Simone, the most loving and caring person ever. She is survived by her wonderful son Jason McAteer, his wife Kathy, and the most adorable grandson, Alex, as well as lots of cousins and good friends. Her friends know she will be dancing and partying up there, as happy as she always was.

Fran was born on Dec. 30, 1944, in Astoria, Queens. She came to Highland for a wine tour and never left. She worked as a switchboard operator in Manhattan, then for Hudson River Psych. Center for 21 years until she retired in 2008.
She and Phillis traveled all over the world until they bought a beautiful lake house on Caroga Lake, NY, where they spent their summers kayaking and enjoying cocktails on the deck. Fran was the most positive person always looking at the glass as 3/4 full. Her wish for all is that they really take time to be in the moment, and that worrying is the most useless emotion; it does nothing. Enjoy life!

A memorial celebration of Fran’s life will be held at the American Legion, 84 Grand St., Highland, on June 20 at 1 p.m. Bring your happy memories.

Funeral arrangements being handled by the Michael Torsone Memorial Funeral Home, Inc., 38 Main Street, Highland, NY 12528. For online condolences or to send the family a sympathy card, please visit our web site at

Sheila Todaro Rosenstein

Sheila Todaro Rosenstein, 60, of Milton, passed away Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at Albany Medical Center.

She was born in Poughkeepsie on February 1, 1955, the daughter of the late Anthony Todaro and Patricia Davis Todaro who survives in Wappingers Falls.

Sheila was a graduate of Roy C. Ketcham High School in 1973. She was employed at Vassar Bros. Medical Center as a clerical manager in the Radiology Department.

In addition to her mother, survivors include her husband, George T. Rosenstein, whom she married on July 19, 1983 in Wappingers Falls, children, Travis Rosenstein, Cori Rosenstein Johnston and her husband Joseph, Gavin Rosenstein, and Brittany Rosenstein, sisters, Theresa Todaro, ToniAnn Abbott, and Jennifer O’Callaghan, a brother, Joseph Todaro, nieces, nephews and cousins.

Services were held Saturday at the Delehanty Funeral Home in Wappingers Falls. Burial was in St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Steven Ross Mead

June 12, 1981-May 21, 2015

Steven Ross Mead, a beloved son, brother, father and uncle, was suddenly taken from us on Thursday, May 21, 2015. Born in Winchester, VA to Susann Copertino (Mead) Mahusky (Michael) and Richard A. Mead.

Steven is survived by his daughter Alexis Nicole Carlock and son Cameron Bitner.

He is also survived by his brother Ricky Mead (Brandi) and his sister Tiffany Mead, nieces Trista and Rikki Mead, his maternal grandmother Berta Copertino.

Steven was predeceased by his maternal grandfather Joseph Copertino, and paternal grandparents Ross Mead and Ann Montanya. He is also survived by several aunts, uncles and cousins.

Steven was loved by all who knew him. He will be deeply missed.

A private service took place on May 30, 2015, in Pennsylvania, with his immediate family. A memorial was held on Saturday, June 13, 2015 at St. Mary’s Church in Marlboro. Donations can be made to St. Mary’s church.

Forever in our hearts you will stay Loved and missed every day.

Digna Carmona Sanchez

Digna Carmona Sanchez of the Town of Newburgh passed away on Monday June 8, 2015 at home. She was 82. The daughter of the late Berardo Carmona Yluzo and Bernardina Satoyo Carmona, she was born on August 6, 1932 in Placeta, Las Villas, Cuba. Devoted wife and mother, the last of her generation, enter into eternal rest after a long illness.
She is the widow of Elcido R. Sanchez, married on July 14, 1956 who passed away on August 17, 2013. Digna is survived by 2 daughters Yvette S. Kari and Margaret M. Sanchez, 3 grandchildren Alexander K. Kari, Victoria E. Kari, Braxton A. Kari, and several nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Tuesday June 16, in St. Patrick’s Church Newburgh. Burial was held in Calvary Cemetery New Windsor, NY.

Arrangements are under the care of Anthony V. Cracolici of the Hudson Valley Funeral Home.

Michael Omar Velazquez

Michael Omar Velazquez of Newark, NJ, a student at Berkeley College in NJ, and a former resident of the area, died unexpectedly on Tuesday, June 9, 2015, in Newark. He was 40.

The son of Lourdes Villariny Monge and the late Felix Velazquez, he was born September 29, 1974 in New York City.
He was a member of St. Lucy’s Church in Newark.

Survivors include his domestic partner, Edison Alban, parents, Lourdes and Ray Monge of Walden, grandmother Elba Estrada of Montgomery, brother, Bryan Monge of Walden; two sons, Adrian and Christian Velazquez.

He is also survived by his uncles, aunts and cousins.

He was predeceased by brother, Derek Owen Velazquez.

A family statement read: “Michael Omar exuded unconditional love and compassion for everyone he encountered. He was so full of light that when he entered a room he just brightened it up and instantly made everyone feel special. Everyone who made his acquaintance was instantly won over by his charm and wit.”

A Mass of Christian burial was held Saturday, June 13, at Holy Name of Mary Church, Montgomery. Burial was in St Mary’s Cemetery in Montgomery, NY.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested contributions to be made for the benefit of his children’s college fund thru the Michael Omar Velazquez Memorial Fund (c/o Edison Alban) at 93 Ferry St. Newark, NJ 07105. Donations may also be made through

Arrangements have been made by Millspaugh Funeral Directors.

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