October 11, 2002
Cattle Farmer, 71
Emery Lancaster Pierson of Claryville, an accomplished fisherman, innovative cattle farmer, writer and a friend and advisor to the chemically addicted, died Friday, October 4, 2002, after a long struggle with cancer. He was 71 years of age.
He was the widower of Diane Deknatel Pierson who died four years ago. Born in Quincy, Illinois, on February 17, 1931, he left Quincy to attend Lake Forest Academy in Chicago, Ill., and then Dartmouth College, where he played varsity football. In 1953, he became the first undergraduate to earn a degree in Russian.
After serving in the Army as an intelligence specialist, Mr. Pierson assumed management of Lancaster Lands, the 10,000 acre cattle farm owned by his grandfather, Emery Lancaster, in LaGrange, Mo. He taught Russian at Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo., before moving to Los Angeles, Calif., where he worked as a writer.
In the depths of his struggle with alcoholism, Mr. Pierson moved to New York City, taking jobs as an ironworker and a night security guard. It was there that he began his recovery and discovered his talent for counseling and mentoring alcoholics. Addicts and alcoholics throughout New York State owe their health, and in some cases their lives, to him.
Mr. Pierson moved to Claryville in 1980 and served as an officer of the Neversink River Association and Commissioner of the Claryville Volunteer Fire Department. He was awarded the Certificate of Congressional Recognition for his work with addiction. At his death, he was working on a book about fishing the Neversink.
He is survived by three children, Carol Holding of San Francisco, Calif., Michelle Price of Woldingham, England, and Emery Lancaster Pierson III of Meru, France; two stepchildren, Roxanne Deknatel of Wilbur-by-the-Sea, Fla., and Peter Davis of Seattle, Wash; five grandchildren, and his first wife, Joan Godwin Pierson of Washington, D.C.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, November 2, at the Claryville Reformed Church.
Memorial contributions may be made to Recovery Center, Emery Pierson Memorial Fund, 11 Hamilton Ave., Monticello, N.Y. 12701.
Funeral arrangements were made by the Ramsay's Funeral Home in Liberty.
Ret. Secretary, 93
Elizabeth "Minerva" Jackson of Tyler Hill, Pa., a retired secretary with the Salvation Army and a resident of the area since 1973, died Monday, October 7, 2002, at the Ellen Memorial Health Care Center in Honesdale, Pa. She was 93 years of age.
The daughter of the late Charles and Beatrice Bradley Bayliss, she was born November 29, 1908, in Brooklyn. She was the widow of Earl Jackson who died in 1976.
Mrs. Jackson was a member or the Damascus United Methodist Church and its United Methodist Women.
She is survived by a daughter, Doris Swendson of Tyler Hill, Pa.; six grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by a son, Earl Jackson Jr., and four siblings.
Services were held Thursday at the Damascus United Methodist Church in Damascus, Pa., with the Rev. George Gallandorn officiating.
Burial was made in Hillside Cemetery in Damascus, Pa.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Damascus United Methodist Church or to the Damascus Volunteer Ambulance Corps, both at Damascus, Pa. 18415.
Edward Diffendale, 78
Edward N. Diffendale of Perth died Sunday, October 6, 2002, in St. Mary's Hospital in Amsterdam, N.Y., after a long battle with heart and lung disease. He was 78 years of age.
The son of the late Fred and Marie Brandt Diffendale, he was born December 31, 1923, in Brooklyn. He was the widower of Audrey Gillen Diffendale.
A World War II Army veteran, Mr. Diffendale was a member of Hoffman Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in Middletown, and many national and local bird clubs.
His family expresses their appreciation to the nurses and caregivers at St. Mary's Hospital who attended to Edward in his last days, and also the VA Healthcare Network of Upstate New York at the Albany and Fonda Centers.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Patricia J. VanInwegen Diffendale, at home; five daughters and four sons-in-law, Linda Ovitt and Peter Johnson of Baltimore, Md., Carol and Regan Beers of Endicott, Lois Diffendale of Vernon, Conn., Janet and Chris Schwinger of Lake Hopatcong, N.J., and Ruth and Eric Stoepker of Seekonk, Mass. a brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Marge Diffendale of Bloomingburg; and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a brother, Frederick, and infant twin grandsons.
Services were held Thursday at the VanInwegen-Kenny Funeral Home in Wurtsboro with the Rev. Betty Beach officiating.
Burial was made in the Bloomingburg Rural Cemetery in Bloomingburg.
Memorial contributions may be made to the VA Network, St. Mary's Hospital or the charity of one's choice.
Ret. Thompson DPW, 81
Alvin "Pete" Brasington of Monticello, a retiree of the Town of Thompson Highway Department and a lifelong area resident, died Monday, October 7, 2002, at the Seelig Division of the Catskill Regional Medical Center in Harris. He was 81 years of age.
The son of the late Levi and Isabelle Casterline Brasington, he was born May 26, 1921, in Bridgeville. He was the widower of Arthene Calhoun Brasington.
A World War II Army veteran, he was a member of the Bailey-Richman Post No. 9588, Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Monticello.
He is survived by four sons and three daughters-in-law, Alan Brasington of New Paltz, and Arthur and Liz Brasington, Lod and Dona Brasington and Peter and Carol Brasington, all of Monticello; a brother, and sister-in-law, Ralph and Mita Brasington of Tequesta, Fla.; a sister, Mildred Thayer of Stockbridge, Mass.; eight grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by two brothers, Herbert and Donald Brasington, and a sister, Ruth Somers.
Services were held Thursday at the VanInwegen-Kenny Funeral Home in Monticello with the Rev. Allen Newman officiating.
Burial was made in the Messenger Cemetery in Monticello.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, c/o Bryanna Kiselaustras, 3 Van Slyke Lane, Poestenkill, N.Y. 12140.
Ret. Railroadman, 54
Thomas Swartwood of Callicoon, died Sunday, October 6, 2002, at the Wayne Memorial Hospital in Honesdale, Pa., after an illness. He was 54 years of age.
The son of the late Claude and Jean Keller Swartwood, he was born in Scranton, Pa.
A graduate of Susquehanna Community High School, he was a veteran of the United States Navy and a member of American Legion Post No. 86 in Susquehanna, Pa. He retired from the Norfolk Southern Railroad Corp. on February 1, 2001.
He is survived by his wife of 31 years, Lorraine Harvey Swartwood, at home; two sons, Michael and Craig Swartwood of Callicoon; a sister and brother-in-law, Joyce and Don Page of New Milford, Pa.; an aunt and uncle, Elizabeth and Donald Keller of Oakland, Pa.; and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service was held Thursday evening at the Hennessey's Funeral Home in Susquehanna, Pa., with the Rev. Carl Batzel officiating.
Burial was made in the Pine Grove Cemetery in Matamoras, Pa.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Callicoon Fire Department, Callicoon, N.Y. 12723 or to the Upper Delaware Ambulance Corps, P.O. Box 238, Hankins, N.Y. 12741.
John Jack Bishop
Head of Housing, 67
John "Jack" Bishop of Port Jervis, head of Human Resources Emergency Housing in Middletown and a lifelong area resident of Port Jervis, died Sunday, October 6, 2002, at the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla. He was 67 years of age.
The son of the late Francis and Marjorie Bunt Bishop, he was born December 20, 1934, in Port Jervis.
A 1953 graduate of Port Jervis High School and Broome Tech. Community College, he was a recovering alcoholic for 14 year and a member of AA. He touched many lives.
Mr. Bishop formerly owned Banberger's Hotel and Restaurant in Port Jervis and worked for 20 years at the Concord Hotel in Monticello.
He is survived by his wife of 22 years, Carol Henderson Bishop, at home; two sons, Brice Bishop of Norwalk, Conn., and Larry Dain of Sparrowbush; two daughters, Jody Bishop-Pullan of Rowayton, Conn., and Linda Schmeal of Virginia Beach, Va.; a brother, William Bishop of Ballston Lake; a sister, Nancy Vocci of Matamoras, Pa.; seven grandchildren, Brice Pullan, Brett Pullan, Aliesha Bishop, Katie Bishop, Annie Bishop, Rebecca Dain and Brad Dain; and six nieces and nephews, John and Rob Vocci, Erin and Brian Bishop and Gwen and Lee Busch.
Friends may call at the Gray-Parker Funeral Home, 100 E. Main St., Port Jervis on Saturday from 9 to 10 a.m.
Services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home with Mr. John Harper officiating.
Cremation will be made at the H.G. Smith Crematory in Stroudsburg, Pa.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 407 E. Main St., Middletown, N.Y. 10940.
Ret. Med. Doctor, 90
Venkateswaran Thyaharaj of Seminole, Fla., a retired medical doctor and a former resident of Monticello, died Monday, October 7, 2002, at his home. He was 90 years of age.
The son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Venkateswaran Thyaharaj Sr., he was born July 13, 1912, in India. He was the widower of Veera Thyaharaj who died in 1988.
He is survived by four daughters, Ambuja Manoharan of Ft. Lee, N.J., Susie Arokiasamy of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Basantha Kannan of Seminole, Fla., and Viji Roberts of Monticello; and seven grandchildren.
Friends may call at the Ramsay's Funeral Home, 55 St. John St., Monticello, on Friday, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
Graveside services and burial will be held at 2:45 p.m. on Friday at the Rock Ridge Cemetery in Monticello with the Rev. Gene Smith officiating.
Helen E. Rivers, 77
Ret. Grossinger's Emp.
Helen Elizabeth Rivers of Liberty, a retired Grossinger's Hotel employee and a 42-year area resident, died Monday, October 7, 2002, at the Seelig Division of the Catskill Regional Medical Center in Harris. She was 77 years of age.
The daughter of the late Sarah and Albert Simmons, she was born December 24, 1924, in Charleston, S.C.
Mrs. Rivers was a member of the Friendship Baptist Church in Ferndale and a resident of the Adult Care Center in Liberty.
She is survived by her husband, Benjamin Rivers of South Carolina; three daughters, Martha Davis and Gwendolyn Williams, both of Liberty, and JoAnn Rivers of the Bronx; a foster daughter, Pamela Kennedy of Liberty; a son, Herman Drayton of Liberty; two sisters, Ruby Jones and Rosa Lee Mack; a brother-in-law, Lloyd Cha Cha Jones of Liberty; a son-in-law, Ralph Tinsley of Liberty; a daughter-in-law, Toni Lopez; 11 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews and cousins; and a host of friends. She was predeceased by a brother and two sisters.
Friends may call at the Ramsay's Funeral Home, 275 South Main St., Liberty, on Friday from 7 to 9 p.m.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Friendship Baptist Church in Ferndale with the Rev. Willie Smith officiating.
Burial will be made in the Liberty Cemetery in Liberty.
Joan A. Doolittle
Joan A. Doolittle of Middletown, a homemaker and a lifelong area resident, died Tuesday, October 8, 2002, at her home. She was 65 years of age.
The daughter of the late Frederick and Margaret Decker, she was born June 13, 1937, in the Town of Wawayanda. She was the widow of Paul "Duke" Doolittle.
She is survived by nine children and their spouses, Bonnie and Russell Zoll of Bloomingburg, Timothy and Cindy Doolittle of Cuddebackville, Tammy and Robert Mapes, Tim and Cherie Doolittle, Paul and Sandy Doolittle, all of Middletown, Richard and Connie Doolittle, Andrew and Rebecca, and Andrea and Luke Mann, all of Bloomingburg, and Roger and Melanie Doolittle of Middletown; a brother, Charles Decker of North Carolina; two sisters, Rose Presto of Greenwich, Conn., and Marilyn Dietz of Royal Palm Beach, Fla.; and several nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday at the Ralston-Lippincott-Hasbrouck-Ingrassia Funeral Home in Middletown.
Burial will be made in the Wallkill Cemetery in Phillipsburg.