Sullivan County Democrat
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  OBITUARY ARCHIVES Established 1891 Callicoon, New York  
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January 1, 2008

Andrew V. LaPolt III
Retired teacher, 68

Andrew Valentine LaPolt III, a lifetime area resident, died unexpectedly on Friday December 21, 2007. He was 68.
Born in Monticello October 19, 1939, he was the son of the late Andrew Valentine LaPolt Jr. and Irene LaPolt.
He graduated from Monticello High School and went on to obtain his B.S. in Industrial Arts from Oswego State and his M.S. in counseling at Oneonta State.
He had a long career as a teacher, guidance counselor, and administrator, retiring in 2001.
He enjoyed the political arena, recently running for the Board of Town Trustees and serving as Bethel Town Councilman.
Andrew was past President and Secretary of the Bethel Lions and President of the White Lake Fire Company.
He enjoyed singing in the Sullivan County Community Chorus.
As a youth he obtained his Eagle Scout rank and participated in scouting activities with his grandsons.
Hobbies included cooking, gardening, woodworking and storytelling.
He loved spending time with his family and vacationing.
He leaves behind his beloved, Nancy Schrader; son, Andrew LaPolt IV and wife, Richelle; daughters, Cynthia Roberts and husband, Jeffrey, Colleen LaPolt, Christine Groleau and husband, Thomas, and Cathleen Buff and husband, Bernard; grandchildren, Kyle, Andrew V, Derek, Jeremy, Olivia, Tucker, Angelene, Ryan, Claudia, Maeve, and Anika; sister, Karen LaPolt and husband, Kenneth; sister-in-law, Anne LaPolt; nephews, Bruce LaPolt Jr., and Brian LaPolt and wife, Talia. He had also welcomed as part of his family, Lisa Pietrucha and husband, Artie, Chan Edwards and wife, Kelly, Kim Pazzuti and husband, John; grandchildren, Tanya, Robert, Madison, Devin, Chandler, Morgan; and great-grandson, Brandon.
He was predeceased by brother, Bruce LaPolt and grandson, Corey LaPolt.
Funeral services were held on Thursday December 27 at Ramsay’s Funeral Home, Kauneonga Lake.
In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make contributions to The Bethel Lions Club or the White Lake Fire Department in Andrews’s name.
Funeral arrangements are by Ramsay’s Funeral Homes Inc. Kauneonga Lake.

Vernon R. Kopf, 64
Highland General Store owner

Vernon R. Kopf of Eldred, NY, owner of Highland General Store, and longtime resident of the area, died Wednesday, December 26, 2007 at Orange Regional Medical Center Horton Campus in Middletown, N.Y.
He was 64.
The son of the late William Henry and Irma Seck Kopf, he was born on February 23, 1943, in Englewood, N.J.
He was married to Monica Crance Kopf for 40 years, who survives.
Vernon was a board member of the Sullivan County BOCES.
He also served on the Highland Town Board for eight years, was a member of the Antique Auto Association and also a NRA member.
Survivors include his wife, Monica Crance Kopf, at home; two sons, Franz-Eric Kopf and his wife, Judy, of Eldred and Christopher Edward Kopf of Bellingham, Wa., one granddaughter, Morgan and one grandson, Brendan.
Friends are invited to call on Friday, December 28, 2007 from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 7 to 9 p.m. at Gray-Rasmussen Funeral Home, Route 97, Barryville, N.Y.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 10:00 a.m. at the funeral home. Rev. Nancy Vonderhorst will officiate.
Burial will take place in Montoza Cemetery, Eldred, N.Y.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Legion Ambulance Corp., P.O. Box 63, Eldred, NY 12732.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Gray-Rasmussen Funeral Home, Barryville, N.Y., (845) 557-8010.

Hyman E. Benskie
U.S. Army Veteran, 86

Mr. Hyman Edward Benskie of Monticello, a lifelong resident of of Sullivan County, died Tuesday, December 25, 2007 at Catskill Regional Medical Center, Harris, NY. He was 86.
He was born April 26, 1921 in Divine Corners, NY, the son of the the late Abraham Benskie and the late Ida Benskie.
He was a WWII Army Veteran having served in the Philippines, landing during the invasion of the Lingayen Gulf and supporting the Battle of Manila. Hy and the Benskie family owned and operated the Riverside Hotel in Divine Corners until 1967. In the years after he was a chief-kitchen steward at the Pines Hotel in South Fallsburg. He was a partner in the Hall of Fame Baseball Camp. He also was the head of maintenance at the Gilberts Hotel in Fallsburg and Kutsher’s Sports Camp in the Town of Thompson.
Hy Benskie was a man dedicated to his wife and family. He gave unselfishly of his time and experience to his friends. Hy was a loyal friend to many, a dependable employee, and a generous father and grandfather. He was self-taught in many construction trades and had a knack for creating one of a kind projects and came with a “can do” attitude.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Shirley Rubin Benskie; one daughter, Rita Savage of Chester; one son, Alan Benskie and his wife, Connie, of Monticello; four grandchildren, Chastin Savage of Lanoka Harbor, N.J.; Wyatt Savage of Harriman, Andrew Benskie and Shayna Benskie of Monticello; and one great-grandchild, Ashleigh Savage Colandro of Highlands, N.J. He was predeceased by a sister, Helen Ruth Benskie.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, December 30, 2007 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at Ramsay’s Funeral Home, 55 St. John St., Monticello, N.Y.
Cremation will be at Cedar Hill Crematory, Newburgh, N.Y.
Arrangements are by Ramsay’s Funeral Homes Inc., Monticello 845-794-2700.

Edward D. Gabriel
Self-employed mason, 26

Edward D. Gabriel, a lifetime area resident, passed away on December 25, 2007 in Callicoon, NY.
He was 26.
The son of Edward J. and Susan Covart Gabriel, he was born on December 12, 1981 in Harris, NY.
He was a self-employed mason.
Survivors include his parents, Edward and Susan Gabriel of Equinunk, Pa.; 3 sisters, Donna Miller and husband Jeffrey of White Lake, Lori Cavallo and husband James of Endicott, NY and Karen Borowski and husband Andrew of Cochecton; a brother, Robert “Jake” Gabriel of Eldred; several aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews.
Friends may call at Ramsay’s Funeral Home, 3534 State Rt 55, Kauneonga Lake on Saturday December 29, 2007 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Funeral services will be held at the funeral home at 1 p.m. with Rev. William Haggerty officiating.
Burial will be in the family plot in Fosterdale Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made to the charity of one’s choice.
Funeral arrangements are by Ramsay’s Funeral Homes, Inc., Kauneonga Lake, NY.

Ron Cushing
Retired Treatment Assistant, 71

Ron Cushing of Wurtsboro died Friday, December 21, 2007 at O.R.M.C., Arden Hill campus in Goshen, with his wife by his side. He was 71.
The son of the late Harold and Frances Cushing, he was born June 10, 1936.
Ron worked as a Security Treatment Assistant at the Mid-Hudson Psychiatric Center in New Hampton for 28 years before retiring in 1996. He enjoyed reading, writing, and acting, and has written hundreds of letters, poems and songs. Ron was an actor at heart. He had a small, small role in the CBS movie “Murder by Reason of Insanity” which was filmed partly at Mid-Hudson. After retiring, he acted in several local plays throughout the area where he met several people whom he enjoyed acting with.
He enjoyed watching his two sons grow up and doing things with them such as playing catch with David or practicing the trombone with Michael. He was very happy that he and Michael shared a love for music. Ron was very thankful for the love and support he received from his friends and family throughout the past year and for all the help that they gave to him and his wife. Ron was also very grateful for the love he shared with his wife, Betty, who through good times and bad times still remained his best girl. Ron was one of a kind and will be deeply missed by everyone who knew him.
He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Elizabeth, at home; his two sons: David and his fiancée, Stacey of Bloomingburg and Michael and his fiancée, Bridgette of Wurtsboro; two brothers: Harold and his wife, Ann of Middletown and Harvey and his wife, Bev of Otisville. Ron also leaves behind five grandchildren: Katrina, Leah, Justin, Courtney and Alexandra, and several nieces and nephews. Ron was very fond of his wife's family, especially her sister, Veronica and her husband, Jim of Piscataway, NJ, as well as Michael and Jill Ferrazzano of Brooklyn and Wurtsboro, and their two sons: Austin and Brady, whom he considered grandchildren as well.
Visitation was held on Wednesday, December 26, at the VanInwegen-Kenny, Inc. Funeral Home, 111 Sullivan St. in Wurtsboro. His funeral service was held on Thursday, December 27, at the funeral home, with Pastor Robert P. Meyer officiating. Burial followed in the Sylvan Cemetery in Wurtsboro.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Community Church of Wurtsboro, P.O. Box 487, Wurtsboro, NY 12790 or to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
Arrangements under the direction of the VanInwegen-Kenny, Inc. Funeral Home. For additional information, please visit or call 845-888-2731.

Sr. Emily Katz, r.c., 96

Sister Emily Katz, r.c., of Chicago, Ill. and a resident of Resurrection Life Center Nursing Home, died on December 8, 2007. She was 96.
The daughter of Mary Kennedy Katz and Louis Katz, she was born July 10, 1911 in New York City.
She graduated from Fordham U, worked on Wall Street and entered religious life in the Cenacle in March 1937 where she became a nun.
Survivors include her nephews, Lawrence Katz of Liberty and Joseph Katz of Lake Worth, Fla.; nieces, Viola DiMarcio of Monticello and Lois Redmond of Baltimore, Md.
She was predeceased by a nephew, Edward Katz, Jr. and a niece, Carol Williams.
Memorial contributions may be made to Cenacle, 513 West Fullerton Pkwy, Chicago, IL 60614-6428.

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