Helga Eisenlauer Obituary

Written By Editor on 5/10/20 | 5/10/20

After a long, full life blessed with family, friends and life’s adventures, Helga Eisenlauer, 96, completed her final journey on March 3, 2020.  Born July 31, 1923 in Rowe Kreis Stolp/Pommern, Germany.  Helga Paula Minna was the only child of Gustav Paul Friedrich Hawer and Martha Auguste Zoch Hawer.  She met her lifelong love, Karl Josef Eisenlauer, on a street car in Hamburg, Germany and was married to him in Hamburg-Lokstedt on July 1, 1946 until his passing on June 8, 2003. 


Although, as a young woman in Germany, she apprenticed as a tailor, her preference was always to work with fact and figures.  She would have the exact change out at the register before the total was tallied and the bag was packed!  She would never forget a phone number or a birth date.  


On her biggest adventure in life, Helga left Germany, family and friends to forge a new life with her husband and child in Queens, New York.  Helga immigrated to the United States in 1953 and proudly became a citizen on December 12, 1958.  She learned a new language, embraced new experiences and their daily challenges.  She worked hard her entire life.  She used her talent for facts and figures and eventually managed the children’s and men’s shoe departments at Gertz Department Store in Hicksville, New York.  Upon moving to Prattsville, New York she worked until retirement at the Windham-Ashland-Jewett Central School as both library aide and school bus driver.  She continued to meet challenges head on.  Being the first woman bus driver on the Mountain Top was but another one.  She loved her long-time friends and her work at WAJ.


For 50 years Helga enjoyed membership at the Reformed Dutch Church in Prattsville.  She sang in the choir, did a tour at bookkeeping, with great dedication baked many cakes for Sunday fellowship hour and never forgot those who could not be there.  She was a welcoming hostess.  When she set the table for your visit, you knew you were special.  But those who knew her also knew they could count on the unfiltered truth, according to Helga.    


She is survived by daughter, Ruth (Brian) Christman, and she was Oma to her devoted grandchildren Natalie Christman, Anne Christman and Katherine (Alex) Christman-Soutelo. 
Her loving family in Germany remained ever present in her life, even from afar, as did her many faithful friends on this side of the ocean.

The family wishes to thank the staff on 2 North at Greene Meadows Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for the kindness and expert care given to Helga during her stay and to her family as they stayed with Helga as she took her final journey to heaven.  A celebration Helga’s life is planned in the spring.  Interment will be private at Pleasant Valley Cemetery.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Reformed Dutch Church, 14537 Main Street, Prattsville, New York 12468.

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James Cook Obituary

PRESTON HOLLOW - James Eldon Cook, 92, passed away on Tuesday April 28, 2020 at Columbia Memorial Hospital. He was born on the family farm in Preston Hollow on March 18, 1928 to the late Dean and Clara Bates Cook. He attended the one room school house in Potter Hollow, and then worked various jobs throughout his life. He worked for Beckers Feed in Grand Gorge, drove the milk route for can milk, retired from the NYS Environmental Conservation, and maintained the Potter Hollow Cemetery for years. He worked endless hours on the home farm, as well as on neighboring farms. He loved the outdoors, including hunting, fishing, and especially wood cutting. He enjoyed hauling sap to the sugar house in the spring. He was no stranger to hard work. He could out work most his age. A man of not big stature, but was head and shoulders above most with his love and support of family. Later joys in his life included breakfast at Angel’s East Cafe with his noted waffle sundae: 2 scoops of ice cream, strawberries, blueberries, and sometimes whipped cream. In addition to his parents, he’s predeceased by his sister, Olive; and his brothers, Oliver, Ernest, and Lawrence. 

    Eldon is survived by his brothers, Maurice Cook and Walter (Wilma) Cook; his nephews, Stephen and Shawn Cook; many other nieces and nephews; and his beloved dog, Buster.

    Services had taken place privately. In lieu of flowers, donations in Eldon’s memory can be made to any charity of one's choice. Condolences can be posted at ajcunninghamfh.com. 

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Wendy Lee Pritchett Obituary

WENDY LEE PRITCHETT (GALLO) OF KINGSTON NY WENT TO BE WITH GOD ON APRIL 17 2020.  IT WAS NOT VIRUS RELATED.  
WENDY WAS BORN IN BROOKLYN NY ON JUNE 2nd 1962 – SHE WAS 57.
WENDY AND HER 7 SIBLINGS GREW UP IN NEW KINGSTON AND WENDY WAS A 1980 GRADUATE OF MARGARETVILLE CENTRAL SCHOOL WHERE SHE HAD NUMEROUS FRIENDS.
HER INTERESTS INCLUDED ROSES (RED OF COURSE), FLUFFY CATS, AND ANYTHING WITH FUR.  SOME OF HER FAVORITE THINGS TO DO WERE GO TO FLEA MARKETS AND COLLECT KNICK KNACKS, ANTIQUES, JEWELRY, DOLLS and ANYTHING THAT SPARKLED.
ANYONE WHO KNEW WENDY KNOWS WHAT AN OUTGOING, FLAMBOYANT, FUN, AND ARTISTIC PERSON SHE WAS.  SHE LIVED LIFE TO THE FULLEST AND WAS ALAYS SMILING W ITH BIG ROSEY CHEEKS AND LONG DARK HAIR.  SHE HAD A HUGE HEART AND LOVED TO LAUGH AND LISTEN TO HER 2 FAVORITE ARTISTS, BARBARA STREISAND AND CELINE DION.
WENDY LOVED TO COOK AND WORKED IN THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS MOST OF HER LIFE.
SHE IS SURVIVED BY HER HUSBAND, SHAWN GALLO, DAUGHTER ANTOINETTE YEAGER, SON TIMOTHY FIELD , GRANDCHILDREN ANTHONY AND JANELLE , SISTERS CHERYLE, DONNA, ROBIN, HOLLY AND MELANIE, ALONG  WITH NUMEROUS NEICES AND NEPHEWS.
WENDY HAD A LOT OF FRIENDS FROM HER SCHOOL YEARS THAT SHE LOVED AND ADORED AS WELL.
WENDY IS PREDECEASED BY HER MOTHER BONNIE, FATHER DONALD, DAUGHTER LINDSAY, GRANDSON GIOVANNI,  SISTER DEBBIE, AND  BROTHER DONNY.
SHE WILL BE DEEPLY MISSED BY HER FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

A SUMMER MEMORIAL IS BEING PLANNED DUE TO THE CURRENT SITUATION.

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OFA Offering Virtual Pets for Seniors in Need of Social Contact

By David Avitabile

Everyone, especially our areas's seniors, has been adversely affected by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Many seniors have been isolated from friends and related who are fearful of spreading the deadly virus to the elderly. Many seniors have had to celebrate their birthdays away from their families for the first time. They have had to survive with minimal outside contact for more than six weeks. It will be a very different Mother's Day coming up Sunday for many mothers and grandmothers this year.

As a way to lessen the feeling of isolation for seniors, the Schoharie County Office for the Aging is giving seniors animatronic companion pets. The OFA was able to get 12 pets, eight cats and four dogs, from the state OFA, said county OFA Director Nancy Dingee.

The workers at the OFA have nicknamed the electronic pets as "robo pets," Ms. Dingee added. The cat, an orange and white tabby, and a yellow and white cream dog with a bandana around its neck, are made by Ageless Innovation and made for people ages 5 to 105.

According to the manufacturer, the tabby "looks, moves and sounds like a real cat."
They have proved very popular and the OFA has just two left.

"We are providing them to seniors to help curb social isolation." Ms. Dingee said. "It especially works well with those seniors with dementia or seniors that are just lonely. We have a loneliness scale. If they feel they would feel they would benefit from these companion pets.

The dogs wag their tail, close their eyes, bark softly, "nothing real loud, just enough," she noted. The cats purr and their "movement seems natural and their fur is real hair." One woman, Mabel Leruzic, loves her dog so much that she made a bed with a little pillow for it.

Mabel and Lucky

"We'd been talking about how much pets can add to your life," said Mabel's granddaughter.

"Now she's learning 'Luckie's' quirks.  She chats with him and he acknowledges her.  She likes that he barks goodnight when she turns off the lights!"

The granddaughter added, "As we try to balance safety with everything else going on, it's so important to maintain mental wellness.  Luckie helps my grandmother cope, just as my live dog helps me. We joke that she gets all the perks and doesn't have to worry about house-training or vet bills!
"I sincerely hope that others consider the benefits that these pets can add - a sense of companionship and an avenue to help reduce stress.  Its been wonderful to see my grandmother experience this.  Thank you for offering this opportunity!"

Ms. Dingee added, "It's so heartwarming for some individual and take care of this pet and do not have the burden like taking them outside or buying food for them." The program just started this year in the county, though Ms. Dingee first saw them about a year and a half ago.

"Given the nature of Covid-19 and forcing older adults to become so isolated, it's a great tool. I'm a believer. If people feel socially isolated and alone, they should give us a call. We may be able to get more from the state office." It is possible that some may be purchased.

This is Theresa Fagnani who lives at the Birchez in Schoharie, She adores the kitty she named Precious and plays with it every day.

"We want to provide services and keep people healthy. Mental health is as important physical health, especially now.

In addition to providing the pets, the OFA will calls seniors on a monthly or weekly basis if they feel alone, according to Ms. Dingee. OFA workers or volunteers makes the phone calls which have been given the name "friendly calls."

Unfortunately because of the pandemic "We cant do visits yet," Ms. Dingee said. "In the meantime we love to make phone calls. Can hopefully to make visits soon. We hope to curb the social isolation the best we can.

The dogs and cats are available to seniors in the entire county.

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