On February 28th, 2019, our Lord sent angels to earth to retrieve one of their own. On that day, one of the best moms, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, wife and friend passed away comfortably to go Home, meet her Lord and be reunited with her late husband, Don.
Lucy was born in Asheville, NC in September, 1926. She grew up in the Buffalo, NY area, spending her adolescent and teenage years In East Aurora, NY. She loved all animals, especially dogs and often told many amusing tales of her self-anointed “ferocious” Boston terrier, Buster, who tried to scrape with every dog he met but was saved most times by Mom’s brave Intervention. She also had a love that she shared with her Dad, namely for horses. Big Norm, (as the local boys came to know the vigilant father) rode Boy and she, on Lady Be Good, spent many happy times riding near their home.
Lucy was a good student and after high school attended Ohio State University. While coming home for a semester break on the train, she met and fell in love with her future husband, Donald Haemmerleln. After his graduation in 1947, she left following her sophomore year and they married In September of that year. But education was very important to Lucy and after they settled in the Kinderhook area, she returned to college and received her BA from SUNY Albany.
Lucy’s strong sense of family and her caring nature helped her to raise four sons, one nephew, and play a significant role in the raising of several grandchildren. They are all the better for her love and attention. She displayed culinary and nutritional excellence, was a fierce advocate for her children’s education, taught us all to swim, worked with us in Cub Scouts, and attended all our concerts and plays. She loved us unconditionally but tolerated no slackers and pushed us all to be the best human beings we could be. She was the rock that anchored us down and the glue that held us together.
Lucy’s service did not end there. She was an Integral part of helping and supporting her husband establish a successful Insurance business. Lucy was Involved In several community organizations, combining her Interests and skills to serve, holding many officer positions. She was a long time member and officer of the Kinderhook Garden Club, served as a docent for the Columbia County Historical Society, giving tours at the House of History. She worked for her Church, the 1st Presbyterian Church of Valatie, where she was a 60+ year member. But, Lucy’s greatest passion was for the care and nurturing of children. She worked as a substitute teacher at Ichabod Crane in the 1960’s. She had one young man who she took a caring Interest In, seeing signs of abuse and sensing he came from a troubled home. This experience led her to join with her good friend, Annette Leonardson, to help establish the local Child Protection Services. She worked as a volunteer there for many years.
Lucy and Don enjoyed a long wonderful life together and were married for 60 years. They were socially very active and worked together tirelessly to support their community. They traveled all over the world and were actively Involved with their families throughout their lives. She grieved the loss of her dear husband eleven years ago, but as the loving, fiercely tough woman she was, she never stopped living and caring for all who had the blessing of knowing her. We, the family, miss her dearly, but we know she is sitting on the front porch of one of Heaven’s mansions, holding Dad’s hand and still watching over us all.
Lucy is survived by four sons: Jack (Patty) of Florida, Bob (Chris) of Tennessee, Pete (Sandy) of New York and Steve of Colorado, nephew Scotty of Buffalo NY, eight grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. She is predeceased by “dear, dear Don”, her three younger siblings and her great grandson, Christopher.
Services will be held in the spring at the convenience of the family. Memorials and donations are gratefully appreciated and may be made to the Columbia-Greene Humane Society (cghs.org) or the 1st Presbyterian Church of Valatie, P.O. Box 267, Valatie, NY 12184.