2015 Honor A Veteran
January 12, 2015
February 9, 2015
March 9, 2015
Saverio John Rea
April 13, 2015
CHARLES W. STRAUB
May 11, 2015
Patrick F. Buckley
June 8, 2015
JOHN J. DOUGHERTY, JR.
July 13, 2015
August 10, 2015
JOSEPH J. CULLEN
September 14, 2015
Joseph E. Vigeant II
October 13, 2015
Anthony A. Thomas
November 9, 2015
Gerard J. LaBarge, Jr.
December 14, 2015
PURCELL HORTON, SR.
ARTHUR M. ROCKWELL, JR.
Arthur M. Rockwell
was born in Troy, New York on November 28, 1938 to parents Arthur Sr. and
Elizabeth (St. John) Rockwell. Arthur had two sisters, Barbara and Joan and
five brothers; Charles, William, David, James, and Terry.
Wynantskill School and graduated from Troy High School.
Arthur entered into
the United States Marine Corps on November 29, 1956. He proudly served in B
Company, First Amphibian Tractor Battalion, Fleet Marine Force. He was
honorable discharged in 1962. For his brave and honorable service to his
country, Corporal Arthur M. Rockwell was awarded the Good Conduct Medal.
Arthur married Nancy (Ritter)
Rockwell on May 16, 1957 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He was the father of
3 daughters; Kim, Tara and Jana. He was blessed with 5 grandchildren; Jill,
Karyn, Justin, Joseph, and Ryann and 5 great-grandchildren; Steven, Vincent,
Madison, Logan and Jack.
Arthur was a
self-employed jeweler and the New York State Compensation Rating Board. He had
a jewelry business in Ballston Spa, Saratoga Springs, Colonie and Defreesville.
He was a member of
the First Reformed Church in Wynantskill for over 50 years, the Sons of the
American Revolution, Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association and a lifetime member
of the Marine Corps League.
Arthur enjoyed painting portraits and
landscapes, and was very proud to have some of his paintings permanently
displayed in the Rensselaer County Office Building, Hall of Heroes. He flew his
own plane and would fly with Nancy prospecting for gold for over 40 years.
Arthur also invented the Pet Patio, was a foster parent, a volunteer at Doors of
Hope, Boy Scout Leader and member of the Elks.
Sadly, Arthur M.
Rockwell, Jr. passed away on September 2, 2014 and was buried at Gerald B. H.
Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville, New York.
SAVERIO JOHN REA
Saverio John Rea was born in Troy, New York on November 9, 1923 to parents John
and Josephine (Cesta) Rea. He had 2 sisters; Kay and Josephine and nephew, John
Saverio graduated from LaSalle Institute and soon after entered the United
States Marine Corps.
Saverio (Sonny) entered into the United States Marine Corps on March 11, 1942.
Corporal Saverio J. Rea died of injuries received in an airplane accident at sea
off of the island Espiritu Santo, New Hebrides on June 9, 1943 during WWII.
While at La Salle Institute he loved sports. The CRAB Club on Hill Street in
Troy is named in his and other veterans honor; Cicarelli, Rea, Agars and
Bevevino. It is well respected as a veterans social club and used for various
CHARLES W. STRAUB
Charles W. Straub was born in Troy, New York on August 1, 1954 to parents
Charles K. and Mary (Van Wie) Straub. Charles had four sisters; Noreen,
Kathleen, Tina and MaryEllen.
He went by the nickname of Bill.
Bill attended School 16 and later graduated from Troy High School.
Charles entered into the United States Army on October 23, 1973. He proudly
served as a telecommunication specialist. He not only served in the United
States, he served for over a year in Germany. He was honorably discharged
October 22, 1976. For his brave and honorable service to his country, Corporal
Charles W. Straub was awarded the National Defense Service Medal and the Expert
Marksman 16 Badge.
Bill married his high school sweetheart Theresa (Jubic) Straub on October 2,
1987 at St. William’s Church in Troy, NY.
He was employed with the Watervliet Arsenal as a Production Controller for 34
years until his retirement. He was also employed with Enterprise as a driver
and his co-workers nicknamed him “Good Charlie”.
He was a member of the American Legion Post 1450 and a member of the
Lansingburgh Veterans Club.
Bill enjoyed the American
Legion activities, swimming, going to casinos, skiing, golf and traveling. Most
of all, he enjoyed spending time with his many friends and family.
Sadly, Charles W. Straub
passed away on December 3, 2013 and was buried at Gerald B. H. Solomon Saratoga
National Cemetery in Schuylerville, New York.
John Joseph Dougherty, Jr. was born in Troy, New York on June 24, 1924 to
parents John J. Dougherty, Sr. and Helen (McGrath) Dougherty, Sr. He had 3
brothers; Edward, Daniel and Thomas and 2 sisters; Helen “Rita” and Jean.
Jack attended St. Patrick’s School and then attended LaSalle Institute for the
remaining 3 years of high school. He graduated from LaSalle Institute in 1942.
Jack enlisted in the United States Navy on September 8, 1942 in Albany, New
York. His brother Edward enlisted at the same time in the United States Navy.
Seaman First Class Dougherty along with his brother went to the shores of Japan
and helped the naval task force hurl dynamite onto the Japan homeland during
WWII. He served aboard the battleships USS Texas and USS Quincy (CA-71) as a
Gunner. He was honorable discharged December 27, 1945. For his brave and
honorable service to his country, Seaman First Class John J. Dougherty, Jr. was
awarded the WWII Victory Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle
Eastern Campaign Medal with 2 bronze service stars, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign
Medal with 2 bronze service stars and Good Conduct Medal.
Jack married Eileen (Gentleman)
Dougherty, Jr. on December 13, 1949. They were blessed with one daughter,
Nancy; one granddaughter, Kelly and two great-grandchildren, Kortney and Bill.
Before entering the military, Jack was employed at the Watervliet Arsenal as a
machine operator. After serving his country, he was employed by Norton
Co/Behr-Manning in Watervliet as a foreman of the Sand Paper Department and
retired after 38 years of service.
Jack was a member of the Veterans of Lansingburgh, Past Commander of the VFW
Post 469, VFW Post in Poestenkill and the North Troy Stag Rod & Gun Club. He
enjoyed hunting, fishing, archery, scuba diving, raisin pheasants, carpentry,
gardening, but most of all, he loved spending time with his family and many
friends. Sadly, John J. Dougherty, Jr. passed away on November 24, 2010 and was
buried at Gerald B. H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville, New
Richard Patrick Whalen was born in Hoosick Falls, New York on March 22, 1939 to
parents Patrick and Marie (McDonough) Whalen. He was an only child.
Dick attended schools in Hoosick Falls and attended Hudson Valley Community
College for 1 ˝ years.
Dick enlisted in the United States Air Force on June 29, 1962 in Albany, New
York. He received his training in Illinois and New Jersey and became an
Aircraft Instrument Mechanic. He was honorable discharged June 28, 1966. For
his brave and honorable service to his country, Airman First Class Richard P.
Whalen was awarded the Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon and the Good
Dick married Joyce (McCarty) Whalen on September 24, 1966 at St. Patrick’s
Church in Cambridge, NY. They were blessed with one son, Kevin Patrick.
He formerly was employed at Zak Incorporated in Troy, New York and retired from
Flomatic Valve Company in North Hoosick, New York.
Dick served as a Judge for the Town of Hoosick from January 2004 until his
passing, Assessor for the Village of Hoosick Falls from September 1993 to
December 2003, member of the American Legion Post 40, and a VFW member, member
of the Center for Nursing & Rehabilitation Board of Directors and a member of
the Kiwanis Club in Hoosick Falls. He enjoyed watching Fox News, golfing,
fishing, Saratoga Race Track and delivering doughnuts to friends around the
village. Sadly, Richard Patrick Whalen passed away on February 1, 2015 and was
buried at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Hoosick Falls, NY.
JOSEPH J. CULLEN
Joseph J. Cullen was born in Hoosick Falls, New York on December 31, 1918 to
parents Thomas and Anne (Evers) Cullen. He four sisters; Mary, Anna, Katherine
and Margaret and three brothers; John, Thomas and Louis.
Joe attended St. Mary’s Academy and Hoosick Falls High School.
Joe enlisted in the United States Army at Camp Upton, New York on May 15, 1942.
Private Cullen worked as an airplane and engine mechanic. He was assigned to
the 5th Combat Cargo Squadron. He participated in a number of
battles and campaigns, including Luzon, New Guinea, South Philippines and the
Western Pacific. He rose through the ranks and became a Technical Sergeant. He
was honorable discharged December 15, 1945. For his brave and honorable service
to his country, Technical Sergeant Joseph J. Cullen was awarded the American
Campaign Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, WWII Victory
Medal and the Philippines Liberation Ribbon.
Joe married Delight (Hogan) Cullen on July 2, 1950 at the Immaculate
Conception Church in Hoosick Falls. They were the proud parents of one son,
Kevin and two daughters, Elizabeth and Mary Patrice. They were blessed with 5
grandchildren; Caleb, Kady, Kallyn, Connor and Payton.
He was employed with the former Wood Flong Corporation in Hoosick Falls and
retired in 1982. Through the years, he continued to work part-time jobs at the
Hoosick Falls Community Center for 35 years, the Village Liquor Store and the
OTB Parlor for 20 years.
Joe was active in his community serving as president of St. Mary’s Academy
Booster Club and Hoosick Falls Little League. He was a communicant of the
Immaculate Conception Church. Joe was a member of the Elks, Derby Club, St.
Mary’s Alumni and United Paperworkers International Union Local #1392. He
enjoyed horse racing, Notre Dame Football, Hoosick Falls Little League and St.
Mary’s Academy Booster Club.
Sadly, Joseph J. Cullen
passed away on January 23, 2015 and was buried at the Gerald B.H. Solomon
Saratoga National Cemetery.
JOSEPH EDWARD VIGEANT II
Joseph Edward Vigeant, II (Big
Ed) was born on September 7, 1926 in Hudson, New York. Ed was the only child of
the late Clarence H. Vigeant and Marie (O’Grady) (Vigeant) McDermott. Ed was
the step-son to the late Leo J. McDermott.
Ed attended St. Peter’s,
Hillside School, Troy High School and Neon School in New York City.
Ed was a World War II Veteran of
the U.S. Naval Air Corps. enlisting on September 7, 1942. Seaman Vigeant began
his Naval career at the Naval Training Station in Great Lakes, Illinois.
During fall of 1944, ARM3/c
Joseph E. Vigeant, Gunner, was one of a ten man crew “DAMNYANKEE” on a PB4Y-A
Liberator. This crew was to be assigned to a Squadron of Fleet Air Wing – 7 of
the United States Navy Twelfth Fleet. The FAW-7 Squadrons operated out of the
village of Dunkeswell in Devon, England which was the eventual destination for
this crew leaving Norfolk, Virginia in their brand new aircraft on September 6,
1944. They landed in Grenier Field, New Hampshire the same day where crew
briefing continued until departure on September 10, 1944 when they headed to
Goose Bay, Labrador, northeast of the United States. Further flight briefing
was given and life saving equipment was checked for the long flight over water
to Europe and it was decided that life jackets would be worn during this leg of
the flight to Meeks Field in Iceland. Prior to departure the crew had little
sleep and few meals of any significance. Upon departure there was difficulty in
running up engine number one and approximately 100 gallons of fuel used in the
subsequent run-ups of other engines necessary to run the generators left 2900
gallons of fuel on board at take off. The weather system south of Greenland was
responsible for the first problems for the crew on this flight. The point of no
return on this flight was about four and a half hours when two position fixes
were obtained. At this point the situation was getting serious and the radio
beam from the Prince Christian radio range could not be located due to static
interference. The aircraft was beginning to suffer from heavy ice formation on
the wings and the de-icing equipment was only partially functional. In the
teeth of these very poor flying conditions the crew were in a difficult
situation and a shortage of fuel meant that reaching Iceland was no long
possible. The moment of decision was coming ever closer. The pilot’s options
were to fly toward the Irish Coastline and attempt a hazardous crash landing on
land or make a controlled ditching on the water which every pilot and crew know
you have “just one chance to get it right”.
Vigeant said that he looked
through the upper hatch when the aircraft was five feet off the water. Another
crew member braced himself on the floor between Vigeant’s legs. The aircraft
was now about ten feet off the water and air speed was down to 82 knots as the
pilot pulled the throttles back and dragged the PB4Y-1 into a nose up attitude
just prior to impact. The aircraft hit the top of a wave tail first, twice and
then the main fuselage and nose of the aircraft hit the water with a thundering
ear splitting crash. The pilot described the landing as “like riding an egg
shell into a concrete wall”. After twelve hours in the air since department
they are at last down. Survival was now their only priority with wind speed
estimated at 25-30 knotts and the waves were about 20 feet high with a
continuous flying spray and spume. The windscreen of the aircraft caved in and
sea water flooded the cabin. The crew struggled fervently and four crew members
were tragically lost.
The life raft became home to the
crew for the next 33 hours battling cold and stormy conditions. One life was
lost during this time and the five remaining members hit the Irish Shoreline on
September 16th, 1944.
Ed was honorably discharged on
August 22, 1946 but remained in the Naval Reserves National Guard for forty
years retiring in 1986. For his brave and dedicated service to his Country,
Aviation Ordnanceman First Class Joseph Vigeant was awarded the Asiatic Pacific
Campaign Medal, American Area Medal, European African 1 Star Medal, WWII Victor
Medal and Good Conduct Medal.
Ed married Dorothy (Aspland) Vigeant on November 27, 1949 at St. Patrick’s
Church in Troy, New York and together they had four children: Babette Vigeant
Corona, Joseph Edward Vigeant III (Ed), Judith VanAuken and William Spencer
Vigeant. They are the proud grandparents Jennifer, Allison, J. Edward (Vigeant
IV), Amy, William, Dana, Hailey, Kate and Lauren and great grandparents of
Nikala, Meara, Mason, Avery and Jace.
Ed was the founded Troy Neon Sign Company in 1947 and was President of the
company until his retirement in 1988.
Ed was a member of the Sea
Squatters Club, Fleet Reserves of Brandenton, Fla, American ex-POW’s of
Brandenton, Troy Elks Lodge, Ancient Order of Hibernians, Florida Homeowners
Association of Bradenton, Flying Knights, Tory County Banjo Band, American
Legion Post #1489, a life member of the Emerald Athletic Club and Troy Boys Club
Hall of Fame. He was also a member of the Reformed Church of Wynantskill.
Sadly J. Edward Vigeant II
passed away on April 30, 1992 and his buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Troy, New
ANTHONY A. THOMAS
Anthony A. Thomas on born on March 24,
1924 in Watervliet, New York. Anthony was the son of the late Geraldine
Lombardi and Joseph Thomas and brother of Ralph, James, Nicholas, Joseph,
Elizabeth, Angela, Geraldine, Marty and Constance. Tony grew up in Albany and
Watervliet until 1953, lived in Troy from 1953-1986, eventually settling in
Grafton until his passing.
Tony graduated from Watervliet High
School and attended SUNY Utica.
Tony served in the United States Coast
Guard from 1942 to 1946 and served in the United States Navy from 1950 to 1952
through the Korean Conflict. He saw action when his unit hit the Normandy Beach
on June 6, 1944 and also in Southern France on August 15, 1944 and later in
Okinawa. Before being honorably discharged in 1946 Tony served on board the USS
SAMUEL CHASE, while part of Task Force 33, 3rd Fleet during the
original occupation of the Japanese mainland. Tony was a recipient of the
American Area Medal, Victory Medal, European African Middle Eastern Area Medal
(2 Bronze Stars), Asiatic Pacific Area Medal and the Philippine Liberation
Medal. During the Korean Conflict, Tony served on the USS PCE 904, a patrol
craft escort. He was Honorably Discharged in 1952.
Tony married Helen C. Maier Thomas on May 23, 1953 at St. Mary’s Church in Troy,
New York. Together they had six children; Andrea, Charles, Mary-Beth, Robert,
John and Paul, four grandchildren; Brynna, Maggie, Sophia and Dylan.
Tony worked as a Sales Representative for the former Bearing Distributors in
Troy for 32 years before retiring in 1986.
Very active in his community, Tony enjoyed his volunteer work with the RPI
Athletic Department for over 40 years as a player-host and coordinator. He was
a minor official for RPI hockey and football games and served as past President
of the Friends of RPI Hockey. Tony also was a volunteer and instructor for the
New York Special Olympics. Tony was the past president and board member of the
Troy Kiwanis Club and received numerous awards and citations including the
Legion of Merit for community service and Kiwanis Principles. Tony was a
scratch golfer in his younger years and worked as a starter at Frear Park Gold
Course in Troy for 10 years. Tony was co-founder, past president and secretary
of the Frear Park Twilight League and past president of the Frear Park Golf
Association. He served as volunteer and instructor to the Blind Golfers
Association. He was a former member of the Mount Anthony Country Club in
Bennington, Vermont. Tony was a former member of the Knights of Columbus, the
Troy Industrial Club, Brunswick Lodge of Elks and Junior Chamber International.
He was co-founder past vice president and instructor of the Troy Babe Ruth
League. He was a communicant of Sacred Heart Church in Berlin and a former
member of St. Patrick’s and Our Lady of Victory in Troy.
GERARD J. LABARGE, JR.
1933 - 2014
Gerard J. LaBarge, Jr. was born on May 11, 1933 in Boston Massachusetts to the
late Mary Elizabeth (crane) and Gerard J. LaBarge, Sr. He was the brother of
Mary Elizabeth (Labarge) Daudelin and th e late Paul LaBarge.
Gerard attended Schools in the Boston, Massachusetts area.
Gerard John enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. in 1951. He was trained
to be a High Speed Radio Operator in San Diego. After training he served with
the 1st Division 5th Regiment in several combat missions
in Korea. During his time in the service, Gerard earned the Korean Service
Medal with 3 starts, the United Nations Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal
and the National Defense Service Medal. Gerard was honorably discharged in
Gerard married Adele C. (Wubbenhorst) LaBarge on October 8, 1976. He is the
father of Christopher, Arlene, David, Michelle, and Matthew; grandfather of
Jennifer, Adam, Catherine, David, Robert, Melanie, Spencer, Olivia and Nathan;
and great-grandfather of Hunter, Madeline, Gwendolyn and Cooper.
Following his honorable discharge, Gerard began working as a telegrapher for the
Boston and Marine Railroad before settling in Schenectady, New York where he
began his career in banking. Gerard eventually settled in Lansingburgh and
retired from Key Bank after 42 years.
Gerard was an active member of the Marine Corp. League where he served as
Past-Commandant of the Troy Detachment as well as a Past Adjutant of the State
Organization; He was a member of the Lansingburgh Veterans, the Korean War
Veterans, the Disabled American Veterans and Vice-Chairman of the Rensselaer
County Honor a Vet Program. Gerard was also very active in the Flag Day and
Memorial Day Parades.
JOHN PURCELL HORTON, SR.
John Purcell “Perk” Horton, Sr. was
born on July 21, 1920 in Troy, New York. John was the son of the late Mary
Purcell Horton and Colonel Thomas Horton, Sr. and brother of Elizabeth and
Thomas Horton, Jr.
John grew up on the Eastside of Troy,
New York. He was an attendant of Sacred Heart School and a graduate of LaSalle
Institute, Class of 1939.
John enlisted in the United States Army
on June 11, 1942. John served as a Combat Infantry Soldier. During his time in
the United States Army he served in Normandy, Northern France and Rhineland.
For his service to our Country he received the Good Conduct Medal, the Unit
Citation Medal, ATO Medal and the Victory Medal. John was honorably discharged
on November 7, 1945.
John married the late Rita Weaver Horton on February 23, 1946 at Saint Francis
De Sales Church in Troy, New York. Together they had three sons; John P.
Horton, Jr. the late Robert A. Horton and Timothy W. Horton and three
grandchildren; Steven, Katilin and Matthew.
John worked for the New York Telephone company for 38 years retiring in 1982.
Active in his community, John was a member of the Telephone Pioneers of America,
the American Ex-Prisoners of War Club in Tory, a lifetime member of the Emerald
Athletic Club , the Troy Lodge of Elks and was a communicant of Sacred Heart
Church in Troy.