2013 Honor a Veteran Archives

HAV - 2013

William Stephen Gladysz, Jr., US Army

1945 - 2011

The Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated the life of William Stephen Gladysz, Jr. at a ceremony held January 7, 2013 at the Zaloga Post in Albany. A video of this ceremony is available.

William Stephen Gladysz, Jr. was born in Cohoes, New York on December 3, 1945. He enlisted in the US Army in 1966 and became a General Supply Specialist. William was honorably discharged in 1968.

William returned home and later had three children. For several years, he was a laborer for Honeywell (Bendix) in Green Island.

William was a member of Sacred Heart Church in Cohoes. He was the past commandant of the National Defense Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal and Vietnam Service Medal.

The Honor-A-Veteran ceremony is held the first Monday of every month to honor a deceased veteran of the community.

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Harvey M. Lifset, US Army

1916–2005

The Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated the life of Harvey M. Lifset at a ceremony held February 4, 2013 at the Zaloga Post in Albany. Video highlights of the ceremony.

Harvey M. Lifset. was born in Schenectady, New York on March 6, 1916. He enlisted in the US Army in 1941 and rose to become a Major in the 82nd Airborne Division. Harvey was honorably discharged in 1946 but continued to serve in the Army Reserve.

Harvey and his wife, Violet, had two sons. He was counsel to McNamee, Lochner, Titus & Williams P.C. served for many years in the NYS Assembly.

Harvey was a member of Congregation Beth Emeth., B'nai, B'rith, the Albany Lions Club and the Greater Albany Chamber of Commerce. For his military service, he was the recipient of 3 Bronze Stars, American Defense Medal, American Campaign Medal, WWII Victory Medal, Reserve Medal with cluster and European, African and Middle Eastern Campaign Medal.

The Honor-A-Veteran ceremony is held the first Monday of every month to honor a deceased veteran of the community.

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John L. Dittmer, US Marines Corps

1928 - 2010

The Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated the life of John L. Dittmer at a ceremony held March 4, 2013 at the Zaloga Post in Albany. A video is available here.

John L. Dittmer was born in Albany, New York on July 21, 1928. He enlisted in the US Marines Corps in September 1945 and served with the 3rd Marine Amphibious Corps and the 1st Marine Division located in China until September 1949. John was awarded the China War Memorial Medal by the Chinese Nationalist government.

John and his wife, Phyllis, had two daughters. He worked as an insurance inspector for various insurance inspection agencies.

After serving his country, John was a member of the Joseph E. Zaloga Post, American Legion post 1520. He was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 15033, Capt. Wm. Dale O'Brien Detachment Marine Corps League, China Marine Association and the 1st Marine Division Association.

The Honor-A-Veteran ceremony is held the first Monday of every month to honor a deceased veteran of the community.

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Hugh L. Carey, US Army

1919 - 2011

The Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated the life of Hugh L. Carey at a ceremony held April 8, 2013. Video highlights of the ceremony are available here.

Hugh L. Carey was born in Brooklyn, New York. He was an officer in the U.S. Army during World War II which included being present at the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Nordhausen, Germany. He received the Bronze Star, Croix de Guerre with Silver Star, and Combat Infantry Award.

Hugh was a beloved husband to Helen Owen Twohy and together they had fourteen children.

After serving his country, Hugh served for 14 years in the U.S. House of Representatives before being elected Governor of New York in 1974. He inherited a state mired in deep economic trouble, as the financial crisis afflicting New York City threatened to consume the entire state. Through his perseverance and willingness to take difficult positions, he saved New York City from bankruptcy, while balancing the state budget and lowering the tax burden on New Yorkers.

The Honor-A-Veteran ceremony is held the first Monday of every month to honor a deceased veteran of the community.

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James J. Hicks, US Army Air Corps

1921 - 2012

The Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated the life of James J. Hicks at a ceremony held May 6, 2013. Video highlights of the ceremony are available here.

James J. Hicks was born in Albany, New York on August 21, 1921.  James later joined the US Army Air Corps serving as an Airplane Armorer Gunner during WWII, fighting in the Battles of  ATTU and Kiska.

James received the American Service Medal, the Asiatic Pacific Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the WWII Victory Medal, and the Air Medal for his courageous efforts.

After serving his country, James returned to Albany and was the business manager for the Carpenters Union Local 117 during the construction of the Empire State Plaza, SUNY Albany Campus, Dunn Memorial Bridge and countless other projects in the Capital Region.  He later became the post  State Historian for the Albany Ancient Order of Hibernians.  He was married to Alice Hicks and together, they had two sons.

The Honor-A-Veteran ceremony is held the first Monday of every month to honor a deceased veteran of the community.

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James Francis “Skip” Egan, US Coast Guard

1925 - 2012

The Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated the life of James Francis “Skip” Egan at a ceremony held June 3, 2013. Video highlights of the ceremony are available here.

James Francis “Skip” Egan was born in North Albany on January 8, 1925. He enlisted in the US Coast Guard during WWII and served tours in the Atlantic and Pacific Theatres. For his service, James received many medals and commendations. He was honorably discharged in 1945.

James, also known as Skip, was married to the late Mildred Lois Domery Egan. They had three daughters. For 65 years, Skip was a member and also a founder of the North Albany American Legion Post 1610. He served twice as the post commander and as the Albany County Legion Commander.

In addition to being a longtime member of Post 1610, Skip was also an active member with the Colonie Village Fire Department for 55 years, a past chief and was twice named Firefighter of the Year.

The Honor-A-Veteran ceremony is held the first Monday of every month to honor a deceased veteran of the community.

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Joseph P. Dean, US Marine Corps

1923 - 2012

The Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated the life of Joseph P. Dean at a ceremony held July 1, 2013. Video highlights of the ceremony are available here.

Joesph P. Dean was born in Ravena, New York in 1923. He enlisted in the US Marine Corps in 1942 and became a Corporal. Joseph participated in the
Battle of Okinawa and was later awarded the Good Conduct Medal and the Certificate of Satisfactory Service.

After his service, Thomas became a detective captain with the Albany Police Department and later retired in 1982. Shortly afterwards he became a judge for the Town of Westerlo. Thomas was a life member of the Ravena Veterans of Foreign Affairs, the Albany Elks Lodge 49, the Marine Corps League, and the County Council of Vietnam Veterans.

The Honor-A-Veteran ceremony is held the first Monday of every month to honor a deceased veteran of the community.

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Whitney R. Libbey, US Army Air Corps

1922-2010

The Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated the life of Whitney R. Libbey at a ceremony held August 5, 2013. Video highlights of the ceremony are available here.

Whitney R. Libbey was born October 28, 1922 in Canaan, Vermont and spent his childhood in Albany County.  He served as a Photographic Laboratory Technician in the U.S. Army Air Corps.  During World War II, he fought valiantly in the battle of the Pacific Islands and in the occupation of Japan.

Libbey received numerous commendations for his military service, including the A-P Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. In 1965, he enlisted in the New York State Guard where he rose to the rank of Major General and retired in 1992.

He was a founding member of the American Legion Post #1610 in North Albany.

Upon moving to Bennington over a decade ago, he joined the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post.  He was also a communicant of Sacred Heart Saint Francis de Sales of Bennington.

Libbey was a beloved husband to his wife, Kathleen and a committed father to his daughter, Shannon.  He cherished his time with his many nieces and nephews.

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Robert F. Herkenham, US Army Air Corps

1917-1979

The Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated the life of Robert F. Herkenham at a ceremony held September 3, 2013. Video highlights of the ceremony are available here.

Robert F. Herkenham was born August 1, 1917 in Albany, NY and lived most of his life in Albany County.

He served as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps. During World War II, he flew thirty missions for the 398th Bomb Squad. These missions were as long as twelve hours, and were directed at targets deep into Germany.

When the war was over, he flew several more campaigns to return American POW’s from Germany to England.

Herkenham received numerous commendations for his military service, including the US Army Air Corps Air Medal and a Bronze Star.

He was a member of the Ambrose J. Scully American Legion Post, Albany. He was also a communicant of St. Teresa of Avila Church, in Albany.  

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Gerard M. “Bud” Lehner, US Navy

1924-2011

The Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated the life of Gerard M. “Bud” Lehner at a ceremony held October 7, 2013. Video highlights of the ceremony are available here.

Gerard Michael Lehner was born January 6, 1924 in Queens, NY and lived most of his adult life in Albany County.

He served during World War II as a Petty Officer First Class in the United States Navy on the USS Sullivan’s DD537 from 1942-46, and also served from 1951-52 on the USS Snowden DE246.

When the war was over, he worked for Western Electric Co. and later volunteered his time restoring historical ships. He was a former commander of the Colonie American Legion Post #1256 and also a life member of the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Post #8692.

Lehner received numerous awards and medals for his military service including the Victory Medal, the Philippine Liberation Medal 2 battle stars and the Combat Action Ribbon.

Bud was a devout family man. He had six daughters with his beloved wife of 64 years, Florence. His family now includes 14 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

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Roy F. Van Amburgh, US Navy

1924- 2012

The Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated the life of Roy F. Van Amburgh. at a ceremony held November 4, 2013 at the North Albany Post #1610 in Albany. Video highlights of the ceremony are available here.

Roy F. Van Amburgh was born on February 5, 1924 in Albany, New York and lived his entire life in our great county. He served his country valiantly and heroically in World War II, and the people of this nation owe their freedom and security to armed forces who defend our freedom.

On December 7, 1942, he enlisted in the United States Navy, where he rose to the rank of Motor Machinist's Mate. He served on numerous vessels, including the USNAATSB Forwy-Cornwall Via 476 and NTSch.-Lafayette, Ind. After the war was over, he went to work for Henzel Electric Co. in addition to working as an electrical inspector for the City of Albany .

He became an active community member with the North Albany Little League, a founding member of the North Albany American Legion Post #1610 and served as an Albany County Legislator for more than two decades.

Roy was a loving husband to his wife, Evelyn, proud father of three children, Bob, Karen and Mary, along with being the loving "Pop Pop" to six grandchildren and three beautiful great grandchildren.

The Honor-A-Veteran ceremony is held the first Monday of every month to honor a deceased veteran of the community.

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Cornelius “Neil” Gray

1924-2012

The Honor-A-Veteran Committee commemorated the life of Cornelius “Neil” Gray at a ceremony held December 2, 2013 at the North Albany Post #1610 in Albany.

Cornelius “Neil” Gray was born on May 26, 1924 in Troy, New York and lived in Troy as well as Albany. He served his country valiantly and heroically in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam. The people of this nation owe their freedom and security to the armed forces who defend our freedom.

In December of 1942, Neil enlisted in the United States Army, where he rose to the rank of Major. He served in three different wars and multiple different countries that earned him 3 Bronze Stars for his service in each war.

After his military service, Neil became the inspector of classified operations at the Atomic Energy Commission’s Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory and later became the director of personnel at General Dynamic’s Electric Boat Division in the Navy’s Nuclear Propulsion Program.

He became an active community member and second commander of the North Albany American Legion Post #1610, while also being honored by numerous different people throughout Rensselaer and Albany County.

Neil was a loving husband to his wife, Cheryl, proud father to Mary Jo along with being an adoring grandfather to Bill and Betsy.

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