Philipstown Obituaries

Eloise Baxter (1926-2017)

Eloise (Skipper) Baxter, 90,  of Garrison died Jan. 12, 2017, at NewYork Presbyterian-Hudson Valley Hospital Center.

Born Oct. 30, 1926, in Trillby, Florida, she was the daughter of Troy C. and Elnora (Rosier) Skipper. On July 16, 1949, she married Ernest W. Baxter. He died in 2005.

Eloise is survived by her children, Gary E. Baxter (Christine) of Fishkill, William E. Baxter of Garrison and Ann M. Bouchard of Cold Spring, as well as three grandchildren, Christine Yalonis (Phillip), Lisa Stevens (Brendan) and Todd Bouchard, and two great-grandchildren, Kara Yalonia and Abigail Stevens. She is also survived by a sister, Mary Lou Piedot of Knoxville, Tennessee.

A funeral service was held Jan. 14 at Clinton Funeral Home in Cold Spring, with interment at Cold Spring Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Haldane Volleyball or the Haldane Football Association.

Alex Dengler (1986-2017)

Alex J. Dengler, 30, of Cold Spring, died at home on Jan. 19, 2017.

Alex Dengler

Born in Cold Spring on Feb. 25, 1986, Alex grew up with an unparalleled enthusiasm for life. Dubbed “Spuds McKenzie” early on, he was always up for a party. His answer to any opportunity for fun was a consistent, “Yes!”

Possessing a natural gift for baseball, he played all through high school and was offered a college scholarship. But after 9/11, Alex chose rather to formalize his loyalty and love for his country by joining the Marines. He walked the talk, in his own quiet way and without fanfare. His bravery and courage were unwavering, while serving in Iraq and later, living with cancer. Alex’s inherent nature is to never give up; every challenge and obstacle was faced with stoic tenacity. He inspired all he touched.

Perhaps his deepest passion was for music. It permeated every aspect of his life and became his therapy, carrying him through hardship and pain with grace. Between recurrences of cancer, Alex attended Five Towns College, graduating with honors and chosen as valedictorian. Creating beauty in the midst of chaos, he spent hours composing original tracks on guitar, drums and keyboards. An avid reader, Alex devoured books with an insatiable thirst for learning. And nature brought the ultimate peace to his soul. He often stood outside watching a sunset, a moonrise, the changing of the seasons.

Alex loved his family deeply and took nothing for granted. He was gracious and grateful for every gift given, no matter how large or small. His hugs were the best and his quirky and witty sense of humor absolutely infectious.

Alex is survived by his parents Janice and Peter Di Natale; his siblings Kristen Celentani, Paul DiNatale, Gabrielle Flanagan, Matthew Dengler and Grace Di Natale; his brothers-in-law Jason Celentani and Jonathon Flanagan; his sister-in-law Margaux Di Natale; and nieces and nephews Nicholas, Michael, and Joseph Celentani, Elena and Audrey DiNatale and Liam Flanagan.

Visitation will take place on Sunday, Jan. 22 from 2 to 5 p.m. at Clinton Funeral Home, 21 Parrot Street, Cold Spring. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday, Jan. 23 at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Loretto Church, 24 Fair Street, Cold Spring, with burial to follow at Cold Spring Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (

Father Paul Minchak (1943-2017)

Father Paul Minchak, 73, of the Capuchin Franciscan Friars, died Jan. 15, 2017 in Dobbs Ferry.

Father Minchak

The son of Martin and Helen Minchak, he was born in Yonkers on Feb. 18, 1943. He attended St. Mary Seminary in Garrison, graduating in 1961.

Paul entered the Capuchin Franciscan Friars on Aug. 31, 1961 at St. Lawrence Friary in Milton, Massachusetts. He professed his perpetual vows on Sept. 1, 1966 at Mary Immaculate Friary in Garrison. Father was ordained to the priesthood on Nov. 8, 1969 at Sacred Heart Church in Yonkers.

In preparation for priesthood, Father completed his B.A. in philosophy studies at St. Anthony Friary in Hudson. He continued his theological studies at Mary Immaculate Theological Seminary in Garrison and Maryknoll School of Theology in Ossining. In 1971, he received a master’s in history from Seton Hall University.

After a short period as chaplain of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd in Peekskill, Father Paul taught at St. Mary Seminary in Garrison and St. Anthony High School in Smithtown. He also later served as novice director and guardian at St. Francis Friary in Garrison.

In 1975 Father Paul began his 31 years as a missionary to Guam and Hawaii. From 1984-2013 Father Paul served in several parishes in the Diocese of Honolulu. He returned to Yonkers in 2013.

He is survived by his brother Eugene Minchak (Ellen) of Pearl River and three sisters: Clare Kmetz of Easthampton, Massachusetts, Janice Osowicki of Pensacola, Florida and Celeste Akins (Gary) of Philadelphia.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held Jan. 21 at the Monastery Church of the Sacred Heart in Yonkers with interment at the Province of St. Mary Cemetery there.

Helen Percacciolo (1923-2017)

Elaine Mary (Helen) Percacciolo, 93, of Cold Spring, died Jan. 11, 2017 at the NewYork Presbyterian-Hudson Valley Hospital Center after a brief illness.

Born in Beacon on Aug. 30, 1923, she was the daughter of Peter and Josephine (DiCamillo) Sylvester. Helen attended Beacon schools and was employed as a seamstress at Aero Leather, where she made bomber jackets for the U.S. Air Corps and also worked as a welder for Eureka Shipyard in Newburgh. She was married to Angelo Percacciolo on April 20, 1947, who survives at home. Last year they celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary.

Helen lived in Cold Spring in the home her husband built and where they raised their four children. The Percacciolo home on Church Street was affectionately known as the Grand Central Station of Cold Spring as many of her children’s and grandchildren’s friends stopped by for a visit or for a bite to eat on their way to their sports practices at Haldane High School.

She is survived by her children, Elaine Way (Richard), William Percacciolo (Joyce), Annette Flaherty (Robert) and Anthony Percacciolo (Joanne) as well as 10 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, and a sister, Margaret Garnot of Wappingers Falls.

Helen enjoyed traveling with her husband to Las Vegas, playing bingo and the New York State Lottery, and shopping trips with her daughter, granddaughters and sister. She most enjoyed spending time with her children and grandchildren in whom she took great pride. She was an excellent cook and could always be found in the kitchen preparing a meal. She was an avid Yankees and Rangers fan.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Jan. 16, at Our Lady of Loretto in Cold Spring, with interment at Cold Spring Cemetery.

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