Beacon Obituaries

Mary Jane Bernard

Mary Jane Bernard (1935-2017)

Mary Jane Bernard, 82, a former longtime resident of Beacon, died March 1, 2017, at her daughter’s home in Mendham, New Jersey.

Born Feb. 21, 1935 in Cornwall, she was the daughter of Edwin C. and Helen (Gibney) Doulin. She was the widow of John F. Bernard, who died in 2006. Mary Jane was a retired dispatcher for Time Warner Cable in Newburgh.

Survivors include her daughter Susan Elizabeth Bernard of Mendham, her son Timothy James Bernard of Peoria, Arizona, her brother Edwin C. Doulin Jr. of Fishkill, her grandson Jacob Bernard Gross of Mendham and her nephew Brian P. Doulin of Wayne, New Jersey.

Funeral services will take place Monday, March 6, at 11 a.m. at Cedar Hill Cemetery Mausoleum Chapel, 5468 Route 9W in Newburgh, with interment at Cedar Hill Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Visiting Nurse Association of Somerset Hills, 200 Mt. Airy Rd. Basking Ridge, NJ 07920.

Edyth Conklin

Edyth Conklin (1949-2017)

Edyth Leah Conklin, 67, of Highland, died suddenly at home on March 1, 2017. The daughter of John W. and Mary E. (Lent) Conklin, she was born in Nyack on Dec. 2, 1949.

For many years, Edyth worked in the health care profession as a personal care aid. She was employed by several medical facilities, including Butterfield Hospital in Cold Spring. She enjoyed many hobbies but most especially she loved fishing and jewelry-making. She also had a deep fondness for cats and other animals.

On May 16, 2007, she married Linda Grimont, who survives her. She also is survived by her son, Joel Ingold (Stephanie) of Beacon; daughter Hope Ingold of Highland; her grandchildren Hunter Ingold and Matthew Sanfilippo; and her sister, Barbara White of Johnson.

Edyth is also survived by her wife’s children, Cassandra Boughton of Poughkeepsie, Christopher Woodbury of North Carolina, Holly Herring (Tom) of Cold Spring, and Corrine Heverly (Robert) of Pennsylvania, along with their families, including 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

A funeral service was held on March 3 at McHoul Funeral Home in Fishkill, followed by a private burial. Memorial donations may be made to Mid Hudson Animal Aid, 54 Simmons Lane, Beacon, NY 12508 (

Janet Craft

Janet Craft (1954-2017)

Janet M. Scolaro Craft, 62, of Daytona Beach, Florida, and a former resident of Beacon, died unexpectedly at her home on Feb. 10, 2017.

Born on May 24, 1954 in Beacon, she was the daughter of John and Josephine (Simonetti) Scolaro. She served in the U.S. Air Force and enjoyed bowling, cooking and music.

Janet is survived by her daughter, Chrissy Bernhard (Scott) of Hyde Park; son John Craft-Lo (Brian) of Sacramento, California; two grandchildren, Carter and Skye; a brother, Walter Carmichael (Mary Ann) of Beacon; and a sister, Maria Yerks (Aaron) of Beacon.

A memorial service was held Feb. 19 in Hyde Park. Memorial donations be made to the Spina Bifida Association of Northeastern New York, Socha Plaza, 123 Saratoga Road, Scotia, NY 12302 (

Nira Gerken

Nira Gerken (1933-2017)

Nira G. Gerken, 83, of Beacon, and formerly of Newburgh, died March 3, 2017, at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh.

Born Aug. 4, 1933, in Newburgh, she was the daughter of Earl and Gertrude (McDowell) Davis. She was the widow of Richard Harry Gerken, who died in 2008.

Nira was a retired chef with Hanger One in Newburgh, a member of the Newburgh Bowling Hall of Fame, an avid Bingo player, and the LPBA.

She is survived by her children, Susan Gerken-Riccio of Beacon, Cheryl Gerken of Beacon and Walter Gerken of Beacon, a son-in-law, Albert Riccio of Newburgh, her brother, William Davis of Matamoras, Pennsylvania and sister, Joan Bowen of Newburgh. She is also survived by four grandchildren.

Visitation will be held Wednesday, March 8, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Libby Funeral Home, 55 Teller Ave., Beacon, with a funeral service to follow at 8 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made directly to the family.

Linda Williamson

Linda Williamson (1949-2017)

Linda May Williamson, 67, of Beacon, died Feb. 25, 2017, after a brief illness.

Linda was born Oct. 18, 1949, at Butterfield Hospital in Cold Spring. After graduating from Beacon High School in 1967, Linda attended Dutchess Community College, where she met her husband Lee McKinney Sr. of Poughkeepsie.

While raising their two children, Linda enjoyed many career paths, most notably working as an import specialist at IBM for 22 years. During this time she also returned to school to earn a bachelor’s degree at SUNY New Paltz.

After leaving IBM, Linda obtained her master’s degree in early education from Mercy College and went on to work at the New York State Administration of Children’s Services. She later taught in the Poughkeepsie School District and at the Green Chimneys School in Brewster.

Seeing a need to help young people closer to home, Linda worked as a counselor with Head Start in Beacon, where she retired.

Linda was an active member and recording secretary of the Les Soeurs Amiables Civic Club of Beacon. She enjoyed community activities and loved spending time with family and friends. Linda was a warm, kind-hearted, free-spirited person who left a lasting impression with everyone she met.

She is survived by her children, Lee McKinney Jr. and Jawne McKinney; brothers Phillip Williamson and Steven Williamson; sister Anita Williamson; and two grandchildren, Amara and Omar.

A funeral service was held on March 3 at Springfield Baptist Church in Beacon, with interment at Fishkill Rural Cemetery.

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