Philipstown Obituaries

Edward Cunningham

Edward Cunningham Jr. (1935-2018)

Edward vK Cunningham Jr., 82, of York, Maine, died after an extended hospitalization in Boston. Among his survivors is a brother, T. Jefferson Cunningham III, of Garrison.

Known to family and friends as “Van,” he was born in Beacon on April 28, 1935, to Edward vK and Dorothy (Foster) Cunningham.

He was a graduate of the Oakwood School, Cornell University and Cornell University Law School, where he was a member of the board of editors of the Cornell Law Quarterly, and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He also served as the President of the Cornell Legal Aid Society.

As a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, he went on to serve three years as a B-47 long-range bomber pilot in the Strategic Air Command. He resigned his commission as a Captain.

In 1957, he married his college sweetheart, Jean Graham Miles, of Ridgewood, New Jersey. She died in 2017.

Van began his career as an attorney at the law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell in New York City. In 1963 he moved his family to Dutchess County where he joined the firm of Van DeWater & Van DeWater. Van served on the Taconic State Park Commission under Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller. He served for decades as the attorney for the Town of Fishkill and the Town of LaGrange. He frequently lectured at the Association of Towns convention on environmental law and the law of zoning and planning.

Besides his brother, he is survived by a sister, Marion Twichell of Ojai, California; his daughter, Jennie McManus of Exeter, New Hampshire, and his son, Edward vK Cunningham III of York, Maine. He is also survived by his granddaughters, Olivia McManus of Chicago, Illinois and Callie McManus of Exeter, New Hampshire.

The family will hold a private burial at the Fishkill Rural Cemetery on April 7, with a reception following at 12:30 p.m. for family and close friends at the Ship Lantern Inn in Milton. Memorial donations may be made to the Bardavon 1869 Opera House in Poughkeepsie (

Ralph Lyons (1934-2018)

Ralph R. Lyons, 83, of Cold Spring, died March 29, 2018.

He was born Dec. 1, 1934, in Cold Spring to Gordon and Rose (Landolfi) Lyons.

Ralph grew up in Cold Spring and attended the Our Lady of Loretto School and Haldane High School, where he was a four-letter athlete.  He was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corp. He was a retired union carpenter for 50 years prior to his retirement. He was an avid Giants and Rangers fan.

In 1957 he married Elizabeth Ann Allen and together they enjoyed traveling to the many destinations where their granddaughter was playing sports. She died in 2012.

He is survived by his daughter, Ann Lyons of Beacon; his son, James Lyons of Glenham, and his grandchildren Megan Rose Lyons (fiancé James Dain), Dylan Lyons, Cody Lyons and Jimmy Lyons.

Friends may call on Monday, April 2, from 5 to 8 p.m. at Clinton Funeral Home, 21 Parrott St., in Cold Spring. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on April 3 at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Loretto in Cold Spring, with interment will follow in Cold Spring Cemetery.

Blake Williams

Blake Williams (1967-2018)

Sterling Blake Williams, 51, of Shalimar, Florida, died March 21, 2018, at his home. Among his survivors is a brother, Brandon Williams (Sheila) of Garrison.

Blake was born Jan. 16, 1967 in Jonesboro, Arkansas, the son of Preston and Gayle Williams. He spent the early years of his life as a U.S. Army brat, living in Missouri, Georgia and Bavaria.

After graduating from Jonesboro High School, he received an Army ROTC scholarship to Johns Hopkins University began his career at NASA Langley Research Center in Virginia as a computer engineer. He moved to Florida 16 years ago to work as a computer engineer for DRS, where he designed computer defense training programs for fighter pilots.

Besides his brother, sister-in-law and parents, Blake is survived by his wife, Emma; their daughter, Norah Gayle, born Feb. 16; his stepchildren, Nathan, Ryan, Lilly and Bethany; and his brother, Brent Williams (Elli) of Williamsburg, Virginia.

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