Beacon Obituaries

John Baxter

John Baxter

John Baxter (1941-2020)

John Walter Baxter, 79, a Beacon native and longtime plumber for Downey Oil Co. in Cold Spring, died Oct. 4 at Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital in Newburgh, where he lived.

He was born in Beacon on Aug. 26, 1941, the son of John and Evelyn (Mullen) Baxter. He graduated from Beacon High School in 1959. On Feb. 11, 1960, he married Marlene Pennacchio, who survives at home.

John served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1959 to 1965, until his honorable discharge. He was a life member of the Marine Corps League, Carmen Ramputi Detachment 861 of Beacon.

John worked as a plumber for more than 30 years for Downey Oil, until his retirement. He was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed fishing. He loved traveling with his wife to the casinos, where they enjoyed themselves whether they won or lost.

Along with his wife of 60 years, John is survived by his sons, John Baxter (Lisa Hall), Robert Baxter (Kimberly) and Steven Baxter; six grandchildren: Heather, Michelle, Scott, David, John and Katy; eight great-grandchildren; and two sisters, Shirley O’Dell and Rose Lobb.

A funeral service with military honors was held on Oct. 6 at Riverview Funeral Home by Halvey in Beacon.

Joan Drizos

Joan Drizos

Joan Drizos (1952-2020)

Joan Crawford Drizos, 67, a Beacon native who lived in Mesa, Arizona, died Sept. 30.

She was born in Beacon on Dec. 19, 1952. After graduating from Beacon High School, she earned an associate’s degree in nursing from Riverside Community College in California. She married James Drizos on Dec. 23, 1971. Joan had a career in healthcare for Loma Linda University Hospital, United Healthcare and Cigna. She had a passion for photography and the visual arts.

Along with her husband, Joan is survived by her children: Justin Drizos, Ava Drizos and Ella Drizos, all of Huntington Beach, California; Jessica Drizos and Mattalyn Drizos, both of Seattle; Mary Jane Arendt of Palm Coast, Florida; and Elizabeth Mesnick Murrells of Inlet, South Carolina.

Memorial donations may be made to the Dementia Society of America (

Sheila Mailler

Sheila Mailler

Sheila Mailler (1945-2020)

Sheila Mary Mailler, 75, of Beacon, who was once part of a country music guitar duo before becoming a paramedic, died Oct. 5.

She was born on July 24, 1945, in Dobbs Ferry, the daughter of John and Phyllis (Riches) Connolly.

After attending high school, Sheila, whose guitar skills earned her the nickname as “Magic Fingers Sheila,” joined with Anthony Robert Grova to form Tony and Sheila Twin Guitars. They played country music across New York state and the East Coast.

In 1976, Sheila married Royal Mailler, who died in 1997.

Sheila was a member of the Union Vale Fire Department, where she and Royal were both paramedics. They started a formal training program for paramedics in the fire department that is still exists. Sheila also spent many years in the medical field as a personal care nurse.

Sheila was a devout Catholic and a Third Order Sister of the Most Holy Stigmata Fraternity, OSF at Mount Alvernia Center in Wappingers Falls. She spent much of her time serving her community through her church, St. Joachim-St. John the Evangelist in Beacon. She loved volunteering for her parish and enjoyed going on spiritual retreats with her friends, her family said.

Sheila cherished all living creatures and dedicated much time caring for homeless cats in her community and participating in feline rescue, her family said. She also enjoyed silly movies and a home-cooked meal. She had some specialties such as her French toast.

She is survived by her children: Wendy Haumaier, Christina DeDonato, Mark Mailler and James Mailler; her grandchildren: Sarah, Brian, Christopher, Chelsea, Geoffrey, Stephanie and Jacob; and her great-grandchildren, Alaina, Jacob, Tiernan and Thomas.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10 a.m. on Saturday (Oct. 10) at St. John the Evangelist Church in Beacon, followed by burial at St. Joachim Cemetery.

Information provided by local funeral homes

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