Beacon Obituaries

Frances Cook

Frances Cook

Frances Cook (1941-2021)

Frances Cook, 79, of Beacon, died May 18.

Known to friends and family as “Aunt Ray,” Frances was born on June 17, 1941, in New York City, the daughter of George and Frances (Kessler) Cook.

She was a fun-loving, giving, strong, stubborn, sarcastic lady who loved to have a good time but was always there to take care and support her family and friends, her family said.

She is survived by her nieces and nephews: Linda Morrison, Connie Walls, Lorrie Maupin, Bobby Walls, Raymond Walls, Christopher Morrison, Kimberly Morrison, Ellen Morrison, Jennifer Morrison and Joseph Morrison.

Services were private. Memorial donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (

Evelyn Cruz

Evelyn Cruz

Evelyn Cruz (1957-2021)

Evelyn Cruz, 63, a longtime resident of Beacon, died May 20 at St. John’s Riverside Hospital in Yonkers.

She was born on Dec. 18, 1957, in New York City, the daughter of Luis Cruz and Andrea Vasquez. Evelyn worked for more than 20 years in the dietary department at the former Elant at Fishkill and Elant at Wappingers nursing homes. She loved cooking, especially for her family. She married Reinaldo “Ray” Pantoja, who died in 2014.

Evelyn is survived by her sons, Ray Pantojas, Alfred Pantojas, Freddy Pantojas and Julio Pantojas; her daughter-in-law, Katrina Pantojas; her grandchildren, Nilah and Maiya Pantojas, Adriana Pantojas, Julien and Evan Pantojas and Majlis Pantojas; and her siblings, Ricardo Cruz, Juan T. Cruz, Juan M. Cruz, Iris Cruz and Carmen Rodriguez.

In addition to her husband and parents, Evelyn’s sons, Joseph Pantojas (2018) and Pedro Pacheco (2019) died before her, as did her siblings Luis Cruz (1994) and Margarita Cruz (2020); and a niece, Andrea Oquendo (2017).

A memorial service was held on May 25 at Riverview Funeral Home by Halvey in Beacon, followed by interment at Fishkill Rural Cemetery.

Paul Leonardo

Paul Leonardo

Paul Leonardo

Paul A. Leonardo, a resident of Beacon, died at his home on May 16.

He was born in Newburgh, the son of Samuel and Catherine (Manchine) Leonardo. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War as an artillery surveyor.

He graduated from Syracuse University and studied at the University of Bologna. Paul held a master’s degree from SUNY New Paltz and also graduated from the Brooklyn Law School and was a member of the New York State Bar Association.

A memorial Mass at St. Joachim Church in Beacon will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be made to a favorite charity.

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