Sheila Blair (1961-2023)
Sheila Ann Blair, 61, a lifelong Beacon resident, died peacefully at her home on June 22.
She was born in Cold Spring on July 16, 1961, daughter of the Louis and Doris (Booth) Blair. Sheila worked as a bus driver for the Beacon schools for 17 years until she retired. She thoroughly enjoyed her work. She loved kids, in addition to her own; she was a neighborhood Mom to many. She loved her animals, especially her cat, Harry, and her dog, Oreo-Annie.
Sheila was a photographer and loved auctions and finding new treasures.
Sheila is survived by her children, Louis Kitzweger and Sarah Erikson; her longtime companion, Michael Musacchio; and her grandsons, Brandon Sypek, Jayson Kitzweger and Michael Erikson. She is also survived by her brother, William Blair (Ruth).
Her family will gather from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sheila’s birthday, July 16, at the Libby Funeral Home, 55 Teller Ave. in Beacon, to celebrate her life. A service will be offered at 2:30 p.m.
Jean Lee (1946-2023)
Jeannette M. “Jean” Lee, 76, died June 24 at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie.
She was born Sept. 7, 1946, in Beacon, the daughter of Henry and Catherine (Mandraccia) Baxter. On Sept. 11, 1971, she married Theodore “Ted” Lee, who died in 2021.
Jean was a registered nurse and retired from the Castle Point VA Medical Center. She competed with her husband in several bowling leagues and loved to travel and craft and knit. She made Halloween costumes for her children and grandchildren.
Jean is survived by her daughters, Kimberly Cacchiani (John) and Kelly Edouard (Antoine); her daughter-in-law, Cherilyn McCann-Lee; her grandchildren, Megan and Noah Cacchiani, Matthew, Kaylis and Avery Lee, and Alana and AJ Edouard; and her brother, Henry Baxter (Donna). Her son, Matthew, and her sister and brother-in-law, Dottie and Jim Foy, died before her.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday (July 1) at 10 a.m. at St. Joachim Church, 51 Leonard St. in Beacon, followed by interment at St. Joachim Cemetery.
Maria Torres (1942-2023)
Maria Esther Torres, 81, died at her home on June 23.
She was born Feb. 15, 1942, in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, the daughter of Ernesto and Gregoria Arroyo de Correa. She later moved to Beacon and studied at SUNY New Paltz.
Maria held various positions in the Beacon school district and Astor daycare center as a teaching assistant, including social work in the district’s bilingual program. Most of all, she enjoyed raising her four children and her work in the wax-casting process of bronze sculptures at the Polich Tallix Fine Art Foundry. In 1961 she married Juan Torres.
Maria was a talented landscape and still-life artist, working with acrylic and watercolors. She liked gardening and was an enthusiast of classical and folk music.
She is survived by her sisters, Rosa Alba Correa de Norat and Mildred Aviles; her grandchildren: Juan Luis Morales (Nicole), Michelle Enid Morales, Christina Marie Zolotas and Gabriel Smith; and her great-grandchildren, Amora, Dante, Deslin Morales and Cillian and Bodhi Davison. She is also survived by her nieces and nephew, Ileana Maria Prentice (James), Juan Manuel Torres (Ray) and Mildred Enid Smith (Donald)
Her husband; her daughter, Ivette Zolotas (James); and her grandchildren, Patrick Morales and Nani Abdelhady, died before her.
A celebration of Maria’s life will be held on July 23 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the William G. Miller & Son Funeral Home, 371 Hooker Ave., in Poughkeepsie. Memorial donations may be made to Hudson River Sloop Clearwater (clearwater.org).
Antonio Tropeano (1953-2023)
Antonio Tropeano, 70, died June 22.
He was born on Feb. 1, 1953, in Cosenza Calabria, Italy, the son of Aldo and Maria (Summa) Tropeano.
Antonio was a butcher and shop steward. His commitment to his craft was evident to all who knew him, and his expertise in the field was revered, his family said.
Beyond his professional endeavors, Antonio’s true joy resided in the simple pleasures of life. He found solace in the great outdoors, where he pursued his passions for hunting and fishing. These activities allowed him to connect with nature and provided a sense of peace and tranquility. However, it was around the dinner table that Antonio truly thrived, relishing in lively debates, laughter and shared moments with his loved ones.
Antonio’s impact extended far beyond his immediate family circle. He touched the lives of countless individuals throughout the years, always offering his wisdom, a helping hand or even an occasional playful slap across the head, his family said. His words of advice, unwavering support and willingness to open his home to others made him a cherished friend and confidant.
Antonio is survived by his wife, Sarita, their seven children, six grandchildren (with another on the way) and two brothers. A funeral service was held June 30 at Libby Funeral Home in Beacon.