Evelyn Diefendorf
Evelyn Diefendorf

Evelyn Diefendorf (1924-2023)

Evelyn Diefendorf, 99, died Sept. 30 with family members at her side.

She was born in Michigan on April 10, 1924, the daughter of George and Elsie Vogeltanz. She moved to New York City in her 20s and later settled in Beacon, where she worked at the Matteawan and Bedford Hills correctional facilities until her retirement. She married Paul Diefendorf, who died before her.

Evelyn was an accomplished seamstress, enjoyed crafting, spending time with her friends at the senior citizens group, listening to country music and traveling.

Along with her husband, her siblings, Raymond Vogeltanz, Robert Vogeltanz, Lois Wirth and Patricia Kamin, and her son, Thomas Pisco, died before her.

She is survived by her children, Cynthia Heady-Marsh, Vincent Pisco and Debra Antonelli; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and her brother, James Vogeltanz.

Joe Montesano
Joe Montesano

Joe Montesano

Joseph Montesano, 67, died Sept. 30, surrounded by family members.

Joe had a long career as a machinist with Metro-North railroad and, most recently, worked for Chappaqua Transportation as a bus driver. He loved cooking, gardening and playing with his grandchildren. He always had you laughing with him or at him, and he was known for his “blonde” moments.

Joe always lent a hand for neighbors, family and friends. He loved to cruise in his Corvette and on his motorcycle. Joe loved to take cruises with his wife.

He is survived by his wife, Donna; his children, Jennifer Luhrs (Steven) and Joe Montesano (Natalee); eight grandchildren; and his siblings, Jon Jay, Nada, Toniann and JoAnn. His sister, Donna, died before him.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday (Oct. 14) from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Montesano family home, 517 Harbor View Court, in Beacon.

Maria Morales (1941-2023)

Maria A. Morales, 82, of Beacon, and formerly of the Bronx, died Oct. 1.

Born Feb. 5, 1941, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, she was the daughter of Octavio Morales and Pilar Beltran.

Maria graduated from Concourse Beauty School in 1970 and in 1981 became a certified nursing assistant. Later in life, she graduated from the Spanish Eastern Bible Institute of Assemblies of God and in 2005 became an ordained minister.

Maria was a member of the Damascus Christian Church in the Bronx and, more recently, the House of Revival Church in Newburgh. She led a full life, serving her family, community and church. She was a strong woman and worked hard and was a role model to her family of faith and perseverance, her family said. Maria loved to sing, and her favorite song was “How Great Thou Art.”

She is survived by her daughters, Nellie Ramos (Ray), Sonia Roque (Jonathan) and Vanessa Herrera (Eduardo), as well as 17 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. Her husband, sons Luis Orlando Rodriguez and Carmelo “Charlie” Rodriguez, and her sister, Noemi, died before her.

A funeral service was held Oct. 5 at Riverview Funeral Home by Halvey in Beacon, followed by interment at Wappingers Rural Cemetery.

Eugene Newman (1949-2023)

Eugene A. Newman, 74, died Sept. 30 at Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie.

He was born Aug. 22, 1949, in Manhattan, the son of Edmund and June (Cooke) Newman. Eugene was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1969 and served in Vietnam until 1971 with the 1st Air Cavalry. In 2019, he took part in an honor flight for veterans to visit Washington, D.C.

Eugene retired from Metro-North Railroad, where he was a boom truck operator. His life revolved around his 1964 Pontiac GTO. His home is filled with trophies and awards from car shows he attended, and he always looked forward to the next car show or cruise. He made many friends on the classic car circuit.

Eugene Newman
Eugene Newman

Along with his partner, JoAnne Carpino, he is survived by his siblings, Mary King (Dwight), Thomas Newman (Deborah) and Glenn Baird (Kay). His brothers Michael and Billy died before him.

A funeral was held Oct. 6 at the Riverview Funeral Home by Halvey in Beacon, followed by interment with military honors at St. Joachim Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Disabled Vietnam Veterans (dav.org).

Douglas Switzer
Douglas Switzer

Douglas Switzer (1958-2023)

Douglas J. Switzer, 64, of Wappingers Falls, and formerly of Beacon, died Sept. 27.

He was born Nov. 1, 1958, in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, the son of James and Doreen (Willock) Switzer. On May 5, 1984, he married Marcia Marx.

Douglas was employed by Benchmark Education, where he was a software engineer. He was a member of the East Wappingers Falls Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses.

He was a woodworker, making furniture and remodeling his home. He loved all things computer and enjoyed hiking to enjoy the beauty of nature.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, Andrew Switzer, Nicholas Switzer, Philip Alex Switzer and Sarah Switzer; and his siblings, Barbara Bevins and Stephen Switzer.

Funeral services will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 28 at Kingdom Hall in Hopewell Junction.

John Valentino
John Valentino

John Valentino (1943-2023)

John J. Valentino Jr., 80, died Sept. 29.

Born in Beacon on July 11, 1943, he was the son of the John and Josephine (Longi) Valentino and the stepson of the late Mary Cerniglia Valentino.

John graduated from St. John the Evangelist School and St. Patrick’s High School in Newburgh. In 1965 John earned his bachelor’s degree from Manhattan College, followed by a master’s degree in Russian linguistics from the University of Chicago. Finally, John received his M.B.A. from Pace University.

Having taught for 29 years in the Wappingers Central School District, John was an integral member of the district’s foreign language department as well as teaching business law. He was a linguist in several languages including French, Italian, German, Russian and Chinese. A lover of many cultures, and humanity, John traveled extensively with colleagues and close friends to such fascinating countries as France, Italy, Germany, Russia, Ireland, Great Britain, India, Egypt, Israel, Vietnam and China. John eventually taught Italian and accounting at Marist College in Poughkeepsie.

John was an excellent cook. He had a unique sense of humor and enjoyed making people smile. He cherished his pets, including his collies Sonia and Troika as well as his beloved sheltie, Macintosh. Also, through the years, John has had several feline companions, Misha, Sasha, Missy, Mr. Moika, and Slinky. In his retirement years, he spent many days caring for his elderly neighbors and family in his community.

John is survived by his sister, Joanne Butterfield (James); his niece and goddaughter, Joanna Francesca Butterfield; his nephew, Evan Valentino Butterfield (Meaghan); and his great-nephews, Lincoln Valentino Butterfield and Beckett Holmes Butterfield.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Oct. 14 in St. Edward the Confessor Church in Clifton Park. Another Mass will be celebrated in St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, 31 Willow St., Beacon, later in October, followed by interment at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Wappingers Falls. Memorial donations may be made to The Covenant House International Hospice Care (covenanthouse.org) or the American Parkinson Disease Association (apdaparkinson.org).

Behind The Story

Type: Obituary

Obituary: Reports the death of an individual, providing an account of the person’s life including their achievements, any controversies in which they were involved, and reminiscences by people who knew them.

Articles attributed to "staff" are written by the editor or a senior editor. This is typically because they are brief items based on a single source, such as a press release, or there are multiple contributors, such as a collection of photos.

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