From the “Stories of our Dearly Departed” series from Kelly Grimaldi, Historian and Associate Director for Albany Diocesan Cemeteries.
Albany Diocesan Cemeteries’ “Stories of our Dearly Departed” is a series featuring stories and photographs of those who are buried within our 20 upstate NY cemeteries.
Our hope is that people will enjoy reading about the lives of our community members just as much as we enjoy learning about them from the families we serve and in the information we find throughout our archives. There are so many fascinating stories buried within these Sacred Grounds!
Elton D. Vandermark, Jr. drafted the following edited story to share about his dear daughter interred in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Coxsackie, NY.
“My daughter is laid to rest at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Coxsackie. She passed away on September 26, 1989 and was laid to rest on September 30, 1989.
Rebecca A. Vandermark, my daughter was diagnosed with A.L.L. Leukemia in October, 1984. She was first treated [in a local hospital], for about six months, and the doctors gave up on her. My wife and I searched for a new doctor and found [one at another local hospital]. [The doctor] admitted her at once, started her on chemo, and did many tests. Within six months, Rebecca was in remission. She stayed in remission until late 1988, when they had to restart the chemo again. He said the Leukemia was aggressive this time, to a point that we had to get Rebecca ready for an bone marrow transplant at Sloan Kettering in NYC. None of our family was a match. While waiting [to find a match], Make-A-Wish in Albany sent us to Walt Disney in Florida, while at Disney they found a match. In a Florida hospital they gave Rebecca chemo.
The point of my story is NEVER GIVE UP on your children. If my wife and I did, it would not have given us five and a half more years with Rebecca, not to mention two weeks of a great time at Disney, time we will never forget.
GOD BLESS THE CHILDREN AND GOD BLESS MY ANGEL IN HEAVEN”.
-Story submitted by Elton D. Vandermark, Jr.
Do you have a story of an ancestor and/or loved one buried in one of our cemeteries that would be interesting to highlight in our “Stories of our Dearly Departed” series?
We are looking for stories of those buried within the following 20 cemeteries:
St. Agnes, Menands • Most Holy Redeemer, Niskayuna • Holy Sepulchre, Rensselaer • Our Lady of Angels, Colonie • Immaculate Conception and St. Patrick’s in Watervliet • Our Lady Help of Christians and Calvary in Glenmont • St. Agnes, Cohoes • St. Patrick’s, Coeymans • St. Anthony’s, Glenville • St. Jean de Baptiste, St. John’s, and St. Mary’s in Troy • Sts. Cyril & Method and Holy Cross in Rotterdam • St. Joseph’s, Waterford • St. John the Baptist and St. Mary’s in Schenectady • St. Mary’s, Coxsackie
If you have a story to share, contact Kelly at 518-350-7679 or [email protected].