Wednesday, April 15, 2015

C. Marcheta W. Hamlin obituary

Hamlin, C. Marcheta W.

C. Marcheta W. Hamlin of Binghamton, born in Americus, Georgia to the late Reverend Alphonso and Constance B. Walker Whitfield, passed away Friday, April 10, 2015 at Elizabeth Church Manor. She is the oldest of three, including Alphonso Whitfield, Jr. (Hazel) and Patricia O. (d. 1978).

She graduated from Binghamton Central High School, attended Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C. on a music scholarship, where she received her B.A. in Music Education (1947), graduating Cum Laude. She was the chapel organist, playing in the presence of Dr. Benjamin Mayes & Norman Vincent Peale. She pursued graduate studies in Music Education at Hartwick College, Cortland & Binghamton Universities and neared completion of this degree at Syracuse University. She was featured in Ebony magazine (1951) as part of the Bennett College Music Staff.

She married Garland P. Hamlin (d. 2003) on August 18, 1949, whom she shared life and love with for nearly 54 years. She is survived by her two daughters, Constance H. Studgeon (Ike) and Lauren P. Hamlin (Debra Brown). She is also survived by the lights of her life, her grandson, Nathan I. Studgeon; her great-granddaughter, Eva; her "Nephson," Walter L. Jones (Audra); and a host of cousins; step-grandchildren; step-great-grandchildren; God-children, Robin Alves and Terrance Brown; and friends, all of them special and so cherished.

Upon her return to Binghamton in 1951, she became choir director & organist at Trinity A.M.E. Zion Church serving for over 55 years. In 1989, she was named Woman of the Year by Trinity. She remained a faithful and long-standing member at Trinity. She was active in the former Interracial Association, currently known as the Broome County Urban League, the Binghamton Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Music Educators. She was a member of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Apalachin Alumnae Chapter, where she received their achievement award in 1986. In 1985, the Binghamton-Broome County YWCA honored her as a trailblazer of the county for her work in music. She was the first full-time African American music teacher in Broome County.

This gentle, soft-spoken, classy soul lived her long life fully, cherishing every minute, focusing on family, faith and education. She touched many and leaves behind a gift of beautiful memories for all whom she touched. Her witty character was driven by believing "as good as any, better than some."

Funeral services will be held at Trinity A.M.E. Zion Church, 203 Oak Street, Binghamton Thursday at 12 Noon. Reverend Paul Carter, her pastor, will officiate. Burial will be in Spring Forest Cemetery, Binghamton. The family will receive friends at Trinity A.M.E. Zion Church Thursday from 11 a.m. until 12 Noon. In lieu of flowers, it was her wish that donations be made to TRINITY A.M.E. ZION CHURCH MEMORIAL FUND, 203 Oak Street, Binghamton, NY 13905. - See more at:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Christian Louis Hacker obit

Hacker, Christian Louis VALATIE Christian Louis Hacker, 67, better known as Lou Hacker, of Valatie, died April 9, 2015, at the Samuel Stratton VA Medical Center in Albany, leaving behind a hell of a lot of stuff his wife and daughter have no idea what to do with. So, if you're looking for car parts for a Toyota, BMW, Triumph, Dodge or Ford between the years of about 1953-2013, or maybe half a dozen circular saws, still in their boxes with the Home Depot receipts attached, you should wait the appropriate amount of time and get in touch.

But this is not an ad for a used parts store, this is an obituary for a great man, generous landlord, committed husband and adoring father who was born on July 13, 1947, in Hudson, the son of the late Walter D. and Elsie M. (Barner) Hacker Sr. Lou graduated from Ichabod Crane High School, attended SUNY Geneseo admittedly passing chemistry only because he baked his professor a cake and served in the U.S. Army, Eighth Army Honor Guard, from July 26, 1970 to September 20, 1971 in South Korea, where he met and fell in love with his wife, Yong Soon.

Lou's gregarious nature, mechanical genius and general resourcefulness helped him succeed in his jobs as a car mechanic, real estate agent, MOTOR manual sales rep and business manager, all of which helped him in his last and final career as a successful property owner and landlord. He often brushed off his success, saying, "I'm just a glorified janitor, really." But his tenants and family knew he loved his job, turning derelict buildings into beautifully renovated apartments. But he mostly loved his job for the people he met from all over the world, who he housed in his apartments. He checked in on his tenants often, offering up gifts of used bicycles, kitchen tables, TVs and couches to those who struggled to furnish their homes or single moms who looked like their kids could use a new toy or bike.

Famous for saying, "One man's junk is another man's treasure," as well as his habitual presence at local garage sales and flea markets, there wasn't a part, tool, piece of furniture or sports equipment he wouldn't dig up for a neighbor, family member or tenant in need. So though Lou's family is a little angry about the heaps of "junk" he's left behind for them to deal with, the stacks of lawnmowers, the wrench sets in Christmas wrapping, the carcass of a 1972 BMW rotting in the backyard, it helps to remember the place of generosity for which these piles of stuff have accumulated. Because Lou wasn't so much stocking up for what he might need for himself, but for what others might need. Those needs filled his heart, mind and an entire basement. And in those moments when someone would ask for a tool, part, or any kind of help, his face would light up and that junk would suddenly be transformed into treasure.

He is sorely missed and survived by his wife,Yong Soon (Kim) Hacker, better known as Mina Hacker; his daughter, Tasha Hacker of Valatie; sister Lynda (Hacker) Araoz of Valatie and three nephews, Gregory Hacker, Martin Araoz and Rodrigo Araoz. He was predeceased by his brother, Walter Hacker Jr. Car parts sales and funeral services will be held at 11:30 a.m., on Saturday, April 18, at the Raymond E. Bond Funeral Home Inc., 1015 Kinderhook St., Valatie, with Carlos Araoz officiating. Burial will follow in the Kinderhook Cemetery. Calling hours will be Friday, April 17, from 6-8 p.m., at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Fisher House, 113 Holland Ave., Albany, NY 12208 or the Spirit and Truth Fellowship International, 180 Robert Curry Drive, Martinsville, IN 46151. The family would like to thank the talented and caring doctors and nurses of the VA Medical Center in Albany, all of whom worked hard to care for Lou and prolong his life. - See more at:

Friday, April 03, 2015


If you ask me what I do for a living, I would say, in the simplest sense, I write. I am not a best-selling author or the typical Garrison Keillor “English major.” For more than two decades, I have been fortunate enough to sustain a decent lifestyle and support my family because of the English language. The impact of words can be far-reaching. A few of my stories have gone viral, having been translated into Korean, Dutch and a few other languages that I would not recognize without the help of the Internet. I even once wrote and presented testimony and a series of speeches for a movement that resulted in new, cost-saving legislation that passed in New York State. I also have an Associate’s degree in journalism and a Bachelor’s degree in communications, not a bad resume for an ordinary student, whose guidance counselor bluntly suggested that she lower her expectations and “forget going to college.” I cannot take credit for this success. I would have accomplished none of this, without the inspiration of my 10th grade English teacher. In high school I was (and still am) ordinary – with no outstanding talents to set me apart from the crowd. I could not draw and was terrible at basketball. My only redeeming quality was being exceptionally nice. High school in the '80s was not much different from schools today so being "nice" usually resulted in teasing, not praise. One English class influenced the person that I have today. Mrs. Stanley's excitement over grammar and literature was contagious. I learned, and realized that I could do well. In her classroom, English was not a required course, but a foundation for possibilities. She was passionate, and her excitement inspired creativity and learning. She challenged all of her students to find relevance in Shakespeare; I accepted the task. What I wouldn't realize until years later was that the creative license she allowed her students taught more than English, but also established a foundation for public speaking and critical thinking. Not only did I find joy in learning, I found confidence, believing that English was something I could do well. In my junior year, I entered a writer’s contest and won first place in the regional competition. As a senior, I signed up for an internship program at the local newspaper. After graduation, I ignored the guidance counselor’s advice and obtained a degree in journalism, become a newspaper reporter and eventually switched over to public relations. And I never stopped learning, earning that Bachelor’s degree just shy of my 45th birthday. I share this story not only to give Mrs. Stanley the recognition that she deserves, but also to pose a question: Does Common Core leave room for teachers like Mrs. Stanley? I hope so because I know that today, there are still many more average students like myself. If they have the right teacher, they will success. Student performance is not always measured by a number. Generally, the result of their work is not immediately known. The world needs people like Mrs. Stanley. Good teachers are not created through evaluations and test scores. Good teachers are the ones who make substantial differences in their student’s lives, oftentimes not realizing that they have made a difference.