Local Obits

Obituary of Albert Charles Van Etten


Albert “Albie” Van Etten went to be with his wife Louise, finding peace and love to mend his broken heart, on July 4th while being cared for at Guthrie Cortland Medical Center in Cortland. Albert was born July 28, 1943, the son of the late Edward M. Van Etten and Eva Minew Van Etten. He was a lifelong resident of North Lexington – born on the farm on Van Etten Road and finding a small corner of it to raise his family. He married the love of his life – Louise Brockway on August 23, 1969. Together they built a home, a place where he never wanted to leave for long.

While Albert attended school, there is no doubt his knowledge and dedication to family and community was a product of his parents and the family farm from the lessons learned there. His ability to garden was well known, with his harvests proudly shared across the mountaintop with family, friends and neighbors – whose company he always enjoyed. He loved his apple trees and watching the deer enjoy their take of his harvest as well. In summer, you would see in the blackberry patches on the farm, gathering berries that he and Louise would use for a good pie or put up as jelly for a cooler winter day.

Albert was a hard worker. Whether on the farm, at Hunter Mountain making snow or mowing trails or in his time with the Greene County Highway Department – plowing snow, mowing the roadsides and helping keep his neighbors safe by being a part of maintaining the roads of the mountaintop, he was never afraid of hard work. His body paid the price for the toll it would take on him. Despite his pain, he continued to be independent, living at home until only a few weeks before his death.

Consistently he was known as a good neighbor and a caring man. He was a 50+ year member of the Town of Lexington Fire Company. He served as an active member for many years. Later in his time he was also elected a fire district commissioner – something he was quietly quite proud of. Fires, accidents, EMS calls, parades and drills all gave Albert an opportunity to show his love for working with his neighbors to help his neighbors in the toughest of situations. Albert was also a part of the Lexington United Methodist Church community. He always enjoyed helping with various church dinners and especially loved the chicken barbecues and corn roasts he was able to serve at. These would be family events with Albert, Louise and the kids all finding a way to pitch in.

Albert is survived by his children Douglas (Kimberly) Van Etten of Homer NY and Sharon (Jody) Moncrief or Colonial Heights VA. He was blessed with 5 grandchildren who he and Louise taught lessons of life and love to. With so many wonderful memories at the lake, on a beach vacation or during time together at Thanksgiving, he leaves Ashley, Austin and Brock Moncrief and Zachary and Tyler Van Etten who are all better from time well spent with he and Louise. Albert is also survived by his sisters Mary Brockway, Nancy Olson and brothers Donald Van Etten and David Van Etten, and his cousin Schuyler Minew and neighbor Robin Potter both who helped him along with the rest of the family to be able to stay in his home during this difficult year. Albert enjoyed spending time at various family celebrations and reunions allowing him the gift of knowing so many of his nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was predeceased by his parents, brother Roger Van Etten and sister Pat Baresel

His family will receive neighbors and family at the Decker Funeral Home – 5312 Route 23 in Windham NY from 4-6 pm Tuesday, July 9. A Funeral Service will be conducted at the Lexington United Methodist Church – 54 Route 13A Lexington NY on Wednesday,July 10 at 10 am with Associate Pastor Amy Royal and Reverend Elliott Oaks officiating. Internment will follow in the Lexington Cemetery. A celebration of his life well lived will follow at the Lexington Church Hall.

The family wants to thank all the amazing health care providers who have helped Albert, with special thanks to the Guthrie Cortland 2 South team for the care and comfort they provided him and his family who gathered with him. Take time to thank a nurse for their compassion, which to often goes unnoticed.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks you consider a donation of time to your local church or fire department, or a donation to the Town of Lexington Fire Company 3542 Rte 42 Lexington NY 12492 as they look to upgrade an ATV to a UTV to better protect their neighbors.

Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets. —Matthew 22:37-40

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