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Norbert Stegemann

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Norbert Stegemann

1951 - 2010 DELMAR, NY Norbert Lee Stegemann, 59, of Devon Rd, Delmar, died peacefully late Wednesday evening at his home after a brief struggle with liver cancer. Norbert was surrounded by the artwork he loved, the Labradors he cherished and in the company of his longtime partner, Christopher Cooper, and good friend, Linda Sweener.

Born January 10, 1951 in Queens, he was the son of the late Joseph J. and Elfriede Pinapfel Stegemann. Being raised in Floral Park until 1960, his family relocated to East Northport, and he graduated from Commack High School in 1969. Norbert attended SUNY at Farmingdale and graduated in 1971 with an Associates Degree in Applied Science (Mortuary Science). He served in the Army from 1971 to 1972 and remained in the U.S. Army Reserves until 1975.

Norbert's career in funeral service started when he purchased the former Hack Funeral Home in Schaghticoke in 1972, renaming it Stegemann & Hack Funeral Home. After residing in Valley Falls for many years, Norbert purchased the Hall & Higgins Funeral Home in Stephentown and the Thomas M. Barber Funeral Home of Petersburgh in 1982. He later purchased the former Robson-Decker Funeral Home in Hoosick Falls, renaming it Robson-Stegemann Funeral Home. In 1994 he sold the three funeral homes and resided in Slingerlands and Delmar. Even though he had retired, Norbert kept his funeral license current and was still very active in helping the many families he had serviced prior who had become his friends.

In 1996, Mr. Stegemann purchased the Surfside Inn, a 100-room hotel on Cape Cod Bay in Provincetown, Mass. The hotel was sold in 2000. He enjoyed raising Seeing Eye dogs and Labrador Retrievers. A former communicant of Immaculate Conception Church in Hoosick Falls, Sacred Heart Church in Berlin and St. Joseph's Church in Stephentown, Norbert served as parish council president in all three churches. He served on many cemetery boards along with memberships in the Hoosick Falls Kiwanis and the Unity Masonic Lodge #9 F&AM in New Lebanon.

He leaves his longtime companion, Christopher Cooper, and five Labrador Retrievers with whom he resided; his brothers with associated family members, Ralph, Peter and Keith (predeceased by Dennis L.). A special person to Norbert was his nephew Alexander K. Stegemann.

Norbert was an eclectic man with interests reaching far and wide; this is totally reflected in the diversity of people he was blessed to call friends. His desire to learn, not always listen, was the drive for him to visit many overseas destinations, Australia, Africa, Egypt, Kenya, many European countries including Austria his Mother's birthplace, Russia, Asia, Bangkok, Hong Kong and extensive travels in the USA.

The decision to keep Norbert at home and not go to a facility was simple. The ability to do so was entirely different.

I have to take the time to thank the many friends and associates that made it possible for Norbert to live his final journey at home in Delmar: Linda Sweener, the final group of PCA Aides that touched him so deeply, especially Joe "the night guy" and Matt., Dr Ralph Liporace whose home visits at the right moments helped in ways medicine will never understand, nurse Kathy Purcell, amazing set of ears; NYOH: Dr Shaffer & Dr Siskin and their adorably nice staff for the amazing surgery that gave us the gift of extra time; Four Corners Pharmacy: Paul, John & staff for extending yourselves when I felt most challenged and alone; Delmar Senior Services for making equipment so simple; Albany VNA for nursing services. Thank you all for helping_Christopher Cooper.

FUNERAL NOTICE: A Liturgy of Christian Death and Burial will be con-celebrated on Monday, June 14 at 10 a.m. in St. Joseph's Church, Route 43 & Grange Hall Road, Stephentown.

Relatives and friends are invited to visitation on Sunday, June 13, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the HALL & HIGGINS FUNERAL HOME, 457 NY 43, Stephentown.

Norbert requested that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Guiding Eye for the Blind or the Norbert Lee Stegemann Scholarship at Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in care of the funeral home, PO Box 9, Stephentown, NY 12168.

Published in Bennington Banner from June 11 to June 12, 2010
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