Rockenstire, Sharon COLONIE Sharon (Fernald) Rockenstire of Colonie died April 18, 2013 after a nine-year battle with lung cancer. Sharon leaves behind her only child, Mary Ann Chesky, a devoted daughter and nurse who took care of her until her very last day, and son-in-law Ron marriage made us family but love made him my son. She was grandmother and "Honey" of Erin Blythe, Caitlin Rose, and Daniel Patrick, and great-grandmother to Liam James, all of Colonie. Sharon felt the four were a huge gift and that she was blessed to have them. Also, survived by brothers, Terence and Christopher Fernald; companion, Richard O'Brien of Albany; and she was the niece of Joseph (Linda) Fernald of Huntsville, Texas. Also, half-siblings, Susan (Gordon) Ryan of Albany, Wendy (Sam) Schors and Stephen (Jennifer) Fernald of Maine. She was grateful for her many close friends and family who were there for her and felt blessed to have had all of you in her life, especially during these years of her illness. The cards, flowers, posts on Caring Bridge and love that you showed us all was truly our gift! Special thanks to the prayer group from Elkins Baptist Church in Huntsville, who sent prayer slips weekly. Also, many prayers of thanks to Drs. Dudek and Doyle and their staff at Patroon Creek NYOH who were irreplaceable for the care we've gotten since 2008. Our very special gratitude to Judy Menetti, R.N., whose love, concern, and compassion could always brighten up any day and made a difference in our lives over these years we always looked forward to your hugs and were so thankful you were with us from our very first day to the last! Sharon was predeceased by her siblings, Mary Ann, John Patrick, and Peter Fernald, and her parents, Keith Fernald and Mary Bridget "Polly" McDermott Fernald, who emigrated from Roscommon County, Ireland working hard her entire life and single-handedly raised her six children with the values of her Irish Catholic faith, her strong work ethic, and her belief that "family always comes first." Sharon lived these principals every day of her life! Born in Albany, she took her dream trip to Ireland in 2007 retracing her mom's roots. She enjoyed traveling, casinos, shopping especially for shoes gardening, her goldfish pond, and spending time with her family which always brought her the most joy. She retired from NYNEX as an assistant manager of the computer room, was a board member for the directory alumni council New York State Chapter; and was an Albany life member of the Telephone Pioneers of America. She also was a member of the Colonie Elks Lodge & Ladies Auxiliary 2192, volunteering in many events including membership co-chair. She was one of the first volunteers trained for St. Peter's Hospice with Dr. Michael Murphy before the Hospice Inn was built in 1981 and continued there until her illness began in 2004. She was a lifelong communicant of Blessed Sacrament Church. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial on Wednesday April 24, 2013 at 10:30 a.m., at Blessed Sacrament Church, Albany. Calling hours will be Tuesday, April 23 from 4 to 7 p.m., with the Colonie Elks Ladies and Lodge members presence requested for a 7 p.m. service at the funeral home. Interment will be in St. Agnes Cemetery, Menands. Memorial donations in Sharon's name may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 where she was a Partner in Hope since 1991. To leave a special message for the family online, visit NewcomerAlbany.com.
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Published by Albany Times Union from Apr. 21 to Apr. 22, 2013.