Katherine Baitsholts

Obituary of Katherine S. Baitsholts

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‘Aunt Kate’, as Katherine S. Baitsholts was known around the hamlet of Rensselaerville, died at St. Peter’s Hospice in the early morning hours of November 2, 2020 after having suffered a massive brain hemorrhage the preceding Thursday afternoon. She was 99 years old. Katherine was born to Katherine and Jacob Kropp in Berne, New York on June 11, 1921. Her siblings, who all predeceased her, were Jacob, Peter (Mabel), John (Goldie), Mary Maslowski (William) and Helen Gifford (Clinton). From the age of two years, she lived most of her life in Rensselaerville. She attended the Rensselaerville Academy for eight years achieving grade 10 when due to financial circumstances she left to go to work. She obtained her GED; however, Katherine gained a deep understanding of the world through her intensive thirst for knowledge that maintained until the end of her life. Katherine was a true Renaissance woman – skilled hunter, master gardener, phenomenal seamstress, accomplished chef and baker, historian of the area and its many historic structures as well as a professional dairy farmer which was her career through the early 1970’s. She was very active in the Rensselaerville Historical Society and played a key role in the production of People Made it Happen Here – a history of Rensselaerville. Despite her advanced age, Katherine continued to live on her own with the support of her son Paul. She struggled to continue to read the daily paper and whatever else her failing eyesight would allow. She maintained her strong connections with her many nieces, nephews, stepdaughter Ada, friends and neighbors who regularly checked in with her and as the pandemic came – at a social distance. Katherine married the love of her life – John P. Baitsholts – on December 13, 1946 who predeceased her on July 5, 1984. John and Kate knew each other their entire lives. When they married, he had four children from a prior marriage – Ada, Eileen, Julia, and John (Jack). Except for Ada, all predeceased her. Katherine and John had one child – Paul J. Baitsholts. Katherine and John welcomed all children to their dairy farm in Rensselaerville. In addition to many nieces and nephews, they fostered many children for Albany County Social Services including William Stowell, Tom Hallenbeck and Walter Schulteis. Kate maintained ties with many of their foster children especially William, his wife Jean and their daughter Madeline who were an essential part of her family. Katherine is survived by her son Paul J. Baitsholts and his wife Helene Goldberger, stepdaughter Ada Smith and foster son William Stowell, his wife Jean and their daughter Madeline, numerous nieces and nephews, grand and great nephews and nieces. Graveside services will be private. Donations may be made to the Community Hospice Foundation, 310 S. Manning Blvd., Albany, NY 12208, Rensselaerville Historical Society, P.O. Box 8, Rensselaerville, NY 12147 or the Rensselaerville Library, P.O. Box 188, Rensselaerville, NY 12147. Arrangements by A.J. Cunningham Funeral Home, Greenville. Condolences can be posted at ajcunninghamfh.com.
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