Violet A. Empie passed on May 9, 2015
Vi was born July 6, 1912 in the Town of Knox, New York to Clifford and Retha Sholtes. The family moved to Guilderland Center when she was 2 years old and lived there the rest of her life.
She attended the Cobblestone School in Guilderland Center and was graduated from Albany High School, class of 1930. Vi worked for the New York Telephone Company for two years. She met and married Luther Empie, who soon became postmaster and owner of Empie's Food Market in Guilderland Center. Luther and Vi had three sons.
Vi was a faithful member and worker of Helderberg Reformed Church. She was a member of several groups including "Up and Doing Class" and the Helderberg Reformed Church Women's Group. She helped with the annual clam bakes, other church suppers and packed missionary barrels. She joined the senior choir at the age of eleven and became pianist of the Sunday school of the old Church that burned down before there were individual classrooms.
Vi loved horseback riding, dancing, golfing, swimming, skating and belonged to several bridge, poker and pinochle clubs in addition to bowling leagues.
Mrs. Empie was a postal employee for many years serving as acting postmaster during World War II while husband Luther was in the service. She became postmaster following Luther's death in July, 1969 and retired from the post office in 1974.
Vi loved nature and enjoyed doing things outdoors. But the most gratifying activity in her life was singing. In addition to singing in the church choir most of her life, Vi also sang with the community singing group "Suburban Sounds", performing at lodges, nursing homes, weddings and gave two major concerts yearly. While a member of the ecumenical choir, "Festival of Praise", Vi had the experience of performing many concerts at SPAC, singing at the opening of the New York State Museum on the Empire State Plaza, St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City and the National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.
Old time memories Vi recalled were: seeing Babe Ruth hit a homerun and Francis X. Bushman in live Vaudeville, dancing to the live music of Rudy Valle and Fred Waring Bands, dancing every night (except Sundays) through the month of August at Warner Lake Pavilion to the live music of the Jim Wagner's Band and swimming the length of Warner Lake.
Vi loved cruises and made many visits to several islands in the Caribbean and Greek Islands and sailed through the Panama Canal.
Other pleasant memories include: moonlight cruises on the Mississippi River aboard the "Natches", kissing the Blarney Stone, riding in a 2 wheel horse drawn cart in Ireland, being serenaded by a gondolier on a canal in Venice, and walking under Niagra Falls. Additionally: guest driving a horse drawn, sign seeing carriage in Boston, seeing St. Augustine in a horse drawn carriage withfrindge on top, ascending the Eiffel Tower and enjoying the view from the top, cruise on S'wame River and cruises down the Hudson River on luxurious boats named from presidents. Also; sailing through the beautiful Fiords of Scandinavia, riding up a mountain in a horse drawn, 2 seated wagon through an olive grove on a Greek island and digging for clams on Nantucket. Vi didn't forget the Alamo or the wonders of Stonehenge, the Leaning Tower of Pizza or the Coliseum, the rain forests of South America or San Juan. Vi also recalled a month long (September) bus tour of our country taking a northern route to the State of Washington, down the coast and staying a few days at numerous points of interest and returning via a southern route, all rain free, except for one day in California.
In addition to traveling, Vi spent many hours at Duane Lake in Duanesburg. From the time she and Luther built the camp in 1947, summers were spent there enjoying fishing, sailing, canoeing, swimming and playing cards on the porch with the family and friends. She also mentioned ice skating parties with toasted marshmallows in front of the camp's fireplace.
Vi was stricken with Poly Myalgia Rheumatica in 1988 which curtailed all physical activities. She was however, after six years, back on the golf course (with a motorized cart) and played regularly until she was 90 when she fractured her foot. In August of 2011, Mrs. Empie experienced a minor stroke and spent a short time in St. Peter's Hospital. She was moved to Our Lady of Mercy Life Center of Guilderland in late August of that year. In February of 2012 she returned to her home in Guilderland Center where she rested the rest of her earthly life.
Besides her parents , Vi is predeceased by her husband Luther (1969) a brother Clyde Sholtes, sisters Clara Brate, Esther King, Florence Sholtes and Hazel Sholtes who died in infancy and fiancé Albert Buttino. Vi is survived by three sons: Reg and wife Mary Lu of Arizona, Bryan of Guilderland Center and Denny of Schenectady. Also two grandchildren: Lisa and husband David Totemoff of Alaska and Eric and his partner Dan Carillo of Arizona, additionally several nieces and nephews.
Vi selected the following poem by Elizabeth Craven to summarize her love of life, and nature:
"For All These Things and a Thousand More.."
I thank Thee God, that I have lived
In this great world and known its many joys;
The song of birds, the strong, sweet scent of hay
And the cooling breezes in the secret dusk,
The flaming sunsets at the close of day,
Hills, and the lonely, heather-covered moors,
Music at night, and the moonlight on the sea,
The beat of waves upon the rocky shore,
And wild, white spray, flung high in ecstasy:
The faithful eyes of dogs, and treasured books,
The love of kin and fellowship of friends,
And all that makes life dear and beautiful.
For all these things and a thousand more,
I thank Thee, God, that I have lived.
I thank Thee, too that there has come to me
A little heartache and the loneliness
That comes with parting, and the word, "Goodbye,"
Dawn breaking after dreary hours of pain,
When I discovered that night's gloom must yield
And morning light break through to me again.
Because of these and other blessings poured
Unmasked upon my wondering head,
Because I know there is yet to come
An even richer and more glorious life,
And most of all, because Thine only Son
Once sacrificed life's loveliness for me-
I thank Thee, God, that I have lived.
As requested, there will be no services held. Cremains will be scattered at the Reformed Church Cemetery next to her husband Luther, near a stone wall on a favorite golf course and in the woods at her camp at Dwane Lake. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of Vi's favorite charities