Guilderland -- Alison Lee Kappel Gatterson, 47, died on Sunday, January 1, 2012 as the result of injuries suffered June 28, 2011 when a pickup truck struck her as she was crossing Washington Avenue on her way to work.
Alison was born on April 22, 1964 in Albany, the cherished daughter of Hans and Joan (Plauth) Kappel of Altamont. She grew up in Altamont and was graduated from Guilderland Central High School in 1982. She studied cello performance at Ithaca College, received an AAS degree in Human Services from Hudson Valley Community College in 1997, and was working on a BA degree in Human Development at Empire State College at the time she was injured. Alison had also served in the US Army, where she was trained as a Behavioral Science Specialist (91G). Alison was an Eligibility Examiner in the Albany County Department of Social Services Employment Unit.
Alison was a talented musician, playing cello in the Empire State Youth Orchestra, in area musicals, and in the Schenectady Symphony Orchestra. She was a long-time volunteer at the Old Songs Festival in Altamont, and often volunteered her special face-painting talent in the children's area at the Clearwater Festival. Children were a constant presence in her life, from teaching swimming in summer Red Cross programs, to working with children at St. Catherine's Center for Children and other organizations, to enthusiastically cheering at her son's football games and track meets in high school and college. Alison was also a track and field official for local high schools. She loved camping and kayaking with family, friends, and her 2 rescue dogs Tehya and Sandee. Alison was a voracious reader from an early age and was never far from a book.
Alison is survived also by her beloved son, Jarrell Gatterson of Altamont; by her close sister Jennifer (David) Cornell and adored niece, Nicole, of Deerfield, NY; by a very devoted aunt, Lorraine Plauth of Altamont, who gave up so much of her own life to assist in efforts at rehabilitation. She will be missed by aunts Virginia (John) Pieck, Guilderland Center, and Jeanne Plauth of Sprakers, and a special cousin, Stephanie Pieck. She is also survived by uncles, aunts, and cousins in other parts of the country. She was predeceased by "Horsey Grandma" Elizabeth Plauth and grandfather, Ralph Plauth, of Altamont and by "Tiger Grandma" Emmy Kappel of Germany and Altamont.
Alison's family would like to recognize the efforts and kindnesses of the many caring nurses, doctors, therapists and other health care personnel at Albany Medical Center Hospital and Sunnyview Rehabilitation Hospital, to the nursing staff and assistants at Our Lady of Mercy Life Center in Guilderland, and to Community Hospice personnel and volunteers who made every effort to make Alison comfortable in her last days. The employees of Albany County made incredibly generous donations of personal sick leave time to Alison, making it possible for her to have medical insurance coverage and other benefits until she passed away.
A private family service was held, and in accordance with Alison's previously-declared wishes, she has been cremated and her ashes will be scattered in special places.
Those who would like to make a contribution in Alison's memory may consider giving to The Melodies Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders, Albany Medical Center, 43 New Scotland Ave, Albany, NY 12208, or to the Altamont Free Library Building Fund, PO Box 662, Altamont, NY 12009.