Rudolph A. Albanese, former teacher, coach, supervisor, adult education director, principal in the Poughkeepsie City School District for 18 years, and principal in the Spackenkill School District for 16 years has died at the age of 96 on Monday, March 6, 2017 at Castle Point Veterans Hospital.
He was born in Canastota, New York on August 11, 1920 to Jennie Waldo and Vincent Albanese and was educated in the local schools, active in sports, and played tenor sax in his own band! He graduated from Ithaca College, where he was a star athlete and a highly accomplished scholar. Following graduation, joined the army, and was sent to Camp White, Oregon to train as a Combat Engineer with the elite 299th Battlefield Engineers. He was also chosen for special medical training and was sent to Fitzsimmons Hospital in Denver, where he trained with a special group to create medical situations to care for the wounded after they arrived in France. This group was known as The Soldiers in White.
Additional training followed in Brighton, England, all in preparation for D-Day, which for him came very early in the morning on June 6th 1944, with a landing on Omaha Beach, Normandy. He helped lead one of the first waves of the 299th struggling ashore in heavy seas, loaded down with gear and explosives, destroying the anti-boat and anti-tank obstacles, and gaining what ground they could while trying to hold on in the face of fierce German resistance.
During the battle he was hit by enemy fire, and for the next 24 hours continued to fight and to aid other wounded soldiers before being moved to an Army hospital in England.
After hospitalization in Europe and the U.S., he returned to Ithaca for a Master’s Degree and then to Syracuse and Columbia University for further studies. He taught in Maryland and Syracuse, came to Poughkeepsie and remained to call it his own. He was honored in Washington DC as one of the outstanding directors of Adult Education in the country. He belonged to many professional groups, was very involved in the Little Red Schoolhouse, Rehab Inc. (now Abilities First), Kiwanis, Friend’s Men’s Club, Mt. Gulian Rehabilitation, Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill in the early years, and Maple Grove restoration. He was very involved with organizing and funding the sports program for the new Spackenkill High School and was President of the Ithaca College Alumni Association.
Rudy is survived by Catherine Wolf, whom he married on June 27th, 1953 in St. Mary’s church in Poughkeepsie. He is the proud father of four favorite sons: Lawrence, Christopher, Matthew, Gregory; daughters-in-law Gabriella, Sally, Michele, Kimberley; grandchildren Andrew, Sarah, Carolyn, Hayley, Adam, Sarah, Bradley, Camden; great- grandchildren Henry and Weston.
His sisters Rose Rasp and Jane Brennan and his brother Vincent predeceased him. He is survived by many nieces and nephews.
Calling hours at Miller Funeral Home, 371 Hooker Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY 12603, Thursday, March 9, 2107 from 4-7PM. Burial will be private. Donations for Abilities First 70 Overocker Rd. Poughkeepsie NY 12603, Special Olympics New York – Hudson Valley Region, Hudson Valley Honor Flight, PO Box 375, Walden, NY 12586.