Bill passed away April 25th of complications of coronavirus. Just 4 weeks ago he was a strong, vital energetic man with a knowing smile, full of life and emotion, sensitive to the injustices of the world.
Bill was born into a large family of 9 children. Being the youngest he experienced the complex dynamic of family life, and with 3 deaf sisters he began to understand life’s injustices at an early age. He was empathetic as a young person. Family influenced his perspective. He loved people. Bill was a gregarious person. His amused joyful smile reflected that.
As a young man, Bill was anxious and enthusiastic for adventures he’d not been able to experience. He was determined to make things happen, sailing the Caribbean, hiking to the opening of the St Lawrence Seaway, traveling to the Bay area, inspiring his attraction to Northern California.
Bill was also determined to put himself through school. Always working full time, with persistence he eventually graduated from the Univ of Wisconsin with degrees in Speech Communications and Physical Education. He taught in Milwaukee area schools for several years including the Milwaukee public School system. Not stimulated by this environment, his long held dream to go to Australia loomed. With friend David and others, he was hired as a teacher for the teacher shortage there and was soon living and working in Sydney, New South Wales, arguably one of the worlds most beautiful cities. This 3 year experience was exceptional, but family loomed. He returned to Milwaukee to care for ageing parents, until their deaths.
Bill was an admirer of English writer Samuel Johnson, and travelled to England for a long walk through the English countryside, pastures and villages, some haunts of Mr Johnson . He loved this exhilarating experience so much that he got a job in a village pub, lived upstairs and had the most memorable time for almost a year. He never forgot or regretted this experience. He wanted to live life.
Bill eventually moved to San Jose, California, where he lived for years. He opened a coffee shop, among several work ventures. Bill experienced chronic back pain and worked around this disability of degenerating disks by rigorous therapeutic workouts. His Physical Education training was helpful in building strength and somewhat controlling pain.
Eventually Bill moved to the New York area to be near family members after a heart event. Bill’s niece, Suzanne introduced him to many members of the local community as Uncle Bill. He is still fondly known by many as Uncle Bill. He and his partner Dave explored and appreciated the cultural features of Manhattan. He loved NY.
Bill was a giving presence, an uncomplicated man, passionate about the injustices of life. His smile made everything good.
Surely, he would thank the dedicated staff at NY Presbyterian Hudson Valley Peekskill Hospital and his longtime “Guardian Angel” Dr. Cynthia Ligenza and Terry Alexander FNP-C
Bill is survived by David Dickinson of 50 + years.
Bill is also survived by sisters Thelma Kamuchey and Evangeline Norton of California. Sister in law Susan Kamuchey of Fla. Brother in Law Stan Smith. Many nieces and nephews: Suzanne Pearse Dow, Chip Pearse, Cassandra Kamuchey, Dr.Tim Smith, Penny Smith, John Kamuchey, Mary Jill Kamuchey, Jaye Elizabeth Kamuchey, Paul Kamuchey, Dean Kamuchey, Christopher Kamuchey, Andrew Kamuchey, Paul Norton, Peter Norton, Janet Suttles, Jennifer Trio, Robert Poehlman, James Poehlman, including their spouses. Rodney W Dow of Garrison NY, and many great nieces and nephews including Alexandra and Willa Dow also of Garrison, NY.
In the days before his death, Bill wrote a letter of thanks to his doctor and medical team. It was published in The Highlands Current.
We all need to be thankful Cold Spring village has Dr. Cynthia Ligenza. Not only is she caring for all of her regular patients who have COVID-19, she is working 12-hour shifts at the hospital caring for patients who are on ventilators. I know for a fact that patients call her in the middle of the night, never thinking this doctor needs rest to be ready to be out there the next day and the day after that.
Her assistant, Terry Alexander, is out there helping as well. Even though people always think that’s the way Dr. Ligenza and Terry should perform their service for us, it is obvious this is putting a strain on these medical providers.
The first grandchild of John and Erna Kamuchey. Merry passed away in July 2019.
Bevsek-Verbick Funeral Home Obituary
Merry was born on July 29, 1949 and passed away on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. Merry was a resident of Wisconsin at the time of passing. Per Merry’s wishes, no services will be held. Retired employee of the New Berlin Police Department. In lieu of flowers, Memorials to the local Women’s Shelter appreciated.
KAMUCHEY, Evelyn Irene Born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin Nov. 15, 1929. Born to eternal life Austin,Texas May 10, 2019. Graduated Gallaudet Wash.D.C.. Teacher – Texas School for the Deaf. Active board member establishing LA VISTA Retirement Community Travis County for the Deaf. Donations to Gallaudet University. Austin Statesman, 2019
___________________________________””As the baby of the family, I became everyone’s little monkey to pick up, hug and squeeze. We had a big wide rail rocking chair and big sister Evelyn use to pick me, place me in her lap, rock away and sing “La-La-La-La” to me while I felt the vibrations of her body that soon rocked me to sleep in her loving arms. It was pure Bliss!
And while I was still very young at an age when I believed in Santa Claus, big sister Evelyn dressed completely in a red Santa Claus suit, white beard and all… shouting Ho-Ho-Ho as she came down the front hall stairs carrying a sack full of goodies to give out to all gathered around the Christmas tree. My eyes and ears could not believe what I was experiencing… Santa Claus was REAL and he came to see us on Christmas morning. Big sister Thelma and brother Peter did not lie to me that Christmas! Santa Claus was for real ! Years later, when Evelyn was so generous gifting to her family siblings, I would call her Mrs. Santa Claus.
And now as I wake each morning and go to my computer to read my email messages, I will surely miss reading what my big sister Evelyn sent to me the night before. We emailed each other two or three times every day of the week. Those beautiful finger nails on her hands that typed so well during her early employment days at the Milwaukee Sentinel newspaper company, will not be sending messages to me anymore… the lucky stiffs up there have them now to see and enjoy for all eternity. I’m sure our sister Marie will be quick to pick up on Evelyn’s arrival.
Maya Angelou once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”…. and that certainly is how I feel about my sister Evelyn.
~Love, Brother Bill”
“I remember aunt Evelyn and Anne Wallace Coming to visit us on Ida Drive in Concord when I was a boy, approximately six years old (@1974). She wanted lemons from our tree and the only good ones at that time were very high up in the tree, so I climbed up the tree but was scratched from the sharp spikes on the branches. I was very upset at aunt Evelyn for asking me to get the lemons. I went up into the other tree, my crabapple tree and sat there for hours being mad about the injuries. I remember my mom enjoying Evelyn’s company. I remember her and Anne looking fit, playing tennis frequently . She seemed very happy at that time in her life.
~Nephew Tim Smith
Evelyn Kamuchey was long time teacher at TSD, active Board member of Travis County Council for the Deaf and La Vista Retirement Village many years. She was very active member of Austin Deaf Community and fought for Women’s Rights and Disability Rights. She passed peacefully on May 10, 2019 to eternal rest.
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RIP EVELYN! Ashes in Pacific Ocean, her final request. SAIL ON, EVELYN!
~Love Sharon Hassell
A couple of stories about Aunt Evelyn in which I’ll hope you’ll see the humor. She wasn’t a sweet woman generally, but I always knew she loved us. Over my life, I’ve felt like I’ve been lucky for the experiences I had with her, some without her knowing it!
When I was 7 years old, Aunt Evelyn came to visit us in CA. I feel Anne must have also been there, as she always was, but she’s absent from this particular memory. Anyway, we didn’t have a guest room at the time, just a twin rollaway bed. Aunt Evelyn staunchly refused to sleep on the rollaway, and insisted that I give up my bedroom to her for her several-night stay. At first I wasn’t happy about it, but then realized…the rollaway would have to go in the living room…where the TV was! So I got to enjoy a bunch of late nights watching horror movies and the Twilight Zone during her visit without mom and dad catching me walking down the hall!
This is a multi-part memory from one event. Back in 1987 (age 17), I flew to Chicago for Chip and Melinda’s wedding, representing the California Kamucheys. Earlier the day of the wedding, Anne, Aunt Evelyn and I were out doing some errands in their blue van, and sitting in the back, I decided to do a quick coat of clear nail polish before we got to Aunt Violet’s house. Aunt Evelyn immediately yelled STOP, freaking Anne out, who then stopped the van. She turned around and yelled at me ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME?! I was stunned, to say the least. She immediately stepped out of the van and started walking toward the house. Anne looked at me like, ‘Come on. You know that stuff stinks.’ She then turned back around and we kept driving to the house, but I could see her smirking. 😉 Aunt Evelyn was pretty pissed, but walked the last couple of blocks to Violet’s house.
A few hours later, after scolding me again for polluting the van and that the smell would NEVER come out, we arrive at the church, which as I recall, was just down the block from the house. Chip then comes to tell us that the interpreter he hired was delayed, that s/he wouldn’t be there in time for the ceremony to start, and asked if I could interpret the wedding. “Sure,” I say, not realizing that the altar setup was really not great. You see, the congregation sat in pews, leading to a short set of stairs, from which the altar was at least 10 feet beyond the stairs, behind where I was standing. So the ceremony starts, Chip and Melinda both looked beautiful, and Melinda passes me going to the looooooong altar. I realize almost instantly that I cannot hear the priest to interpret what he’s saying with my back to him. I start to back up so that I could hear him, but Aunt Evelyn realizes this and starts signing at me furiously I CAN’T SEE YOU THERE. COME BACK TO THE FRONT! I tried explaining that I couldn’t hear the priest, but she wasn’t having it. Soooooo, I ended up making up about 90% of what was said (sorry Chip!). I’m sure it made sense to me whatever I said, but I’m also sure that Violet, Evelyn and the other deaf friends in the congregation thought I was a complete idiot.
Anyway, we walked over to the yard where the reception was being held, and it was lovely. A bunch of Kamucheys were together at a round table, and I remember being absolutely stunned to see Evelyn walking around with a bottle of champagne in her hand, pouring drinks for people, laughing and kissing people on the cheek. Uncle Everett and Aunt Barbara were laughing and said Evelyn was always the most fun when she was drinking. At some point Evelyn settled down and started complaining about how long it was taking to serve dessert. When dessert was finally served, I recall it was a white cake, and Evelyn passed out right into her dessert plate! Everett looked like he was ready to explode, and said we should leave her as is! I think Anne was sorely tempted, but ultimately helped her out of the plate and wiped the icing off of her face before taking her into the house to go to bed. It’s my deepest regret that I didn’t have a camera to capture that moment!
Lastly and more recently, I got to enjoy periodic chats with Aunt Evelyn on the VP (videophone), where inevitably our discussions focused on politics. She loved talking about Washington, DC and always wanted to hear what I thought about what Congress, Obama and later Trump were doing and thinking, as if I was some Beltway insider instead of a Virginia suburbanite who happens to work for the Fed. It was really nice getting to talk with her as a fellow adult and not a teenager anymore. I’ll miss that deeply.
~Niece, Penny Smith
Evelyn was my older sister who always found time to make us younger ones laugh and to teach us important facts about science, animals and how to make excellent chocolate fudge. She taught me to never limit myself or to set boundaries on anything I wanted to do. I remember when she took me for my first lesson in golf. We approached the first green and I starting swinging the club like I was a lumberjack chopping down a tree. She laughed so hard the tears were rolling down her cheeks. She then proceeded to show me the correct way to hold the club , the correct way to stand, and the correct way to follow through with my swing. Well after many feeble tries, I was becoming frustrated and threw the club across the green, yelling “I quit”. She walked over and retrieved the club and said to me, “you cannot quit” you are my sister and my sister Thelma does not quit” I looked into her eyes and saw the determination. After more struggling I finally managed to make the club connect with the tiny white ball and guess what, I hit a “hole in one” She was so elated and kept pounding me on my back and telling me how great I was and good enough to be a professional. My sweet Evelyn a true inspiration.
May 23, 2019
Evelyn will always be remembered for the enjoyable debates on a vast array of subjects. There are times we would agree and other times totally disagree on topics of discussions. She would be so funny at times in the discussions with her jokes. She will be missed. May her memories be passed on….