Ancramdale — David Harris Valden, 60, of Ancramdale died suddenly at home, September 17, 2020.
He was the youngest son of Constance (Anderson) Valden of Ancramdale and the late Stuart Heady Valden.
Locally, he was the well-known owner/operator of the Church Street Delicatessen and Pizzeria in the Copake hamlet, where he worked side by side with his son, Michael.
Born in Mount Kisco, David grew up on a dairy farm in North Salem, Westchester County, with his five siblings.
The family moved their “ValKest Farm” operation to Ancramdale in 1969. As a youngster, David was in charge of feeding the calves.
He was a Taconic Hills High School graduate, class of 1978. He played on both the varsity football and basketball teams, ran track and was a member of the Varsity Club.
Following high school he took business courses at Columbia-Greene Community College.
He began his pizza-making career at Pizza Hut in Greenport and moved on to hone his skills at LaBella’s Pizzeria down the road. His enterprising spirit led him to start his own pizza business—Manhattan Pizza in Great Barrington, MA—where he specialized in his signature New York-style thin-crust pizza.
When he later sold the business, he set up shop at the Ancramdale General Store, where he sold grocery items, sandwiches and brought in a pizza oven.
He purchased the former Circle Delicatessen in the heart of Copake in 1995, added pizza to the menu and renamed the place the Church Street Delicatessen and Pizzeria.
When the deli burned down in 2005 the week before Christmas, he rebuilt it—reopening Memorial Day weekend 2007—and turning it into the successful restaurant it is today.
He was a hard-working, respected businessman. A people-person, he was quick with a joke and well-loved by his customers.
In addition to his mother, survivors include: his children, Jennifer (Jeremy) Moore of Craryville, Nicole (Dan) Shook of Lee, MA, and Michael Valden of Copake; his grandchildren, Mason and Grace Moore and Hannah Shook; his life-partner, Nancy Curtiss at home in Ancramdale and her children, Sarah and Steven Curtiss; his wife, Ellen (Blaess) Valden of Copake; his siblings, Diane Valden of Ancramdale, Stuart Valden (Lucy) of Orlando, FL, Carolyn (the late Steve) Dobrowski of Taghkanic; Keith Valden of Ancramdale and Sharon (Dave) Cramer of Stockport; along with many nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will take place Monday, September 21 at the Peck and Peck Funeral Home, 8063 Route 22, Copake from 4 to 8 p.m. The funeral service will be graveside in the Copake Cemetery, Church Street, Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 11 a.m.
Donations in David’s memory may be made to the Community Rescue Squad, the Copake or Ancram fire companies.
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