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Gerald W. Chestney


He was born May 26, 1935 to Gerald H. and Mary Violet (Folger) Chestney in Albany, NY, Jerry attended Bethlehem Central School in Delmar, NY and Simmons School of Mortuary Science in Syracuse, NY. Following two years of military service in the US Army he came to work at Peck & Peck Funeral Homes in Copake and Pine Plains. There he met Elizabeth Frueh of Craryville. They were married in the Copake Methodist Church on June 27, 1959 by Reverend Joseph Ary and settled in Pine Plains. 

Jerry came to Pine Plains in 1958 to work as a funeral director for Peck & Peck Funeral Homes. He worked closely with C Buel Peck for many years and eventually became the owner the funeral homes in 1985. He was very proud to have mentored Scott Chwalek, Jeffrey Proper and his son, Christopher, who have carried on the proud tradition of funeral service in Copake and Pine Plains. In 1985, Jerry was also honored with the opportunity to purchase Dapson Funeral Home in Rhinebeck. 

Through the years Jerry was a member of several churches including the Pine Plains United Methodist Church, where he served as a trustee, the Rowe UMC and most recently attended the Pine Plains Presbyterian Church. He was widely recognized as a gifted lay speaker. 

Jerry was active in the Pine Plains Lions Club, having served many years as secretary and president; the Pine Plains Hose Company #1 and Rescue Squad, serving as treasurer; Stissing Lodge #615 F & A.M. serving as Master and other offices; President of the Board of Trustees of the Pine Plains Free Library; secretary and treasurer of the Pine Plains Food Pantry, and member of the Board of Directors of the Stissing National Bank. 

Jerry proudly marched every Memorial Day for numerous years with the honor guard. Jerry was an avid sports enthusiast, for many years he bowled with the Pine Plains Thursday night league, played tennis with friends and family, and rooted for the Yankees. Many Pine Plains Little League and Men's Softball Players will remember his many years as a home plate umpire and his unique call "Strike 3". 

Jerry is survived by his wife Betty of fifty six years, his daughter Cathy (Bill) Fitzpatrick of Pine Plains; granddaughter Bridget (Zach) McDonnell and their daughter, Aylee of Pine Plains, grandson Scott (Kaitlyn) Fitzpatrick and their children Ella and Emmett of Pine Plains; his son Chris (Carol) Chestney of Rhinebeck; granddaughter Samantha, grandsons Matt and Andy of Rhinebeck.
Extended family in Canberra, Australia, an AFS exchange daughter Andrea Griffiths (Keith) I'Anson, their daughter Kate, son Thomas (Natalia), their children Denika, Lexia and Callie

Robert M. Donaghue

Funeral Director

Robert M. Donaghue joined Peck & Peck in January of 2021 as a Licensed funeral director. A first generation funeral director, born and raised in the Rochester area. After losing his grandmother at a young age, he became interested in funeral service. This interest was confirmed when he lost his father at 14 and saw how the funeral director cared for his family in their time of need. It was then he knew this was his calling, and after graduating from Penfield High School  he enrolled in mortuary school. He earned his associates degree in Mortuary Science from the State University of New York at Canton in 2007. He obtained licensure in New York State in 2008, and in 2021 became a Licensed Embalmer in the State of Connecticut. Rob has been a resident of Columbia County since 2011 and spent the last ten years serving families in the Hudson area. 

Rob and his wife Ashley (Cunningham) Donaghue currently reside in Greenport with their two rescue dogs. When not serving families, Rob dedicates his time to community events and also currently serves as treasurer of the Hudson Fish & Game Club. He is currently a member of both the National Funeral Directors Association and the New York State Funeral Directors Association. He and his wife enjoy spending time kayaking on local waterways, especially Copake Lake. Together they also enjoy traveling as time allows and try to make York, Maine a yearly trip. He also enjoys cooking, gardening and spending time with family. 

I am honored to work with Christopher Chestney in providing exceptional service to the families we serve. I am also dedicated in carrying on the legacy of service to Columbia and Dutchess Counties that was set before me by my colleagues. 


Christopher W. Chestney

Funeral Director

Christopher W. Chestney has resided in Rhinebeck since 1985 when he and his father, Gerald Chestney (1935-2016) of Pine Plains, purchased the Dapson Funeral Home, Inc. from Donald and Barbara Dapson. A graduate of Pine Plains Central Schools, Chris prepared for his entrance in the Simmons School of Mortuary Science, Syracuse, New York, at the State University at Plattsburgh. He and his wife Carol currently reside in Carol's childhood home in Rhinebeck. They have three children, Samantha, Matthew and Andrew

Having been raised in a family with a father in funeral service and a school teaching mother, Elizabeth, Chris understands the need and personal satisfaction of community service. He has served as President of the Board of Directors of the Starr Library, the Board of the Thompson House, and the Baptist Home. He has been an active member of the Rhinebeck Lions Club for over 30 years, and serves as chairman of the Lions Community Thanksgiving Feast and the Lions Youth Basketball program. In addition, he has served as Vice President of The Rhinebeck Chamber of Commerce, and as Master of the Rhinebeck Masonic Lodge.  Presently Chris also service as a trustee of the Frost Memorial Fund, Inc.,  as a member of the Board of Directors of the Rhinebeck Bank; and as a member of the Dutchess County Agricultural Society.

Chris has renewed his lifelong passion for tennis and enjoys playing golf at the Red Hook Golf Club, often with his wife Carol.  They also enjoy skiing in Vermont.

 "I remain committed to providing the quality of service my father and colleagues have provided to the entire  Northern Dutchess area for 50 years”

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