Stephanie Helene Putney, 57, of 245 Putney Road, Rensselaer Falls, passed away Saturday morning, July 3, at her home surrounded by her loving family. Stephanie passed away after a courageous two-year battle with breast cancer.
The Putney family will hold calling hours on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Fox-Murray Funeral Home.
The funeral will be on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Waddington United Methodist Church. It will be followed with a burial at Kendrew Corners Cemetery and a reception back at the church.
Stephanie is survived by her husband of 33 years, Howard Putney; their son, Jonathan and wife Ashley of Waddington, and daughters Emily and Jessica. Brothers and sisters include David and Sandy Pigula, Peter and Lorraine Pigula, Cathy Oakes, Mark and Cecilia Pigula, Vince and Kathy Pigula, Leonard and Valerie Putney, David and Tracy Putney, David and Nancy Ferency as well as Roger and Nancy Martin. She is also survived by her husband's parents, Dale and Emily Putney of Waddington.
Stephanie was born March 25, 1953, the daughter of George and Helen Pigula of Camillus. She graduated from West Genesee High School in 1971, where she set records in swimming which still stand. She participated in numerous sports and was named athlete of the year as a senior.
Stephanie attended SUNY Cortland and earned a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1975. She was hired as a PE teacher at Heuvelton Central that year.
She married Howard Putney on Sept. 24, 1977, at St. John's Ukrainian Catholic Church in Syracuse.
Stephanie Putney was a pioneer in women's athletics as she coached and officiated many sports over her career. She coached soccer, basketball, softball and lacrosse and officiated soccer, volleyball, and lacrosse. She was a college official in volleyball and lacrosse throughout the northeast.
Stephanie served the North Country Volleyball Board as president and assigner. She was responsible for creating the Northern NY Girls Lacrosse Officials Association as well as the girl's lacrosse program at Heuvelton. She was instrumental in the development of girl's lacrosse at other North Country schools.
Stephanie had a 35-year career teaching K-12 physical education, where she had a positive impact on thousands of students. While teaching, she also served as athletic director at Heuvelton Central School.
She worked on several Section 10 committees and was the Section 10 female representative to the NYS Public High School Athletic Association board for the last ten years.
In 2005, she was honored at a reception in Glens Falls, where she was named NYS Athletic Director of the Year by the NYSPHSAA. She was an advocate for all athletes but in particular she helped to instill confidence and overcome gender barriers for future generations of young women.
Stephanie served as a labor leader in her role as president of the Heuvelton Teachers Association. She was the HTA representative to the Jefferson St. Lawrence Lewis Counties Labor Council and the delegate to the NYS United Teachers Representative Assembly.
An active member of the Waddington United Methodist Church, she served as chair of the Administrative Board and the Pastor Parish Relations Committee.
Stephanie was an avid equestrian who throughout her lifetime enjoyed riding horses. She traveled throughout the nation with her husband to learn different training techniques and started some of her 2-year-old colts in Maine, Pennsylvania, and Wyoming.
Of all of the many things she has done, her proudest accomplishments were raising and loving her family.
Jonathan teaches social studies at Massena High School, Emily is an orthopedic surgeon in Long Island and Jessica is a chef in Burlington. Stephanie leaves behind a family that loves her and misses her very much.
Donations can be made to the Heuvelton Central School Athletic Fund, Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence County or the church of one's choice.
Online condolences can be made to the family at www.foxandmurrayfuneralhome.com .