DELMAR, N.Y. — Ernest Kish, 91, died Monday, January 21, 2013, at the Eddy Village Green in Cohoes.
He was born in Monaville, W.Va., and resided in Beckley, Falls Church and Manassas, Va., and most recently in Delmar.
Ernest was the son of Hungarian immigrants, Gazel and Teresa (Somogyi) Kish, and husband of the late Teresa (Grace) Constance Aiello Kish.
During World War II, he served as a captain in the U.S. Army Air Corps and pilot of a P-47 Thunderbolt with the 8th Air Force, 56th Fighter Group, 61st Fighter Squadron, at Boxted Air Base in Colchester, England. He flew 95 missions over Normandy, Northern France, and the Rhineland, and was awarded the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf Clusters and the Distinguished Flying Cross.
A native speaker of Hungarian, he was recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency in 1952 and served for 26 years in Washington, DC, Athens, Greece, and Frankfurt, Germany. He retired in 1978 as a Branch Chief of the National Photographic Interpretation Center in Washington, DC.
Ernest was a child of the Great Depression, the son of a coal miner, and carpenter extraordinaire, who never forgot the kindnesses that were shown to him during his childhood. In 1984, he became one of the founding members of Project-Mend-A-House, an organization in Prince William County, Va., which “provides home modifications and repairs for low income seniors, the disabled and the struggling young and middle-aged.” He remained active with the group until 2007 when he moved to Delmar, NY. During that time, he designed and helped construct nearly 100 wheelchair ramps. He also served as a mentor to many volunteers, whom he later counted as dear friends.
A hero in our lives, Ernest is survived by his son, Ernest (Joyce) Kish; daughter, Constance (Mike) Cunningham; grandchildren, Patrick (Krissy) Kish, David, Jeannie and Becky Cunningham and John Evangelista; and great-grandsons, Nate and Alex Evangelista. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Virginia (Jerry) Bechter of Denver, Colo., and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his eight siblings, Mary, Helen, Gazel, Leo, Anna, Joe, Alex and Frances.
The family thanks the superb staff of House 14, Eddy Village Green at Cohoes, for their care of Ernest over the past months. During even his most difficult moments, Ernest felt at home there.
All services will be private. Entombment will be in Saratoga National Cemetery, Schuylerville, NY, at the convenience of the family.
Those who wish may make memorial contributions to the Alzheimer’s Association, NENY Chapter, PO Box, 96011, Washington, DC 20090-6011.
Online at www.applebeefuneralhome.com.
Arrangements by Applebee Funeral Home, Delmar, N.Y.