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Cohosiers Mourn Beloved Former City Clerk

Right before a busy week in city politics, a longtime former Cohoes City Clerk died.

Cohosiers are mourning Marion "Sally" Archambeault, who served as the Cohoes City Clerk under four mayors. One is former state Assemblyman Ron Canestrari, who served as mayor of Cohoes from 1976 until 1989. Canestrari says she was a "very bright person, committed to the people of Cohoes."

"She was there whenever she was needed and performed admirably in a very non-partisan manner, do the job that had to be done, from A to Z at the city clerk's office. Marion or Sally Archambeault, as we all called her, did an exemplary job," Canestrari said.

108th District Assemblyman John McDonald was mayor from 1999 to 2012.   "You know, it's sad, the passing of Sally. Growing up she actually was a neighbor. But when I really grew to appreciate Sally was the degree of professionalism and completeness she did in her job as city clerk for the city of Cohoes. She served under four mayors, I was the mayor that was there when she retired. She was just a wonderful person. Attention to detail, be here to serve the citizens, which is what public service is all about. But she did it because she loved the city, loved the people she worked with."

Archambeault was raised in Clifton Park and graduated from Shenendehowa High School, and married the late Joseph Archambeault Sr., in 1960. Denise Napier is her daughter:   "She was widowed at a young age. My dad died suddenly at the age of 51. She managed to pick herself back up. She had a very responsible job with the city of Cohoes, she was city clerk for 21 years before she retired in 2002. I can't think of a person who ever had a bad word to say about her."

Denise Napier's son Steve Napier is a Common Councilor who just finished third in the Democratic mayoral primary:   "My grandmother was one of the most generous and caring people I've ever known. From the time I was a little kid she always was sure that I had everything that I could ever need and, you know, she would have given the shirt right off of her back. She was born to be a grandmother. She was wonderful for 35 years with me and I will miss her greatly."

Archambeault also had worked for the Cohoes City School District and the City of Cohoes in various capacities.  Family and friends say she actively participated in every Cohoes election, swearing the winners into office. She died at 76 after battling Alzherimer;s.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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