History & Staff
At Betz, Rossi, Bellinger & Stewart, we have provided customizable memorial services for over 150 years. Personalized service options allow you to honor your loved ones in a way that is both meaningful and healing. We hope to provide support and caring while delivering memorial services that celebrate life and help families find the peace they deserve.
If you’re seeking an honorable celebration of life in Amsterdam and the surrounding areas, we invite you to learn more about where we came from and the dedicated people behind our work.
A History of Caring
John "Jack" Betz, John Stewart, Vincent Rossi
Betz, Rossi & Bellinger Family Funeral Home
Issac Shuler, a cabinet maker, began his funeral career in 1860. It was taken over by W. Max Reid, a famous local historian. Upon his death in 1913, Raymond Johnson and Ed Lindsay purchased the business. It became known as the Funeral House of Johnson-Lindsay. David Bellinger purchased the business in 1978.
Vincent Rossi purchased the former Sargalis Funeral Chapel in 1979. He merged with Johnson-Lindsay in 1984. It became known as Rossi Funeral Home. Both businesses combined with the Betz Funeral Home in 1998.
The Betz Funeral Home, Inc. had served Amsterdam and the surrounding area for the past 58 years. John G. Betz worked in his youth at Johnson-Lindsay Funeral Home and formed his own business on Mohawk Place in 1939. His sons, Jack and David Betz, joined the business in the 1970's. Situated at its present location of 171 Guy Park Avenue since 1947, the funeral home had been an integral part and contributor to the community in both civic and public affairs.
In 1995, the Betz Funeral Home, Inc. in Amsterdam underwent extensive renovation, providing a quality facility to its families.
Jackson & Betz Funeral Home
In the 1970's, Allen Jackson, along with his father, opened the Jackson Funeral Home in Fonda. Later, Allen Jackson purchased the Todd Funeral Home in Fultonville. He closed the funeral home in Fonda and renamed the Fultonville location "Jackson & Todd Funeral Home". Allen Jackson stayed on as the manager until his unexpected death in 1991.
In 1987, the Betz Family purchased the funeral home in Fultonville and it is now known as Jackson & Betz Funeral Home.
Lenz & Betz Funeral Home
Lenz & Betz Funeral Home has been serving the residents of western Montgomery County for the past 80 years. Originally located on West Grand Street, in the Village of Palatine Bridge, the home named, Lenz Funeral Home, was started by Donald Lenz, Sr. in 1929. In 1937, the business was relocated to 69 Otsego Street, Canajoharie, to accommodate the growing Lenz family. The building was purchased from William B. Smith of Arkell & Smith Sack Company.
In 1976, Donald Lenz, Sr. passed away and ownership was passed to his son, Donald Lenz, Jr., who was working by his side at the time. The business continued to flourish until Donald Lenz, Jr. passed away unexpectedly in 1989. The business was then acquired by the Betz Funeral Home of Amsterdam and renamed Lenz & Betz Funeral Home in 1990.
Recognized as a vital part of the history of the Mohawk Valley, the facility at 69 Otsego Street, Canajoharie was completely renovated beginning in the summer of 2006. Originally constructed in the 19th century, the building was restored to its original beauty preserving its historical presence in the Village of Canajoharie. Completed in June of 2008, the facility now has a large spacious chapel with seating for 125 and is completely handicap accessible.
Today, Lenz & Betz Funeral Home continues its tradition of excellence in funeral and cremation services to the residents of Western Montgomery County. We continue to offer superior services at affordable prices.
Walrath & Stewart Funeral Home
In service to its neighbors for over 100 years, Walrath & Stewart Funeral Home is proud of its community heritage. Willard B. Walrath founded W.B. Walrath & Company in 1911. Over sixty years ago, Walrath & Bushouer Inc. was formed by a partnership between Willard B. Walrath and Harry J. Bushouer. The addition of Willard’s son, Douglas Walrath, came some years later. Richard Reed became owner of the funeral home in 1968 following the untimely deaths of the partners. John Stewart began his career with the business in 1978. Walrath & Stewart Funeral Home continues to provide dignified personal service to its community with the traditional values passed down through generations of service.
Our Staff’s Dedication to Respectful Care
A funeral, or memorial service, should provide family members and loved ones with the chance to reflect, remember, and celebrate a life well-lived. At BRBS, our goal is to create exceptional services and experiences that fulfill the wishes of your loved one. Our experienced Funeral Directors provide guidance on the crucial first steps toward healing.
Peter J. Rose, CFSP
Licensed Funeral Director/General Manager
A lifelong resident of the Mohawk Valley, Pete was raised in the Town of Florida. He attended St. Mary’s Institute and graduated from Amsterdam High School in 2001. He then went on to attend the State University of New York at Canton, where he graduated in 2004.
Pete has been around the funeral business since the age of 16, and has been a Licensed Funeral Director since 2005. He is a member of Our Lady of Hope Roman Catholic Church, where he serves on the Pastoral Council; and is a Lector and Lay Eucharistic Minister. He is a member of the Mass Fatalities Taskforce of Montgomery County and the National Funeral Directors Association; a member of the New York State Funeral Directors Association since 2005, he has served on various committee's, and was a 2014 Graduate of the Leadership Academy. Currently he serves on the NYSFDA Bridge Commission, the NYS Tribute Foundation and is a board member and Second Vice President of the Amsterdam Rotary Club. Pete is also Certified Celebrant, specializing in unique tribute services. In July of 2017 he was awarded the CFSP designation, which is the highest designation awarded to a Licensed Funeral Professional.
“Funeral service has such a long legacy of tradition deeply rooted in history in the United States. It is both an honor and a privilege to carry on such a wonderful tradition to my family, friends and neighbors in the Mohawk Valley.”
Pete resides in Canajoharie and has two children, Taryn & Jack. He enjoys skiing, golfing and boating on the Great Sacandaga Lake. He is a member of the Canajoharie Fitness Center Morning Warriors and is an avid fan of the NY Mets and the NE Patriots.
John J. Stewart
Sr. Licensed Funeral Director/Assistant General Manager
John Stewart has been helping families at the funeral homes since 1979. He was a 1975 graduate of Gloversville High School and also Hudson Valley Community College in 1981. He became a Licensed Funeral Director in 1982. He purchased both Walrath & Bushouer, Inc. and Jeffords Chapel in 1992, later changing the names to Walrath & Stewart Funeral Home and Jeffords & Stewart Funeral Home. In 2004, he and his partners merged their five businesses to form Betz, Rossi, Bellinger and Stewart Family Funeral Homes. John continues to serve as an active Funeral Director as well as Location Leader.
He is a member of the Church of the Holy Spirit in Gloversville, where he is a Lector, Eucharistic Minister, Perpetual Eucharistic Adorer and Secretary of the Holy Name Society. He is a 35 plus year member the Concordia Club, The Eccentric Club and 3rd Degree Knights of Columbus. John serves as a member of the Board of Directors Mountain Valley Hospice Foundation. He is a Trustee of Prospect Hill Cemetery Association and is a member of the Mount Carmel Cemetery Committee. He has recently served as a Director of the Nathan Littauer Foundation, Mountain Valley Hospice Board and the former Patriot Federal Bank Board. He also served as a Division Chairman of United Way of Fulton County.
John and his wife, Sari, a Registered Nurse Supervisor, have five children: Brandon, Brittany, Bradley, Brian and Brody. They enjoy traveling and attending sporting events together.
Martin J. Hughes
Sr. Licensed Funeral Director
A lifelong resident of Amsterdam, Marty received his education from St. Stanislaus Elementary School and was a Graduate of Amsterdam High School Class of 1990. He is a 1992 Graduate of Schenectady County Community College with an Associates in Liberal Arts; and a 1994 Graduate of Hudson Valley Community College with an Associates in Applied Science. Marty Attended the University of South Carolina at Aiken and majored in Psychology with minor in Sociology. He received his Funeral Directors License in 1996 and has been serving families for the past 20 years.
“I am always striving to make every family feel comfortable here in our funeral home. I put the families I serve and their needs first before anything else and work hard to exceed their expectations of service.”
Marty not only serves as a funeral director, but is also the Managing Director of the Amsterdam location.
He is a member of the B.P.O.E. # 101 and currently serves as the Chairman of the Amsterdam Elks Soccer Shoot Committee; a member of St. Mary’s Hospital Foundation Board of Directors; member and Eucharistic Minister and Lector at St. Mary’s Church; a member of the American Legion Post #701 and the Sons of the American Legion Squadron #701; member of the Amsterdam Marching Rams Booster Club; a member of the Ancient Order of the Hibernians; the New York State Funeral Directors Association and the Adirondack Funeral Directors Association; Currently sitting on the New York State Funeral Directors Association’s Electronic Death Registration System Committee.
Marty resides in Amsterdam with his wife and two children. He enjoys still playing wood bat baseball in the fall and coaching his children in baseball and softball.
Jessica M. Leach
Licensed Funeral Director
Jessica spent the first part of her life growing up in Mayfield, she attended Mayfield Central Schools, later graduating on the President's List from Hudson Valley Community College with an Associates in Mortuary Science. In 2011 she received her Funeral Directors License. She is am a member of The Forrester's Club as well as a yearly participant in Relay For Life representing Team Hope, Faith and Love.
“I find great honor in helping families through one of the most difficult times in their lives. There is nothing more rewarding than being a Licensed Funeral Director.”
Starting in the nursing field directly out of high school quickly helped me realize my love of helping those in need. After watching and aiding patients during the last parts of their lives and building relationships with their families I became interested in funeral service. I then decided to change my career path and pursue a degree in Mortuary Science. I began my funeral directing career as a Resident Funeral Director at Bond Funeral Home in Schenectady. I quickly realized I had found my calling and learned many valuable things during my time there, one of them being the desire to serve my community closer to my hometown of Mayfield. It is with great appreciation to Betz, Rossi, Bellinger and Stewart Family Funeral Homes that I am now able to serve my friends and family and the families of others in this area that I call home.
Licensed Funeral Director
Born in Guayama, Puerto Rico, but raised in Amsterdam NY, Ninja is the first Hispanic funeral director to join the BRBS family. Serving as an assistant manager to a local gas station and a department manager at a local retail store Ninja knew she wanted to work with people but on a more nurturing level. She obtained her certification for nurse’s aide in 2008 and spent over 5 years devoted to serving the geriatric residents at Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville NY., on both the East and West side as well as in the rehabilitation unit. Knowing that she had more to offer her genuine benevolence, empathy, and ability to comfort those in need inspired her to follow her mother’s footsteps and become a funeral director. In 2014 she graduated from Hudson Valley Community College working very hard and fiercely overcoming many obstacles to obtain her A.A.S degree with honors. Earning places on both the Dean's and President's list.
“Having been raised in this community I take a lot of pride and honor in being able to assist family and friends in a way that not many can. It has been one of the most meaningful roles I have ever taken part in. The families I have met along the way are more than just families that I have served, but they have become friends. Though I cannot lessen their grief I am committed to helping families memorialize their loved ones in a way they will always treasure. The funeral service industry is changing and evolving and as a cremation specialist, I am proud to be part of a firm that not only understands these changing trends but is adapting to them to better serve our community. It is empowering and motivating to work for a firm that truly cares about the community they serve like my fellow colleagues at Betz, Rossi, Bellinger, & Stewart do. Their sincerity in all that they do makes me admire and value my place within this team."
Ninja is a member of the New York State Funeral Directors Association and a member of The General Federation of Women's Club-The Century Club happily volunteering her time and efforts where a need arises. She resides in Amsterdam with her family. As proud animal lovers they share their home with their dogs, reptiles and their cat. Ninja enjoys bow hunting, target practicing, snowmobiling, and loves spending time on her motorcycle in the warmer weather. Her absolute favorite motto in life is, “Pay it forward.” and will go above and beyond her measures to selflessly do just that for anyone.
Michael G. Lobb
Licensed Funeral Director
Michael was born in Binghamton NY, where he graduated high school in 1994. In 1996 he graduated from Hudson Valley Community College in Mortuary Science. Michael started working at J.A. McCormack Sons Funeral Home, Binghamton, NY before moving on after his residency to work for the past 20 years.
He was a General Manager for Richard’s Funeral Home in Cairo NY, and W.C. Brady’s Sons Inc. F.H, in Coxsackie, NY. He joined BRBS Family Funeral Home in February, 2017 as a Licensed Funeral Director.
Michael is a member of Coxsackie Athens Rotary, Coxsackie Knights of Columbus Council 548 and he is a past member of The New York State Association of County Coroners and Medical Examiners. He was Greene County Coroner from 2008-2011.
He has 5 children Tianna, Sofia, Michael, Jayden and Isabelle. Michael loves spending time with his children on his days off and also enjoys snowmobiling and four-wheeling.
Michael feels rewarded when he has walked a family through a death knowing he did his best to service the family and did it with compassion. Michael is honored for his relationships that he has built with families.
Brody B. Stewart
Licensed Funeral Director
Brody was born and raised in Gloversville. He is a 2010 graduate of Broadalbin-Perth High School. After high school, he pursued an education at Fulton-Montgomery Community College where he received an Associate’s Degree in General Education. Following FMCC, he then went on to obtain his Mortuary Science Degree from Hudson Valley Community College.
In 2011, at the age of 19, Brody began working as a part-time associate, with his father John. Brody soon realized the gratification that came with helping those in a time of great need. As a result of these experiences he then chose to enroll in courses for his mortuary science degree.
Community involvement is something that Brody takes great pride in. He is an active member of many organizations including The Knights of Columbus 3rd degree, The Eccentric Club, The Concordia Singing Society, Kingsboro Golf Course and The Church of the Holy Spirit.
In their free time, Brody and his wife Tristen enjoy attending sporting events, playing many recreational sports, boating on the Great Sacandaga Lake, attending concerts at SPAC, traveling and being with friends and family and their Miniature Goldendoodle named Kevin.
“I am so proud to be able to carry on the Stewart name in the Funeral industry. There is nothing more fulfilling than to be able to assist a family in their toughest times. Putting a smile on a grieving person’s face is the best feeling in the world.”
Albert L. Bayless Jr.
Licensed Funeral Director
Al has been serving families for the last 52 years. A native of Willsboro, he graduated from High School in 1956. The following year he started his apprenticeship and graduated from the Simmons School of Mortuary Science in Syracuse, NY. He received his license from the State of New York on June 27, 1962.
Al has worked in Funeral Service all of his life, working in Gloversville and Poughkeepsie before returning to the area in 2001. He is a member of St. Patrick’s Masonic Lodge #4, Johnstown, NY; Scottish Rite, Valley of Schenectady, NY; Cyprus Shriners of Albany, NY and is in the clown unit, known as “Ears, The Clown”.
“Being able to assist and help someone in one of their greatest time of need" is one of Al’s personal sentiments.
Richard L. Boice
Licensed Funeral Director
Richard is a third generation Funeral Director, working from a young age at his family owned, Boice Funeral Home in Amsterdam. He graduated in 1976 from the New England Institute of Anatomy in Boston, MA. In 1978 he served his residency at the prestigious Frederick Funeral Home in Albany, NY, after which he received his license from New York State. He returned to his family business as manager and operated the business until 1998. He then accepted a positon with Service Corporation International as a Prearrangement Counselor, responsible for securing funds for advance funeral services for 11 funeral homes in Albany, Glens Falls and Schenectady.
In 2002, following the death of his wife Betsy, Richard left the funeral business to work in the private sector. In June of 2014, Richard joined the family of director’s at Betz, Rossi, Bellinger & Stewart.
“I am proud and humbled to be part of such a wonderful organization that cares deeply about the community. It is self-rewarding to be serving families again in my home town.”
Richard served his country from 1969 to 1974 with the 109th MAC Air National Guard, Scotia, NY and was honorably discharged in 1974. He is a 40+ year member and Past Exalted Ruler of B.P.O.E. #101 and is currently serving as Trustee; he is past President of the Amsterdam Rotary Club and former USS Swimming Official; and is a parishioner of St. Stanislaus’ Church. Richard is still very active in community events. His hobbies include antique cars, hunting, skiing and Auto Art. He lives in Hagaman with his wife Stephanie and they have three grown children.
Licensed Funeral Director
Born in San Diego, CA in 1992 to a Navy family Erin grew up all over the U.S. settling in upstate NY in 2004 and graduating from Mayfield High School in 2010 when she began attending Fulton Montgomery Community College until transferring to The State University of New York at Canton located in the North Country of New York. Graduating in 2016 with a Bachelor of Technology in Funeral Service Administration with High Honor, Erin is currently serving her residency at Betz, Rossi, Bellinger & Stewart Family Funeral Homes located in Amsterdam, New York.
As a student Erin dedicated her time to multiple community groups including the Environmental group, the Alumni Association, Book Club, the school newspaper, and the Mortuary Science Association where she served as a Senator and later the Vice President. She now dedicates her time to her career, literacy advocacy, the Order of the Good Death, and various community events.
Erin’s interest in the Funeral Service Industry began after the loss of her best friend at the age of 19, she continues to support the expansion of suicide awareness through volunteer work and education.
Mary Anne Evans wrote “What do we live for, if it is not to make life less difficult for each other.”
Vicki L. Betz
A native of Amsterdam, NY, Vicki has been involved in the funeral industry for nearly 30 years. She has two children; Jessica and Jason and two fantastic grandchildren; Melody and Samuel. She loves the outdoors, nature and spending time with family.
“Over the years I have seen the funeral industry change, but what has never changed is the need to give our families the very best options and service they deserve at a time when they need it most. Giving compassion, care and dedicated service
to each family served is our daily goal.”
A 1998 graduate of Broadalbin High School Rebecca resides in Amsterdam with longtime boyfriend David. Together they enjoy bird watching, gardening, cooking, playing computer games & spending time with family.
Rebecca joined the staff of Betz, Rossi, Bellinger & Stewart in 2006, and has been an integral part of the office.
“It has been an honor to be accepted as part of the Betz, Rossi, Bellinger & Stewart Family Funeral Homes family. I enjoy being part of history & memories made every day here. I am excited to be able to have a small part every day in helping families in their most difficult time.”
Charisse E. Perez
Community Outreach & Aftercare Specialist
I was born and raised in Upstate New York, specifically Amsterdam, NY. I long to help and work with people of all ages, whether it is in need or going through hardship. I genuinely love to see people in a happy place in their life. Anything I can do to give that helping hand, either by listening to their concerns or by trying to help guide them in the right direction, I will.
I started a nonprofit called M.O.M (mind over matter) that helps with preventions like Depression, Anxiety, Suicide, Domestic Violence, Bullying, Self-Esteem, Drug Addictions, Safe Sex, OCD. It’s not just my passion it’s my life's gift.
I started working at BRBS in 2017. I’m excited to go out in the communities to help and give back. I’m currently working on becoming a Life Coach. I am so grateful to have been given a chance to be a part of all the great things that BRBS represents and does for our communities.
“It is a great honor to be able to help families in their difficult time of need. I believe in finding strength in your struggles. When you have faith, hope, and love, sometimes the loss of a loved one can be a little easier knowing their after life is a happy life.” Amen
I currently reside in Amsterdam with my two daughters, Ky’Rese & Cha’Zy and granddaughter Ky’Arah. I enjoy spending time with my family and I also just enjoy life. I’m appreciative of all good and bad situations. I am a Child of God, so I know all things are possible with God. As a community, I know we can all come together and make it a great one.