Deborah Foland, longtime AP employee in New York, dies at 61

Deborah Foland, a former longtime administrative assistant for The Associated Press in New York state, has died after a brief battle with cancer. She was 61.

Steven Foland says his wife of 32 years died Sunday at a Schenectady hospital after being diagnosed with lung and brain cancer.

A native of Troy, Debi Foland was hired by the AP's Albany bureau in 1984. She spent the next 25 years handling duties such as coordinating the annual awards contests for the news agency's New York membership. Her efficiency and personable demeanor made her known to journalists and news executives across the state.

Foland left the AP in 2009, then spent seven years working for a law firm in her suburban Albany hometown of Halfmoon.

A funeral Mass is being held Wednesday at a church near her home.