Donald Sheraw, chief clerk of the state Court of Appeals from 1983 to 1996, died on Feb. 18. He was 78.

Sheraw died at the Daughters of Sarah Nursing Center in Albany following a long bout with Alzheimer’s, according to his family.

A Cornell Law School graduate, Sheraw was an assistant dean of admissions at his alma mater before going to the Court of Appeals in 1975 as deputy clerk. He succeeded Joseph Bellacosa, later a Court of Appeals judge, in 1983 as the court’s chief clerk.

Bellacosa said he hired Sheraw at the Court of Appeals when Bellacosa became clerk and considered him "the best hire in all my career posts."

"He was a very quiet, laid-back friend and colleague," Bellacosa said. "Don’s personality was unflappable and I think that contributed enormously to how he handled his duties."

Sheraw is survived by his wife of 47 years, Sheryl; a son, Thomas; and a daughter, Amy Messick.

Calling hours are set for tomorrow from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Applebee Funeral Home, 403 Kenwood Ave., in Delmar. Funeral services are scheduled for Sunday at 3 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 362 State St., Albany. Burial will follow at the Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville.