News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


Search Results for: Barbara Rankin, 74; Retired Stewardess

IN MEMORIAM: Barbara J. Rankin, 74, Worked for Icelandair For 27 years

IN MEMORIAM: Barbara J. Rankin, 74;

She, Husband Retired To Cooperstown

COOPERSTOWN – Barbara J. Rankin, 74, who worked for Icelandair for 27 years, passed away peacefully Saturday morning, October 12, 2019, at their home on Brooklyn Avenue in Cooperstown.

Born July 1, 1945, in Chippewa Falls, Wisc., Barbara was the only child of the Rev. Robert J. and Margaret (née Marohn) Koch. Her father and maternal and paternal grandfathers were Lutheran ministers, so it was only natural that Barbara was raised in the Lutheran faith and traditions.

Barbara Atwell Roberts, 87; Retired OR Nurse At Bassett


Barbara Atwell Roberts, 87;

Retired OR Nurse At Bassett

Barbara Roberts

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Barbara Atwell Roberts, 87, formerly of Richfield Springs and a retired operating room nurse at Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, died Feb. 21, 2019, of heart failure at Concord Hospital in Concord, N.H.

She lived at Havenwood Heritage Heights in Concord for the past nine years.

Raised in the Baptist church, Barb’s unshakable faith guided and strengthened her throughout her life, in happy times and sad times. She lost her son at age 10 and survived domestic abuse. “Let your life speak,” say the Quakers, and Barb did so, with her gentle and forgiving nature, optimism, generosity, and most of all, loving kindness. She walked “cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone.”

Barbara Atwell Roberts, 87; Retired OR Nurse At Bassett Hospital

Barbara Atwell Roberts, 87;

Retired OR Nurse

At Bassett Hospital

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Barbara Atwell Roberts, 87, formerly of Richfield Springs and a retired operating room nurse at Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, died Feb. 21, 2019, of heart failure at Concord Hospital in Concord, N.H.
She lived at Havenwood Heritage Heights in Concord for the past nine years.
Born May 9, 1931, in Syracuse, Barbara Joan Atwell was the younger daughter of Harold Leon Atwell and Grace Jones Atwell.
Raised in Syracuse, Barbara graduated from Nottingham High School in 1948. She was one of two in her class to receive a scholarship to attend Syracuse University School of Nursing, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in December 1952.
From January 1953 until her marriage to Robert Kemp Jr. on March 30, 1957, Barb worked as a registered nurse at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center in New York City. In 1961 they moved to Miami, Fla. In July 1973, their marriage ended and she moved to the Cooperstown area.
For the next 20 years she was employed at Bassett Hospital. She retired from nursing in November 1993.
She married John L. Willsey, a native of the Town of Springfield, on Nov. 1, 1975. With the help of his son, John C. Willsey, they built a log cabin on Willsey Road in Richfield Springs. He died on Oct. 26, 1996.
On Jan. 8, 2000, Barb married Edward H. Roberts at the First Presbyterian Church in Cooperstown, and began 16 full and happy years together. They resided on Mountain View Lake in Sunapee, N.H., and in 2009 moved to Havenwood. Ed died July 5, 2016.
Barbara is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Karen Barbara Kemp and Jeffrey W. Zimmer of Durham, N.C.; two grandchildren, Helen Caitlin Zimmer of Philadelphia, and Ian Karl Zimmer of Charlotte, N.C.; niece, Linda (Fred) Heberling of Holland, Ohio, whom she considered a second daughter; and nephew, Clifford (Marilyn) Weigel of Stryker, Ohio; two grandnephews in Ohio; step-children, Elizabeth (Gregory) Stevens of Chester, N.H., Ying Xia of Concord, N.H. and Jean (Greg) Zeller and John C. Willsey of Richfield Springs and their children; step-grandchildren, Kari Ure and Ty Cook; step-nieces and step-nephews, including Elaine and Michael Gibbons of Quincy, Massachusetts; many cousins, including the extended family of Marion Karl and the late William Karl of Cooperstown; and step-great-grandchildren, and step-great-great-grandchildren.
In addition to her husbands, Barb was predeceased by her son, Carl Robert Kemp, and sister, Jean A. Weigel.
Details on a service at the First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown will be announced at a later date.
Barbara will be laid to rest alongside her son and her parents, in the Minerva Baptist Church Cemetery.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home.


Barbara H. Manning, 81, Jordanville, Passes Away On Her Birthday

IN MEMORIAM: Barbara H. Manning, 81,

Jordanville, Passes Away On Her Birthday

Barbara Helen Manning

JORDANVILLE – Barbara Helen Manning passed away peacefully on Jan. 23, 2019, after a day of celebrating her 81st birthday with her loving family.

Barbara was born on Jan. 23, 1938, in Lebanon, Conn., to Arnold and Lilly (Krause) Bender. She was raised in Lebanon and graduated from Lyman Memorial High School, where she was chosen for the All State Choir.

On Aug. 31, 1958, she married Charles Albert Manning in Lebanon. They shared a loving and devoted marriage of 47 years until his passing on Oct. 12, 2005.

Barbara C. Harris, 90; 9 Children Survive Former Withey’s Clerk

IN MEMORIAM: Barbara C. Harris, 90;

9 Children Survive Former Withey’s Clerk

Barbara C. Harris

 COOPERSTOWN – Barbara C. Harris a long-time resident of Cooperstown and former clerk at Withey’s Drug Store, died Saturday morning, March 7, 2020, at Cooperstown Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing. She was 90.

Born Feb. 12, 1930, in Oneida, she was one of five children of Homer J. and Dorothy (Kilts) Cox. She graduated from Oneida High School in 1948.

On Jan. 16, 1954, Barbara married William J. Harris in a ceremony at St. Francis Catholic Church in Durhamville. In 1973, they became residents of Cooperstown.

Barbara J. (Feather) Brown, 81; Teacher Active In SUNY Life; Raised Family Here

IN MEMORIAM:  Barbara J. (Feather) Brown, 81;

Teacher Active In SUNY Life; Raised Family Here

Barbara F. Brown
Barbara J. Feather Brown

ONEONTA – Barbara Joan (Feather) Brown, a retired teacher active in community and conservation causes who raised her family in Oneonta, died Aug. 28, 2015, at Nathan Adelson Hospice in Las Vegas, surrounded by family, following a brief illness. She was 81.

She was born Jan. 4, 1934, in Uniontown, Pa., the youngest of four children, to Karl Ward Feather and Emma Sybil (Castle) Feather, her parents both teachers in Preston County, W.Va., schools. She attended Tunneltown, W.Va., schools, graduating from Tunnelton High School in 1953.

She participated in 4-H and her school newspaper, receiving awards for her fast typing and 4-H projects, and was a correspondent for The Dominion News (now Dominion Post) of Morgantown, W.Va., for several years. She was pianist for the United Methodist Church in Tunnelton, W.Va., from 1947-53.

She became a teacher in Preston County and Brooke County, W.Va., schools, and while an elementary music teacher in Rowlesburg, W.Va., met her future husband, Foster L. Brown, then a Rowlesburg High School science teacher. The couple was married in Tunnelton on Sept. 1, 1956, by her father-in-law, the Rev. Durward B. Brown, and was wed for 24 years.

Barbara A. Neff, 85; 4 Children Survive Arnold’s Lake Woman

IN MEMORIAM: Barbara A. Neff, 85;

4 Children Survive Arnold’s Lake Woman

MILFORD – Barbara A. Neff, 85, of Arnold’s Lake, passed away on Sunday Feb. 2, 2020, following a long period of declining health.

Born Oct. 6, 1934, she was the daughter of Lloyd and Lillian (Moffatt) Berner. She was raised on the family farm on Berner Hill Road. She attended Milford Central School, having graduated in the Class of 1952.  As a young girl she participated in Girl Scouts and was a proud Milford High School cheerleader.

Barbara Angellotti Enck; Lover Of Animals, Including Many Cats

IN MEMORIAM:  Barbara Angellotti Enck;

Lover Of Animals, Including Many Cats

Barbara Angellotti Enck

ONEONTA – Barbara Angellotti Enck, loving sister, aunt, cousin, mother of one daughter and countless animals, has died. She was 69.

Barbara was as generous as she was cantankerous. She had an incredible eye for detail and an utterly contagious laugh.

Barbara loved watching movies, baking award-winning desserts, decorating for the holidays and befriending wildlife and neighborhood strays. Jokingly called Dr. Doolittle, she had an uncanny ability to attract every dog, cat, squirrel, skunk, bat, or bear in the area and keep them well-fed.

IN MEMORIAM: Barbara Means, 87; Artist, World Traveler

Barbara Means, 87;

Artist, World Traveler

Barbara Means

ONEONTA – Barbara Means, 87, a world traveler who excelled in the arts, passed away on Jan. 13, 2019, in her home surrounded by loved ones.

Born on July 23, 1931, in Gettysburg, Pa., where she grew up playing on the battlefields, Barbara loved to read and swim.

She received her first degree at Cedar Crest College and went on to earn two master’s degrees in Special Education and Library Science. Barbara was always in pursuit of learning and embodied the true spirit of a lifelong student.

Barbara Louise Couture, 71; Nurse, Nursing Administrator, Artist

IN MEMORIAM: Barbara Couture, 71;

Nurse, Nursing Administrator, Artist

Barbara L. Couture

COOPERSTOWN – Barbara Louise Couture, a nurse and nursing administrator, and also a dedicated artist, passed away Wednesday night, Feb. 7, 2018, at Cooperstown Center for Rehabilitation & Nursing. She was 71.

Over the years, she lived in Kew Gardens, Queens; Walton, and most recently Cooperstown.

Born June 14, 1946, in Fall River, Mass., she was a daughter of Arthur and Rita (Ferland) Couture.

Barbara Dorsey, 88; Calling Hours Today For Mother Of 4

IN MEMORIAM: Barbara Dorsey, 88;

Calling Hours Today For Mother Of 4

COOPERSTOWN – Barbara Fort Dorsey, 88, who retired to Cooperstown in 1991 with her late husband, John, died peacefully Friday, Dec. 18, 2015, at Bassett Hospital, surrounded by her family. 

Calling hours are today and the funeral Monday.

Born March 14, 1927, in Utica, Barbara was the only child of Margaret (McKenny) William Lapham Fort.

Raised in Douglaston, Queens, she studied English at Marymount College in Tarrytown. She married John David Dorsey June 10, 1950, in St. Anastasia Church in Douglaston. The couple raised a family in Ridgewood, N.J., where they lived for four decades.

Barbara moved to Cooperstown in 1991, a community she proudly adored. She resided on Nelson Avenue and more recently at The Clara Welch Thanksgiving Home. She was a devoted parishioner of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, where she was a Eucharistic Minister and a member of the Bereavement Committee and the (St.) Mary Widows.

The Revolution’s Won Might Barbara Jean Morris, SUNY Oneonta (And Hartwick College) Create New Model?


The Revolution’s Won

Might Barbara Jean Morris, SUNY Oneonta

(And Hartwick College) Create New Model?

“As chief executive officer, you are assigned all powers, duties and responsibilities appropriate to the post.”

After the week that was, Barbara Jean Morris, SUNY Oneonta’s new president, must have heard those words with mixed feelings.

SUNY Oneonta President Barbara Jean Morris with SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson. (Jim Kevlin/

Just three days before her Saturday, Oct. 5, installation, a threat to shoot up the campus – it turned out to be a hoax – had shaken the college community.

Earlier this semester in a school year that is barely month old, a SUNY Oneonta student took his own life.

Neither of these happenings were the new president’s fault, yet they underscore the solemnity of what Dr. Morris is taking on: The responsibility for 6,000 students and 1,000 staff and faculty members.

It’s more than that.  As one of the top five employers and a $100 million budget, it’s not too much to say that SUNY Oneonta’s president is responsible – not solely, but to a degree – for the welfare of an entire county, an entire region.

No wonder the new president appeared contemplative, to say the least, at such a celebratory ceremony.

Looking around the auditorium, a number of faculty members (retired) have been associated with the college since the fourth president, Royal Netzer, who was succeeded by Clifford Craven in 1970.

What changes they must have reflected upon, thinking back to Craven, Alan Donovan (1987) and Nancy Kleniewski (2008)?

“Pomp & Circumstance,” or perhaps Holst’s “The Planets” or something by Sibelius were replaced by a Ghanaian drum-driven dance and the XClusive Dance Crew’s hip hop number, fun.  Not better or worse, necessarily, than entertainment at installations past, just different.

Particularly moving was the Javanese “Luk Luk Lumbu” (“The Bending Taro Leaves”), delivered by the 100-plus student World Chorus.  It packed the wallop of a Handel chorus.

Dr. Timothy Newton, foreground, directs SUNY Oneonta’s World Chorus, which includes, from left, Amanda Davenport, Terri Forde, Lisa Suwa, Phebe Samiljan, Alysa Dutson, Alexis Ryder, Kalyna Rogers, Yi-Xuan Yu, Jacob Goldstein and Madison Hurley. (Jim Kevlin/

In her remarks, SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson used terms like “competitive,”  “fearless,” even “fierce” to describe the newest of her 64 college presidents. Perhaps then, but that’s not the sense you get about Barbara Jean Morris today – words like “diplomatic,” “upbeat,” “human” come to mind.

Morris’ pal Noelle Norton

The sense of nostalgia was further evoked by her friend and San Diego university dean Noelle Norton’s whimsical story about the two dousing themselves in perfume back in the 1990s before delivering a paper, “Faith and Sex: Presidents Under Pressure,” at a presumably mostly white, male symposium in Boston in the 1990s.

Several speakers remarked that Morris is SUNY Oneonta’s second female president.  When is that no longer news?  The third? The seventh?

You might have come away feeling Barbara Jean Morris’ tenure won’t be – or shouldn’t be – about the celebrated rise of women (and blacks and other formerly outcast minorities) over the past half-century.

The faculty in the processional was mostly women, with many minorities of both sexes.  Chancellor Johnson is an openly gay woman, as are four SUNY campus presidents.   Students and audience members fully represented a cross-section of the United States as is and where it’s going.

Despite the public debate about race, hate, immigration, white supremacy, looking around the Dewar Arena the other day, you had to conclude the battle is won.  If anything, over-won: 60 percent of SUNY Oneonta’s students are women, compared to 40 percent men; nationally, it was 56-44 in 2015.  Is it time to look for a new balance?

Some would argue today’s much-remarked-upon national divide can be blamed, to large degree, on our colleges and universities, with the replacement of the Western Canon with gender and ethnic studies, and the exaltation of PC.

Now, why shouldn’t higher education in general, and SUNY Oneonta – and Hartwick College – in particular, play a role in building a new synthesis based on acceptance of the new reality?  To wit, we are living in a multi-ethnic nation, where parity between sexes and among genders is widely accepted.

The revolution is over.

When she had to be, Dr. Morris may indeed have been competitive, fearless and even fierce.  Now, her diplomacy, optimism and humanity will be more in demand.

Her new 13-word mission statement for SUNY Oneonta was much remarked upon at her installation: “We nurture a community where students grow intellectually, thrive socially and live purposefully.”

With a little adjustment, it sounds like a workable foundation for a future American society at large.

Barbara D. Kersten, 70; Trained Golden Retrievers In Worcester

IN MEMORIAM:  Barbara D. Kersten, 70;

Trained Golden Retrievers In Worcester

Barbara Kersten

WORCESTER – Barbara D. Kersten, 70, of Worcester, who trained champion golden retrievers here for three decades, passed away on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany.

She was born on Dec. 15, 1948, in Manhattan, the daughter of John S. and Mary (Henchel) Bliven.

Barbara owned and operated Lothlorien Goldens for more than 30 years. She was dedicated to breeding, showing and training Golden Retrievers, having shown numerous champions and obedience titles dogs in both the U.S. and Canada.

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