COOPERSTOWN – Virginia Foote, 85, of Cooperstown, passed away Feb. 20, 2018, at Cooperstown Center for Rehabilitation & Nursing.
She was born April 16, 1932, in Mahopac, the youngest of the seven children of John and Alvina (Blumer) Deinhardt.
Virginia was a 1950 graduate of Mahopac High School. A dedicated homemaker while her children were young, Virginia then worked in retail prior to joining the Reader’s Digest magazine until her retirement.
ONEONTA – Virginia Caquelard Polley, whose husband was a surgeon locally for 30 years, died peacefully on Oct. 14, 2018, in Centralia, Wash., home of her daughter Jennifer Polley. Her family had the privilege of tending to her during her last weeks on earth.
She born Oct. 18, 1921, in St. Louis, Mo.
Virginia and her husband, Virgil B. Polley, M.D., who died Oct. 25, 2010, moved to Oneonta in 1957 and established a surgical practice that became known as the Oneonta Surgical Associates; Virginia was office manager from its inception until her retirement in 1987.
Editor’s Note: The New York Sun’s Francis Pharcellus Church penned this famous response to 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon in 1897.
We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:
I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus. Papa says, “If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.” Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?
115 West Ninety Fifth Street
Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.
We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing
on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! He lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
ONEONTA – Vivian M. (Goodspeed) Brown, 85, of Oneonta, passed away on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2018, at Fox Nursing Home.
She was born Oct. 29, 1932, in New Berlin, to the late LeRoy C. and Rose V. (Decker) Goodspeed. She married Robert A. Brown on Sept. 10, 1949; they had 58 years together before he predeceased her on May 13, 2008. He was a D&H retiree.
CHERRY VALLEY – Virginia Mae (Oliver) Ethington, 95, who rose from a one-room schoolhouse to Syracuse University and a nursing career, passed away Thursday, July 12, 2018 at Centers Health Care in Cooperstown.
Born on Feb. 13, 1923, in Summit, she was the daughter of James and Hilda (Sperbeck) Oliver.
COOPERSTOWN – Virginia Miller Sherwood, 104, a former administrator at the Clara Welsh Thanksgiving Home and a volunteer at Bassett Hospital, died on Feb. 5, 2018, at her residence at Hickory House of the Sitrin Health Care Center, New Hartford.
Mrs. Sherwood was born Nov. 24, 1913 in Hudson, a daughter of the late Leland S. and Mary (Elaget) Miller. She grew up in the village of Germantown, Columbia County, and in her teens moved to Sharon Springs when her father built a hotel on Route 20, the Cherry Valley Turnpike, in 1929.
ONEONTA – Virginia Hughes Wilson, 71, a teacher active in civic life whose honors included receiving Saturday Bread’s Saturday’s Bread Apron Award for exceptional service, passed away peacefully Jan. 6, 2019, surrounded by family after an extended illness.
She was born in Boonville and spent her early years in Utica and Lyons Falls. She attended the one-room schoolhouse in Collinsville diagonally across the street from her family’s farm. She had fond memories of helping her father with the daily farm chores and truly cherished her early family life.
ONEONTA – Virginia A. “Gina” Dwyer, 88, who after raising her nine children began a second career teaching at Unatego Central School, peacefully passed away at home in the early morning hours of May 20, 2019.
Gina was born in Brooklyn, daughter of Ida O’Connor Smith and Norbert Smith, and grew up to be an accomplished young lady. She graduated from St. Francis Xavier Academy and attended Good Council College, then married Thomas F. Dwyer in 1952, and promptly moved to Camp Lejuene where he was stationed in the Marine Corps.
In 1954, they moved back to Brooklyn. In 1959, they settled in Nanuet and raised a family of nine children before embarking on her own path.
MORRIS – Virginia (Davila) Madero, 94, entered into eternal rest on Monday, May 7, 2018.
She was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, to Ruperto and Josephina Davila on Sept. 28, 1923. She was raised by her granparents in Puerto Rico until moving to the United States at age 12. She married the love of her life, Angel J. Madero on April 11, 1942, and celebrated 70 years together until his passing in 2012.
COOPERSTOWN – Virginia M. Gracey, long-time sales clerk at Church & Scott, passed peacefully Saturday afternoon, March 2, 2019, at Bassett Hospital. A native and life-long resident of Cooperstown, she was 86.
Born Virginia Mae Potter on Oct. 16, 1932, in Cooperstown, she was one of five children of William Leigh Potter and Florence Elizabeth Smith Potter. Graduating from Cooperstown High School, Class of 1950, she joined Remington Rand in Ilion.
On Aug. 10, 1957, she married J. Andrew Gracey at the First Baptist Church of Cooperstown, and for many years Ginny and Andy made their home in Toddsville.
She will best be remembered for working as a sales clerk at Church & Scott. Known especially for taking care of the jelly beans and greeting cards, Ginny was a faithful employee for 29 years until she retired at the age of 82.
Ginny is survived by her three children, sons Richard Gracey and wife, Gerrie, and Kenneth Gracey and wife, Lisa, all of Oneonta, and daughter Patricia Gracey of Fort Plain; six grandchildren, three great-grandchildren; one sister, Connie Potter of Menands; a sister-in-law, Becky Potter of Ilion; and many nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband of 45 years, Andy, their son, Douglas William Gracey,; a great-grandson, Samuel Edward Mills; and three brothers, Earl D. Potter, Harold W. Potter,, and Ralph E. Potter.
Calling hours for Ginny will be 4-7 p.m. Thursday, March 7, at the Fly Creek United Methodist Church, 852 County Highway 26, Fly Creek.
A funeral service will be at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 8, at the Fly Creek United Methodist Church, with the Rev. Sharon Rankins-Burd, pastor, officiating.
Burial will be later this Spring in Lakewood Cemetery, Cooperstown.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home.