PORTLANDVILLE – Anita Marie McChesney, 56, Portlandville, devoted to operating her family’s business, Mount Vision Garden Center, while becoming dedicated nature photographer, passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018, at Albany Medical Center following her struggle with breast cancer.
Anita was born May 14, 1962, in Oneonta. Shortly thereafter, her parents moved to New Jersey where she spent the first 15 years of her life. The family then moved to Mount Vision, where they established the Mount Vision Garden Center.
Anita spent her entire life dedicated to operating the family business that grew to what it is today, 26 greenhouses and a farm stand. She had an innate talent for cultivating flowers and creating beautiful arrangements. She loved visiting with the many friends and loyal customers who came year after year. Throughout this time, she also worked at Oneonta Savings and Loans, Catskill Dental Associates as a dental assistant and Pizzaland.
On Oct. 7, 2000, Anita married Jim McChesney, the Oneonta radiologist. They lived a life full of adventure that took them around the world many times over. Anita became an advanced scuba diver, logging over 600 dives in a multitude of locations spanning the globe. Her favorite place to dive was Indonesia. She became an excellent underwater photographer, always able to find the most unusual creatures.
She continued to master the art of photography, her true passion. She chased wildlife, especially birds, in her own backyard to all corners of the world. Together, she and Jim, along with their camera equipment, made a dozen trips to Africa and several other countries throughout Europe and the Americas. She took much pride in her craft and loved to share the story behind the image.
A number of her photos were published on various sites and publications from Africa. Anita was fearless with her camera, trusting her intuition and doing whatever it took to capture the moment the way she wanted. Her curiosity and appreciation for the beauty of nature lives on through her photography and the powerful images she produced.
Anita is survived by her husband, Jim of Portlandville; parents, Roger and Joanne Wilms of Mount Vision; sister, Charlene (Tom) Stewart of Mount Vision; brothers, Roger (Connie Martindale) Wilms, Eddie, Tony, and Joe Wilms, all of the Oneonta area; step-daughters, Mia McChesney (Eric Grayson) of New York City and Dana (Peter) Bauleke of Southern Pines, North Carolina; as well as her granddaughter, Lucy Bauleke, and many aunts, uncles, cousins and nephews.
A gathering to honor and celebrate her life will take place from 3 to 6 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 23, at the Carriage House Event Center, 790 Southside Drive, Oneonta.
Condolences to the family may be made online at www.grummonsfuneralhome.com.