News of Otsego County

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

John Swank, Jr., 89; Korean War Veteran, Jehovah’s Witness

IN MEMORIAM: John Swank, Jr., 89;

Korean War Veteran, Jehovah’s Witness

WEST BURLINGTON – John Swank Jr. (AKA Dad, Grandpa, Pops and Big Cheese), 89, a combat veteran of the Korean War and Jehovah’s Witness, passed away on Sept. 18, 2019, after a long fight with Dementia. He went to sleep peacefully surrounded by his family in his home.

John was predeceased by his parents and eight of his 12 siblings. He was born at home in Canajoharie. He met his wife, Anne C. Swank in December 1950, and nine months later they were married.

Harold ‘Hal’ Slover, 77; Army Lieutenant Colonel, Vietnam Veteran

IN MEMORIAM: Harold ‘Hal’ Slover, 77;

Army Lieutenant Colonel, Vietnam Veteran

Harold L. Slover

COOPERSTOWN – Lt. Col. (ret.) Harold “Hal” L. Slover, 77, United States Army, passed away surrounded by loved ones on Sept. 12, 2019, in Fairfax, Va., where he lived.

Fondly referred to as “Hal,” he grew up in Cooperstown, and graduated from Norwich University’s military college in Vermont.

He joined the Army as a second lieutenant and served two tours in Vietnam. In all, he served 28 years in the Army before retiring in 1993 as a lieutenant colonel in Fairfax, Va.

Anja K. Kiraly, 78; Ran Chief Schenevus With Husband

IN MEMORIAM: Anja K. Kiraly, 78;

Ran Chief Schenevus With Husband

Anja Kiraly

SCHENEVUS – Anja Kosonen Kiraly, who ran the Chief Schenevus Restaurant with husband John for 30 years, passed away at 78 years young on Sept. 1, 2019, in Washington, D.C.

Anja, born in Helsinki, Finland, immigrated to the United States to be an au pair in 1957.

She was married to the late (Janos) John Kiraly of Hungary, the human embodiment of the Finnish concept of Sisu. She met John in an English class. He spoke five words to her and stole her heart.

Bennie L. Pratt, 95; WWII Vet, Construction Electrician

IN MEMORIAM: Bennie L. Pratt, 95;

WWII Vet, Construction Electrician

Bennie L. Pratt

ONEONTA – Oneonta native Bennie Lee Pratt, 95, a World War II veteran and electrician on construction projects, passed away at Harpursville home on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019.

Bennie was born May 23, 1924, in Oneonta, to Benjamin and Mildred (Warner) Pratt.

He graduated from Oneonta High School and enlisted in the Navy at the outbreak of World War II, serving from 1943 to 1946 as an electrician’s mate, second class, in the South Pacific Theater aboard the USS LCI 847.

Peggy Jean Banta, 63; Dies After 8-Year Fight With Cancer

IN MEMORIAM: Peggy Jean Banta, 63;

Dies After 8-Year Fight With Cancer

Peggy Jean Banta

UNADILLA – Peggy Jean Banta, beloved sister and niece, passed away on Sept. 11, 2019, at home on her 63rd birthday after an eight-year battle with cancer.

Peggy was born on Sept. 11, 1956, at The Hospital, Sidney, to Jean Anderson Banta and George D. Banta III.  Peggy grew up on the family farm in Unadilla Center, the third of four children.

She attended Unadilla and Unatego schools, graduating in 1974. After graduation, Peggy remained at home to help her mother with the bookkeeping for the farm.

Janet L. Spencer, 54; Cancer Strikes Schenevus Native In NJ

IN MEMORIAM: Janet L. Spencer, 54;

Cancer Strikes Schenevus Native In N.J.

Janet L. Spencer

SCHENEVUS – Janet L. Spencer (Holling), 54, of Salem, N.J., formerly of Schenevus, passed away suddenly on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in the Cooper University Hospital, Camden, N.J., after a brief battle with cancer.

She was born on Nov. 12, 1964, and her parents were William and Ruth Holling, and was raised by her mother and second husband Harold Ritchey, who she also considered her father. Janet married in 1988 and moved to Quinton, N.J.

IN MEMORIAM: Val Frank Oliver, 67; Veteran, Devoted Family Man

IN MEMORIAM: Val Oliver, 67;

Vietnam Veteran, Family Man

Val Frank Oliver

WATERVILLE – Val Frank Oliver, 67, a Vietnam veteranpassed away peacefully after an extended illness on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019 in Bassett Medical Center, Cooperstown.   He had the support and comfort of his loving family at his side.

He was one of 22 children. Hwas born on Feb. 14, 1952 in Ilion, son of the late Frank E. and Ruth McCumber Oliver.  He was raised and educated in Brookfield.  He first worked on his family’s farm.

Gary T. Fisher, 60, Otego; Landscaper, Auto Enthusiast

IN MEMORIAM: Gary T. Fisher, 60,

Otego; Landscaper, Auto Enthusiast

Gary Fisher

OTEGO – With deep sorrow we share the passing of Gary Thomas Fisher, 60, of Otego.

Gary passed with his loving family by his side Sept. 4, 2019. Gary is now reunited with his son, Kyle Faulkner; parents, Thomas and Eleanor Fisher; and beloved dog, Spyke.

Gary was well-known for the love of his boys, grandchildren and friends.

Gary could be seen around town in his Chevy Blazer with lawn mower in tow, off to his next client to do landscaping for them. He was very meticulous about his work. Gary was known for his handyman skills and the saying, “There isn’t anything Gary can’t do or fix.”

Kathleen M. Hansen, 88; Raised 6 Siblings As Well As Her Children

IN MEMORIAM: Kathleen M. Hansen, 88;

Raised 6 Siblings As Well As Her Children

Kate Hansen

MORRIS – Kathleen “Kate” M. Hansen, 88, of Morris has passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on Sept. 6, 2019.

She was born on Sept 19, 1930, in Brooklyn, the daughter of John Joseph and Cecelia (Farrell) Bankich.  In 1949, Kate married Charles Hansen at St. Gregory The Great Church in Brooklyn.

While starting a family, Kate and Charlie raised her younger siblings, Cely, Rosie, Joanie, Mary, Andy and Jimmy.  During this time, they moved to Upstate New York in 1959, while Charlie stayed in the city until retirement.

Edward Town Taws III; Known As Mayor Of Pathfinder Village

IN MEMORIAM: Edward Town Taws III;

Known As Mayor Of Pathfinder Village

Edward Taws III

EDMESTON – Edward Town Taws III, 56, known as the mayor of Pathfinder Village, passed away Saturday Aug. 31, 2019,  at Pathfinder.

Ted was born on Nov. 24, 1962, in Southern Pines, N.C., to Edward Town and Ann (Poindexter) Taws Jr.

Ted’s outsized presence left an impression on all whom were fortunate to know him. He was gifted with an extraordinary personality whose passion for living far exceeded the handicap with which he lived.

Ida Marie Miller, 94; She, Husband Warner, Celebrated 70th

IN MEMORIAM: Ida Marie Miller, 94;

She, Husband Warner, Celebrated 70th

Ida Mae Miller

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Ida Marie Miller, 94, who celebrated her 70th wedding anniversary with husband Warner last week, passed away peacefully on Saturday evening, Sept. 7, 2019, in her home after an extended illness.  She had the support and comfort of her loving family at her side.  

She was born on Feb. 4, 1925, in Little Falls, daughter of the late Antonio and Sarafina Evangelista BiscontiA lifelong area resident she was raised and educated in Little Falls.  

Jason Corey, 35; Succumbs After Battle With Cancer

IN MEMORIAM: Jason Corey, 35;

Succumbs After Battle With Cancer

Jason Corey

SIDNEY – Jason Corey, 35, passed away with his family by his side on Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, at Bassett Hospital.

Jason fought a long hard battle with choroidal metastatic melanoma with great courage and silent dignity.

He will always be remembered for his courageous smile, creative mind and loving generosity. Jason took great pride in his gardening skills, was a MacGyver with his innovations, loved his music, playing his guitars and spending his time entertaining and playing with his precious little boy.

Jason married Lisa Jordan on Sept. 29, 2018. She survives him.

Jason was born Jan. 25, 1984, in Binghamton. He started working for Gavin’s Pizza while still in high school, and continued after graduation. Mike Gavin remained his mentor and close friend until his passing. Before he became ill, Jason co-owned Two Doughboys, the Sidney pizza parlor, and then was employed by Bassett Hospital as an environmental technician.

Joan B. Krpata, 88; ‘Nani’ Retired From County To Florida

IN MEMORIAM: Joan B. Krpata, 88;

‘Nani’ Retired From County To Florida

MARYLAND – Joan B. Krpata (Schnakenberg), affectionately known as “Nani,” passed away Aug.  27, 2019, at Bassett Hospital.

She was born Aug. 13, 1931, in Hollis, Queens. She was predeceased by her husband, Alfred, in September 1994.  Joan married Al in 1950 and they lived on Long Island until they moved to the Town of Maryland in 1971.  In 1992, after retirement, they moved to Boynton Beach, Fla.

Carol A. Kelly, Otego; 35-Year Employee At Corning, Oneonta

IN MEMORIAM: Carol A. Kelly, Otego;

35-Year Employee At Corning, Oneonta

OTEGO – Carol A. Kelly, 62, of Otego, an administrative specialist at Corning Glass’ Life Sciences Division in Oneonta for 35 years, died on Sept. 4, 2019, at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, following a short illness.

Born in Ossining, she resided in the Oneonta area for more than 50 years.

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