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News of Otsego County

In Memoriam

George Edward Goetz, 90 Started Leatherstocking Theater Company

In Memoriam

George Edward Goetz, 90

Started Leatherstocking Theater Company

George Edward Goetz, age 90, passed away peacefully with his loving family by his side at his home on July 25 in Shrewsbury Massachusetts.

George is predeceased by his father Henry E Goetz and Aureil Corkett Goetz and his love of his life, his wife of 61 years, Carolyn Lowe Goetz and his daughter Susanne Goetz , Kesnisington MD where she lived with her husband , Patrice Maleze.

George will be missed by his sister Virginia and his husband Jim Wagner of Westerville and their children and their families, his daughter Linda Goetz and her husband Kent Wittler and grandson Ian of Newton , MA and Jeanne Vumbaca and her husband Dino Vumbaca and grandchildren Max, Henry and Maya Vumbaca of Hopkinton , MA.

George was born in Brooklyn New York where he recalled many fund memories of family holidays with his family and friends. George received his bachelors degree from Long Island University and was inducted in the Army in 1952 with Division 1 , The Big Red One, in Germany where he played on the Army Basketball team.

Connie Jean (Truex) Bennett Lifelong West Exeter resident, artist, Mets fan, grandmother.

In Memoriam

Connie Jean (Truex) Bennett

Lifelong West Exeter resident,
artist, Mets fan, grandmother.

Connie Jean (Truex) Bennett passed away peacefully on July 22 with her family by her side.

A lifelong resident of West Exeter NY, Connie was a loving mother and doting grandmother to seven beautiful grand daughters whom were the entire world to her.

She raised her family with her husband of 25 years, Rick Bennett at the family home that was the center of activity for family and friends through the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s.

Curtis C. Ackerman Jr, 87 June 13, 1934 – July 23, 2021

In Memoriam

Curtis C. Ackerman Jr, 87

June 13, 1934 – July 23, 2021

Curtis C. Ackerman Jr, 87, of Burlington Flats, NY passed away Friday July 23, 2021 in Cooperstown, NY.

Curtis was born on June 13, 1934 in Cooperstown, NY the son of the late Curtis C. and Mable Parker Ackerman Sr.

Curtis is survived by his loving wife of 64 years Joan Snyder Ackerman of Burlington Flats, daughters Debra Ackerman of Burlington Flats, Lynn Ackerman of MA, and Susan E. Ackerman of New Hartford, a son Curtis C. Ackerman III of West Burlington and his wife Susan, grandchildren Max Horowitz, Julia Horowitz, Sara Schallert, Dan Schallert, Meagan (Matt) Blankenship, and Samuel (Emily) Curtis, a brother Fred Ackerman of FL, and a sister Elizabet (Herb) Miller of SC. Also surviving are several nieces and nephews.

Michael Janitz, 67 December 17, 1953 – July 19, 2021

In Memoriam

Michael Janitz, 67

December 17, 1953 – July 19, 2021

Michael Janitz

Oneonta – Michael Janitz, 67, passed away at home unexpectedly on July 19, 2021.

He was born December 17, 1953 in Paterson, NJ, the son of Paul and Mary (Hart) Janitz Sr.

Michael was a 32-year Local Union Carpenter.  He also was the owner and operator of Sharp Cut Construction for 15 years.  He enjoyed riding his motorcycle, traveling, fishing, hunting, and football, he was a Giants fan; most especially he loved being with his family.

He was a member of the 6th Ward Athletic Club and the Delhi Stage Land Owners Association.

Robert W. Bibik, 78 Born in Richfield Springs, served in U.S. Navy

In Memoriam

Robert W. Bibik, 78

Born in Richfield Springs, served in U.S. Navy

Robert W. Bibik

Robert W. Bibik, 78, of Fernandina Beach passed away Friday, July 16, 2021, at the Warner Center for Caring.

Born in Richfield Springs, NY, he was a son of the late Edward and Agnes Zilega Bibik.

He served in the U. S. Navy and soon after his discharge he and his wife, Cheryl, moved to Florida.

For 27 years he worked as an engineer for Florida Power and Light. He also worked for Duke Power and Progressive Energy before complete retirement. He and his wife moved to Fernandina Beach from Vero Beach six years ago. He was active member of the Civitan Club for many years.

Louis J. Bobnick, 95  March 8, 1926 – July 14, 2021

In Memoriam

Louis J. Bobnick, 95

 March 8, 1926 – July 14, 2021

COOPERSTOWN – Louis John Bobnick, a retired truck driver for Otsego Ready Mix and long-time area resident, passed away peacefully late Wednesday night, July 14, 2021, at Valley Health Services in Herkimer.  He was 95.

Born March 8, 1926, in Chesterland, Ohio, he was one of six children of Louis W. and Mary (Geizer) Bobnick. In 1932, the family moved from Ohio to New York State and settled in Worcester. They then moved to Milford in 1941 and Lou graduated from Milford Central School.

In 1964, Lou came to reside in Cooperstown and met long-time resident Diane J. Slover, and on November 26, 1965, they were married in a ceremony at the First Baptist Church of Cooperstown. They first lived on Elm Street in the village, and then for 40 years made their home and raised their family just outside of Toddsville.

John Lampman Smith Jr. April 08, 1927-July 15, 2021

In Memoriam

John Lampman Smith Jr.

April 08, 1927-July 15, 2021

ONEONTA – John Lampman Smith, Jr. 94, passed away, July 15, 2021 at St. James Manor in Oneonta.

He was born April 8, 1927 in Hudson, the son of John Lampman Smith Sr. and Arvesta (Pectal) Smith. John married Polly Ann Blass in 1950 and they moved to Davenport.   Polly passed away on September 8, 2015.

John graduated from Roeliff Jensen School in Hillsdale, NY. He attended Cortland State University before entering in the United States Marines Corp in 1945. John received a Master’s degree in education.  He was a science teacher and a school administrator at Charlotte Valley Central School in Davenport from 1950, retiring in 1983. John enjoyed playing golf, fishing and the NY Yankees.

Joseph E. Pidgeon, 82 August 19, 1938 – July 14, 2021

In Memoriam

Joseph E. Pidgeon, 82

August 19, 1938 – July 14, 2021

Joseph E. Pidgeon

ONEONTA – Joseph E. Pidgeon, 82, passed away at home with family by his side on July 14, 2021.

He was born August 19, 1938 in Oneonta, the son of Charles V. and Gladys I (Salisbury) Pidgeon.
He married Donna M. Craver on February 4, 1961.

Joseph graduated from Oneonta High School, Class of 1956.  He was employed as a beer hauler for WR Elwood & Son, Oneonta.   He was a professional fire fighter for the City of Oneonta Fire Department for 34 years, retiring as a captain.  He also was an electrician with Leo Grande Electric in Oneonta.

Joseph was a member of IAFF Local 2408 Oneonta Professional Firefighters and BPO Elks 1312.

Douglas Stratton Fielder July 22, 1940 – April 28, 2021

In Memoriam

Douglas Stratton Fielder

July 22, 1940 – April 28, 2021

Douglas S. Fielder

Oneonta – A celebration of life service with military honors for Douglas Stratton Fielder will be held 3 p.m. Saturday, July 24, 2021 at the First United Methodist Church, 66 Chestnut St., Oneonta, with the Rev. Marti Swords-Horrell officiating.  The interment will follow at the church columbarium.  For the zoom link please contact the church at 607-432-4102.

In lieu of flowers, gifts should be given to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, PO Box 6003, Albert Lea MN 56007 or to the Douglas and Dorothy Scott Fielder Scholarship, c/o Ellen M. Blaisdell, 308 Netzer Administration Building, State University College, Oneonta NY  13820.

Online condolences may be made at, www.lhpfuneralhome.com.  Arrangements are with Oneonta’s only family-owned funeral home, Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono at 51 Dietz Street.

Cheri L Kline, 65 Long time foster parent, Edmeston resident.

In Memoriam

Cheri L Kline, 65

Long time foster parent,
Edmeston resident.

Cheri L. Kline

Cheri L Kline, 65 of Edmeston, NY passed away Saturday July 10, 2021 at her home surrounded by her loving family.

Cheri was born in Binghamton, NY, and was the daughter of the late Herbert and Lois Wood Wadsworth. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by a brother Fred Wadsworth.

Growing up on the family farm in Edmeston, Cheri remained a lifetime resident of the area. She was a long-time foster parent to many children, and a family care provider with Broome Developmental Center. She loved spending time with her family, and gardening.

Jill Stauffer Maney November 19, 1964 – July 10, 2021

In Memoriam

Jill Stauffer Maney

November 19, 1964 – July 10, 2021

Jill S. Maney

SPRINGFIELD – Jill Maney passed away on Saturday, July 10 in Springfield, with Jonathan Maney, her loving husband of 33 years, at her side. She is also survived by her parents, James and Dora Stauffer, her brother, Donald Stauffer, sister-in-law, Fiona Stauffer, and nephew and niece, Henry and Margot Stauffer, all of Rochester, New York.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Jill graduated from Amherst College summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She earned a Master’s Degree in English at the University of Utah and a Ph.D. In English at the University of Rochester. She taught at a variety of schools, including Keuka College, Finger Lakes Community College, and SUNY Cobleskill. She also received a postdoctoral fellowship to teach at Cornell University.

Robert Charles Sharp, Jr. February 27, 1946 – June 30, 2021

In Memoriam

Robert Charles Sharp, Jr., 75

February 27, 1946 – June 30, 2021

Robert C. Sharp

ONEONTA – Robert Charles Sharp, Jr., 75, passed away at home and at peace on June 30, 2021.

He was born February 27, 1946 in Oneonta, the son of Robert Charles Sharp, Sr. and Mary Bridget O’Brien.

Bob married Antoinette Ester Bourne “Toni” at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Oneonta in September of 1964.

He was a contractor, stone masonry, partial proprietor of The Royal Grill, The Limit, Bojangles, and Groucho’s Taverns.  Bob was a member of the BPOE of Oneonta (Elks Club), Avid Hunters Club of Oneonta, Ducks Unlimited Organization, Polio Pioneer for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, first national test of a trial Polio vaccine conducted in 1954.

John D. Robinson, 83 October 15, 1937 – July 4, 2021

In Memoriam

John D. Robinson, 83

October 15, 1937 – July 4, 2021

John D. Robinson

PHOENIX MILLS – John D. Robinson, a Cooperstown native son and avid outdoorsman, passed away late Sunday night, July 4, 2021, at Cooperstown Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing. He was 83.

Born October 15, 1937, in Cooperstown, he was one of three sons of Torrey G. and Leonore M. (Goddard) Robinson. John could trace his long-standing family roots in Otsego County back to 1792 when his ancestors settled in Lena in the Town of New Lisbon.

John graduated with the Class of 1956 from Cooperstown High School. For many years he was employed in the area as a union laborer, and was involved with construction projects at Hyde Hall, Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital and Interstate 88.

Throughout his life he enjoyed outdoor activities, and spent innumerable hours exploring the Otsego region swimming, hiking, fishing, trapping, and hunting. He was also an avid motorcyclist – his favorites were Indians – and also enjoyed riding snowmobiles in the winter months. His hand-crafted log cabin home on the shore of the Susquehanna River, his workmanship in stone masonry at Hyde Hall and his keen interest in local history reflected his deep and abiding passion for local culture and conservation.

Dr. Balázs Seléndy, 83 September 5, 1937 – July 5, 2021

In Memoriam

Dr. Balázs Seléndy, 83

September 5, 1937 – July 5, 2021

Dr. Balázs Seléndy, born in Budapest, Hungary, to Jenö Seléndy and Irén Kosma on September 5, 1937, passed away peacefully in his home on July 5, 2021, after an intense and devoted life of public service and study in three countries. He spent his last years in the pursuit of lifelong passions, including for reflection, writing, reading, karate, and photography, living quietly with his beloved Patricia Gambitta in Fly Creek, New York.

Balázs grew up in war-torn Hungary, spending his childhood in the midst of the deprivations of World War II. With Calvinist and Catholic parents but a Jewish paternal grandfather, his family stayed beyond reach of the Nazis due in part to his father’s military service to the Austro-Hungarian empire during WWI.

In October and November 1956, as a young medical student, Balázs fought in the spontaneous, student-led revolution against the Soviet-backed Hungarian People’s Republic. After a large Soviet force invaded Hungary and destroyed the uprising, rounding up revolutionaries, Balázs was forced to leave his family, including younger brother Szabolcs, and to emigrate with other Hungarian refugees under cover of darkness across the border to Austria. His father gave him a treasured Leica camera to pay for his crossing, but, after Balázs helped a fellow refugee escape, she paid for him, and he photographed with the Leica for decades.

Barbara R. Oles, 95 April 23, 1926 – June 19, 2021

In Memoriam

Barbara R. Oles, 95

April 23, 1926 – June 19, 2021

COOPERSTOWN – Barbara R. Oles, 95, formerly of Gladstone Hollow, Andes, died Saturday June 19, 2021, in Cooperstown, surrounded by her daughters.

Barb was born April 23, 1926 at the family home in Franklin, Meadowdale Farm, a daughter of Edwin C. and Mildred E. (Payne) Rowell.  On April 6, 1947, she married Franklin G. Oles of Delhi.

Barb attended the Delaware Literary Institute in Franklin where she excelled in art, graduating in 1944.  She was accepted into the art program at Alfred, but shortly before classes were to begin a returning WWII soldier was awarded her spot.  She then elected to attend the home economics program at Delhi Tech.

Barb and Frank owned and operated the F.G. Oles IGA Store (later the F.G. Oles General Store) in Andes for 20 years, with Barb tending to the bookwork and clerking.  In 1966 she began a career with the Delaware County Department of Social Services, in addition to continuing her commitments to family, home and the store.  She successfully completed every civil service test that was available and rose through the ranks from typist in the Child Welfare Unit to Director of the Food Stamp Division at the time of her retirement in 1988.  She then began yet another career as a receptionist/transcriptionist in the Radiology Department at Delhi Hospital.

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