ONEONTA—Margaret Tillapaugh was ushered into Jesus’ presence on January 19, 2023 at the age of 74 after suﬀering a hemorrhagic stroke. She was born on December 20, 1948 to George and Marcia Knight in Hartford, Connecticut. She lived in the Oneonta area ever since arriving in 1967 to attend Hartwick College.
In reality, very few people called her Margaret throughout her years. She was known as Peggy by her sisters, Karen and Judy Sara, and brother Steve. She was called Mom by her four daughters, Evelyn (Nate) Ransil, Laura (Mike) Downie, Sara Tillapaugh and Amy (Tim) Meyers. Gar was the nickname of her favorite grandmother, so she chose that for her own grandmother’s name and has been called Gar approximately 231,962 times over the last 25 years by her 11 grandchildren. Their names, which Gar remembered almost all the time, are Caleb, TJ, Beverly, Lillian, Rebecca, Connor, Muriel, Eleanor, Luci, Annabelle, and Zeke, and one great-grandchild, Olivia.
BURLINGTON FLATS—Janet B. Fikes, 86, of Burlington Flats, passed away peacefully on January 19, 2023 in Oneonta.
Janet was born on October 1, 1936 in Burlington Flats, New York. She was predeceased by the love of her life and husband of 67 years, Arleigh Fikes, and her parents, Ward and Wilma (Cole) Baulch.
She is survived by a daughter, Cindi Sue (Phil) Mancino of Rome; a son, Terry (Nanette) Fikes of Burlington Flats; grandchildren Steven (Dawn) Patafie, Kevin (Alicia Diamond) Patafie, Cassandra (Jared) Popiel, and Matthew (Ashley) Fikes; and great-grandchildren Peyton and Rocky Patafie, Cole and Jade Popiel, and Carter and Levi Malmquist (Fikes). She is also survived by nieces, nephews and close friends.
Connie Elizabeth Gregory, 74, of Garrattsville, New York returned to the arms of our Holy Father on Sunday, January 15, 2023 at her home, after a lengthy battle with pulmonary fibrosis. Connie is survived by her husband of 52 years, Henry C. Gregory; sons Shad (Mary) and Seth (Kiley); sister Laurie (Lenny) Mellilo; many nieces and nephews who affectionately called her “Auntie Connie”; and her beloved dog, Lily. She was predeceased by her parents, Milton D. and Elizabeth Sterusky Ward; her brother, Brian M. Ward; and her dear cousin, William Grose.
EDMESTON – Meghan Elizabeth (Lum) Woodbeck, age 39, passed away at her home on Friday, January 13, 2023. She was born January 12, 1984 at Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown to her parents, Edwin and Susan (Pentzien) Lum. She is a graduate of Edmeston Central School in 2002 and moved on to receive an Associate’s and Bachelor’s degree in Communications from Sullivan County Community College in 2004 and SUNY Oneonta in 2006. She worked many jobs in communications and found a great fit working in marketing at Bassett Hospital.
Meghan had a soft spot for animals. This is evident in her many adopted cats and dogs and her donations to help adopted pitbulls. Meghan loved musicals and participated in Peet Hook Players. She made many trips with her mom to Broadway and off-Broadway shows. Meghan loved to travel and it usually involved camping with her husband and son. One of her favorite trips was to Branson, Missouri to visit the Dolly Parton Stampede and the Titanic Museum. She was a “Star Wars” lover, which included a trip to Comic Con in Boston with her son.
RICHFIELD SPRINGS—Alexander J. Shields, 86, passed away on January 9, 2023 at home with his loving wife by his side. He was born in Oneonta on October 2, 1936.
Alex is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Barbara A. Shields; a daughter, Ursula (Ralph) Thompson of Canandaigua, and their three children and four great-grandchildren; sons Gregory of Albany and Christopher of Washington, D.C.; stepchildren Harvey (Evonne) Elliott of Oak Hall, Virginia and their three children, and Charles (Mary Lou) Elliott of Binghamton, their nine children and six grandchildren.
AFTON—Alan James Curran, 73, passed away on January 8, 2023, in Afton, New York, with his family and loving dog, Max, by his side.
Born on August 21, 1949 in Youngstown, Ohio, Alan was the son of James Leroy and Marilouise (Hill) Curran. He joined the United States Air Force in 1969, where he worked as a jet aircraft mechanic. He served with honor and distinction until 1973, at which time he was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant.
“I will be always there with you, right there in your heart.” Mickey Mouse
On December 31,2022 Judith A. Krumpus, joined her parents James and Louise and brother Richard in eternal happiness. Born November 9, 1945 in Plainfield, NJ, Judy lived a life of love and kindness, supported by the strong bonds of family and friends.
Losing her parents at a young age, she was raised by her aunt and uncle, Kathleen and Edwin Phillips in Cooperstown, NY. Surrounded by her Phillips and Clark families, she flourished there and graduated from Cooperstown High in 1963.
She studied at Cobleskill College and Brockport State graduating with a degree in elementary education teaching.
MILFORD—David W. Thorn died on January 6, 2023. He was born on December 19, 1938 in Cooperstown, New York. He was predeceased by his three brothers, Richard, Donald, and Dean, and his sister, Joyce.
After graduating from Milford Central School, Mr. Thorn received his BS and MS degrees in Education from SUNY Oneonta. Additional graduate study from Syracuse University led to certification to work with children having special needs. His certification in School Administration and Business came from SUNY Plattsburgh. Additional study was done at Ithaca College and Utica College.
ONEONTA—John Burgher passed away on December 24, 2022 at a Westchester County hospital. He was 65. John was born in Stamford, New York to parents Pearl and Ezra Burgher and attended Charlotte Valley Central School. He later worked at Rider farms, Gage’s Carpet, “The Daily Star” and Taylor’s gas station.
John was predeceased by his brother, Charles Burgher. He is survived by spouse, Lulu; eight children, Cheryl Rifenbark (Matthew), Kelly Nafalski (Mike Cooper) Harry Smith (Amanda), Jason Burgher (Amanda), April Jarvis (Patrick), Nikki Peace (Nicholas), Elizabeth Miller, and Pamela Judd; 20 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren; brothers Donald Burgher and Lewis Phelps; sister Rebecca Barber; and brother-in-law Jay Gage.
Arrangements are entrusted to Johnston and Stanimer Funeral Home in Morris, New York. No funeral or calling hours are planned at this time.
MARYLAND – Wayne Lee Allen, Sr., 76, passed away early Thursday morning, December 29, 2022, at his home in the Town of Milford.
He was born February 7, 1946, in Bainbridge to the late Arthur W. and Marian Elizabeth (Williams) Allen.
In his youth, he attended schools in Mount Vision and Laurens Central School and lived and worked on the family farm in Laurens and later at several local farms. Then for 25 years he worked at Custom Electronics and The Daily Star for over ten years as a delivery driver.
NEW BERLIN – A. George Eccleston, 71, of New Berlin, NY, passed away Monday December 26, 2022, in Cooperstown, NY, with his family by his side.
George was born in Cortland, NY on August 28, 1951, the son of the late Clifford and Dora Watts Eccleston. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by two sisters Emily and Kathy and brother Ron.
COOPERSTOWN – Elizabeth “Betsey” Fenton Snyder passed away in Cooperstown, NY, on December 26, 2022 at the age of 85. She was born in Salamanca, NY, on July 4, 1937 to William and Olive Fenton. She attended Brown University where she earned an A.B. in 1959 and Syracuse University where she earned an M.Ed. in 1971.
As an educator and school administrator, her most notable role was as Director of Adult Education at Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga BOCES in Ithaca, NY, a position she held for 17 years. Other activities included volunteering as poll worker at Cooperstown Elections and ushering for the Glimmerglass Festival. Snyder was also a longtime parishioner at the Cooperstown Christ Episcopal Church.
Oneonta – John Joseph Carney, Jr. died Wednesday December 21, 2022 from complications of Covid and dementia after a brief stay at the New York State Veterans’ Home in Oxford. He was 90.
John grew up in and still held dear Hastings-on-Hudson, NY. He had fond memories of riding the trolley to and from New York City with his parents. He attended City University of New York before enlisting in the Air Force and serving during the Korean War. The Air Force is where he first honed his teaching skills and after his service, he used the GI Bill to attend SUNY Geneseo for his bachelor’s degree.
It was in Geneseo, working at the Dairy Bar, that he met his future wife and partner, Margaret Kane. She would become Margaret Carney in a small ceremony in Geneseo, and they would be married for more than 60 years.