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

Dean C. Bolton, 59; Lifelong ‘Quintessential Country Boy’

IN MEMORIAM: Dean C. Bolton, 59;

Lifelong ‘Quintessential Country Boy’

Dean Bolton, on the land he loved.

BURLINGTON – It saddens us to announce the death of Dean Charles Bolton, a loyal, native Burlington Son, on the rainy morning of May 24, 2019.

All of us share a common desire to be remembered when we are gone, and hope that our lives somehow made the world a better place. Upon our demise, it is customary to write an obituary, a brief re-telling of who we were, where we came from, and what we contributed to society. It is also expected that some memory, personality trait or talent be mentioned in which to personalize the fact that we had among us a most extraordinary man who loved life and did everything he could possibly do to continue living it.

Richard S. Westcott, 75; NYSEG Lineman Active In Community Life

IN MEMORIAM: Richard S. Westcott, 75;

NYSEG Lineman Active In Community Life

Richard S. Westcott

LAURENS – Richard S. Westcott, 75, a 35-year NYSEG lineman who was active in Laurens community life, passed away on Monday, May 20, 2019 at Chase Memorial Nursing Home in New Berlin.

Richard was born in Little Rock, Ark., to Sylvester M. and Luella A. (Towsley) Westcott.

He worked for Sampson Floors for seven years, and as a SUNY engineer before joining NYSEG.

Felix (Lex) Smith Verity, 104; Diplomat, Exec Travelled World

IN MEMORIAM

Felix (Lex) Smith Verity, 104;

Diplomat, Exec Travelled World

Felix (Lex) Smith Verity

UNADILLA – Felix (Lex) Smith Verity, 104, a former diplomat and executive who owned property in Unadilla as well as Cold Spring and Manhattan, died May 19, 2019.

(Lex) was born Feb. 27, 1915, in Readville, Mass., the son of John William Verity of Yorkshire, England, and Anna Evangeline Appleby of New Brunswick, Canada.

Anna was the descendant of one of five Appleby brothers who left New York State about 1750 for residence in New Brunswick.  Lex’s early youth was spent in Canton, Mass., with his parents, where his father’s siblings also resided.

John L. Tophoven, 48; Houston-Based Construction Manager

IN MEMORIAM: John L. Tophoven, 48;

Houston-Based Construction Manager

WEST EDMESTON – John LeGrand Tophoven, 48, formerly of West Edmeston, a project manager for a Houston, Texas, construction company, passed away unexpectedly on Monday May 20, 2019 in Houston.

John was born on Dec. 7, 1970, in Utica, the son of Anthony and Ida Mae Sweet Tophoven.

John graduated with the Edmeston Central School, Class of 1989, and in 1993 from Utica College with a B.S. in Business and Marketing. While at Utica College, John enjoyed playing lacrosse.

Raymond Johnson, 90; Town Assessor 49 Years, Leading NY Legionnaire

IN MEMORIAM

Raymond Johnson, 90;

Town Assessor 49 Years,

Leading NY Legionnaire

Raymond Johnson

UNADILLA – Raymond Johnson, 90, career Amphenol employee and Unadilla town assessor for almost a  half-center who rose to vice commander of the state’s American Legion, passed away at Valley View Manor Nursing Facility in Norwich on Tuesday, May 21, 2019

He was born Oct. 7, 1928, son of the late Orville and Bessie (Schmerhorn) Johnson in Mount Upton.  Ray graduated from Mount Upton Central School, Class of 1947.

He served his country in Army from 1948 to 1952, and was honorably discharged at the rank of sergeant.

Virginia ‘Gina’ Dwyer, 88;Raised 9 Children, Then Became Teacher

IN MEMORIAM: Virginia ‘Gina’ Dwyer, 88;

Raised 9 Children, Then Became Teacher

Virginia “Gina” Dwyer

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.

Thomas A. Armstrong, 92; ‘Mr. Springfield’ For Decades, Leading Town, School Boards

IN MEMORIAM

Thomas A. Armstrong, 92;

‘Mr. Springfield’ For Decades,

Leading Town, School Boards

Tom Armstrong’s reputation as the Town of Springfield’s foremost citizen made him the natural choice for grand marshal in 2014 at the 100th Anniversary of town’s nationally famous Fourth of July Parade. (AllOTSEGO.com photo)

SPRINGFIELD – Thomas A. Armstrong, 92, influential town supervisor and school board president for decades, peacefully entered into eternal rest on May 20, 2019, in the comfort of his home surrounded by his loving family.

He was born on May 1, 1927, in Cooperstown, the son of Beatrice and William Armstrong. Tom attended a one-room schoolhouse in Springfield.

On June 27, 1954, he married Lillian Plever. Together they have resided in Springfield Center their entire lives. Tom was a devoted Catholic who was very involved in his church.

Robert A. Tracy, 71; Award-Winning Springfield Farmer

IN MEMORIAM: Robert A. Tracy, 71;

Award-Winning Springfield Farmer

EAST SPRINGFIELD – Robert A. Tracy, 71, the award-winning proprietor of Golden Brook Farm, passed away  Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at Albany Medical Center.  At the time of death, Robert was surrounded by a room full of family who loved him dearly.

Bob Trady grew up in Oxford, where he graduated from high school. He then enlisted in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. During his enlistment, he meritoriously achieved E-5 (sergeant) rank in just three years, and was honorably discharged.

Jean Huntington, 86; Wife Of Trolley Line Road Developer

IN MEMORIAM: Jean Huntington, 86;

Wife Of Trolley Line Road Developer

COOPERSTOWN – Jean C. Huntington, 86, wife of the late Donald C. Huntington, developer of the Trolley Line Road neighborhood, Hartwick Seminary, died early Sunday morning, May 19, 2019, at Woodside Hall in Cooperstown. She was 86.

Born Feb. 25, 1933, in Oneonta, Jean was a daughter of Raymond J. and Cassie (Fowler) Cower. Jean grew up in Oneonta and graduated from OHS in 1951.

Allen Wamsley, 73; Vietnam Veteran, Reinhardt Retiree

IN MEMORIAM: Allen Wamsley, 73;

Vietnam Veteran, Reinhardt Retiree

Allen Walmsley

ONEONTA – Allen Wamsley, 73, a Vietnam veteran who retired from Reinhardt Home Heating, passed away on May 16, 2019, at Bassett Hospital, following an extended illness.

Allen was born in Kingston, on Jan. 19, 1946, to Ruth Effner and Andrew Wamsley. He was the youngest of his five siblings, Marie (Paul), Patricia, Butch, Steve (Shirley) and Chris (Russ).  He grew up in the Oneonta and the surrounding area, attending Oneonta High School.

James J. Carter, 80; Retired Salesman, Boy Scout Executive

IN MEMORIAM:  James J. Carter, 80;

Retired Salesman, Boy Scout Executive

James Carter

ONEONTA – James J. Carter, 80, passed away May 17, 2019, at Bassett Hospital.

He was born March 19, 1939, in Manhattan, the son of James and Mary (Keaveney) Carter, and grew up in The Bronx, graduating from Mount St. Michael’s High School, and receiving an associate’s degree from the Fashion Institute of Technology.

James married Verna Dingman in Yorktown Heights.

Robert Wade Coffey, 73; Vet Leaves 30 Grand,  Great-Grandchildren

IN MEMORIAM: Robert Wade Coffey, 73;

Vet Leaves 30 Grand, Great-Grandchildren

Robert W. Coffey

UNADILLA – Robert Wade Coffey, 73, of Unadilla, a Vietnam veteran and heavy-equipment operator, passed away Tuesday, May 14, 2019, at home, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born April 23, 1946, son of the late Wade L. Coffey and Evelyn E. Edwards, Town of Maryland.

Robert was a long time over-the-road truck driver, and worked for Frazier’s Landscaping in Oneonta, hauling and operating heavy equipment before retiring several years ago.

Frances J. Marriott, 96, Raised Along With 6 Brothers, 6 Sisters

IN MEMORIAM: Frances J. Marriott, 96,

Raised Along With 6 Brothers, 6 Sisters

Frances Marriott

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Frances J. Marriott, 96, one of 13 brothers and sisters from Edmeston, passed away peacefully on Thursday morning May 16, 2019 in Saint Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Utica.  She had the support and comfort of her loving family at her side.  

She was born on March 3, 1923, in Edmeston, daughter of the late Charles and Nora Caulder Marriott.  A lifelong area resident, she was educated in West Burlington and West Winfield public schools.  In 1940 she moved from West Burlington to Richfield Springs.  

For many years she worked for General Electric in Utica, retiring in 1977.  

IN MEMORIAM: Michael J. O’Hara, 74; Ran Construction Firm

IN MEMORIAM

Michael J. O’Hara, 74;

Ran Construction Firm

Michael O’Hara

ONEONTA – Michael J. O’Hara, 74, who operated his own construction firm until retiring, passed away peacefully May 15, 2019, at Fox Hospital, with his longtime, loving girlfriend, Mary Ann Helmer by his side.

Michael was born Sept. 24, 1944, at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton, the son of Ambrose and Rita (Petkash) O’Hara.

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