IN MEMORIAM: Assemblyman Bill Magee; Allied With Seward To Benefit County


Assemblyman Bill Magee, 81;

Seward Ally In Benefiting All

Assemblyman William “Bill” Magee

NELSON – William (Bill) Magee, who served Otsego County in the state Assembly for 28 years, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2020. He was 81.

The younger of two children of Donald and Ruth (Hart) Magee, he lived in the Town of Nelson, outside Cazenovia, all of his life. The Magee family operated a small dairy and general store in Erieville. Bill graduated from Cazenovia Central School and Cornell University, where he earned a degree in Agricultural Economics.

He married the former Jeanette Nichols.  The couple were married for 52 years before her death in 2018.

Outside of his public life, Bill was an auctioneer, where he ran his auctions with well-known humor. Before serving in the Assembly, Bill was on the Madison County Board of Supervisors representing his town, and worked at the New York State Fair. While in the Assembly, he served on numerous committees, but was most proud of and respected as the chair of the Agriculture Committee.

On the Assembly, Bill was strong voice for the farming community, but also for education, reduction of taxes, energy costs and bureaucracy, public health, and countless local projects.

Bill was on the Committees of Crouse Community Center (where he was also a founder), Community Memorial, and Morrisville College Foundation.

Besides his wife, his parents, and his sister Rowena Blazer, Bill was predeceased by Ruth Ann Schultz, Bill and Jeanette’s adopted daughter, a tragic loss for the couple.

Surviving are his nieces, Robin Blazer-Commins (David Commins) and Frances Blazer (Michael Collins), great nephews William Blazer and Daniel Perry, great niece, Emma Blazer, brother-in-law, Robert Blazer, cousin Nina Mitchell, and countless other cousins and good friends. Former staff include Paula O’Brien, Troy Waffner, Christina Nowak, Grace Rapasadi, Laura Martino, and Kim DeGeorge, whom all became family.

With his family residing in the Town of Nelson and surrounding area for well over 150 years, one can only imagine how many people could count him as a relative.

Friends may call noon-4 p.m.  Thursday, Dec. 31, at the Campbell-Dean Funeral Home, 260 Main St., Oneida. Face masks are required to cover mouth and nose, social distancing will be required and limited seating will be available.

Funeral services will be at 10 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 2 from St. James Church, Cazenovia, where the Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by the Rev. Kevin Corcoran, pastor. The funeral mass will be livestreamed, go to  If you are attending mass, call (315) 655-3441 by noon, Thursday.

Spring interment will be made in Nelson Rural Cemetery.

Contributions, in his memory may be made to the Magee Scholarship Fund, Morrisville College Foundation, Box 901, Morrisville, NY 13408 or Wanderers Rest, Box 535, Canastota, NY 13032.

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2 thoughts on “IN MEMORIAM: Assemblyman Bill Magee; Allied With Seward To Benefit County

  1. Michael Commins

    Please pass on to the family my sincere regrets at their loss. May God bless his soul.

    My interest is in the surname Commins which I share with relatives of the family.
    I do some family history/tracing and I would be pleased to hear from those relatives of the family that share my surname.
    Please let any contacts who share the Commins surname, know of my interest.

    Regards and sympathy,
    Michael Commins (United Kingdom)

  2. Bill Pendlebury

    It is with a heavy heart I read of the passing of Bill. I grew up in the summers across the street from Magee’s store, in a cottage that had once been a small snack building and various use for the Magee family on Tuscarora lake. As a youngster Bill was influential in my upbringing by various jobs he and his infamous dad, Don, gave me Bill introduced myself and Freddy Cossitt to the splendors of a cigar, and also chewing tobacco. Needless to say the immediate effect worked, and cigars and chewing tobacco were no longer in our repertoire. Summers were spent riding on the tractor with Bill, and also with his family , Herb and Hank Schwebe. A tremendous upbring for a city kid, largely enhanced by Bill’s patience and caring.So many great memories of Bill, Don and his mom, Ruth, and the rest of the family. I will always remember and be thankful for having been Bill’s friend. He will be sadly missed. Rest in Peace old friend.

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