Raymond F. Key, 80; Farmer, DEC Wildlife Control Operator

IN MEMORIAM:  Raymond F. Key, 80;

Farmer, DEC Wildlife Control Operator

COOPERSTOWN – Raymond F. Key Sr., 80, the Pierstown farmer who for the past 14 years has been a state-licensed local wildlife nuisance control operator, passed away Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, at home after a long battle with cancer.

Born May 13, 1935, in the Town of Richfield, Ray was one of five children of Frederick and Mabel (Sullivan) Key.  He attended Leonardsville and Cooperstown Central Schools. On Sept. 30, 1956, he married Bernice Bailey and they had one son, Raymond E. Key, Jr.

Ray spent most of his life in farming on the family dairy farm on Pierstown Road.   Since 2001, he was licensed by the state Department of Environmental Conservation Department as a wildlife control operator, assigned to Otsego and surrounding counties.

He was a member of the Cooperstown United Methodist Church.

He active in the Cooperstown Sportsman’s Association, serving as president for several years, including the years the new clubhouse was planned and built. He also served as the association’s representative to the Otsego County Federation of Sportsmen.  He was a member of the National Rifle Association, Ducks Unlimited and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

He was also a member of the New York Farm Bureau and the Otsego County Cooperative Extension, and for a number of years served as a committeeman for Agway Petroleum and Feed Stores (Cooperstown and Colliersville), and as a committeeman for ASCS for the Cooperstown area.

Ray loved the outdoors and was an avid and skilled fisherman, hunter and trapper.

Predeceased by his parents and his brother Frederick Key, he is survived by Bernice, his wife of 59 years.  Also his son, Raymond E. Key, Jr., and Raymond’s wife, Pamela (Bullock) ,and their children, Carrie (Brett) Offen, Sarah Key and her fiancée Corey Blick, and Scott (Katie) Key.  Also, two great-grandchildren, Emma Bernice Offen and Luke Vernon Offen and by his brothers, Donald (Mary Katherine) of Deerfield, and Kenneth (Ann) of Richmond, Va.;  a sister, Carol Jean Key of Cherry Valley; a sister-in-law, Patricia Key of Westmoreland; a brother-in-law, Donald Bailey of Cooperstown, and by several nieces and nephews.

Calling hours are 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, at the Tillapaugh Funeral Home.  The funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, at Cooperstown Methodist Church, with Rev. Bill Delia, pastor, officiating. Burial will be in the Leonardsville Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care, 1 Birchwood Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820, or to The Cooperstown United Methodist Church Capital Fund, 66 Chestnut Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326, or the Cooperstown Fire Dept. Emergency Squad, PO Box 322, Cooperstown, NY 13326.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Tillapaugh Funeral Service, Cooperstown.

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