Susan (Ford) House Plantz, 84; Ancestor Of Early City Leaders


Susan (Ford) House Plantz, 84;

Early City Leaders’ Descendant

Susan Plantz

ONEONTA – Susan (Ford) House Plantz, descendant of Oneonta’s earliest leading citizens, passed away on July 22, 2018, at O’Connor Hospital in Delhi. She was 84.

Susan was born in Oneonta on Sept. 12, 1933, the daughter of Alice (Ford) House and Dr. Leroy S. House.  She was the granddaughter of Dr. Merton L. Ford who, in business with his father, Newton Ford, owned and operated Oneonta’s first drugstore.  In addition, Dr. Ford helped organize the electric power plant in Oneonta and was an original investor in the Computer Tabulating Co., which later became IBM.

Susan was also a direct descendant of Eliakim Reed Ford who was influential in bringing the railroad to Oneonta in 1865. Prior to that he was the first president of the village.

Susan was the last descendant of this family to carry the name Ford, having been named after her grandmother, Susan Morris Ford.

Susan was a 1951 graduate of Oneonta High School, attending Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., and graduated from Elmira College in 1955.

For many years she was employed by Otsego County, initially as a foster care caseworker and moving on as a child protective service caseworker.  At a later date she became an Otsego County probation officer until her retirement in 2000.

Susan was an active member of the community.  In 1976, she was the recipient of the Daily Star’s Citizen of the Year Award as a result of her work with the City of Oneonta’s Bicentennial Celebration.

As a longtime member of the Greater Oneonta Historical Society, of which she was a former trustee, Susan was the recipient of the Albert E. Morris History Award in 2010.  This was in recognition of her contributions toward “preserving the past for Oneonta’s future”.

Susan was also a member of the Oneonta Federated Garden Club and the Fox Memorial Hospital Auxiliary.

She is survived by her three children, David Plantz and his wife, Sharon Zelmanowitz of Niantic, Conn., Elizabeth Plantz and her husband, Mohammad Taha of Gaithersburg, Md., and Carol Guerrette and her husband, William of Presque Isle, Maine, as well as six grandchildren, Joshua and Ariel Plantz, Kareem and Ameen Taha and Michael and Elise Guerrette.

In addition, she is survived by her twin sister, Jean Salva of Ocean Grove, N.J.  Also surviving is her special friend and brother-in-law, Albert (Sam) Nader, as well as six nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents; her brother, Leroy S. (Sonny) House, Jr. and her sister, Alice Nader. She was formerly married to Herbert Plantz.

Visitation will be from noon to the start of the Memorial Service at 1 p.m., Thursday, July 26, at the Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono Funeral Home, 51 Dietz St., Oneonta, with the Rev. Mark Montfort officiating.  Interment will take place at the Riverside Cemetery in Oneonta.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Greater Oneonta Historical Society, Box 814. Oneonta, NY or to the Fox Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, 1 Norton Ave. Oneonta, NY 13820.

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