News of Otsego County

Bassett Hospital

In Memoriam Lionel Andrew Rauscher, M.D., 79 February 14, 1943 – May 3, 2022

In Memoriam

Lionel ‘Andrew’ Rauscher, M.D.,

February 14, 1943 – May 3, 2022

Lionel ‘Andrew’ Rauscher

COOPERSTOWN – In the morning hours of Tuesday, May 3, 2022, Lionel “Andrew” Rauscher, M.D., beloved husband, father and grandfather passed away after a long battle with illness at his home with family by his side. He was 79.

A native of England, he was born February 14, 1943, in London, son of the late Hana and Peter Rauscher. Educated in the United Kingdom, he was a Medical Doctor practicing in both England and the United States.

On April 3, 1971, he married Jocelyn Alice Rauscher in a private ceremony in East Sheen, Surrey, UK.

Andrew graduated from the prestigious Dulwich College and then received his M.D. from University College Hospital, London.

Andrew came to the United States to complete his Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesiology Fellowship, where he also co-founded the first Paramedic program. He co-authored several studies published in medical journals and was a Fellow of the Faculty of Anesthetists of the Royal College of Surgeons. Upon joining the staff of the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, a teaching institution affiliated with Columbia University, Dr. Rauscher acted as Chief of Anesthesiology for several decades, until accepting the position as Medical Director. Throughout his career, he helped mentor students and medical residents, and was a trusted colleague and friend to hundreds of professional medical staff that he interacted with during his long illustrious career.

In Memoriam Joseph F. Santiago, Jr., 33 Sept. 8, 1988 – April 28, 2022

In Memoriam

Joseph F. Santiago, Jr., 33

Sept. 8, 1988 – April 28, 2022

BURLINGTON – Change is inevitable; it is a constant, a “sure thing”. We can try to ignore it, outrun it, or force its hand, but have no doubt: Change is but a moment away. We are given opportunities to steer its course, or if we wish, sit back and let chance decide the destination our lives will take. Such is the gift of Free Will. There is a caveat attached to this freedom, however, and it is one we must never forget or take lightly: We are given but One Life on this earth, and tomorrow is never promised. If there is only one message the short life of Joseph Santiago leaves in the minds of those lucky enough to have met him, it is this: You are loved. You are needed. You matter. Take the Wheel.

Joe is survived by his parents, Colleen (Mann) Bolton of Burlington, and Joseph (Christine) Santiago, Sr. of Norwich. No parent should ever have to suffer the heartbreak of losing a child. But sometimes even the strongest of shoulders aren’t enough to carry the weight of their children’s choices, even though loving arms were always flung open wide. Joseph leaves behind three beautiful children, Aalyiah, Layne and Liam Santiago, all of whom will always be reminded of the gift that was their father, who loved them so.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Theatrical Production of ‘Once Upon A Mattress’ 04-27-22

Theatrical Production of
‘Once Upon A Mattress’


THEATER – 7:30 p.m. Enjoy theatrical production of ‘Once Upon A Mattress’ featuring a hilarious spin on the princess and the pea fairytale. Cost, $5 for the general public, available online or at the box office 1 hour before the show. Presented by the Mask and Hammer Theater Club at the Goodrich Theater, SUNY Oneonta. Visit

BOOSTER CLINIC – 8:30 – 11 a.m. Bassett patients aged 18+ are invited to get their first, second, third, or even fourth dose (for those that qualify) of the COVID-19 vaccine (J&J, Pfizer, & Moderna). Registration required. Bassett Medical Center Prime Care, 1 Atwell Rd., Cooperstown. 607-547-4625 or visit

BLOOD DRIVE – Noon – 5 p.m. SUNY Oneonta. 1-800-733-2767 or visit

This Week 03-03-22
This Week – 02-17-22


The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

February 17, 2022


The SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station volunteer diving team held an ice-dive training February 12 for the first time this winter with the ice one foot thick and air temperatures in the 40s. The dive team works with the field station and the Village of Cooperstown to maintain buoys, science instruments, and study the ecosystem of Otsego Lake. Pictured from left to right Ed Lentz, Lucas LaTarte (holding the safety line), Kari Minissale (noting the divers’ direction), Wayne Bunn, Tiffany Valenti, and PADI Master SCUBA Diver Trainer Paul Lord. Diving are Noel Odell and David Turner. Photo for by Larissa Ryan.


American Irish Historical Society plots move from NYC to Cooperstown

Blood shortage has impact on local supply

Inside The Paper

Mayor Drnek says it’s Oneonta’s “light-switch moment”

State Police recruitment tests underway

Bassett begins to lift visitation restrictions



“We’re following the science.”


The Driftwoods — Then and now and why

Legitimate Political Discourse by a Loving Crowd?

Otsego Land Trust: A year-round commitment to nature

History Column

Bound Volumes


Letter: Farmers deserve a fair return

Editors Policy


Jacek D. Rudnicki

Steven D. Brown

Leslie E. D. B. Jordan


Happenin’ Otsego


In Memoriam Marshall L. Thorne, 80  Oct. 23, 1941 – Jan. 28, 2022

In Memoriam

Marshall L. Thorne, 80

 Oct. 23, 1941 – Jan. 28, 2022

Marshall L. Thorne

COOPERSTOWN – Marshall Lewis Thorne, 80, a life-long resident of Cooperstown, passed away peacefully Friday afternoon, January 28, 2022, at his son and daughter-in-law’s home in Otego. He is now reunited with his beloved wife of 57 years, Sandy, who passed away November 8, 2021.

Born October 23, 1941, at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, Marshall was one of three sons of Loren E. and C. Emergene (Thayer) Thorne.

After attending Cooperstown schools, Marshall proudly served his country in the United States Marine Corps from 1960 until 1964. Stationed in Quantico, Virginia he specialized in field artillery and received a Good Conduct Medal and Rifle Sharpshooter Badge 7.62 mm. He was proud to have marched in President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration parade, as well as in his funeral procession to the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C. In later years Marshall enjoyed attending reunions with his former artillery company in Las Vegas, Mississippi and South Carolina.

Bassett’s Dr. LeCates ‘transitioning away’ from Network leadership

Bassett’s Dr. LeCates ‘transitioning away’
from Network leadership

Bassett Medical Center President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. William LeCates is moving on, announcing to colleagues today (January 12) his plans to transition away from his leadership role at Bassett Healthcare to pursue a new opportunity in New York City.

Bassett Healthcare Network Director of Marketing and Communications Angie Blair said Dr. LeCates will remain with Bassett as its Northern Region Executive through April 30, 2022, to ensure “continuity of leadership as we move forward.”

In Memoriam Virginia Lee Ganio, 70 November 18, 1951 – January 7, 2022

In Memoriam

Virginia Lee Ganio, 70

November 18, 1951 – January 7, 2022

MT. VISION – Virginia Lee Ganio, 70, of Mt. Vision passed away Friday, January 7, 2022 at Bassett Hospital surrounded by her loving family.

She was born November 18, 1951 in Cooperstown the daughter of the late Gino and Rosabel (Miller) Ganio.

Virginia graduated from Laurens Central School and went on to further her education and graduated from SUNY Cobleskill with a degree in Horticulture.

Having a loved of plants, Virginia owned and operated her own greenhouse “Ginny’s Place” in Mt. Vision for several years.

For 43 years she worked at Corning, Inc. as a machine operator and the stockroom clerk.

State Police make arrest in Ononta assault

State Police make
arrest in Oneonta assault

New York State Police took 29-year-old Anthony Masi into custody on January 5 after a nearly week-long search following a December 30, 2021 incident at the Budget Inn on State Route 23.

Police say Masi was arrested and charged with Assault in the first degree, a class “b” felony. The warrant for his arrest stemmed from what police called a “serious assault that occurred in Oneonta after Masi attacked a victim with a machete-type knife.”

The victim of the assault was taken to Bassett Hospital, then transferred to Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse to undergo surgery.

State Police seeking suspects of alleged burglary in Town of Hartwick that injured elderly woman

State Police seeking suspects of alleged burglary in Town of Hartwick that injured elderly woman

At least one person allegedly entered the Poplar Avenue home of an elderly woman in the Town of Hartwick between the evening of Sunday, January 2 and the morning of Monday, January 3, and injured her, according to New York State Police.

The victim was transported to Bassett Hospital where she remains in stable condition.

John Emory Ferrebee April 19, 1943 – December 19, 2021

In Memoriam

John Emory Ferrebee

April 19, 1943 – December 19, 2021

John Emory Ferrebee, of Kapaa, Kauai, Hawaii, died peacefully in his sleep at home on Sunday, December 19, 2021. His son, Samuda, was at his side. The cause of death was Parkinson’s Disease, which had long affected him.

A son of Dr. Joseph Wiley and Juanita Sault Ferrebee, known to all as Salty, he was born in Boston, MA, on April 19, 1943. In 1948 he moved with his parents, brother, sister, horses and dogs to Cooperstown, where his father worked at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, researching and later developing the now universally used bone marrow transplant. John attended the Cooperstown Central School, and matriculated to the Fay School in Southborough, MA, and then to Millbrook School in Millbrook, NY, where he was captain of both the soccer and the tennis teams. He graduated in 1962 and went on to attend the University of Colorado, Boulder, during which time he opened a motorcycle shop and taught skiing at a local ski area.

Jean Smullens, 86 August 8, 1935 – November 24, 2021

In Memoriam

Jean Smullens, 86

August 8, 1935 – November 24, 2021

COOPERSTOWN – Jean Smullens, “Grandma Jean”, 86, passed away peacefully at home in the company of her children late Wednesday night, November 24, 2021.

The youngest of three, Jean was born on August 8, 1935, to Walter and Elizabeth (Martzloff) O’Connell in Lowville. She graduated from Lowville Academy and Central School in 1953, where her parents were both teachers. She attended Albany Medical Center School of Nursing, where she met her husband, Robert. In 1959, Bob and Jean were married in Lowville. Later that year Jean received her RN accreditation and the two took up residency in Johnstown where she began her nursing career as a staff nurse at Johnstown Hospital and then later, as a clinical instructor at St. Mary’s Hospital School in Amsterdam. In 1964, after obtaining her BS in Nursing from Russell Sage College, Bob became a partner in Church & Scott Pharmacy, and the two moved to Cooperstown.

Erna D. Richards, 97 May 6, 1924 – August 27, 2021

In Memoriam

Erna D. Richards, 97

May 6, 1924 – August 27, 2021

Erna D. Richards

COOPERSTOWN – Erna D. Richards, forever remembered for her love of her family and her Norwegian heritage, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family early Friday morning, August 27, 2021, at her daughter’s home in Roseboom. She was 97.

Born May 6, 1924, in Alversund, Norway, Erna Dagny Hovik was the youngest child of Hans Knutsen Hovik and Hanna Teodora Ekeland Hovik. At the age of four, she and her family immigrated to the United States and settled on Long Island. She grew up in Huntington, and always enjoyed telling stories of the fun times she had while growing up there.

She was first married to Thorbjorn “Toby” Haugland Bergene and they had four children: Theodore, Gregory, Steven, and Katrina. Following their divorce, Erna met and married Bruce J. Richards, a Cooperstown Native Son, and they enjoyed 25 years of marriage until his sudden passing on May 8, 1999.

Erna started her working life at Chase Manhattan Bank in New York City, and then spent the remainder of her career in the food services department at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown.

Always proud of her Norwegian heritage, she loved sharing stories of her native land. She was a spirited Viking woman who was known as mom, grandma and GG!

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