News of Otsego County

D&H Railroad

TRIBUTE: Al Colone

In Tribute

Family Remembers Al Colone By
Looking At What He Loved Most:


Remembering The Saga Of Ma And Pa Colone

Editor’s Note: Our columnist and Oneonta businessman Al Colone died April 13, without finishing a two-part series about his ancestors. As a tribute, his brother, Frank Colone, wrote this memorial about their parents.

Albert L. Colone
July 8, 1944 to April 13, 2021.

By Frank Colone

In the aftermath of World War I and the pandemic of 1918, Ma and Pa Colone returned to Oneonta and Depew Street. Oldest son Ani and baby Adelia (Ethel), who was born in Italy, came with them. Ma and Pa were determined to provide a better life for their family, both those in Italy and those in America.

After living for a time on Depew Street and West Broadway, Pa bought a home on River Street and the family settled permanently in the Sixth Ward in Oneonta’s “lower deck.” They were proud of their home and the fact that they could call Oneonta “home.”

Pa resumed work for the D & H. He worked briefly at the roundhouse and eventually spent most of his working years in the shop.

An unfortunate accident in the shop cost him an eye, but it did not cause him to stop working. He worked in the shop until he retired.

As a young man, Pa served in the military in Italy and acquired reading and writing skills there.

After returning to America, Pa worked to learn how to read and write in English. He so valued education and he constantly preached the value of learning to his family. Pa became a naturalized American citizen in 1928, a very proud moment in his life. Like many immigrant families, Ma never learned to read and write English and, therefore, could not become a citizen.

The Old World ways and skills learned in Italy helped them survive the Great Depression. Without a lot of money, Ma and Pa worked hard and used all their resources to keep their growing family secure. Despite her lack of a formal education, Ma had the primary role in maintaining the household and in raising the family.

Sonny Amatucci, 82; Rose To Engineer In 18 Years On D&H

IN MEMORIAM: Sonny Amatucci, 82;

Rose To Engineer In 18 Years On D&H

ONEONTA – Amilio “Sonny” Amatucci, 82, to rose to engineer in an 18-year career on the D&H, passed away on Friday, April 3, 2020, at Chestnut Park Rehab & Nursing Center.

Sonny was born on Nov. 4, 1937, in Brooklyn, the son of Joseph and Tesi (Angelotti) Amatucci.  He married the love of his life, Kathleen “Kay” Coakley on Nov. 12, 1960, in Brooklyn. She predeceased him on Feb. 17, 2017.

Sonny worked in data processing in New York City, first at the Navy Ship Stores Office (NSSO), then at Saks 5th Avenue and finally at Bessemer Securities.

Kenneth Hungerford, 89; Oneonta Native Worked 39 Years For D&H

IN MEMORIAM: Kenneth Hungerford, 89;

Oneonta Native Worked 39 Years For D&H

Ken Hungerford

ONEONTA – Kenneth A. Hungerford, 89, of Olmstead Lane, Averill Park, an Oneonta native who served 39 years with the D&H Railroad, died on Saturday, June 29, 2019, at the Van Rensselaer Manor with family by his side.  Ken had recently moved to the Manor from his home after years of decline from dementia.

Born in Oneonta, Ken was the son of the late Ernest and Ina Edwards Hungerford and devoted husband of the late Shirley Young Hungerford.

Nelson A. Wells Sr., 93; WWII Vet Retired From City Government

IN MEMORIAM: Nelson A. Wells Sr., 93;

WWII Vet Retired From City Government

Nelson A. Wells Sr.

ONEONTA – Nelson Alfred Wells Sr., 93, a World War II veteran who then settled in Oneonta, went home to be with his Lord April 29, 2019, at  Fox Nursing Home.

He was born in North Clymer, in Chataqua County, the son of the late Anna (Ingram) and Alfred T. Wells.  He married Lena Belle Martin on Aug. 29, 1943 and had a blessed marriage of 73 years.

During the Second World War, a ham radio operator in the Army Air Corps, he served on Okinawa in the Pacific Theater.

In Memoriam: Donald R. Stiefel, 92; Worked for D&H Railroad

In Memoriam:

Donald R. Stiefel, 92;

Worked for D&H Railroad

Donald Stiefel

ONEONTA –  Donald R. Stiefel, 92, a former D&H Gang leader, passed away March 6, 2018 at Bassett Medical Center, Cooperstown after a brief illness.

He was born Dec. 27, 1925 in Oneonta, the son of Frederick and Mabel (Moon) Stiefel.

Don was a United States Navy veteran serving from 1944 to 1946 in the Merchant Maines Convoy duty.

He married Margaret “Peg” Jordan on Sept. 19, 1946 at the Zion Episcopal Church in Morris.

Springbrook, D&H Rail Yards Big Winners of CFA Funding




ONEONTA — A $400,000 renovation to upgrade Springbrook’s residential facilities was awarded today through the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council’s Consolidated Funding Application.

In all, four of the eight Otsego County projects were funded, a total of $700,000 towards economic development and job growth for the region.

“It’s a positive step forward,” said IDA president Sandy Mathes.  “Our projects were all linked directly to job growth.”

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