FLY CREEK – Sarah (Sally) Van Horne Rezen, 95, a Marine, farmer with her husband Paul and antiques restorer whose family has lived in the Fly Creek Valley for 200 years, passed away on April 2, 2019, at Walden Place in Cortland.
Sally was born on Dec. 13, 1923, the daughter of Dorr and Emma Van Horne. She was the sixth of seven girls and grew up on the family farm in Fly Creek Valley.
Sally went to a one-room schoolhouse at the Sprague School through 8th grade. She attended Cooperstown High School, graduating in 1941. After graduation, and with WWII underway, Sally worked at several jobs throughout the region, including an airplane parts factory in Sidney.
WESTFORD – Henry M. “Hank” Burton, 80, who for 40 years operated the excavating company that bears his name, passed away suddenly on April 3, 2019, at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.
He was born Oct. 3, 1938, in Westford, the son of Charles and Minnie (Peeters) Burton. Hank graduated from Andrew S. Draper Central School in Schenevus, Class of 1957. He worked the Burton Family Dairy Farm for many years, and was also the owner/operator of Walts Restaurant in Worcester.
ONEONTA – Edward Vines Spencer passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2019, at Fox Nursing Home, surrounded by loved ones. He was 93.
Ed was born May 4, 1925 in Pittsfield, to George and Ida Spencer. He fondly remembered growing up on a farm with his parents and two brothers Don and Bob. He enjoyed reminiscing about the farm animals, particularly two work horses named Dolly and June and the family dog Pal, who “knew how to fetch a cow.” He graduated from Morris Central High School in 1943.
NORWICH – William “Bill” Van Wieren, 88, a former truck driver who farmed in West Winfield for a time, died Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018.
Bill was born in Kommerzijl, the Netherlands on March 27, 1930, to the late John and Anna (Snip) Van Wieren. He immigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1947 at the age of 17 after the end of WWII. He married Alice DeVries in 1952 and together had 12 children.
COOPERSTOWN – Lois J. Gengenbach, a long-time resident of Cooperstown who had run a farm with her extension agent husband, passed away Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 30, 2018, at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Utica. She was 84.
Born Nov. 29, 1933, in Hudson, she was a daughter of Michael and Helen (Hover) Bessman. She married William H. Gengenbach, also from the Hudson area, on Sept. 4, 1954, at The Church of St. Mary in Hudson.
SPRINGFIELD CENTER – Dr. Bruce S. Harris, physician, farmer and musician, died on March 31, 2018, at home, where he had been cared for by hospice and his family. The cause of death was metastatic prostate cancer.
His death brought closure to a life of professionalism and service, of cultivation and propagation of a love of the arts, most especially music, and of commitment to a way of life that was simultaneously private and outward-facing.
Many who knew him thought of him as a Renaissance man. He was active in a public sphere – in concerts, in opera, in the organization of bringing extraordinary levels of musical activity to the community – and he cultivated his own garden, in a literal sense.
SPRINGFIELD CENTER – Leland Arthur Harvey, 90, a farmer, contractor and the Glimmerglass Opera’s first maintenance director, passed away on Aug. 30, 2017, at home with family by his side.
Leland was born on Aug. 5, 1927, in Salt Springville to Arthur William and Bertha Ripple Harvey.
Leland worked his family farm in Salt Springville until 1956, then built homes with C. David Smith as a skilled carpenter, plumber and electrician. He joined the Glimmerglass Opera when it opened as its present site.
MIDDLEFIELD – Andrew J. Kubis, 97, a farmer, decorated World War II veteran and founding member of the Middlefield Fire Department, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017 at home surrounded by his family.
Born in Kearney, Pa., on Sept. 28, 1919, to Michael and Mary Kubis, the family moved to Middlefield when Andrew was 11. Andrew lived and worked on the family farm until joining the Army, where he was a tank unit commander in the armored cavalry.