News of Otsego County

Fly Creek

Albert John Zigon Jr., 71 March 6, 1950 – October 28, 2021

In Memoriam

Albert John Zigon Jr., 71

March 6, 1950 – October 28, 2021

Albert J. Zigon, Jr.

FLY CREEK – Albert John Zigon Jr., 71, of Fly Creek, New York, passed away peacefully on October 28, 2021.

Al was born in Cooperstown, New York, on March 6, 1950. At the age of 19, Al left Cooperstown, and lived in Idaho, Alaska, and California, only to return to Fly Creek, his favorite place on earth, to spend his remaining three years.

Al, with his “full of life”, vivacious personality, was known by many nicknames: Albee, Ziggy, Alboo, Dad, Grandpa, Papa, and Honey.  They all blend together into a perfect mosaic of an amazingly happy life. Al will most certainly be remembered by his enormous generosity, selflessness, and desire to help others.

Byron O. Crowson, 68 July 4, 1953 – October 12, 2021

In Memoriam

Byron O. Crowson, 68

July 4, 1953 – October 12, 2021

FLY CREEK – In the early morning hours of Tuesday, October 12, 2021, Byron O’Neal Crowson passed away unexpectedly.  He bravely and optimistically confronted failing health during the past six months.  He was a devoted husband and father.

Byron was born on July 4, 1953, in Dayton, Ohio.  He was a son of the late Joseph and Beatrice (Hendrickson) Crowson. Byron graduated from Tecumseh High School in New Carlisle, Ohio, received his associate degree in nursing at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, and his bachelor’s degree in Nursing at Indiana Wesleyan University.  Byron was a dedicated Registered Nurse for more than 40 years and was employed at Ohio State University and at the Dayton VA Hospital, prior to relocating to Fly Creek.  It was while he was working as a nursing supervisor that he met his future wife, Joanne Weidel.  They were wed on May 5, 2002, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada.

Inge Otten Roemer, 100  February 1, 1921 – October 16, 2021

In Memoriam

Inge Otten Roemer, 100

 February 1, 1921 – October 16, 2021

Inge Otten Roemer

Inge Otten Roemer, 100, a resident of Sand Hill, Otego, Fly Creek and Oneonta in Otsego County for 75 years, passed away Saturday night, October 16, 2021, at her home in Otego.

A native of Germany, Inge was born February 1, 1921, in Hamburg, a daughter of Ernest and Elizabeth (Bartels) Bondiek. When she was 2 ½ she and her parents moved from Germany to Fairview, New Jersey, to live with an uncle who paid their way to the States. One of her earliest memories was witnessing the opening of the George Washington Bridge in 1931. As a teenager she worked in the summer as kitchen help for a wealthy family, and also on a farm that had summer boarders. After graduation from Cliffside High School in 1938, she traveled to Germany to live with relatives still in the old country, as well as to begin her training as a school teacher, studying the methods of kindergarten founder Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel at the Froebel School in Hamburg.

Her training was interrupted in August 1939, when the American Consulate sent a message to “leave immediately” because the German borders were closing at midnight. With the help of friends and strangers, Inge was able to take a ferry to Sweden, then drive through the night to Oslo, Norway. As her German Reichsmarks were suddenly worthless, it was only through the kindness of an American – who happened to live near where her parents were living in New Jersey – that she was able to book passage on the Norwegian  SS Bergensfjord.

5K in honor of 9/11 first responders takes place at Fly Creek Fire Department
Frank Wilsey, left, Corlissa Card, middle, and Megan Rodriguez, right, lead the runners Saturday, Sept. 4, at the start of the 5K at the Fly Creek Fire Department. (Kevin Limiti/

5K in honor of
9/11 first responders
takes place at
Fly Creek Fire Department

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

FLY CREEK — With American flags flying all around, runners took off at the Fly Creek Fire Department for the annual run in honor of 9/11 first responders, Saturday, Sept. 4.

There was about 100 people in Fly Creek to see the memorial event, including State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Maryland, who greeted the runners and their families prior to the start of the race.

Also on hand was Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, who said it was an honor to be there in support of 9/11 first responders.

Fly Creek Cider Mill announces Aug. 14, reopening date
Fly Creek Cider Mill volunteers Charlie Michaels and Jim Brophy, both of Fly Creek, work early 1900s apple parers for visitors in this 2014 file photo. (Ian Austin /

Fly Creek Cider Mill
announces Aug. 14,
reopening date

Staff Report • Special to

The Fly Creek Cider Mill announced it will reopen Saturday, Aug. 14.

The mill, which dates back to 1856, and has been owned by the Michaels family for two generations, closed at the beginning of the year because of the toll of the coronavirus pandemic.

The mill made the announcement on its website this week. The post read:

“We are delighted to announce the reopening of the Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard on August 14, 2021.  During the winter closure, we have re-structured so that the Michaels Family will retain ownership. We thank our visitors, fans, neighbors and Flavorful Rewards members for their patience and understanding during this difficult time. Most importantly our long-standing partnership with Farm Credit East enables this re-opening – the mill’s 165th year!

Dr. Balázs Seléndy, 83 September 5, 1937 – July 5, 2021

In Memoriam

Dr. Balázs Seléndy, 83

September 5, 1937 – July 5, 2021

Dr. Balázs Seléndy, born in Budapest, Hungary, to Jenö Seléndy and Irén Kosma on September 5, 1937, passed away peacefully in his home on July 5, 2021, after an intense and devoted life of public service and study in three countries. He spent his last years in the pursuit of lifelong passions, including for reflection, writing, reading, karate, and photography, living quietly with his beloved Patricia Gambitta in Fly Creek, New York.

Balázs grew up in war-torn Hungary, spending his childhood in the midst of the deprivations of World War II. With Calvinist and Catholic parents but a Jewish paternal grandfather, his family stayed beyond reach of the Nazis due in part to his father’s military service to the Austro-Hungarian empire during WWI.

In October and November 1956, as a young medical student, Balázs fought in the spontaneous, student-led revolution against the Soviet-backed Hungarian People’s Republic. After a large Soviet force invaded Hungary and destroyed the uprising, rounding up revolutionaries, Balázs was forced to leave his family, including younger brother Szabolcs, and to emigrate with other Hungarian refugees under cover of darkness across the border to Austria. His father gave him a treasured Leica camera to pay for his crossing, but, after Balázs helped a fellow refugee escape, she paid for him, and he photographed with the Leica for decades.

Fly Creek Cider Mill announces reopening, date TBA

MSNBC anchor Kate Snow broadcasts her show from the Fly Creek Cider Mill in 2016. (Ian Austin/

Fly Creek Cider Mill
announces reopening,
date TBA

STAFF REPORT • Special to

FLY CREEK  –  The historic Fly Creek Cider Mill announced via social media that it will reopen later this year.

In a message from owner Bill Michaels, which was shared on the Facebook page Celebrate Cooperstown, the mill announced it will reopen after a business reorganization and with help from Farm Credit East.

The Michaels family has owned the mill for two generations of its 164 year history, but closed in January, after the coronavirus pandemic slowed sales to a halt in early 2021.

William L. Ross, Sr., 80 Veteran, Tinkerer, Owned B&S Inn

In Memoriam

William L. Ross, Sr., 80
Veteran, Tinkerer, Owned B&S Inn

William L. Ross, Sr.

FLY CREEK –  William L. Ross, Sr., (80) of Willow Avenue in Fly Creek died Saturday June 5, 2021 at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown.

Born March 30, 1941 in Ilion, NY  Bill was the only child of William E. and Elizabeth (Houck) Ross. He graduated from Cooperstown High School in the Class of 1959 and following graduation enlisted in the US Air Force serving his country until 1963 as an aircraft mechanic. In 1966 Bill married Sheila Skubitz of Fly Creek.

Following his military service Bill worked  driving trucks for Frank Trinkas of Fly Creek, then worked in manufacturing at Chicago Pneumatics in Utica, thereafter for a number of years, he was employed at Suburban Propane as a service technician and finally, he and his wife Sheila, owned and operated the B&S Inn in Oaksville  for nearly 15 years.

Fenimore Exhibit Brings Mary Nolan’s Art Indoors

Fenimore Exhibit Brings
Mary Nolan’s Art Indoors

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Artist Mary Nolan at the Railroad Avenue studio she shares with May-Britt Joyce and Maria Tripp. The dominant painting is “River Bend, Low Tide.” (Jim Kevlin/

Some 25 years ago, when she was Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce executive director, Polly Renckens held a meeting of people with space to spare in their homes.

“We have tourists,” Polly told the gathering. “We need some place to put them. If you have space for a B&B, consider it.”

Mary Nolan, who had been doing art as long as she can remember, received a call from a friend whose mother had a farm in the countryside around Fly Creek. “Would you like to manage a B&B?”

Nolan, who had vacationed in Cooperstown and liked it here, said yes.

In B&Bs, there are busy times and less busy times, and in the less busy times Mary took her paints and easel behind the house and began to paint the nature she saw – plein air, out of doors.

“Around here, it’s beautiful,” she said in an interview after The Fenimore Art Museum announced that “Water As Muse: Paintings by Mary Nolan,” will be this summer’s local exhibition.

Nolan’s works will appear among that of such notables as photographer Ansel Adams and the featured show, “Keith Haring: Radiant Vision,” containing more than 100 works of the celebrated
pop artist.

Max E. Lewis, 68; Fell In Love With Area, Never Left

IN MEMORIAM: Max E. Lewis, 68;

Fell In Love With Area, Never Left

Max E. Lewis

FLY CREEK VALLEY – Max Emory Lewis, 68, who originally came to Cooperstown in 1986 to install the Clark Gym’s bowling alley and never left, passed away at his home Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021, with his son and longtime friend at his side.

Max was born on Jan. 29, 1952, at his childhood home in East Hopewell Township, Pa. Max was one of five children of Geraldine Elizabeth McWilliams and Richard Millard Lewis. He graduated with the Class of 1970 from Kennard-Dale High School in Fawn Grove, Pa.

77-Year-Old Man Died Early Today In Fly Creek Fire

77-Year-Old Man

Dies Early Today

In Fly Creek Fire

FLY CREEK – The state fire marshal’s office is investigating a fatal fire that broke out at  5:29 this morning at 168 Jones Road, near Oaksville.

A 77-year-old man died in the fire, which broke in the rear of the one-story home, where the bedrooms are located, on the hillside of Jones Road, which cuts across from Route 28 to Route 80.

Two stepsons were at the scene a few minutes ago, but no further information was immediately available.

Gusts Fell Tree, Blocking Rt. 28

Gusts Fell Tree,

Blocking Rt. 28

Fly Creek Fire Chief Chris Vuolo stands sentinel at a tree limb that, buffeted by this morning’s high winds, is blocking Route 28 just south of Fly Creek at this hour. Northbound traffic is being diverted at Goose Street; southbound is being detoured at the blinking light. (JIm KevliN/
Peter L. Martin, 96; WWII Vet, Farmer, Active In Community

IN MEMORIAM: Peter L. Martin, 96;

WWII Vet, Farmer, Active In Community

FLY CREEK – Peter L. “Pete” Martin, an integral and beloved part of the Fly Creek community and life-long farmer, passed away early Saturday afternoon, Jan.18, 2020, at Cooperstown Center for Rehabilitation & Nursing.  He was 96.

Born July 22, 1923, in Gloversville, Pete was a son of Charles Edward Martin and Grace Vida née Odell Martin. From an early age he helped on his family’s Cloudlands Farm on Tansey Hill at Edson Corners in Milford.

WRBA: When Needed, Where Has Superman Gone?

When Needed, Where

Has Superman Gone?

To the Editor:

Where have you gone, Superman?

Whatever happened to the spirit of our long-forgotten caped hero fighting a never-ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way?

It is apparent that America has lost its way. It’s time to get our country back on track. It’s time to shed our divisive labels: conservative, liberal, Republican, Democrat. It’s time for all of us to embrace the label: American.

It’s time to seek truth. It’s time to seek justice. It’s time to seek the American way our forefathers dreamed of, the America our veterans fought for and the America our brave troops continue to fight for.

Democracy is a participatory system. We owe it to ourselves to become informed. We owe it to our country to embrace the spirit of Superman.

Fight for truth. Fight for justice. Fight for the American way.

Fly Creek

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