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, 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.
MILFORD – Harry George Brannigan, age 73, passed away early Thursday morning, October 7, 2021, at his son’s home in Mount Vision following a valiant battle with cancer.
He was born August 3, 1948, in College Point, Queens, a son of the late Harry and Margaret Brannigan.
A veteran of the Vietnam War, Harry enlisted with the United States Army on January 8, 1968, and served in Vietnam with Company B, 9th Engineer Battalion. On January 2, 1971, he received his Honorable Discharge from the military and returned home to Queens.
He met Carol Ann Spunt of Long Island while on a blind date arranged by mutual friends. The two hit it off, and were married May 5, 1973, in her hometown of Huntington on Long Island.
For many years, Harry was employed as a sheet metal worker and machinist for the Stella Corporation in Plainview.
In 1988, Harry and Carol Ann moved upstate to the Town of Milford and Harry became an organic farmer. He truly enjoyed growing vegetables, and sold them for a time at his farm stand, Mountain Top Farm, in Emmons. In his leisure, he enjoyed watching movies, especially National Lampoon’s Vacation and, no matter the time of year, Christmas Vacation.
Joseph Edward Zaczek passed away in peace on October 3, 2021 at the UHS Wilson Medical Center in Johnson City, N.Y. following a brief illness. Joe was born on April 25,1951 in Deposit, N.Y. He attended and graduated from Mt. Upton Central School and SUNY Delhi.
Joe’s lifetime career was in agriculture. The proof of his love for the land was reflected in the joy he brought to many with his famous ‘Mt Upton Sweet Corn’. He also took great pleasure in the machinery that is the driving force in agriculture. He loved his John Deere collection.
His contributions to the community impacted many. Joe was the transportation supervisor at GMU Central School from 1991 until his retirement in 2021. He was a Town of Guilford Board Member. Joe spent 25 years of his life as a fireman at the Borden Hose Fire Company in Mt Upton, N.Y. He was an avid and talented bowler. He bowled a perfect game numerous times. Out of all his many endeavors, he most enjoyed spending time with his beloved grandchildren and watching their sporting events.
CHERRY VALLEY – Debra Plows sadly passed away Monday Sept. 19th, 2021. She was the daughter of Robert Fahey and Anne Helmer. She and Edward Plows married Oct. 16, 1976. She is survived by her husband Ed Plows, son Joseph and his wife Annette Plows, and their children.
Oneonta – V. Lorraine Patten, 86, passed to be the Lord on September 6, 2021 at home surrounded by her family.
She was born July 5, 1935 in Oneonta, the daughter of Charles and Catherine (Pendergast) Easley.
After graduating from Oneonta High School, Lorraine never had the need to venture out of her hometown and it was there that she met and married Frank Patten on August 16, 1953, the love of her life.
The Patten house was a hub, a gathering place for family, friends and neighbors. Their door was always open and all were welcome. Lorraine loved being mom and grandma. She provided for more than just her family; a fond memory of all the neighborhood children was the Patten’s bucket of quarters, ready for the ice cream truck for all to get a summer’s treat. Lorraine enjoyed taking pottery classes at SUCO, a hobby she was quite gifted at. One of her favorite past-times were out gallivanting with her best friends finding treasures at antique shops. In more recent years, meeting the Golden Guernsey Girls for a daily cup of coffee and all their special celebrations. Fun fact, as a child Lorraine was a proud member of the Civil Air Patrol, her post was at the Oneonta Armory.
EDMESTON – A man who was a lover of life: passionate, devoted, creative, articulate, genuine, an inquisitive intellectual who pursued all his endeavors with great zeal.
Tim was born in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; a graduated from Marcellus High School, NY where he had been a proud member of the wrestling team. He received his BA from SUNY Geneseo.
Tim’s professional career included employment by the Syracuse DSO for over 20 years and Madison Cty. ARC. He also worked as a real estate agent. His greatest love was nature photography. He was proud to be the sole proprietor of “The Image Makers Photography Gallery and Frame Shop. Tim’s artistic capabilities in Photography have been exhibited in numerous galleries and exhibitions in Central New York: including The Cazenovia Artisans, and Gallery 54 in Skaneateles, NY.
COOPERSTOWN – Sandra Lou Stockdale (Sandy) passed away peacefully after a brief illness on Thursday, August 26th, 2021. She was surrounded by her loving family who made certain she was comfortable.
Sandy is survived by her loving husband of 30 years and one day, William Stockdale. She is survived by her children and their spouses: Greg and LisaMarie Morrison, Glenn and Michele Morrison, and Glenda and Matt Vatovec. She is also survived by her loving granddaughters, Emily and Abigail Vatovec and her grandsons Kane Morrison and Brett Morrison. She was predeceased by her daughter, Gretchen Miller, and her first husband, Walter Glen Morrison.
Sandy was a hard-working woman who had her fair share of obstacles to overcome in life. After losing her first husband, Walter Morrison, she became the sole caregiver to her four children. With very little means and not having had a job to date, Sandra picked herself up and took charge of getting things in order. She got her first car, worked hard to find several jobs to make ends meet, and still managed to care for her four young children. There were many tough times. One of Sandra’s favorite stories to tell is finding her family low on funds, and needing to feed her family, she was able to find 5 dollars with the help of her eldest son, Greg, and she purchased hot dogs and macaroni and cheese with which she built a meal for her children. That was just the kind of person she was, she could make a full meal out of very little.
Warren H. Williams Sr., 84, of West Winfield, passed away Saturday September 4, 2021 in Cooperstown.
Warren was born on January 25, 1937 in South Ilion, NY the son of the late Milton L. and Alta Ackler Williams. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a brother Milton L Williams Jr, sisters Dema Fink and Loucia Helmer, stepmother Alice Williams, and a stepsister Sandra Davis.
A lifetime resident of the area, Warren was a union carpenter with Milograno Construction of Utica for many years. He was an avid hunter of deer, turkey and along with his dog Boomer, hunted rabbit. He also enjoyed coon hunting with his friends for many years. In his earlier years, he enjoyed the sport of golf.
Warren was meticulous with the care of his property, keeping a perfect lawn, and veggie garden.
COOPERSTOWN – Maia Leonardo died unexpectedly on August 30, 2021 at age 28. Born in Philadelphia, PA, to Kathleen and James Leonardo, she grew up in Cooperstown, NY before relocating to New Haven.
A tireless activist, Maia devoted her life to improving the lives of marginalized communities, especially in her beloved New Haven. She was involved in countless organizing efforts and offered help wherever she saw a need. Maia was particularly proud of her work with Trans Lifeline, a nonprofit serving the transgender and gender-nonconforming community, where she most recently served as Co-Chair of the Board of Directors.
“Though she be but little, she is fierce.”
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, William Shakespeare
COOPERSTOWN – Loving wife, daughter, sister, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, cousin, and child of God, Jane Bushby was called home early on the morning of August 17, so very much loved and admired. She will be greatly missed. Born and raised in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, to the late Edwin and Kathleen Phillips, she was the great-granddaughter of the renowned (Ford’s Theater) Shakespearean actor Edwin (Varrey) Phillips and wife of fifty years to the late Walter Sparkman “Bush” Bushby.
EDMESTON – Kevin B. Clark Sr., 64, of Edmeston passed away Monday August 30, 2021 at his home.
Kevin was born on May 26, 1957 in Hamilton, NY the son of the late Archie and Faith Dungey Clark. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a sister Katrina and a granddaughter Reese.
Kevin was a graduate of Sherburne Central School, and a U.S. Army Veteran. He and his family owned and operated K.N.K. Poultry in Edmeston for many years until his retirement. He was an avid deer hunter, enjoyed any type of fishing, and was the first Chenango County Streaker. He will be remembered as a man who loved his family and will be greatly missed.
ONEONTA – Sandra (Sandy) Herzig passed away peacefully, at the age of 97, on August 26, 2021 in Essex, Vermont. Born on July 31, 1924 in New York City, Sandy grew up living with her parents Theodore and Gracia Levy and her siblings Jean, Victor and Murray in the tenements of the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Both Theodore and Gracia had emigrated to this country as teenagers from the land now known as North Macedonia. As Sephardic Jews, whose ancestors had fled the Spanish Inquisition, Sandy grew up in a family whose primary language was Ladino – a dialect of Spanish influenced by a Turkish environment. Proud of her Sephardic heritage, Sandy loved to cook traditional meals including such favorites as borekas (spinach and feta in phyllo dough), baklava and many more.
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!