News of Otsego County

In Memoriam

Connie Jean (Truex) Bennett Lifelong West Exeter resident, artist, Mets fan, grandmother.

In Memoriam

Connie Jean (Truex) Bennett

Lifelong West Exeter resident,
artist, Mets fan, grandmother.

Connie Jean (Truex) Bennett passed away peacefully on July 22 with her family by her side.

A lifelong resident of West Exeter NY, Connie was a loving mother and doting grandmother to seven beautiful grand daughters whom were the entire world to her.

She raised her family with her husband of 25 years, Rick Bennett at the family home that was the center of activity for family and friends through the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s.

Robert W. Bibik, 78 Born in Richfield Springs, served in U.S. Navy

In Memoriam

Robert W. Bibik, 78

Born in Richfield Springs, served in U.S. Navy

Robert W. Bibik

Robert W. Bibik, 78, of Fernandina Beach passed away Friday, July 16, 2021, at the Warner Center for Caring.

Born in Richfield Springs, NY, he was a son of the late Edward and Agnes Zilega Bibik.

He served in the U. S. Navy and soon after his discharge he and his wife, Cheryl, moved to Florida.

For 27 years he worked as an engineer for Florida Power and Light. He also worked for Duke Power and Progressive Energy before complete retirement. He and his wife moved to Fernandina Beach from Vero Beach six years ago. He was active member of the Civitan Club for many years.

Louis J. Bobnick, 95  March 8, 1926 – July 14, 2021

In Memoriam

Louis J. Bobnick, 95

 March 8, 1926 – July 14, 2021

COOPERSTOWN – Louis John Bobnick, a retired truck driver for Otsego Ready Mix and long-time area resident, passed away peacefully late Wednesday night, July 14, 2021, at Valley Health Services in Herkimer.  He was 95.

Born March 8, 1926, in Chesterland, Ohio, he was one of six children of Louis W. and Mary (Geizer) Bobnick. In 1932, the family moved from Ohio to New York State and settled in Worcester. They then moved to Milford in 1941 and Lou graduated from Milford Central School.

In 1964, Lou came to reside in Cooperstown and met long-time resident Diane J. Slover, and on November 26, 1965, they were married in a ceremony at the First Baptist Church of Cooperstown. They first lived on Elm Street in the village, and then for 40 years made their home and raised their family just outside of Toddsville.

John Lampman Smith Jr. April 08, 1927-July 15, 2021

In Memoriam

John Lampman Smith Jr.

April 08, 1927-July 15, 2021

ONEONTA – John Lampman Smith, Jr. 94, passed away, July 15, 2021 at St. James Manor in Oneonta.

He was born April 8, 1927 in Hudson, the son of John Lampman Smith Sr. and Arvesta (Pectal) Smith. John married Polly Ann Blass in 1950 and they moved to Davenport.   Polly passed away on September 8, 2015.

John graduated from Roeliff Jensen School in Hillsdale, NY. He attended Cortland State University before entering in the United States Marines Corp in 1945. John received a Master’s degree in education.  He was a science teacher and a school administrator at Charlotte Valley Central School in Davenport from 1950, retiring in 1983. John enjoyed playing golf, fishing and the NY Yankees.

Douglas Stratton Fielder July 22, 1940 – April 28, 2021

In Memoriam

Douglas Stratton Fielder

July 22, 1940 – April 28, 2021

Douglas S. Fielder

Oneonta – A celebration of life service with military honors for Douglas Stratton Fielder will be held 3 p.m. Saturday, July 24, 2021 at the First United Methodist Church, 66 Chestnut St., Oneonta, with the Rev. Marti Swords-Horrell officiating.  The interment will follow at the church columbarium.  For the zoom link please contact the church at 607-432-4102.

In lieu of flowers, gifts should be given to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, PO Box 6003, Albert Lea MN 56007 or to the Douglas and Dorothy Scott Fielder Scholarship, c/o Ellen M. Blaisdell, 308 Netzer Administration Building, State University College, Oneonta NY  13820.

Online condolences may be made at,  Arrangements are with Oneonta’s only family-owned funeral home, Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono at 51 Dietz Street.

Robert Charles Sharp, Jr. February 27, 1946 – June 30, 2021

In Memoriam

Robert Charles Sharp, Jr., 75

February 27, 1946 – June 30, 2021

Robert C. Sharp

ONEONTA – Robert Charles Sharp, Jr., 75, passed away at home and at peace on June 30, 2021.

He was born February 27, 1946 in Oneonta, the son of Robert Charles Sharp, Sr. and Mary Bridget O’Brien.

Bob married Antoinette Ester Bourne “Toni” at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Oneonta in September of 1964.

He was a contractor, stone masonry, partial proprietor of The Royal Grill, The Limit, Bojangles, and Groucho’s Taverns.  Bob was a member of the BPOE of Oneonta (Elks Club), Avid Hunters Club of Oneonta, Ducks Unlimited Organization, Polio Pioneer for the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, first national test of a trial Polio vaccine conducted in 1954.

John D. Robinson, 83 October 15, 1937 – July 4, 2021

In Memoriam

John D. Robinson, 83

October 15, 1937 – July 4, 2021

John D. Robinson

PHOENIX MILLS – John D. Robinson, a Cooperstown native son and avid outdoorsman, passed away late Sunday night, July 4, 2021, at Cooperstown Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing. He was 83.

Born October 15, 1937, in Cooperstown, he was one of three sons of Torrey G. and Leonore M. (Goddard) Robinson. John could trace his long-standing family roots in Otsego County back to 1792 when his ancestors settled in Lena in the Town of New Lisbon.

John graduated with the Class of 1956 from Cooperstown High School. For many years he was employed in the area as a union laborer, and was involved with construction projects at Hyde Hall, Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital and Interstate 88.

Throughout his life he enjoyed outdoor activities, and spent innumerable hours exploring the Otsego region swimming, hiking, fishing, trapping, and hunting. He was also an avid motorcyclist – his favorites were Indians – and also enjoyed riding snowmobiles in the winter months. His hand-crafted log cabin home on the shore of the Susquehanna River, his workmanship in stone masonry at Hyde Hall and his keen interest in local history reflected his deep and abiding passion for local culture and conservation.

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.

Ruth Schweinfurth, 83 Passionate volunteer with local food bank, Susquehanna SPCA, others.

In Memoriam

Ruth Schweinfurth, 83

Passionate volunteer with local food bank, Susquehanna SPCA, others.

Ruth Schweinfurth

COOPERSTOWN – Long-time Cooperstown resident Ruth Schweinfurth passed away on June 23, 2021, after a brief struggle with cancer. She passed peacefully at her home, comforted by her loving daughters and her beloved dogs. She was 83 years young.

Ruth’s life’s work focused on improving the lives of others. She was passionate about nursing, her first calling, and equally passionate about her volunteer work in the community. Over the years, Ruth selflessly devoted countless hours to assisting area families at the local food bank (at its original location in the Cooperstown Library building) and to sorting and selling clothing and other items at the thrift shop that supports the Susquehanna SPCA, an organization of which she was especially fond.

Frieda M. Scanlon, 85 Jan. 16, 1936 – Jun. 25, 2021

In Memoriam

Frieda M. Scanlon, 85

Jan. 16, 1936 – Jun. 25, 2021

Frieda M. Scanlon

WESTVILLE – Frieda M. Scanlon, 85, of Westville, passed away the morning of June 25, 2021, at her home, after a long battle with dementia.

She was born January 16, 1936, in Smyrna, one of six children of Luman S. and Esther L. (Knochenmus) Ward. Her family eventually settled to Carlisle. She graduated from Cobleskill High School.

She was preceded in death by two daughters, Sueann and Carolyn Scanlon, one sister, Florence White and three brother’s William,Winston and Warren Ward.

Richard B. Carman, 60 Feb. 1, 1961 – Jun. 23, 2021

In Memoriam

Richard B. Carman, 60

Feb. 1, 1961 – Jun. 23, 2021

Richard B. Carman

Richard B. Carman, 60 of Edmeston, passed away at his home on Wednesday June 23, 2021 surrounded by his family.

Richard was born on February 1, 1961 in Walton, NY. He was pre deceased by his step father Douglas Austin.

Richard is survived by his wife Carol Carman, daughter Aimee Carman, daughter in law Destiny, granddaughters Novaleigh Grace and Rikkilynn Rose Carman, sons Austin Carman, Nicholas Buell, Eli Madison, and Sam Madison, his mother Janice Chamberlain, brothers Ike (Janella Llewellyn) Carman, and Kurt (Ann) Carman, and sister Dolly (David Cornell) Carman. Also surviving are many nieces and nephews.

Lorraine E. Vesely, 79 Aug. 19, 1941 – Jun. 20, 2021

In Memoriam

Lorraine E. Vesely, 79

Aug. 19, 1941 – Jun. 20, 2021

Lorraine E. Vesely

A lifetime of love, laughter, music and memories has been successfully completed for Lorraine E. Vesely (nee Dougherty) on June 20, 2021.  At 79 years old, Lorraine still radiated sunlight from her beautiful face, and held that sense of humor that will always be remembered by those who loved her. And there are many of us.

Born to John (Jack) and Anna Dougherty on August 19, 1941 in Brooklyn, Lorraine spent her childhood on Long Island with her siblings Marcella, twins Robert (Bobby) and Roberta, and later, Dolores and Richard. The family moved around often, from the projects to a Quonset hut out east by the beach, and the memories she shared always included those siblings. Life on Long Island in the 40s and 50s was difficult for such a large family, especially while her Mother suffered from debilitating Multiple Sclerosis (a disease that would plague her family, later including Lorraine herself). Being blessed with a vivid imagination and the talent to bring it to life, Lorraine held a solid position as a “Dougherty Girl”, and was a force of determination, a source of organization, and wanted only happiness for herself and her family as she awaited adulthood and a life to call her own.

Charlotte Perry Koniuto, 80 Sept. 29, 1940 – Jun. 13, 2021

In Memoriam

Charlotte Perry Koniuto, 80

Sept. 29, 1940 – Jun. 13, 2021

MILFORD – Charlotte Perry Koniuto, who served as the Otsego County Clerk and was an active member of the Republican Party, passed away unexpectedly late Sunday night, June 13, 2021, at Basset Medical Center in Cooperstown. She was 80.

Born Charlotte Jean Perry September 29, 1940, at home in the Town of Minden near Canajoharie, she was a daughter of Melvin David Perry, Sr. and Dorothy (Madison) Perry.

In 1950 Charlotte and her family moved to the Cooperstown area, where she attended a one-room schoolhouse in Bowerstown until it consolidated with Cooperstown Central School. After graduating from Cooperstown High School with the Class of 1958, she attended the University at Buffalo, and then returned to Cooperstown to work for the next seven years for Attorney Robert C. Tennant.

Walter (Walt) Rasmussen, 87 Feb. 25, 1934 – Jun. 14, 2021

In Memoriam

Walter (Walt) Rasmussen, 87

Feb. 25, 1934 – Jun. 14, 2021

Walter Rasmussen

On Monday, June 14, 2021, Walter (Walt) Rasmussen at age 87, left this earth for a much better place.

He was born February 25, 1934, in Queens, New York to Jack and Anna Rasmussen. Walter attended Milford Central School.

In his early working career, he assisted his father in the plumbing trades. Walter was always interested in electronics and for a short period of time had his own TV repair shop in Portlandville, NY.

Walter became a projectionist for local theaters including the Palace Theater in Oneonta, the Oneonta Theater, and the Del-Sego Drive-In Theater in Emmons, New York.

He was drafted by the United States Army in 1953 and spent time on the Korean Peninsula, being honorably discharged in 1955.

Gretchen Morrison, 42 Teacher, lifelong Cooperstown resident

In Memoriam

Gretchen Morrison, 42

Teacher, lifelong Cooperstown resident

COOPERSTOWN – Gretchen Morrison, a teacher and lifelong resident of the Cooperstown area, died unexpectedly June 11, 2021, at the age of 42.

Gretchen is survived by her loving mother and stepdad, Sandra and William Stockdale, her siblings and their spouses, Gregory and Lisa Marie Morrison, Glenda and Matt Vatovec, and Glenn and Michelle Morrison. Gretchen is also survived by her beautiful children, whom she loved very dearly, Konrad, Violet, and Otto. She was predeceased by her father, Walter Glen Morrison.

Gretchen was born in Cooperstown to Walter and Sandra Morrison. She graduated from Cooperstown Central School with her path clear and set to become a teacher. She completed her undergrad studies at SUNY Oneonta and went on for her Master’s degree at The University of New England. She was a teacher for many years, first at Cooperstown Central School, then at Proctor High School. She loved her craft and her students. She worked tirelessly to give the young lives she touched the opportunity for more in their future.

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