COOPERSTOWN – John Poole Briggs, 85, died peacefully at his home in Ormond Beach, Florida, on September 16, 2022, with his fiancé at his side.
He was born on August 9, 1937, to Harold John Poole and Edna Martha (Fredericks) Briggs of Northport. As a young boy, he spent summers on his father’s boat, the “Silver Fox,” where he developed a love for the ocean. A businessman at heart, John would sell batteries and T.V. tubes to fishermen and boaters on the dock in Northport. At 15, he opened his first T.V. repair shop behind the Midway, a newspaper & soda shop. He then proceeded to help his lifelong friend, Elsa Posey, who was also 15, open her school of dance.
In 1954, he drove his 1934 wood-side Ford across the country to Alaska. After his funds were exhausted, he returned home. The young businessman continued his T.V. repair business as he rented a shop on Main Street in Northport. One lesson he would reflect on often was when his father borrowed $1,000.00 from him and used it as a down payment to purchase a building for the business. His father’s opinion was, in business, if you have to make payments, “it is better to own than rent.”
ONEONTA – Rich was born on August 7, 1943 in Oneonta, NY to Leslie and Lucille (Mulford) Elderkin. He was raised on the family farm in West Laurens. It was there where he learned his strong work ethic and mechanical skills (“There were no holidays on our calendar”).
His father died when Rich was 16, which left him running the 100 head family farm together with the hired man, his mother and “little brother” John- not to mention attending school and playing football. Eventually they decided to sell and Rich joined the Air Force on May 21,1963. (“I went to see the army recruiter who wasn’t on duty that day. Lucky for me, the Air Force recruiter was there and I could not have made a better choice for my life’s work”).
COOPERSTOWN – Jeanne “Jeje” Stone Barrett Viek, 93, passed away peacefully at her daughter’s home in Cooperstown on January 22, 2022.
She was born on March 22, 1928 in Bryn Mawr, PA, the daughter of Albert Oliver and Lisbeth Beatrice (Stone) Barrett. She grew up in Devon, PA. Most weekends the family went to their farm on the eastern shore of Chesapeake Bay, Maryland.
Jeje attended the Baldwin School in Bryn Mawr, PA, a private school for girls. Those who know Jeje won’t be surprised to hear she was pushed ahead two grades, and she was also a bit of a mischief-maker (but never malicious)! She attended Smith College where she majored in Science (and was well-known for her prowess at arm wrestling). She was also on the All-Smith Crew team. Jeje later went to West Chester State College (now University) to become a teacher. She eventually earned two Master’s Degrees at West Chester – one in Science Education and one in Reading.
BURLINGTON FLATS – Eric W. Meyer, 50, of Burlington Flats, passed away August 20, 2022 at home surrounded by his loving family.
Eric was born in Suffern, NY the son of Eric J and Mary Knorr Meyer.
He is survived by his sons Devin Meyer, Glenn Prentice, and Ashton Prentice, his parents Eric J and Mary Meyer, brothers Chris Meyer, and Sean (Antoinette) Meyer, grand daughter Ella Prentice, nieces Cayla Meyer, Chloe Meyer, and Madison Meyer, several cousins aunts and uncles.
FLY CREEK – Joyce L Boyd, 70 of Fly Creek, NY went to be with the Lord on July 18,2022 surrounded by her family and friends.
Joyce was born in Cooperstown on January 30, 1952 to Evelyn (McCarty) and Harris Clark, Jr.
Joyce attend Cooperstown Central School, SUNY Cobleskill and Empire State College. She excelled in her career at Otsego County. Joyce started with the county as a keypunch operator in 1975 and through hard work and dedication was eventually promoted in 2007 to Commissioner of Social Services, the largest agency in the county. Joyce retired in 2014 after 39 years of service.
HARTWICK – Karen Burgess (née Stefanachi) departed our world on July 19th, 2022, due to complications from heart surgery while surrounded by loved ones. She was 64.
Karen was born October 18th, 1957, in Rockville Centre to Eugene and Barbara Stefanachi. She grew up in Uniondale and attended Uniondale High School where she excelled in art and being that effortlessly cool chick. During a summer visit to Cooperstown, she met Mike Burgess on Main St., who she instantly recognized as ‘that cool guy she had seen around town.’ They married in 1977 and moved to Hartwick in 1983 with their three young daughters.
COOPERSTOWN – James E. Dow, whose dedication and service to the Cooperstown area as a licensed funeral director spanned a period of over 40 years, and service to Otsego County as a coroner spanned a period of 30 years, passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of Thursday, July 14, 2022, at his home in the Village of Cooperstown with his beloved wife, Debbie, at his side. He was 74.
Jim was born on November 10, 1947, in Oneonta, the son of George E. Dow, Jr. and Helen (Sturges) Dow. When Jim was 10 his father’s position with New York Telephone brought about a move to Stamford. In 1961, another transfer brought the family to the Village of Cooperstown, and deep roots were planted. Throughout those formative years, Jim enjoyed spending his free time with his grandparents on their farm at Sturges Corners in North Kortright. Valuable life lessons and skills were learned from Grandma Frances and Grandpa Ray, and he enjoyed sharing tales of his escapades and adventures there.
ONEONTA – Dr. Charles C. Burnsworth, Professor Emeritus of Music at SUNY Oneonta passed away at home surrounded by his loving family on July 8, 2022.
Born on June 27, 1931, he was the son of Carl and Priscilla (Skerritt) Burnsworth of Niagara Falls. He married the former Carole Scranton of Schoharie on December 27, 1959. Together, they were fortunate to be blessed with fifty-seven years of a wonderful marriage. She died on July 2, 2016.
Dr. Burnsworth was a graduate of SUNY Fredonia, the University of Illinois and Boston University. He also earned diplomas from San Diego State College and Westminster Choir College. While serving in the Army, he was specially selected to attend the Navy School of Music in Washington, D.C., from which he also earned a diploma. While there, he was a paid member of the National Presbyterian Church Choir where President Eisenhower was a regular attendee. While at Boston University, Dr. Burnsworth studied conducting with Richard Burgin, concert-master of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and he was also a student and performer under the famous choral conductor Robert Shaw, at both San Diego and at Westminster Choir College.
ONEONTA – David K. Mattice passed away on June 26, 2022 due to health issues. He was proud to live his entire 69 years in the Oneonta area.
He is survived by his wife Constance Mattice, daughter Carol Pierce (DJ Wooden), son Daniel and Kimberly Mattice and four grandchildren Makenzie and Andrew Pierce and Kara and Eric Mattice. He is also survived by his twin sister Debra and Robert Archer, brother John and Pamela Mattice, sister Melissa and Chris Carvin, brother-in-law Craig and Karen Schaffer, nieces Samantha Tetor (Nicholas) and Rachel Schaffer, nephews Christopher Carvin (Madeleigh Place), Ryan Schaffer (Talene), Philip Schaffer, and Bradley Schaffer (Denielle) and great nieces Kylie Mattice and Ellie Schaffer. David’s aunts Joyce Stone (Louie) and Minnie Beams also survived him.
David is predeceased by his parents, John and Frances Mattice, son in law Adam Pierce, and many aunts and uncles who were near and dear to his heart.
FLY CREEK – Geoffrey Harrison Goodwin, 50, passed away on June 15, 2022, at home in Fly Creek. He was born December 30, 1971, at New York Hospital to Gary and Sally Goodwin. The family moved to Cooperstown in 1972 and then to Fly Creek in 1988.
After graduating from Cooperstown Central School with the Class of 1990, Geoff attended Syracuse University where he received a B.A. degree. He worked as a Laboratory Technician at Bassett Medical Center for four years before moving to Boulder, Colorado, where he earned an M.F.A. degree from Naropa University.
Geoff was a writer. His freelance publications were wide ranging but he took the greatest pleasure in his poetry and short stories. He loved and collected books and also ran an independent bookstore where people delighted in stopping by to visit and joke with him. He was fascinated by words and their meanings and got into trouble in high school for reading the dictionary instead of whatever he should have been doing. Based in Natick and Framingham Massachusetts, Geoff really enjoyed living in the Boston area. He had a lifelong passion for the Boston Celtics.
ONEONTA – Nancy C. Wayman, formerly of Oneonta, passed away Aug. 8, 2021.
Nancy is survived by her siblings, Cyndy Duffy of Fairport, Wendy (Skip) Willbach of St. Johns, Florida, Amy West of Liverpool, Pat Ulm of Aurora, Colorado, and Joe Ulm of Binghamton; as well as many nieces and nephews she dearly loved.
A graveside service for friends and family will be 11 a.m., Saturday, July 9, 2022 at the Glenwood Cemetery in Oneonta, NY.
COOPERSTOWN – Lawrence Dale “Lannie” Richards, a longtime resident of the Cooperstown area, passed away unexpectedly Friday, June 10, 2022, at his home on Van Yahres Road. He was 67.
Born September 11, 1954, in Westfield, Massachusetts, Lannie was one of five sons of Harold P. and Kathryn M. (Walrath) Richards. Raised in Cooperstown, he graduated with the Class of 1973 from Cooperstown Central School.
On June 26, 1976, Lannie married Shari L. Nelson in Middlefield. Shari passed away unexpectedly June 16, 2011.
After working at Bassett Hospital, he owned and operated Groundskeepers, providing property maintenance to many individuals and businesses in the Cooperstown area.
Oneonta – Barbara I. Brandow, 89, passed away June 19, 2022 at her home.
She was born August 5, 1932 in Maplecrest, the daughter of David Bell and Lucy (Crandell) Irish.
Barbara graduated from Windham Ashland Jewett Central School, Valedictorian of the Class of 1950.
She married Alton “Dutch” Brandow on September 19, 1952.
Barbara was the co-owner and operator of a dairy farm in Fergusonville from 1960 to 1986. She and her husband were the founding owners for Feed & Seed in Oneonta from 1991 to 2005, at that time transitioning to their grandson, Scott Brandow, the current owner of Brandow’s Feed & Seed.