News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


In Memoriam

IN MEMORIAM: Jacquelyn Collins, 80; Lived in 17th Century Stone Cottage

IN MEMORIAM: Jacquelyn Collins, 80;

Teacher, Librarian Retired To England

Jacquelyn Collins

ONEONTA – Jacquelyn Collins, 80, of West Oneonta, a teacher, librarian and wife of an engineer who raised her family in Orange County and retired to Cornwall, England, died on Aug. 26, 2019.

She was born on Jan. 20, 1939, in The Bronx, the first child of John Taylor and Norma Baasch.  Her father, known as Jack, rose to lieutenant in the state police, and later was the Town of New Paltz’s first police chief and an Oneonta town justice.

Long Island where the Baasch family had a summer home in Bayport, which, at that time, was a rural village with fields, unpaved roads and quiet beaches.

IN MEMORIAM: Michael J. O’Hara, 74; Ran Construction Firm


Michael J. O’Hara, 74;

Ran Construction Firm

Michael O’Hara

ONEONTA – Michael J. O’Hara, 74, who operated his own construction firm until retiring, passed away peacefully May 15, 2019, at Fox Hospital, with his longtime, loving girlfriend, Mary Ann Helmer by his side.

Michael was born Sept. 24, 1944, at Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton, the son of Ambrose and Rita (Petkash) O’Hara.

IN MEMORIAM: Barbara Means, 87; Artist, World Traveler

Barbara Means, 87;

Artist, World Traveler

Barbara Means

ONEONTA – Barbara Means, 87, a world traveler who excelled in the arts, passed away on Jan. 13, 2019, in her home surrounded by loved ones.

Born on July 23, 1931, in Gettysburg, Pa., where she grew up playing on the battlefields, Barbara loved to read and swim.

She received her first degree at Cedar Crest College and went on to earn two master’s degrees in Special Education and Library Science. Barbara was always in pursuit of learning and embodied the true spirit of a lifelong student.

Penny Marshall, Director of ‘A League of Their Own’ Dies at 75

‘League Of Own’ Director

Penny Marshall Dies At 75

Penny Marshall last visited the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002, posing next to the “A League of their Own” case. (Milo Stewart Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame)

COOPERSTOWN – Penny Marshall, who directed the baseball classic “A League of Their Own” after taking inspiration from as Baseball Hall of Fame exhibit, died Monday night in her Hollywood Hills home  due to complications from diabetes, said Michelle Bega, a spokeswoman for the family.

Laura Moellering, Cooperstown, recalled that her mother,  Rita Meyer, a former shortstop for the Peoria Redwings with the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, met Marshall when, in 1988, she attended the 50th reunion and unveiling of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s “Women in Baseball” display.



In Memoriam: Norman Faye Maxson, 95; Veteran Had Career At A&P

IN MEMORIAM: Norman Maxson, 95;

WWII Veteran Spent Career At A&P

Norman F. Maxson

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Norman Faye Maxson, 95, a World War II veteran and career A&P employee, passed away peacefully on Tuesday Nov. 20, 2018, at Bassett Hospital.

Norman was born on July 15, 1923, in Richfield Springs, a son of the late Julian F. and Nina B. O’Connor Maxson. He was raised and educated In Richfield Springs, and lived here most of his live.

In 1942, he joined the Army Air Force, and served as a radio operator during World War II.

IN MEMORIAM: Dennis J. Enright, 63; Worked for Freeman’s Journal


Dennis J. Enright, 63;

Worked for Freeman’s Journal

WORCESTER – Dennis J. Enright, 63, who joined the staff of the Freeman’s Journal/Hometown Oneonta in his retirement, died at home Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018.

Born in Amsterdam, Dennis was the son of the late Basil and Mercedes Atala Enright.

He graduated from Schalmont High School in 1973 and later attended Herkimer County Community College and SUNY Geneseo, where received his Bachelor’s degree in communications and also served as the news editor of The Lamron, the school paper at Geneseo.  Dennis was employed as a sales agent with Terry Morris Ford in Burnt Hills for many years and also at Krystal Chrysler and Jeep in Warrensburg.

IN MEMORIAM: The Rev. Kenneth Baldwin, 95; Veteran, Hospital Chaplain

Rev. Kenneth Baldwin, 95;

WWII Veteran, Fox Chaplain

Rev. Kenneth Baldwin

ONEONTA – The Rev. Kenneth R. Baldwin, 95, retired United Methodist Church pastor, World War II veteran and Fox Hospital chaplain during his retirement in Oneonta, passed away on Aug. 27, 2018.

Ken was the son of the late Bert and Mae (Clifford) Baldwin of Fayetteville, and was born in Syracuse on June 26, 1923.  In 1940, he met the love of his life, Nancy Hall, at a youth camp in Charlotte, Vt.    World War II lengthened their courtship, but Ken and Nancy were married in 1948 and shared 70 years of happy marriage.  They enjoyed dancing well into Ken’s nineties, often to the applause of onlookers.

IN MEMORIAM: Sandra J. Bliss, 70, Teacher, Civic Leader

IN MEMORIAM: Sandra Bliss, 70;

40-year Teacher, Civic Leader

COOPERSTOWN – Sandra Jane Bliss, 70, a teacher and the first director of the Mohawk Regional Teacher’s Center, died peacefully Monday evening, Aug. 27, 2018, surrounded by her loving family at her home on County Highway 33 following a courageous battle with cancer.

Sandy was born in Cooperstown on Nov. 12, 1947, the daughter of Claud and Anna Bliss. She graduated from Cooperstown Central School in 1965 and SUNY Oneonta in 1969, received her Masters in Education from SUNY Cortland in 1974, and began her 40 year teaching career at Frankfort-Schuyler Central School in 1969.

Irene M. Miller, 96; Local Elementary School Teacher

IN MEMORIAM: Irene M. Miller, 96;

Local Elementary School Teacher

MILFORD CENTER — Irene (McGunnigle) Miller died on July 27, 2018. She was 96. She was born and raised in Hicksville, NY on Long Island, one of 4 other sisters and 2 brothers.

After high school she came to Oneonta to attend the then NY State Teachers College (Oneonta State Normal School) which is now SUNY Oneonta. She graduated with her Teaching Degree in Elementary Education and until her retirement in 1979 she taught various K-6 grades on Long Island, Unadilla, Milford and for the final 20 years at Center Street School in Oneonta teaching 1st Grade.

Donna Jane Whitmore, 72;  SUNY Oneonta Accountant For 30 Years

IN MEMORIAM: Donna Jane Whitmore, 72; 

SUNY Oneonta Accountant For 30 Years

Donna Jane Whitmore

LAURENS – Donna Jane Whitmore of Laurens passed away peacefully on July 26th, 2018 surrounded by her loving family. She was born on Oct 23, 1945 to Donald and Clara Scanlon and was the oldest of four siblings. She married her Toad (Ronald ‘Toad’ Whitmore) on December 10, 1966 and they were blessed with two daughters, Jodi and Julie.

Donna worked at the State University College at Oneonta for over 30 years. She worked in Accounts Receivable where she was very loved by her co-workers and was a mentor to many.

April Funeral Planned For Rev. Doug Deer

In Memoriam

April Funeral Planned

For Rev. Douglas Deer

COOPERSTOWN – Rev. Douglas M. Deer, a retired American Baptist minister, drew his last breath on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Mass.

A celebration of his life service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 7 at First Baptist Church, 21 Elm St., Cooperstown.

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