News of Otsego County

In Memoriam

George Howard Yager, 69 Veteran, Outdoors Enthusiast, Worked at ONC Boces

George Howard Yager, 69

Veteran, Outdoors Enthusiast,
Worked at ONC Boces

George H. Yager

George Howard Yager was born September 30, 1951 in Fulton the son of the late Rev. George Howard and Edna (Topliffe) Yager.

George served his country in the United States Army as a Military Policeman.

George was 1969 graduate of Alexander Central School and a 1981 Genesee Community College graduate with and associates degree in model making.

After moving to Goodyear Lake from Byron, George began working at ONC BOCES as a teacher’s aide.

George enjoyed model making, photography, riding an ATV, watching NASCAR, boating and jet skiing on the lake and hosting his annual 4th of July gatherings.

Dawn Marie Huckabone Myers, 53; Volunteer With Fire Dept. Auxiliary
In Memoriam

Dawn Marie Huckabone Myers, 53

Volunteer With Fire Dept. Auxiliary

Dawn M. H. Myers

Dawn Marie Huckabone Myers, age 53, passed away, after a long courageous battle with cancer, on Thursday, April 22, 2021, in Bassett Medical Center, Cooperstown. She had the comfort and support of her loving family at her side.

Dawn was born on April 18, 1968, in Ilion, daughter of Jean A. Fahey Huckabone and the late Douglas A. Huckabone. She was raised in Springfield Center and was a graduate of Springfield Center High School. She furthered her education, graduating with an Associate’s Degree from Mohawk Valley Community College. She continued her education at SUNY Oneonta where she received a bachelor’s degree in both psychology and sociology.

In 1995, she went to work for the Bank of America OP Center and in 2014, for Berkshire Bank Ilion branch, where she held the position of teller supervisor.

She retired in April of 2018, after 25 years of dedicated service, due to her illness.

In Memoriam: Margaret Ahlvqist, 91
In Memoriam

Margaret Ahlvqist, 91

Voracious Reader, College
Administrative Assistant

Margaret Ahlvqist

Margaret Sahlke was born on July 9, 1929, in Staten Island, New York, to Rudolf, a baker, and Lillian, a schoolteacher. Margaret and her younger brother, Rudy, both worked in the bakery as they grew up.

Margaret graduated from New Dorp High School in 1947 and a few years later met the love of her life, Bertel Ahlqvist, who had recently moved to the United States from Finland.

“He took me to a dance one night and we were pretty much inseparable after that,’’ Margaret relayed to her children shortly before her death.

The pair enjoyed 51 years of marriage and partnership before Bert’s death in 2004.

The family moved from Staten Island to Laurens, New York, in 1975 and Bert and Margaret moved to Mt. Vision in 1985. Margaret was a homemaker for many years, and landlord after the move upstate. She also was an Administrative Assistant at Hartwick College.

In Memoriam: Helen Winne Mulligan, 101
In Memoriam

Helen Winne Mulligan, 101

Apr. 13, 1919 – Mar. 15, 2021

Helen Winne Mulligan passed away on March 15, 2021 at the age of 101 after a full and healthy life.

Helen was born Helen Smith, on April 13th, 1919 in the Town of Exeter, New York. She was the daughter of E. Frank Smith and Hazel Pratt Smith, the fifth of six children. She grew up in Schuyler Lake.

Helen had three older brothers, an older sister, and a younger sister. The oldest boy, Eugene, drowned when he was 9 years old. Helen’s mother died when Helen was six years old. Her father was left with five children, ages 13, 11, 9, 6 and 2. The two oldest, Francis and Glenn quit school to help their father with his coal, feed and grain business Helen’s older sister, Margaret, who was nine, helped with the housework and the cooking. For 2 years, after her mother died, Helen spent the winter months with her aunt and uncle a few miles away.

Helen’s brothers, Francis and Glenn served during WWII. When they returned, Francis worked as a bus driver and Glenn became a chef. Helen’s older sister, Margaret, married and had six children. Margaret died when she was 38. Catherine (Catherine Smith Van Allen) her younger sister, who lived in Richfield Springs, had four children. Helen remained close to her sister and her nieces and nephews.

IN MEMORIAM: Gary L. Georgia, 78


Gary L. Georgia, 78

Nov. 9, 1942 – Mar. 30, 2021

Gary L. Georgia

Gary L. Georgia, 78 of Otego passed away Tues. March 30, 2021. He was born on Nov. 9, 1942 on the Otsdawa in Otego. He leaves behind his wife, Shirley (Hulbert) of 51 years, his brothers, Wesley, Jacksonville, NC., Myers Jr (Cindy), James, David and sisters, RoseAnn Poillucci (Bob), and Kathleen Chandler all of Becket, Mass., his sisters-in-law, Diana Howard, Laurens and Gail (Robert) Klose, Unadilla. He also leaves behind many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents Ruth (Georgia) and Myers Taylor. Gary (JB’s) early career was herdsman on many local dairies before driving milk trucks for Coventry Transport, Greene, for more than 20 years. “Over and out” to all his buddies from NYC to Boston.

At Gary’s request there will be no services. Expressions of sympathy can be made to the Otego Emergency Squad 5 River Street Otego, NY 13825 in his memory. Online Condolences may be made at: Arrangements have been handled by Westcott-Madden Funeral Home, 123 Main Street, Unadilla, NY.

You May Include Family Members  In ‘In Memoriam’ On COVID Year

You May Include Family Members 

In ‘In Memoriam’ On COVID Year

Dear Friends,

We are planning a one-year retrospective of The COVID Year the next editions of Hometown Oneonta & The Freeman’s Journal, which will include an “IN MEMORIAM” section, remembering and honoring our friends and neighbors fatally stricken by the virus.

If you have a family member felled by COVID and would like them to be memorialized, then please send – by noon Monday, March 15 – his or her name, dates of birth and death, and a paragraph remembering their lives and how they are remembered.

With condolences and best regards,


Editor & Publisher

IN MEMORIAM: Francesco Basile, 99; Opened Mama Nina’s in 1970

Francesco Basile, 99;

Opened Mama Nina’s in 1970


Francesco Basile, 99, who opened Mama Nina’s in Oneonta in 1970, passed away on Jan. 17, 2021, in Naples, Fla.

He was born on Oct. 16, 1921, to Giuseppa Lombardo from Castelvetrano and Antonino Basile from Carini, Sicily. Francesco was the eighth of 14 children and the last sibling to pass away.

Francesco was 34 years old when he immigrated from Sicily to the United States with his wife, Maria Ruffino, 27, and their children, Antonino, 9, Giuseppa, 6, and Rose, 4. They sailed out of Palermo on the ship called Saturnia on Dec. 24, 1955, and arrived on Jan. 4, 1956. In 1970, Francesco and Maria opened Mama Nina’s without any knowledge of the food industry. At the age of 65, when most people are retiring, Francesco and Maria opened their second restaurant, Mama Maria’s in Stamford.

Francesco enjoyed his garden of tomatoes, zucchinis and more. Every autumn, he made his homemade wine. Francesco and Maria enjoyed many expeditions and cruises to Greece, France, Portugal, Spain, Israel, Hawaii and their beloved country, Italy.

At age 75, Francesco and Maria retired in Naples, Fla. His wife of 54 years, Maria, predeceased him in 2010.

Jean D. Holbert, 82; Survived by 10 Children
In Memoriam

Jean D. Holbert, 82;

Survived by 10 Children

Jean D. Holbert

EDMESTON – Jean D. Holbert, 82, a former farmer who worked at Pathfinder Village, died Monday, Dec. 21, 2020 at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.

She was born on Nov.1, 1938 in Olyphant, Pa., the daughter of Bertha & Frank Ceresko.

On Aug. 17, 1957 she married George E. Holbert in Heart Lake, PA.

Jean worked alongside of George on the family farm for many years until the farm was sold in 1991. She then went to work as a care provider at Pathfinder Village and Homer Folks in Oneonta.

Jean was an avid baker, cook and preserver. She loved cooking all the holiday meals, baking the apple and pumpkin pies and serving her pickles. She had a green thumb when it came to growing a garden. She enjoyed putting puzzles together, reading cook books, watching the Buffalo Bills or just sitting around visiting with a cup of coffee and some baked goods. She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

She is survived by her 10 children; Edward Holbert, David (Sue) Holbert, Beverly Fagan, George (Deanna) Holbert, Joseph (Beverly) Holbert, Carol (Greg) Thomas, Nancy (Bryan) Johnson, Roger (Kristen) Holbert, Susan (Art) Holbert, Catherine (Wayne) Holbert, Cindy Holbert, 22 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren, her sister, Ginger and many nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her husband George of 60 years, son-in-law Robert Fagan and daughter-in-law, Elsie Holbert, brothers; Lloyd & Andrew, sisters; Fran, Lottie & Eleanor.

Jean was one of the strongest, kindest persons you’d ever want to meet. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.

Calling hours were held on Monday, December 28, 2020 at the Dakin Funeral Home, LP, New Berlin, NY. Proper social distancing practices were in place.

A private funeral service was held for the family with Father Kris Boretto officiating.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Dakin Funeral Home.

IN MEMORIAM: Assemblyman Bill Magee; Allied With Seward To Benefit County


Assemblyman Bill Magee, 81;

Seward Ally In Benefiting All

Assemblyman William “Bill” Magee

NELSON – William (Bill) Magee, who served Otsego County in the state Assembly for 28 years, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2020. He was 81.

The younger of two children of Donald and Ruth (Hart) Magee, he lived in the Town of Nelson, outside Cazenovia, all of his life. The Magee family operated a small dairy and general store in Erieville. Bill graduated from Cazenovia Central School and Cornell University, where he earned a degree in Agricultural Economics.

He married the former Jeanette Nichols.  The couple were married for 52 years before her death in 2018.

Joan F. Shepard, 66; Raised Family Locally
In Memoriam

Joan F. Shepard, 66;

Raised Family Locally

ONEONTA – Joan F. Shepard, 66, who worked at the F.N. Burt Box Company for many years, passed away Sunday, December 6, 2020 at home.

She was born Feb. 8, 1954 in Long Island City, the daughter of the late Peter and Rita (Croci) Sanfilippo.

Joan married Leonard C. Shepard on May 25, 1991 at the Aldrich Baptist Church, North Franklin.

Joan is survived by her husband, Leonard C. Shepard; four children, Bobby Jo (Greg) Greene, George (Patricia) Smith, III, William E. (Kathryn) James, Jr., and Alexander E. (Amanda) James; nine grandchildren; four great grandchildren; two sisters, Elvira (Barry) Koerber and Paula (Laverne) Morrell; one sister-in-law, Chris Sanfilippo; two brothers-in-law, Teddy Ketcham and Ron Reda; as well as several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her siblings, Rosemary Ketcham, Rita Ann Reda, Peter Sanfilippo, Jr. and Frances Sanfilippo.

There will be no services.

Arrangements are by the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, Oneonta.

Dominic Peter Parlato, 83; Accountant Active In City
In Memoriam

Dominic Peter Parlato, 83;

Accountant Active In City

Dominic Parlato

ONEONTA – Dominic Peter Parlato, 83, who co-founded an accounting firm with Bruno Talevi and was active in numerous community boards, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 in Warwick, R.I..

Born Aug. 10, 1937, in Rochester, to John and Phoebe (Frosino) Parlato, Dominic attended PS27 and East High School, where he was known to family and friends as “Donald.”

He served as president of his sophomore and junior classes and played high school varsity cross country, football, basketball and baseball.

At 16, he joined the United States Navy Reserve and at 17, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. After graduating high school, he served three years active duty with the U.S. Marine Corps at Parris Island, Camp Lejeune, and aboard the USS Randolph and Intrepid aircraft carriers before being honorably discharged in 1958 with the rank of E4, Buck Sergeant.

Following his service, he attended the University of Vermont where he majored in accounting, played varsity basketball and football and was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity.

It was also at UVM where Dominic met the love of his life, Paula Stevenson. Their lives were blessed with three children, Craig, Jill and Todd.

Upon graduation in 1962, he obtained employment in NYC with Haskins and Sells, CPAs, earning the CPA designation himself.

In 1967, he formed an accounting practice with partner Bruno Talevi in Oneonta.

In his spare time he played semi-pro football in the Empire League for three years with the Oneonta Indians; served as president of the Southern Tier Chapter of the NYS Society of CPAs; and was co-chair of Planned Parenthood of Otsego and Delaware Counties. He also served on the boards of the A.O. Fox Hospital Board of Trustees; A.O. Fox Foundation; United Way; Hartwick College Citizens Board; and was active with Oneonta Junior Jaycees; BPOE 1312; and the American Legion. As a Master Mason with the Oneonta Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons, he was awarded the Dedicated Service Award and served as treasurer.

Dominic served as an adjunct professor at Hartwick College and the State University College at Oneonta. He received the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) designation from the AICPA and earned Life Insurance Agent, Registered Representative and RIA designations.

He is survived by his wife, Paula (Stevenson) Parlato; son, Craig (Kim Green) Parlato; daughter, Jill (Tino) Ciambriello; son, Todd (Carissa Mann) Parlato; brother, Frank (Joan) Parlato; sister, Carole DeMauro; sister-in-law, June (Ladd) Cook; grandchildren, Dominic, Kelsey, Maia, Lila and Phoebe; and a large beloved extended family.

He was predeceased by brother-in-law, Peter DeMauro and daughter-in-law, Carol (Tilton) Parlato.

A memorial service will be announced in 2021.

Arthur H. Kiser Sr., 100; Served In CCC, Marines
In Memoriam

Arthur H. Kiser Sr., 100;
Served In CCC, Marines

COOPERSTOWN – Arthur “Art” Henry Kiser Sr., 100 years and five days old, who served in the Civilian Conservation Corps and the Marines during World War II, then spent a career with NYSEG, passed peacefully away Nov. 23, 2020, at home, in his own bed, just as he wished.

His loving daughter, Teresa, was by his side.

Art was born Henry Alvin Kiser Nov. 18, 1920, in Ohio, a third child of nine to Palmer “Parmie” Kiser Sr. and Anna Roonie (Crace) Kiser. As a young child Art lived in Ithaca, where much of his mother’s family lived. There he enjoyed the company of many cousins.

As a teenager Art joined the Civilian Conservation Corps.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, the U.S. entered World War II, Art became one of “Edson’s Raiders” in the 1st Marine Raider Battalion, Company C, fighting the Japanese in the Pacific Theater. He was first on Tulagi then joined the other companies to fight on Guadalcanal and in the well-known Edson’s Ridge Battle, the battle to control the airfield.

Malaria took its toll on so many Marines and Art was no exception. After months of recovery back in The States, he returned to New York City where, at a party, he met the love of his life, Helen Platt, a Brooklyn girl. After two months of courtship they married on Dec. 31, 1944. Together they decided that city life was not where they wanted to raise a family. They moved to Cooperstown and bought the home they lived in for the rest of their lives and where they raised their six children.

Art took a job in Oneonta with NYSEG, starting as a ditch digger. Before he retired, some 36 years later, he was working in the electric department in Cooperstown.

Art’s hobbies and interests included self-taught TV repair, auto repair, carpentry, gardening, fishing and hunting, and was an avid reader.

Art is survived by his children, Arthur Kiser Jr. (Lori) of Cooperstown, Sue Georgia (Buddy) of Walla Walla, Wa, Teresa of Cooperstown, Richard (Lori) of Apalachin and Timothy (Tara) of Milford. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Jamie Kiser (Teresa) of Whitesboro, Michael (Tiffany) of Cooperstown, Scott Joslin (Cathy) of Oneonta, Christine Joslin (Eli) of Marshall, N.C.m Nick Kiser (Stephanie) of Buffalo, Lexi Kiser (Dusty) of Copenhagen, Alex Lubbers (Lauren)of Spotsylvania, Va., Devon and Kaylee Kiser of Milford; as well as by his great-grandchildren, Dylan and Danielle Kiser, Jonathan Joslin, Kruz and Kamden Kiser, Coulter and Wyatt Lubbers. Art is survived by one brother, Paul Kiser of Milford; and many nieces and nephews.

Art was predeceased by Helen, his wife of 66 years; daughter, Nancy Lee Kiser (Feola); as well as four brothers and three sisters.

Graveside services are planned for the springtime.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Tillapaugh Funeral Service.

Charles William Taylor, 92; Farmer Was On Winning Team
In Memoriam

Charles William Taylor, 92;
Farmer Was On Winning Team

Charles Taylor

GILBERTSVILLE – Charles William Taylor, 92, known as a hardworking man of faith, passed away peacefully on Dec. 3, 2020, at the home of his daughter, Ann, in Cortland.

He was born on March 28, 1928, in Albany, to Caroline Oliver Taylor and William Maurice Taylor.

He grew up on a dairy farm on Delaware Avenue, part of Graceland Cemetery at the time, and attended the Albany public school nearby.

His family moved to the Bender Melon farm in New Scotland. Chuck graduated from Bethlehem High School and later from Cornell University, with a degree in agriculture. He was co-captain of a winning football team. He married Jane Elizabeth Widmann and together, they were active in the New Scotland Presbyterian Church.

When Chuck began working for Agway in 1967, the family lived in Otego, for 3½ years. He bought a farm in Gilbertsville in 1970. Chuck and Jane were active in the Gilbertsville Presbyterian Church.

They moved to Cortland in 2010 to reside with their daughter, Ann.

Chuck enjoyed scenic rides through the Upstate New York countryside and singing in the choir.

Chuck was predeceased by his wife; parents; brother, Lewis Taylor; and brother-in-law Glenn Winchester.

He is survived by his sister,: Martha Winchester and Carol (Dick) Carman; children, Margery (George) Hillenbrand, Bette (Glenn) Barkley, Ann Taylor and David (Donna Maack) Taylor: 10 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews and their children.

Family and friends are invited to a graveside service at 10 a.m. Friday, Dec. 11, in Butternut Valley Cemetery, River Road, Butternuts, with John Hartman officiating.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Johnston & Stanimer Funeral Home in Morris.

Charles L. Bollinger, Jr. 77; Sold Yearbooks For 40 Years
In Memoriam

Charles L. Bollinger, Jr. 77;

Sold Yearbooks For 40 Years

Charles Bollinger Jr.

LAURENS – Charles LeRoy Bollinger, Jr., 77, the Town of Laurens tax collector and a founding member of the Gettysburg Auto Medics, passed away Saturday, December 5, 2020 at Albany Medical Center.

He was born June 12, 1943 in Gettysburg, Pa., the son of the late Charles LeRoy, Sr. and Kathryn E. (Warner) Bollinger. Charlie graduated from Gettysburg High School in 1961 and then furthered his studies at York Academy of Arts graduating in 1965.

On June 26, 1976, Charlie married Sandra “Sandy” DeMarie at Jersey Shore Presbyterian Church in Jersey Shore, PA.

For over 40 years, Charlie was a yearbook representative for Herff Jones. He enjoyed the fact that his job allowed him to travel all throughout Central PA and Upstate NY.

In his retirement, Charlie continued building relationships and helping others while working for the Bookhout Funeral Home. He was also proud of the fact that he was an elected official being the Town of Laurens Tax Collector at the time of his death.

Charlie enjoyed hunting, watching NASCAR and playing softball from the age of 16 to 75. Loving his home state, he was an avid Phillies, Penn State and Steelers fan. He also loved drag racing, classic cars, and was so proud of his 1964 Corvette Stingray.

Charlie was a member of the Laurens Presbyterian Church, the Oneonta Elks B.P.O.E. #1312, the Sons of the American Legion Gettysburg Post #202, and the Good Samaritan Lodge NO. 336 F&A.M. He was also a founding member of the Gettysburg Auto Medics.

Charlie is survived by his loving wife, Sandy Bollinger, Laurens; five children, Jodianne (Joseph) Voletto, Womelsdorf, PA, Charles “Three” LeRoy Bollinger, III (Amanda), Phelps, Katie Jayne Bollinger (Edward Bishop) South Otselic, Anthony Benjamin (Shannon) Bollinger, Bennington, Va, and Rebekah “Beanie” (Garret) Wyman, Cornelius, NC; eight granddaughters, Guilia (Brad), Samantha (James), Izabelle, Adeline, Amelia, Bridget, Evelyn and Tessa; two great granddaughters, Freja and Winry; two brothers, Harvey W. Bollinger, Slidell, LA and Timothy K. (Cindy) Bollinger, Gettysburg, Pa; as well as several nieces and nephews and many “adopted” children. He was predeceased by his sister-in-law Marilyn Culp Bollinger.

A service to celebrate Charlie’s life will be held at a later date.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Bookhout Funeral Home, Oneonta.

IN MEMORIAM: Vera E. McLaughlin, 75, Fox Hospital Nurse

IN MEMORIAM: Vera McLaughlin, 75,

A.O. Fox Hospital Nurse, Otego EMT

Vera E. McLaughlin

ONEONTA – Vera E. McLaughlin, 75, a Fox Hospital nurse and former EMT, died Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020.

She was born Vera Ellen Bowman to Jay N. and Theodora (Stoppenhagen) Bowman in Fort Wayne, Indiana on July 12, 1945.

A graduate of Northside High School, Fort Wayne, Indiana, in 1963 and Parkview Methodist Nursing School in 1966 Vera also earned her BS in Nursing at Hartwick College, Oneonta, NY (class of 1990) while she raised her family and worked full-time at AO Fox Hospital, first in the Intensive Care Unit, then as a Nursing Supervisor and in Patient Education. Vera was proud to have volunteered on the Otego Emergency Squad in the 1990s.

She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in her 40s and, while the disease took its toll on her, she remained a smart, funny and creative woman until the end. She loved good jokes and bad puns. A master at Scrabble and Words with Friends, she also enjoyed puzzles and riddles. When she played games, she was known to be competitive because “that’s how you win” and she’d say it as if the thought of playing any other way was odd. Over her lifetime she dabbled in many crafts, sewing, crocheting, cake decorating and even painting and writing.

Vera is survived by her son, Shawn and his wife Kathleen of Whitesboro, NY and daughter, Mindy and her husband Joel Potts of Niverville, NY and grandchildren, Alexander Potts, Dell Potts and Declan McLaughlin. She is preceded in death by her parents, and brother, Vern Bowman who coincidentally died on October 7, 1979.

A celebration of life will be held at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, or for those who wish, donations may be made to the MS Society (NMSS, P.O. Box 4594, New York, NY 10163). To send a condolence or share a memory online, go to www.

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