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News of Otsego County

Lady Ostapeck

BERKSON:  Lady With Horse

LETTER from TERRY BERKSON

Lady With Horse

Terry Berkson, who has an MFA in creative writing from Brooklyn College, lives on a farm outside Richfield Springs. His articles have appeared in New York magazine, the New York Daily News Sunday Magazine, Automobile and other publications.

I heard about Lady Ostapeck about 20 years ago at my friend Buddy Crist’s house on Angel Hill outside of Schuyler Lake.

There was a picture hanging on his living room wall. It was of a man dressed in a Tolstoy-like shirt standing in the doorway of a weathered cabin.

When I took a closer look I realized it was Buddy, appearing very authentic in clothes I never saw him wear before. “Who took the picture?” I asked.

“Her name is Lady Ostapeck,” Buddy answered. “I was gassing up in Richfield Springs. She was filling her tank on the other side of the pump and kept looking at me. I mean really looking – for a long time. Finally she comes around the pump and says, ‘Are you finish?’”

“I’m still pumping,” I answered.

“No, are you Finnish – from Scandinavia?” she asked.

“I don’t think so.”

“That may be, but I’d like to take your picture.”

It turned out that the woman who was then in her seventies was a famous photographer of Finnish descent. She wanted Buddy, who had the “right look,” to pose for pictures she planned to use for Independence Day in Finland.

They made an appointment, and a week later my friend spent an entire day trying on clothes in a costume – and prop-cluttered house while talking with Lady Ostapeck as she tried to bring to the surface a certain spirit she saw in him.

With Affection, Friends Bid A Final Farewell To ‘Lady’

With Affection, Friends Bid

A Final Farewell To ‘Lady’

Jim Atwell, the Quaker minister, seated at right, reflects on the life of Lady Ostapeck, the noted local photographer who died on Feb. 2, 2017; she was buried this afternoon in Fly Creek Cemetery. Photographing the scene is Nick Agyros, founder of the Photography Center of the Capitol District, Troy, who championed Lady’s ouevre during her final years. Other attendees include Hilda and Sam Wilcox, Cooperstown, in front row, and Phil Durkin of Cherry Valley, who attended with wife Leila.  At right is funeral director Martin Tillapaugh.   The final farewell was postponed several times, as not everyone who wanted to attended would have been able to. Lady lived in the Fly Creek Valley and, in later years, Nader Tower in Oneonta. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
DETAILS IN THIS WEEK’S FREEMAN’S, HOMETOWN
Lady Ostapeck’s Funeral Wednesday

Lady Ostapeck Funeral Wednesday

Lady Ostapeck tours the two-year exhibit of her works in 2010-11 in Tampere, Finland, where she was celebrated in her final years.  At right are her guides.

COOPERSTOWN – The funeral service for Lady Ostapeck, who died Feb. 2, 2017, in Herkimer, will be at 4 p.m. Wednesday (tomorrow) at the Tillapaugh Funeral Home, 208 Pioneer St., Cooperstown, Quaker minister Jim Atwell will officiate.

Burial will be in the spring in Fly Creek Valley Cemetery.

 

Lady Ostapeck Dies

IN MEMORIAM

Lady Ostapeck, 99

Photographer Beloved

In Cooperstown, County

Lady Ostapeck, the photographer whose history-inspired portraits made her beloved in the Cooperstown area, Otsego County and beyond, has passed away in Herkimer, where she resided in a nursing home for the past few years. She is holding a portrait of John Ramsey, Cooperstown, as a Scottish earl. Arrangements are with the Tillapaugh Funeral Home, Cooperstown. A full obituary will be forthcoming.  (Jim Kevlin photo from 2007)

EXHIBIT FEATURES PHOTOS BY LADY OSTAPECK, 89

LADY OSTAPECK TOASTED IN HER NATIVE FINLAND

PORTRAIT ARCHIVE  FROM PHOTOGRAPHY CENTER

Lady Ostapeck, Interviewed By Nick Argyros,

Gave This Outline Of Early Life, Local Career

Editor’s Note: This biographical outline was prepared by Nick Argyros, director of the Photography Center of the Capital District in Troy and a champion of Lady Ostapeck’s work.

Lady and her father

• Alma “Lady” Ostapeck, born 2/22/18, Brooklyn NY to Esa Kaukinen
• Father recently arrived from Finland
• Mother died a few days after birth, father went to northwest (Washington?) for lumbering, and possibly to avoid World War I draft.
• Raised for 2 years by mother’s sister in Brooklyn, Conn., a Finnish enclave.
• Aunt and family murdered by deranged axe-wielding neighbor farmer, who spared the baby.

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