ONEONTA – Erich M. Wilkens, 76, of St. James Place, a Marine and decorated Vietnam War veteran, died Wednesday July 10, 2019, at his residence with his family at his side. Survivors include a daughter in West Oneonta.
He was born Oct. 17, 1942 in Oceanside, Long Island, son of the late John and Ilse Sperling Wilkens.
Erich was a veteran of the Marine Corps, having been awarded the Purple Heart, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Rifle Marksman Badge. His service to his country continued with his membership with the Phoenicia American Legion Post #950.
ONEONTA – Allen Wamsley, 73, a Vietnam veteran who retired from Reinhardt Home Heating, passed away on May 16, 2019, at Bassett Hospital, following an extended illness.
Allen was born in Kingston, on Jan. 19, 1946, to Ruth Effner and Andrew Wamsley. He was the youngest of his five siblings, Marie (Paul), Patricia, Butch, Steve (Shirley) and Chris (Russ). He grew up in the Oneonta and the surrounding area, attending Oneonta High School.
FLY CREEK – Sarah (Sally) Van Horne Rezen, 95, a Marine, farmer with her husband Paul and antiques restorer whose family has lived in the Fly Creek Valley for 200 years, passed away on April 2, 2019, at Walden Place in Cortland.
Sally was born on Dec. 13, 1923, the daughter of Dorr and Emma Van Horne. She was the sixth of seven girls and grew up on the family farm in Fly Creek Valley.
Sally went to a one-room schoolhouse at the Sprague School through 8th grade. She attended Cooperstown High School, graduating in 1941. After graduation, and with WWII underway, Sally worked at several jobs throughout the region, including an airplane parts factory in Sidney.
COOPERSTOWN – Leland C. Smith, 96, a World War II veteran who spent his career in Bassett Hospital’s business office, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2019, at Promenade Assisted Living in Chestnut Ridge, Rockland County.
Leland was born on Feb. 5, 1922, in Cooperstown, to Ethel and Charles Smith. He died less than a week before his 97th birthday.
ONEONTA – Robert Steven “Steve” O’Sullivan, 76, a Marine and mason, passed away Nov. 3, 2013, at Bassett Hospital, due to complications from a head injury after a fall; his family was by his side. He is no longer in pain and is at peace.
He was born Oct. 17, 1941 in The Bronx, the son of the late Virginia (Tansy) and Robert William O’Sullivan. Steve was raised by his grandparents in Windham after his mother lost her life when he was 2. As a teenager, he moved to Stamford, and lived with his Aunt Laura and Uncle Holger Eklund while his father continued to work for the New York Telephone Company in the city.
SPRINGFIELD – Richard Lee Hanson, a Marine veteran of the Vietnam War, retired school teacher and farmer, passed away following a valiant battle with cancer Wednesday night, Oct. 18, 2017, at his home in the Town of Springfield with his family by his side. He was 73.
Born March 30, 1944, at Bassett Hospital, he was the son of Lester Hans and Ellamae Jessie (Myers) Hanson. A gifted athlete, Dick attended Cooperstown Central School where he excelled in football, skiing, basketball and track.
ONEONTA – Dennis James “Shorty” Kearney, 62, a Marine who loved cars, passed away on Saturday, June 3, 2017.
Dennis was born on Feb. 9, 1955, in Oneonta, a son of the late Robert E. and Helen (Root) Kearney. He grew up in Oneonta and attended Oneonta High School, then studied auto mechanics at SUNY Delhi. Following his graduation from Delhi, Shorty enlisted in the Marine Corps.
MORRIS – Marjorie Rearick, 55, a Marine and mother of four, passed away peacefully on Easter Sunday, April 16, 2017, with her family by her side.
Marjorie was born the daughter of William and Joan Fisher on Sept. 19, 1961, in Oneonta. She served honorably in the Marine Corps from March 1979 to March 1982.
Lately, she was employed by Chobani in New Berlin.
She enjoyed hunting for gems in the Adirondacks, searching for old bottles, and treasure hunting with metal detectors, as well as doing various arts and craft projects ranging from sewing to painting. Despite her various hobbies, what she enjoyed the most was being a mother.
ALBANY – The state Senate has passed legislation renaming a portion of State Route 357 in Delaware County in honor of Marine Corps Cpl. Nicholas K. Uzenski. The bill (S.6955), sponsored by state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, pays tribute to the decorated young patriot who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.
“Every man and woman who dons a United States military uniform sacrifices for our nation and our way of life,” said Seward. “Corporal Uzenski made the ultimate sacrifice and we owe it to him and his family to keep his memory alive.”