MORRIS – Erika Shields, the Atlanta Police chief who resigned in the wake of the Rayshard Brooks shooting by police on Friday, is a Morris native, according to reports.
Shields graduated from Unatego Central School and received a master’s degree in criminal justice from Saint Leo University in Florida. A 25-year veteran of the department, she replaced Chief George N. Turner when he retired at the end of 2016.
Her resignation was announced on Saturday, June 14 by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.
MORRIS – Robert “Bob” F. Van Wormer, 87, who returned to his native Morris in 1990 after 30 years teaching, mostly in the Ithaca City School District, passed away at Wilson Hospital in Johnson City on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020.
Bob was born on Nov. 23, 1932, the son of Frederick Van Wormer and Mary (Lindhorst) Van Wormer, both deceased. He was also predeceased by a sister, Betty (Van Wormer) Michalski. He grew up in Morris, having attended the local school and then graduated from SUNY Oneonta.
MORRIS – Brian Madden described the sound “like a firecracker.”
“I was spraying insulation into a hole in the wall where vermin were getting in,” said Madden, a retired SUNY Oneonta professor. “Apparently fumes of spray went under the furnace and caused a small explosion. Flames shot out and I called 911. The woman told me to get out immediately.”
The Morris fire department was dispatched just after noon to Madden’s 287 West Hill Road home. “The fire was coming through the roof upon Fire Department arrival,” said Victor Jones, assistant emergency service coordinator for Otsego County.
MORRIS – Bertha Irene Smith, 97, who opened a home daycare and served as a foster mother, passed away at her home in Morris on November 26, 2019. During her last days she had the comfort and support of her loving family at her side.
Bertha was the daughter of Herman and Genieve Comino, of Town of Maryland. She married Leroy Smith, also of Maryland, on March 29, 1942. Together they had eight children.
MORRIS – A Morris man arrested and charged with pointing a gun at three teenagers outside the Dollar General here had a toy, not a weapon, according to Trooper Age Dembinska, public information officer, Troop C.
“It was a blue and green toy that launches foam darts,” she said.
MORRIS – Kathleen “Kate” M. Hansen, 88, of Morris has passed away peacefully at home surrounded by family on Sept. 6, 2019.
She was born on Sept 19, 1930, in Brooklyn, the daughter of John Joseph and Cecelia (Farrell) Bankich. In 1949, Kate married Charles Hansen at St. Gregory The Great Church in Brooklyn.
While starting a family, Kate and Charlie raised her younger siblings, Cely, Rosie, Joanie, Mary, Andy and Jimmy. During this time, they moved to Upstate New York in 1959, while Charlie stayed in the city until retirement.
MORRIS – Kathleen L. Hungerford, 64, of Morris, a “mom away from home” for SUNY Oneonta students during 20 years working for the campus food service, passed away unexpectedly at her home on Tuesday, Aug. 13, with her fur babies by her side.
Kathy was born in Sidney, the daughter of Richard and Marion (Edwards) Tracy. Kathy graduated from Morris Central School in 1974. She lived in Otego for many years, before returning to her hometown of Morris in 2002. Kathy married Dale A. Hungerford on Aug. 1, 2009.
MORRIS – Lisa Jones, manager, Otsego County Fair, wants to make sure everyone can enjoy the fun.
“During our annual meeting in Rochester, I heard about a fair that turned off their lights and sounds for people who have sensory sensitivities, and I knew we had to do it here,” she said. “I immediately brought it back to our board, and they agreed.”
On Wednesday, July 31, the fair will host their first “Think Differently Day,” where, from noon – 2 p.m., the midway will refrain from using music and sound, lights and overhead sound – including announcements – to make the fair more accessible to people with sensory sensitivities.
“I think this is a really cool thing that we’re able to do,” said Jones.
MORRIS – Agnes Ruth Valentine, 80, who raised five daughters in Morris, was called home on April 29, 2019, at her home, surrounded by her loving, family.
Ruth was the daughter of Marie (Sorensen) Hansen and Emil O. Hansen, who were both born in Denmark. Ruth grew up in Brooklyn, an area along the Hudson River, which flows to the Verrazano Bridge, known as Bay Ridge.
She attended P.S. 102 in Brooklyn and graduated 8th grade to then attend high school at Fort Hamilton (which can be seen from the bridge) for two years.
MORRIS – Mary Ellen (Taber) Bellows, 92, passed away on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019 at Centers Cooperstown nursing home.
Ellen was born in Herkimer, the daughter of Harry and Genevieve (Strong) Taber.
She graduated from Oneonta High School and worked at the Palace Theatre in Oneonta as an assistant cashier and usherette. She worked in Scintilla in Sidney as a coil winder during World War II and later worked at the Oneonta Country Club.
MORRIS – Ron Valentine, 69, a NYSEG retiree and fan of 1932 Fords, passed away Jan. 18, 2019, after a brief illness with a rare cancer.
In February 1949, Ron Valentine and his twin brother Don Valentine were born to Durward and Leah Valentine at Oneonta’s Fox Hospital.
He was a 1967 graduate of Morris Central School and a 1969 graduate of Jefferson Community College in Watertown with a degree in accounting. In August 1969, Ron married Carol Hill (daughter of Bernard and Amelia Hill) at the Lowville United Methodist Church in Lewis County.