News of Otsego County

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

John W. Smirk, Jr., 75; Cooperstown B&B Owner

IN MEMORIAM

John W. Smirk, Jr., 75;

Cooperstown B&B Owner

John W. Smirk

COOPERSTOWN – John W. Smirk Jr., 75, a Navy veteran, manager of New York City skyscapers, and proprietor of the Cooperstown B&B with his late wife Linda, died Thursday, April 11, 2019.

Born Jan. 24, 1944, in Long Beach, Calif., John was the son of John W. and Elizabeth (Kirkbride) Smirk.

He grew up in Brooklyn and spent summers in Greenwood Lake, N.J. It was there that John’s love of “life at the lake” began.

In 1965, John enlisted in the Navy and honorably served his country as a seaman during the Vietnam War aboard the USS Coral Sea.

Mary L. Knicklebine, 79; Navy Vet, Lifelong Gilbertsville Resident

IN MEMORIAM: Mary L. Knicklebine, 79;

Navy Vet, Lifelong Gilbertsville Resident

GILBERTSVILLE – Mary L. Knicklebine, 79, a Navy veteran survived by three children and life-long resident of Gilbertsville, passed away at her home on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2019.

Mary was born on May 7, 1939 in Oneonta, a daughter of the late Robert and Emilie (Williams) Faber. Mary graduated from Gilbertsville Central School, Class of 1957.

Douglas J. Spence, 85; With Twin Brother, Lived Eventful Life

IN MEMORIAM:  Douglas J. Spence, 85;

With Twin Brother, Lived Eventful Life

Doug Spence

ONEONTA – Douglas J. Spence, 85, who worked on Apollo 8, met the Beatles and spent 31 years in the newspaper business in Florida, drifted away at his home in Ormond by the Sea, Fla., on Dec. 18, 2018.

He and his twin brother, Donald, were born in Oneonta on March 28, 1933, to the late John and Betty Spence.

After graduating from Oneonta High School in 1952, the twin brothers joined the Navy. Doug served as a radarman, sailing around the world for four years.

James E. Connolly, 64, Oneonta; Lived For Years With Transplants

IN MEMORIAM

James E. Connelly, Oneonta, 64;

Lived For Years With Transplants

ONEONTA – James Edward Connolly, 64, who obtained a liver transplant in 1990 and a kidney transplant in 2011, passed away June 6, 2017, at Bassett Hospital.

He was born Sept. 17, 1952, in Mount Kisco, the son of Edward Patrick and Rose Agnes (McMahon) Connolly.  

Bernard John ‘B.J.’ O’Neill, 95; Business Executive, Engineer
IN MEMORIAM

Bernard John ‘B.J.’ O’Neill, 95;

Business Executive, Engineer

FLY CREEK – A memorial service is upcoming Feb. 18, for Bernard John O’Neill (“B.J.”), 95, an engineer, business executive and former Town of Otsego Planning Board chair who died on Jan. 18, 2017, at his home in Fly Creek, while tended to by his daughter Maureen.

B.J. was born on May 25, 1921, in Saratoga Springs, the son of Jeremiah O’Neill and the former Lucille Sterk.  He graduated from Saratoga Springs High School in 1938 and Union College in 1942, with a degree in electrical engineering.

Mass For John Nowhitney Jan. 27; Navy Vet Fought On Belleau Wood
IN MEMORIAM

Mass For John Nowhitney 6/27;

Navy Vet Fought On Belleau Wood

John Nowhitney’s actions on Oct. 30, 1944, when the USS Belleau Wood was struck by a kamikaze, resulted in his induction into the state Veterans Hall of Fame more than six decades later.
John Nowhitney’s actions on Oct. 30, 1944, when the USS Belleau Wood was struck by a kamikaze, resulted in his induction into the state Veterans Hall of Fame more than six decades later.
John Nowhitney
John Nowhitney

ONEONTA – The funeral mass for John Patrick Nowhitney, 93, a decorated Navy veteran of World War II, serving on the USS Belleau Wood aircraft carrier when it came under kamikaze attack, and member of the state Veterans Hall of Fame, will be celebrated at 10:15 a.m. Monday, June 27, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 39 Walnut St.

Mr. Nowhitney passed away Monday, May 23, 2016 at the state Veterans Home in Oxford, with his family by his side.

Interment with full military honors will follow at 3 p.m. at Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery, 200 Duell Road, Schuylerville. A reception for family and friends will follow at 4-7 p.m. at Harvest and Hearth Restaurant, County Route 67 (Stafford Bridge Road), Saratoga Springs.

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