News of Otsego County

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


In Memoriam: Kevin P. Crosby, 51; Worked For Social Services


Kevin P. Crosby, 51;

Worked For Social Services

SCHENEVUS – Kevin P. Crosby, 51, an avid sports fan who worked for the Department of Social Services, passed away Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019 at his residence.

He was born on Nov. 12, 1967 in Oneonta; the son of Kenneth and Virginia (Baker) Crosby.  Kevin grew up in the Village of Laurens and graduated from Laurens Central School.

IN MEMORIAM: Barbara Means, 87; Artist, World Traveler

Barbara Means, 87;

Artist, World Traveler

Barbara Means

ONEONTA – Barbara Means, 87, a world traveler who excelled in the arts, passed away on Jan. 13, 2019, in her home surrounded by loved ones.

Born on July 23, 1931, in Gettysburg, Pa., where she grew up playing on the battlefields, Barbara loved to read and swim.

She received her first degree at Cedar Crest College and went on to earn two master’s degrees in Special Education and Library Science. Barbara was always in pursuit of learning and embodied the true spirit of a lifelong student.

In Memoriam: William Van Wieren, 88; Farmed in West Winfield

IN MEMORIAM: William Van Wieren, 88;

Dutch Immigrant Farmed in West Winfield

William Van Wieren

NORWICH – William “Bill” Van Wieren, 88, a former truck driver who farmed in West Winfield for a time, died Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018.

Bill was born in Kommerzijl, the Netherlands on March 27, 1930,  to the late John and Anna (Snip) Van Wieren.  He immigrated to the U.S. with his family in 1947 at the age of 17 after the end of WWII.  He married Alice DeVries in 1952 and together had 12 children.

In Memoriam: Norman Faye Maxson, 95; Veteran Had Career At A&P

IN MEMORIAM: Norman Maxson, 95;

WWII Veteran Spent Career At A&P

Norman F. Maxson

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Norman Faye Maxson, 95, a World War II veteran and career A&P employee, passed away peacefully on Tuesday Nov. 20, 2018, at Bassett Hospital.

Norman was born on July 15, 1923, in Richfield Springs, a son of the late Julian F. and Nina B. O’Connor Maxson. He was raised and educated In Richfield Springs, and lived here most of his live.

In 1942, he joined the Army Air Force, and served as a radio operator during World War II.

IN MEMORIAM: Miriam J. Llewellyn, 94; Nurse At Fox Hospital

IN MEMORIAM: Miriam Llewellyn, 94;

Nurse, Supervisor At Fox Hospital

ONEONTA –  Miriam J. Llewellyn, 94, who worked as a nurse at Fox Hospital, passed away Nov. 16, 2018.

She was born July 9, 1924, the daughter of Earl and Florence (Riette) Clifford.  She graduated from Chadwicks High School in 1941, then obtained her R.N. in 1945 from New England Deaconess School of Nursing in Boston.

IN MEMORIAM: Dennis J. Enright, 63; Worked for Freeman’s Journal


Dennis J. Enright, 63;

Worked for Freeman’s Journal

WORCESTER – Dennis J. Enright, 63, who joined the staff of the Freeman’s Journal/Hometown Oneonta in his retirement, died at home Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018.

Born in Amsterdam, Dennis was the son of the late Basil and Mercedes Atala Enright.

He graduated from Schalmont High School in 1973 and later attended Herkimer County Community College and SUNY Geneseo, where received his Bachelor’s degree in communications and also served as the news editor of The Lamron, the school paper at Geneseo.  Dennis was employed as a sales agent with Terry Morris Ford in Burnt Hills for many years and also at Krystal Chrysler and Jeep in Warrensburg.

Dorothy ‘Dot’ Smith, 79; Spurbeck’s Matriarch

Dorothy ‘Dot’ Smith, 79;

Matriarch of Spurbeck’s

Dorothy Smith

COOPERSTOWN – Dorothy “Dot” Smith, 79, who ran the venerable Spurbeck’s Grocery for two decades alongside her husband Roger, died Saturday, Sept. 29 after a long illness.

In 1996, she and Roger took over the business, which his grandfather had opened in 1941, from Roger’s mother, Gert. In late 2017, they sold it to Michael Swatling and Carrie O’Brien.

IN MEMORIAM: Phyllis Basile, 90; Bookkeeper Moved To Hartwick

IN MEMORIAM: Phyllis Basile, 90;

Bookkeeper Moved To Hartwick

COOPERSTOWN – Phyllis Basile, 90, mother of the longtime former Hartwick Fire Company #2 fire chief and a Queens native who relocated to Hartwick, passed away at Midnight on Friday, Sept. 28, 2018, at Cooperstown Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing.

Born Aug. 4, 1928, at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Queens, she was one of seven children of Mauro and Marie (Croce) Maiorino.

IN MEMORIAM: Mary Arlene Hansen, 89; Owned Milford Beauty Shop


Mary Arlene Hansen, 89;

Owned Milford Beauty Shop

MILFORD – Mary Arlene Hansen, 89, who owned the Milford Beauty Shop for nearly six decades, passed away peacefully on Friday morning, Sept. 21, 2018, at the Oneida Skilled Nursing Facility, Oneida.

She was born on Aug. 31, 1929, in Cooperstown, daughter of the late Harold and Gladys Tubbs Balcom. Mary was raised in Toddsville and was a graduate of Cooperstown High School. She went on to the Albany School of Beauty where she became a licensed beautician.

For 59 years she owned and operated the Milford Beauty Shop in Milford.

IN MEMORIAM: Richard Perry O’Brien, Jr., 69; Father of Hartwick Town Supervisor


Richard Perry O’Brien, Jr., 69;

Father of Hartwick Supervisor

Richard O’Brien

MILFORD – Richard Perry O’Brien, Jr., 69, a lifelong area resident and father of Hartwick Town Supervisor Robert O’Brien, passed away unexpectedly Sunday night, Sept. 23, 2018.

He was born July 28, 1949, in Cooperstown, a son of the late Richard P. (“Dixie”) O’Brien, Sr. and Helen Gorney. He was raised on the family farm on Panther Mountain in Fly Creek Valley by an aunt and uncle, Joseph and Ruth Peplinski, whom he considered parents. He attended Cooperstown schools and graduated with the Class of 1967.

On Oct. 3, 1968, Richard enlisted in the United States Navy and proudly served his country at the Alameda Naval Air Station in California. Upon receiving his Honorable Discharge in 1969, Richard returned home and helped run the family farm.

IN MEMORIAM: Mary Hill, 89; Active In Cooperstown Life

IN MEMORIAM: Mary Hill, 89;

Active In Cooperstown Civic Life

COOPERSTOWN–Mary H. Hill, 89, a Bassett Hospital volunteer and active member of Cooperstown civic life, died Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, at Cooperstown Center.

Born Sept. 3, 1929, in Brooklyn, Mary was the daughter of Alexander and Helen (Lynde) McNeil.

Raised in Brooklyn, she married a neighbor and childhood friend, her lifelong love, James Hill, on Dec. 14, 1947. Jim predeceased her in 2014.

Jim and Mary raised their family in Oakdale, Long Island.

IN MEMORIAM: Lucille Fink, 93; Member of Italian American Club

IN MEMORIAM: Lucille Fink, 93;

Member of Italian American Club

ONEONTA – Lucille R. Fink, “Lucy,” 93, an active member of St. Mary’s Church and the Italian American Club, passed away on Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown.

She was born on Oct. 7, 1924, in Oneonta, the daughter of Sisto and Carmella (D’Ambrosini) Sardella.

Lucy worked for many years at the Triangle Shoe Store as an assistant manager.

IN MEMORIAM: Theodore E. Hargrove Jr., 77; Owner of TJ’s Restaurant


Theodore E. Hargrove Jr.,

77; Owner of TJ’s Place

Theodore Hargrove

COOPERSTOWN –  Theodore E. Hargrove Jr., 77, the owner of TJ’s Place restaurant, passed away Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018, in Sebastian, Fla  with his dear friend, Leonela by his side.

Born April 23, 1941, in White Plains, Ted was a longtime resident of Cooperstown. Ted moved to Sebastian, Florida, in September 2014, where he remained until he passed away.

Ted could often be found at TJ’s Place at “table No. 1” with his friends, family and loyal customers.

IN MEMORIAM: The Rev. Kenneth Baldwin, 95; Veteran, Hospital Chaplain

Rev. Kenneth Baldwin, 95;

WWII Veteran, Fox Chaplain

Rev. Kenneth Baldwin

ONEONTA – The Rev. Kenneth R. Baldwin, 95, retired United Methodist Church pastor, World War II veteran and Fox Hospital chaplain during his retirement in Oneonta, passed away on Aug. 27, 2018.

Ken was the son of the late Bert and Mae (Clifford) Baldwin of Fayetteville, and was born in Syracuse on June 26, 1923.  In 1940, he met the love of his life, Nancy Hall, at a youth camp in Charlotte, Vt.    World War II lengthened their courtship, but Ken and Nancy were married in 1948 and shared 70 years of happy marriage.  They enjoyed dancing well into Ken’s nineties, often to the applause of onlookers.

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