News of Otsego County


In Memoriam Sammy Dallas Bayes, 82 July 9, 1939 – May 12, 2022

In Memoriam

Sammy Dallas Bayes, 82

July 9, 1939 – May 12, 2022

Sammy Dallas Bayes

COOPERSTOWN – Sammy Dallas Bayes, a Tony Award nominee whose career as a director, choreographer and writer in musical theater, television and movies passed away unexpectedly early Thursday morning, May 12, 2022, at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown. He was 82.

Born July 9, 1939, in Wasco, California, Sammy was the son of Sam Tony Bayes and Zana Marie Frost Bayes. Raised in Pueblo, Colorado, he attended Centennial High School where he was part of his first ever musical, playing Tommy Albright in “Brigadoon.” After graduating in 1957 he attended college locally, and then from 1958 to 1964, Sammy proudly served his country in the United States Army both as active duty and the reserves.

In Memoriam Arnold L. McLean Jr., 61 March 13, 1961 – May 10, 2022

In Memoriam

Arnold L. McLean Jr., 61

March 13, 1961 – May 10, 2022

Arnold L. McLean Jr.

COOPERSTOWN – Arnold “Arnie” L McLean Jr, 61, died unexpectedly, at his home Tuesday, May 10, 2022.

He was born March 13, 1961 in New Berlin, NY to Arnold “Cork” and Dorothy “Dot” McLean.

He was a friend to all and will be missed for his exceptional sense of humor, as well as his willingness to help anyone in need.  He lived life with a strong determination, overcoming many health obstacles to the amazement of his physicians.

A lifelong resident of Otsego County, he first worked with his Dad at Phillips Lumber Company in Hartwick, helped with the family logging business and worked with many area contractors before starting his own excavating business known as ARNIE’S MINI EXCAVATOR in 1999.

In Memoriam Louise “Lee” Potter, 86 July 15, 1935 – May 2, 2022

In Memoriam

Louise “Lee” Potter, 86

July 15, 1935 – May 2, 2022

Louise “Lee” Potter

DE WITT – Louise “Lee” (Eaton) Potter passed away Monday, May 2, at her home in De Witt after an accidental fall. Lee was born on July 15, 1935 in Cooperstown, N.Y., to Edwin and Inez Eaton. She was 86 when she passed.

Lee graduated from Cooperstown Central School in 1952. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University in 1956.

Lee was tirelessly active in her church and community, from social justice activism, to refugee aid, to driving for Meals on Wheels as an octogenarian herself, to teaching Sunday school and serving community breakfasts. She truly dedicated her life to helping others and has touched the lives of countless students throughout her lengthy career as a middle school Social Studies teacher.

In Memoriam Ann Lois Edwards, 81 Feb. 22, 1942 – Apr. 29, 2022

In Memoriam

Ann Lois Edwards, 81

Feb. 22, 1942 – Apr. 29, 2022

Ann Lois Edwards

COOPERSTOWN – At Noon on April 29, 2022, Ann Lois Edwards passed away unexpectedly but peacefully, of natural causes, at home, with her husband at her side. She was in her eighty-first year.

Born February 22, 1942, in Little Falls, New York, she was the daughter of the late Francis J. Ashe and Elizabeth Dudik Ashe.  Her paternal ancestry descended from Germans who had made the Great Swabian Trek down the Danube, and on her maternal side from Slovaks who made Little Falls “the second Myjava”. All her grandparents were immigrants.

Lois graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in Little Falls in 1960 and the State University College at Oswego in1964 with a degree in Elementary Education.  She received her Masters degree from Marywood College in Pennsylvania.

She met her future husband in kindergarten, tolerated him until well into high school when they became close friends and were married on June 25, 1966, at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church (now Holy Family Parish) in Little Falls.

Lois taught briefly in Dolgeville and Cooperstown before moving to Pennsylvania and spending the rest of her career with the Montoursville Area School District. She and her husband retired back to Cooperstown in the year 2000, building the home that she had envisioned in the Town of Middlefield.

In Memoriam Robert B. Schlather, Esq., 75 May 3, 1946 – April 27, 2022

In Memoriam

Robert B. Schlather, Esq., 75

May 3, 1946 – April 27, 2022

Robert B. Schlather, Esq.

COOPERSTOWN – Robert Bernard Schlather, Esq., Cooperstown lawyer, CPA and philanthropist, died Wednesday afternoon, April 27, 2022, at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown as a result of a brain tumor diagnosed in June 2020. He was 75.

Born May 3, 1946, in Olmsted Falls, Ohio, Bob was the second eldest of thirteen children of Bernard Paul Schlather and Helen Virginia Bilskey. Raised in Elyria, Ohio, he graduated in 1964 from Elyria Catholic High School. He went on to attend and graduate magna cum laude with a BA in Accounting from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and earned his Juris Doctorate and graduated cum laude from University of Notre Dame Law School in South Bend, Indiana. In addition, he was awarded a Certificate in English and American Law from the University of London as part of the Notre Dame Law School curriculum. He successfully completed the New York State Bar and Certified Public Accountancy Exams in 1971 and commenced work in the tax department of Price Waterhouse & Co, in both New York City and London.

On July 14, 1973, Bob married his best friend, Karen Ruth Hammer in a ceremony at Saints Philip and James Roman Catholic Church in St. James, Long Island. They moved to Cooperstown in 1976.

In Memoriam Cynthia J. McCarthy, 87 July 01, 1934 – April 08, 2022 

In Memoriam

Cynthia J. McCarthy, 87

July 01, 1934 – April 08, 2022

Cynthia J. McCarthy

ONEONTA – Cynthia Lorenz McCarthy, 87, went home to be with the Lord, on Friday, April 8, 2022. She passed away peacefully in her home following a brief illness.

Cynthia was born July 1, 1934 in Lohrville, Iowa the daughter of Russell and Inez Lorenz.

Cynthia married Keith McCarthy on July 6, 1957 at the Methodist Church in Sharon Springs, NY. Prior to Keith’s death in 2007, they had made their home in Oneonta for 47 years, where Cynthia continued to live until her passing.

At the age of nine Cynthia’s father, a superintendent of schools, passed away from diabetes. Cynthia and her mother, an art teacher, traveled extensively, eventually settling in Sharon Springs, NY. Cynthia graduated from Sharon Springs high school and then attended the State University College of Oneonta, majoring in education. Cynthia taught in both the North Tonawanda School District and the New Hartford School District. Cynthia returned to Oneonta to teach young children as part of the Bugbee Migrant Child Care Program. She concluded her teaching career at Center Street Elementary School, Oneonta, retiring in 1996. She was a dedicated teacher who will always be remembered by her students and colleagues.

Helen T. Rittlinger, 91 July 3, 1930 – April 6, 2022

In Memoraim

Helen T. Rittlinger, 91

July 3, 1930 – April 6, 2022

ONEONTA – Helen T. Rittlinger, 91, of Oneonta passed away on Wednesday, April 6 at the AO Fox Memorial Hospital in Oneonta.

She was born on July 3, 1930 in Worcester, N.Y., the daughter of Charles and Ada Bell (Burton) Morrell. She married Donald Rittlinger on August 6, 1944. He pre-deceased her on July 15, 2006.

Helen was a homemaker and member of St. Mary’s Church, Oneonta. She was also a social member of Pindars Corner Fire Department.

Vincenza Alessi

Remembering Vincenza Alessi

Her time on Earth was far brief, but her legacy of love and caring goes on.

Cherished Vincenza Alessi, 28, became an angel on Sunday, April 10, after a two-year battle against a rare blood disorder. Heaven is so lucky to have her home.

Vincenza was a 2012 graduate of Cooperstown Central School, earning her degree in psychology and women’s studies from the State University of New York at Oneonta. She recently had earned her master’s degree in special education from Grand Canyon University.

Vincenza taught special education classes at Charlotte Valley Central School in Davenport, New York and, while studying for her master’s, substituted for two years at Cooperstown Central.

She loved teaching and her students adored her. She found great joy in the young children she was able to help and looked forward to a long career using her talents in her chosen field. Without knowing, Vincenza even taught the dieticians at New York Presbyterian Hospital how to expand and modify their menu selections; as her health deteriorated and she was eating less, she would ask her nurse for simple foods not on the menu: pasta and butter, pasta and red sauce, string cheese, salad with chicken. When she returned to New York Presbyterian for the final time several weeks ago, staff reached out to proudly show her a brand-new menu for patients – one filled with the very dishes she had requested, now a part of the Hospital’s regular offering.

In Memoriam Janet L. Frankl, 72 Dec. 9, 1949 – Mar. 19, 2022

In Memoriam

Janet L. Frankl, 72

Dec. 9, 1949 – Mar. 19, 2022

Janet L. Frankl

OTEGO – Janet L. Frankl, 72, passed away peacefully at home with family on March 19, 2022.

She was born December 9, 1949 in Livingston, Montana, the daughter of Joseph and Dorothy (Kinnick) Adams.  Janet grew up on a cattle ranch south of Livingston in Paradise Valley on the Yellowstone River.  The family raised black angus cattle.  Janet was proud to show the steers in 4-H competitions.   She enjoyed riding horses and sleeping outside under the apple tree with her sisters.  She attended a one-room schoolhouse until the 8th grade.  A photo of the schoolhouse along with Janet and her young classmates, was published on the April 2, 1960 Saturday Evening Post.  Janet belonged to a small country Methodist Church, where she was involved with Methodist Youth Fellowship.

Janet graduated from Park County High School, Livingston, Class of 1968.  She attended Montana State University.  Janet moved to New York State and attended SUNY of Oneonta as a non-traditional student, maintaining a 4.0 GPA; attaining a Bachelor of Science Degree, Class of 1989.   Upon graduation she was immediately hired by SUNY Oneonta, working different positions before becoming the Assistant Director of Facilities Planning.  Janet was very dedicated to her position as a professional at SUNY Oneonta making a positive impact and contribution for a rewarding 27-year career.  Janet was held in high esteem by her colleagues, and that was mutual.  Janet was always very proud of how clean and well maintained the SUNY campus was, and still is.  Janet was very active with her union (United University Professionals) as a delegate and executive board member.  Janet would always adhere to her values of professionalism and fairness.

In Memoriam Jane Elizabeth Carr Boaz April 8, 1932 – September 29, 2021

In Memoriam

Jane Elizabeth Carr Boaz, 89

April 8, 1932 – September 29, 2021

Jane Elizabeth Carr Boaz

COOPERSTOWN – Jane Elizabeth Carr Boaz, daughter of Cooperstown, a registered nurse by profession, died on September 29, 2021, in San Diego, California, where she lived with her husband of 65 years, James Boaz.

Born on April 8, 1932, in Cooperstown, Jane was the daughter of Bernard Carr, the town’s electrician, and Mary Dafner Carr, a bookkeeper at the Otesaga Hotel. Jane grew up on a farm in Fly Creek, in the building that is now the Sportsman’s Tavern. She spoke fondly about her rustic upbringing with numerous farm animals and dogs Trixie and Laddie, and she adored playing with the neighbors’ many kids and horses as she was an only child. She attended the one-room schoolhouse in Fly Creek, and in the winter her father watered down a field and strung up lights so that all the children could ice skate even in the evening.

In Memoriam Catherine J. Tisenchek July 8, 1957 – March 26, 2022

In Memoriam

Catherine J. Tisenchek, 64

July 8, 1957 – March 26, 2022

Catherine J. Tisenchek

ONEONTA – Catherine J. Tisenchek passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 26, 2022 at home surrounded by her loving family.

She was born on July 8, 1957 to Louis G. Tisenchek Sr. and Jane Elizabeth “Betty” Post.

After graduating from Oneonta High School, Cathy attended SUNY Cobleskill where she received her Associates degree. Upon commencement, she was employed by various lawyers in the Oneonta area as a legal secretary before moving on to work for the Cooperstown Family Court System.

In 1997, Cathy started with the Oneonta City Court, becoming Chief Clerk in 2008. She received the Judith Kaye Award in 2017 which she was very proud of. Cathy remained in this position until her retirement in the Fall of 2021.

In Memoriam Robert T. Davenport, 55 October 15, 1966 – March 24, 2022

In Memoriam

Robert T. Davenport, 55

October 15, 1966 – March 24, 2022

Robert T. Davenport

FLY CREEK – Robert Thomas Davenport, 55, of Fly Creek and Medford, New Jersey, passed away unexpectedly Thursday afternoon, March 24, 2022, at Cooper Hospital/University Medical Center in Camden, New Jersey.

He was born October 15, 1966, at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the firstborn son of Robert Duane and Geni (Alves) Davenport. Robert lived in South Philadelphia and Brooklyn before settling in Medford Lakes, New Jersey, where he attended both Lenape and Shawnee High Schools and graduated with the Class of 1984. From 1991-1995 he attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana where he majored in political science and history. Although he was an avid student of history both ancient and modern, his hands-on work was primarily in computer science, first in research and then as founding partner in one of the earliest internet service providers in southern Burlington County. After moving Upstate in 2000, he devoted himself to family.

In Memoriam Caroline M. S. Harter, 96 May 24, 1925 – March 14, 2022

In Memoriam

Caroline M. S. Harter, 96

May 24, 1925 – March 14, 2022

Caroline M. S. Harter

FLY CREEK – Caroline “Carol” Mary Swanston Harter died of natural causes at her home in Fly Creek, NY, on Monday, March 14, 2022. She was 96. Carol was a loving mother, daughter, sister, aunt and grandmother. She was an inspiration, a caring friend and a special confidant to many people, both young and old. She was pre-deceased by her husband, Bruce H. Harter, who died December 15, 2014, parents John K. and Janet Gray Swanston, brother Stewart, and brother-in-law Ernest Gero. Carol is survived by three daughters, Lucinda Henson of Fly Creek, Melissa (Charles Tangemann) of Hastings, NE, Janet (Les Saucier) of Brevard, NC, and son, Jason (Jeanine Dykstra) of Fly Creek. She is also survived by three grand children, Janelle Harter (Jason) and Brent and Jonathon Henson (Lucinda), and siblings Jack Swanston (Shirley) of Chateaugay, NY, and Genevieve Gero (Ernest) of Burke, NY, as well as three great grandchildren, several nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews, and a great grand niece and two great grand nephews.

Carol was born in Burke, NY, on May 24, 1925. Her parents owned a family farm near the Canadian border. Carol attended District 14 Country School through eighth grade, then entered Chateaugay High School. Upon graduation, Carol enrolled at Plattsburgh State Teachers College (now SUNY Plattsburgh), where she graduated in 1946 with a degree in home economics. Carol then taught at Richfield Springs Central School, Richfield Springs, NY, until 1951.

On August 7, 1949, Carol married Bruce H. Harter of Jordanville, NY. They were married at the North Burke Presbyterian Church, afterwards living in Jordanville, where they owned and operated Lime Top Farm until 1967. Carol and Bruce remained in Jordanville, where they were devoted members of the Jordanville Federated Church, until 1995 when they moved to Burlington Flats, NY. Ten years later, the couple relocated to Fly Creek, where they built a home in the Fly Creek Valley and lived the remainder of their lives.

In Memoriam Lee Carlton Winnie, 75 Oct. 25, 1946 – Mar. 17, 2022

In Memoriam

Lee Carlton Winnie, 75

Oct. 25, 1946 – Mar. 17, 2022

Lee Carlton Winnie

FLY CREEK – Lee Carlton Winnie died peacefully on Thursday, March 17, 2022 at his home in Fly Creek, surrounded by his loving wife of nearly 40 years and his two sons. He was 75 years old.

Lee was born October 25, 1946 in Cooperstown, the son of Ernest and Gerda (Christiansen) Winnie. He graduated from Cooperstown Central School in the Class of 1965.

After graduating high school, Lee attended Hudson Valley Community College and studied as a mechanical draftsman. Shortly after college in 1967, he was drafted into the United States Army and served in the Vietnam War. As a mortarman, Lee received several commendation medals for his heroic actions in Dak Seang in 1968.

After being honorably discharged in 1969, Lee returned to work at his father and uncle’s farm machinery implement business. As a life-long resident of Fly Creek, he is most well-known for working for MOSA and Otsego County at the Cooperstown dump for many years, where he helped people with their recycling and local gossip.

In Memoriam Lois I. Brenner November 3, 1932 – March 14, 2022

In Memoriam

Lois I. Brenner, 89

Nov. 3, 1932 – Mar. 14, 2022

Lois I. Brenner

ONEONTA – Lois I. Brenner, 89, passed away peacefully at home on March 14, 2022.

Lois was born November 3, 1932 in Brooklyn, the daughter of Henry and Isabel (Corry) Erickson.

Lois graduated from Fort Hamilton High School in 1950.  Following graduation, she worked in the financial district in New York City at Hanover Bank for several years.

Lois married David W. Brenner on September 5, 1954 at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Brooklyn, NY.

Following their marriage, they moved to Oneonta so David could attend college at SUCO.  Lois held several office jobs in Oneonta prior to the birth of her children and raising her family.  She enjoyed playing Bridge in several organized clubs in Oneonta with friends at times hosting the groups at her home.  In 1968 she started working what she thought would be a temporary part-time job out of her home for the Otsego County Employees Federal Credit Union. Over the years, the temporary part time position became a fulfilling full-time career. After several mergers including with the Sidney Federal Credit Union, she was appointed branch manager of the Sidney Federal Credit Union office in Oneonta, retiring in 1995.

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