News of Otsego County


Valerie Louise Porter, 69 Unadilla’s Favorite Waitress

In Memoriam

Valerie Louise Porter, 69
Unadilla’s Favorite Waitress

Valerie L. Porter

Valerie Louise Porter, 69, passed away with her family by her side on April 19, 2021, due to her long battle with cancer. Valerie was born on February 15, 1952, in Sidney, NY, a daughter of the late Robert and Marjorie (Lovelace) Porter.

Valerie is survived by her loving children; Donnie, Vicki (Michael), Bridget (Neil), John (Stephanie), and Amanda (Jeff); ten grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren as well as one little Porter on the way. She also leaves behind her brothers, Robert (Nancy), Terry, and David Porter.

Clayton Harvey Bantham Jr., 90: CCS Class of 1948, Worked for State Farm

In Memoriam

Clayton Harvey Bantham Jr., 90

CCS Class of 1948, Worked for State Farm

Clayton Harvey Bantham, Jr., 90, passed away February 5, 2021, at Saratoga Hospital in Saratoga Springs. Born October 30, 1930, in Utica, Harvey was the son of Clayton Harvey Bantham, Sr. and Ruth Lucille Kline Bantham. The family moved to Cooperstown in 1936 when his father became manager at Iroquois Farm.

Upon graduating from Cooperstown High School, Class of 1948, he attended Rider University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism. In 1951 Harvey entered active service with the U.S. Army and proudly served his country during the Korean War. In May 1954, Sgt. Bantham received his honorable discharge from the military and returned home to Cooperstown. There he met the love of his life, Annie Welsh, and they were married on April 9, 1955. They resided in West Milford, NJ for many years, and later moved to Wilton, NY, although they always called Cooperstown home.

David Damon Jeffres: Navy Musician, Then Language Professor at Hartwick

In Memoriam

David Damon Jeffres, 91

Navy Musician, Then Language Professor at Hartwick

David D. Jeffres

David Damon Jeffres died peacefully at home on May 2, 2021, at the age of 91 following a 13-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was surrounded by his family and canine companion Rocky.

He was also a loving husband, father and devoted college professor.

He was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa on November 2, 1929, the son of Edgar Perry Jeffres and Sibyl Irene Jeffres.

He graduated early from Thomas Jefferson High School in Council Bluffs, IA, at the age of 17, so he could enlist in the Navy.

After graduating from the U.S Navy School of Music he served honorably for four and a half years during which time he played trumpet in the Navy band, achieving the position of musician first class.

Following his discharge from the Navy, he earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Education and French, respectively, from the University of Colorado (Boulder) and completed PhD coursework in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas and SUNY Albany.

Sarah McLean, 58: Care Assistant at Hampshire House, Loved Crafting

In Memoriam

Sarah McLean, 58

Care Assistant at Hampshire House, Loved Crafting

Sarah McLean

Sarah McLean, 58, of Oneonta, passed away suddenly on Sunday, May 2, 2021 at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown.

Born on June 25, 1962 in Oneonta, She was the daughter of the late Harold and Helen Robinson.

She worked for over 20 years as a personal care assistant at Hampshire House, where her patients were very important to her and have became family over the years and the staff always took time to notice how compassionate and dedicated she had always been, she will be forever missed by her special friend, John Defee.

Debra L. MacClintock, 65 Took pride in her home and property

In Memoriam

Debra L. MacClintock, 65
Took pride in her home and property

Debra L. MacClintock

Debra L. MacClintock, 65, of Schenevus passed away at her home on Thursday, May 6, 2021 following a courageous battle with cancer.

Born on July 25, 1955 in Stamford, she was the daughter of the late William and Pauline Hollenbeck.

Debra worked for over 20 years in both the deli and bakery at Walmart in Oneonta.

Whether at work or home she was exceptionally hardworking and meticulous. She was a kind and generous woman.

She enjoyed spending time with her children and grandchildren.

Mary Ellen Budro 79: Principal’s secretary at Richfield Springs CS, Active Catholic

In Memoriam

Mary Ellen Budro, 79

Principal’s secretary at Richfield Springs CS, Active Catholic

Mary E. Budro

Mary Ellen Budro, 79, a resident of Richfield Springs (RS), NY, passed away on Good Friday, April 2, 2021, at the Charleston, SC, home of her loving daughter who was by her side.

She was born in Plattsburgh, NY, on May 8, 1941, the daughter of the late Joseph and Bertha (Brien) Vernosky. A graduate of Lyon Mountain High School, Mary was employed as secretary to the principal in the RS Central School District for many years. She was a notary public who was involved with the NYS Board of Cooperative Educational Services and the Civil Service Employees Association.

Prior to moving to RS, Mary served as a law office assistant in Ticonderoga, NY and as a secretary at SUNY Plattsburgh.

An active Catholic, Mary supported St. Joseph’s and other missions. She served as president and secretary of Take Off Pounds Sensibly, and supported Friends of Lyon Mountain, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 616, and the RS Chamber of Commerce.

Richard M. Rumenapp, 72 EMS volunteer, NRA member, loving husband

In Memoriam

Richard M. Rumenapp, 72
EMS volunteer, NRA member, loving husband

Richard M. Rumenapp

Rick was born at Fox Hospital in Oneonta, NY on January 13, 1949 to Henry and Hilma Aleksa Rumenapp, immigrants from Germany.

As a teenager, he enjoyed raising beagles, working in the garden, going hunting and driving his cars. He was a graduate of Oneonta High School in 1968, first working on a farm, then at the Jamesway Shoe Store and finally 40 years in multiple jobs on the Railroad including Penn Station in Selkirk, D&H in Oneonta, NYSW in Cooperstown, and D&H CP Rail in Binghamton. He spent his entire life in New York State, living in Oneonta, Milford and the last 35 years in Franklin.

He was a Life Member of the NRA, past member of the Crumhorn Oneonta Sportsman Club, the Milford Fire and Emergency Squad, the Eagles and Elk Clubs, and the American Legion. He was an American Red Cross Blood Donor for decades, preaching the importance of changing his own “oil” to save the lives of others.

Charles W. (Chuck) Holcomb, 77: Worked at Oneonta Grocery Company, enjoyed tinkering

In Memoriam

Charles W. (Chuck) Holcomb, 77: Worked at
Oneonta Grocery Company, enjoyed tinkering

Charles W. (Chuck) Holcomb, 77, passed away on May 8, 2021 at Bassett Hospital, Cooperstown after a short illness.

Chuck was born the son of Charles Holcomb and the former Elsie Platt.

He retired from Oneonta Grocery Company and after worked a few years at Ames Department store in Oneonta.

Chuck married the former Doris Jubar of Oneonta and they recently celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary.

Chuck enjoyed tinkering on things outside, going on side-by-side rides and playing pitch. Most of all he enjoyed his sons and his grandchildren.

Douglas Stratton Fielder, 80 July 22, 1940 – April 28, 2021

In Memoriam

Douglas Stratton Fielder, 80
July 22, 1940 – April 28, 2021

Douglas S. Fielder

Douglas Stratton Fielder, Oneonta, died on April 28, 2021 after a decades-long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

Doug was born on July 22, 1940 in Washington DC, the son of Albert G. and Kathryn (Welch) Fielder. Doug grew up in the DC area and went to Virginia Military Institute, graduating in 1962. He then attended the University of Virginia for his master’s and Doctorate degrees in physics, completing them in 1967. He served two years active duty in the Army, ending at the rank of Captain.

In 1968 he married Dorothy Scott Davis of Staunton, Va. They celebrated their 50th anniversary in July 2018. In 1969 they moved to Oneonta, NY where Doug began teaching at the State University College at Oneonta (SUCO). He taught there until his retirement in 2000. He served as department chair for several years. Doug and Scott lived in Chaseville (Town of Maryland) from 1972 until 2009 when they moved to a home at the Plains at Parish Homestead in Oneonta.

Jeffrey Robert Milavec

In Memoriam

Jeffrey Robert Milavec, 56
Worcester CS Bus Driver,
Mr. Fix-It, Dairy Farmer

Jeffrey R. Milavec

Jeffrey Robert Milavec, 56, passed away at his home on April 29, 2021 following a courageous three-year battle with cancer surrounded by his loving family.

He was born on January 6, 1965 at AO Fox Hospital, Oneonta, the son of Robert Frank and Nancy (Green) Milavec.

He graduated from Worcester Central School, Class of 1983 and Cobleskill Ag & Tech with an AAS in Agricultural Engineering Class of 1985.

Jeff worked with his father on their dairy farm; later growing crops. He also was the owner of Milhaven Construction. He was known as “Mr. Fix It”; he had a unique ability to figure out the best way to repair/build things, be it construction, electrical, plumbing or mechanical. He worked for Worcester Central School as a bus driver and transportation coordinator. He was a member of the Schenevus Valley Masonic Lodge. He was very proud of his herd of Scottish Highlands, “Coos”.

He is survived by his loving fiancee, Mira Djurdjevich; his daughters, Maci and Malina; step-son, Elijah Dillenbeck; mother, Nancy Milavec; sister, Lauren (Gregg); nieces and nephews Melissa, Marian, Allison, Garrett and Luna; aunts and uncles, Catherine Rooney, Patricia (Charles) Golding, William (Jane) Milavec, Timothy (Barbara) Green and many cousins; special friends, Jim and Mary T. Zaengle and his loyal canine companion, Jax.

He was predeceased by his father Robert; grandparents, paternal, Frank and Mary (Muehl) Milavec, maternal, Shirley and Margaret (Kennedy) Green.

Visitation was held at 6 PM to 8 PM on Tuesday, May 4 at the Heller & Skinner Funeral Home, 155 Main St., Worcester. A private memorial service was held.

A public committal service with a Masonic service at the Elk Creek Cemetery will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, kindly make donations to the Worcester Emergency Squad, PO Box 191, Worcester, NY 12197, Schenevus/Maryland Emergency Squad, PO Box 80, Schenevus, NY 12197 or

Helios Care, 297 River Street Service Rd., Oneonta, NY 13820.

Barbara Louise (Gray) Weaver, 97 First Lady of Glimmerglass State Park

In Memoriam

Barbara Louise (Gray) Weaver, 97
First Lady of Glimmerglass State Park

Barbara Louise (Gray) Weaver, passed away peacefully Sunday, April 25, 2021, in the farmhouse at Gray Gables.

Barbara was predeceased by her husband, Herbert R. Weaver, Jr. and her son, Robert Gray Weaver. She was the daughter of Glenn and Edna (Borst) Gray.

Barbara is remembered by her daughter, Karen Farney; son, Richard Weaver (Dee); her daughter-in-law and caregiver, Renee Weaver; granddaughters, Kerryanne Schenck (Phil) and Kate Weaver (Dave MacDougall); grandson, Marcus Weaver (Trina); and several great-grandchildren.

Barbara was born in the small cottage at Gray Gables on December 12, 1923. She graduated from Springfield Central School and the New York State Institute of Agriculture and Home Economics (now SUNY Cobleskill). Barbara worked alongside her husband, Herb, to operate the Route 20 service station that they built in East Springfield. In 1963 they would leave their home at the station to move a few miles up the road to Glimmerglass State Park. Herb became the first superintendent of the newly established State Park and Barbara would become “First Lady of Glimmerglass Park,” a title she proudly celebrated later in life.

Kenneth F. Huemmer III

In Memoriam

Kenneth F. Huemmer III, 38
May 23, 1982 – April 12, 2021

Kenneth F. Huemmer III

He tested positive for Covid -19 on March 2, 2021. He entered the hospital on March 26, suffered a rapid decline, and passed away from the complications of multiple organ failure and sepsis, at Samaritan Hospital in Troy, NY on April 12.

Kenny was born in Tucson, AZ on May 23rd 1982 to parents Ardith L. and Kenneth F. Huemmer, Jr. He graduated from St. Mary’s Catholic School, Oneonta Sr. H.S., and attended Herkimer County Community College. Most recently, he worked for the State of New York, managing an OTB store in Green Island. Kenny, loving the outdoors, was an avid skier, hiker and kayaker.
Standing 6’6” tall, he was known as a “gentle giant”. Ever friendly, always uplifting, he didn’t believe in speaking ill of anyone, always choosing the higher ground. Having lost his father at the tender age of nine, he thought life was too short to waste time on negativity toward others… Indeed, it was.

He was predeceased by his loving father, Kenneth F. Huemmer, Jr. in 1991; his paternal grandparents Kenneth, Sr. and Joan Huemmer; his maternal grandparents Dr. Kent and Jane Lawson.

He is survived by his loving mother and step-father Ardie and Jay Dinga, Oneonta; brother Brett Huemmer, Seattle; step-brothers Zachary Dinga, Dallas and Rocky (Stephanie) Dinga, Bethesda; loving aunts Leila (Roger) Jacobs, Nancy (Peter) Mangione and Ellen (Ken) Huemmer-Harnett, loving girlfriend Jennifer Edwards, as well as many cousins.

Joanne Gallucci Gencic

In Memoriam

Joanne Gallucci Gencic, 56
Oneonta High School Graduate

Joanne G. Gencic

Joanne Gallucci Gencic passed away peacefully on February 4th, 2021.

She was born on July 27th, 1964 to Arthur and Antoinette (Langellotti) Gallucci.

She was married to Zoran Gencic for 20 years and had one daughter.

Joanne graduated from Oneonta high school and continued her higher education at Delhi University with an associate in Hotel Management. She later went on to finish her Bachelors in Hotel Management at the New York Institute of Technology. She was a successful business owner bringing joy to everyone, one scoop of ice cream at a time.

Joanne enjoyed swimming in her pool daily while attending fun bunco games at night. Joanne was active in her Catholic faith and served as a Eucharistic Minister.

She loved to travel and explore the beautiful world around her.

She will be missed dearly.

Joanne was greeted in heaven by both her parents.

Joanne is survived by her husband Zoran Gencic of Las Vegas, Nevada and her daughter Gia Gencic of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Calling hours will be held on Thursday, May 6, 2021 in the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, 14 Grand Street, Oneonta from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. A private funeral mass will be held and burial will be in Mt. Calvary Cemetey, Oneonta.

Funeral arrangements are by the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, Oneonta.

Albert L. Colone, 76; Oneonta Native, Veteran, Musician, Developer, Dreamer


Albert L. Colone, 76

Oneonta Native, Veteran,
Musician, Developer, Dreamer

Albert L. Colone

Albert L. Colone was born July 8, 1944 in Oneonta the son of the late Ani Pasquale and Eva Gloria (Jerome) Colone.

He grew up on River Street, in his beloved 6th Ward, playing sandlot sports and generally tormenting the Wilcox’s and others with his older brother, Frank. Albert ultimately ended up a life-long resident of 6th Ward and helped to establish the 6th Ward Athletic Club and served as the Club’s first President.

Albert graduated from Oneonta High School in 1962 and would later go on to proudly serve his country in the United States Army from 1966 to 1968, when he was honorably discharged. It was during his time in the Army that he re-kindled his childhood love of drumming and percussion and attributed that musical background to extending his life from that point forward. His volunteer position as battalion drummer and later, percussionist for the Second Armored Division Band, kept him on post at Ford Hood, TX, when many of his peers left for and never returned from the war in Vietnam. With this to consider, it is easy to understand his passion for music and the importance of it throughout his life. There is no doubt that Albert had a rhythm and a beat that was all his own.

George Howard Yager, 69 Veteran, Outdoors Enthusiast, Worked at ONC Boces

George Howard Yager, 69

Veteran, Outdoors Enthusiast,
Worked at ONC Boces

George H. Yager

George Howard Yager was born September 30, 1951 in Fulton the son of the late Rev. George Howard and Edna (Topliffe) Yager.

George served his country in the United States Army as a Military Policeman.

George was 1969 graduate of Alexander Central School and a 1981 Genesee Community College graduate with and associates degree in model making.

After moving to Goodyear Lake from Byron, George began working at ONC BOCES as a teacher’s aide.

George enjoyed model making, photography, riding an ATV, watching NASCAR, boating and jet skiing on the lake and hosting his annual 4th of July gatherings.

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