News of Otsego County

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


Otsego Couinty news

Dad Honors Daughter In ‘Essential Worker’ Tribute

Dad Honors Daughter In

‘Essential Worker’ Tribute

Milford’s Jeff Van Winkler, known for his Halloween and Christmas displays at his home, has built a “Thank You, Essential Workers” display on his property to honor those taking care of us during the pandemic.  Van Winkler’s daughter Kaitlyn, an MCS grad, is pictured in the heart in the middle of the display. She is now a physicians’s assistant working in Virginia.  (Cheryl Clough/
With Determination, Discipline The Whartons Led The Way


‘There are no Caucasians present, though it would be difficult to distinguish them from many of those mingling in the mix of multi-hued wedding guests. Without exception, the guests are dressed fashionably, with stylish attire and stunning jewelry. The men are doctors, lawyers and undertakers; the women are school teachers and social workers … (The) waitstaff make their way through the crowd, bearing silver trays laden with chicken and crab croquettes, creamed sweetbreads on toast points, and slices of Virginia ham rolled with water cress – to accompany the Champagne punch served in crystal cups. Such is the life of many accomplished upper-middle-class Negroes along the Eastern Seaboard in the 1920s and 1930s.”

DOLORES WHARTON, from “A Multicultured Life”

With Determination, Discipline

The Whartons Led The Way

Dolores Wharton’s memoir, “A Multicultured Life,” will be available Sept. 1 on and

The quote, above, is Dolores Wharton’s earliest memory, recounted in “A Multicultured Life,” an engaging, irresistible memoir of not quite a century of American life, as she – in tandem with husband Clifton R. Wharton, Jr., the former SUNY chancellor (and much more) – moved from the nation’s black aristocracy to the heights of the American mainstream – in academe, industry and government.

Theirs is a soaring life story, of hard work, discipline, determination – and achievement.

Her husband was son of the first black U.S. ambassador (to Norway, 1961-64).  He was a Harvard grad with a University of Chicago Ph.D., a Rockefeller envoy to South America and Malaysia, Michigan State president, then SUNY chancellor, TIAA-CREF CEO and reinventor, deputy secretary of State, and retiree to Cooperstown (summers and weekends year ’round), where he’s served on Bassett’s and other key community boards.

He recounted his astonishing career in a 2015 memoir, “Privilege & Prejudice,” a title that encompasses all the opportunities and obstacles to overcome.

SUNY-O President Says Reaching African Summit Tribute To Friend Who Died

SUNY-O President Says

Reaching African Summit

Tribute To Friend Who Died

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Barbara Jean Morris transmitted this image back to Netzger from Kilimanjaro’s summit.

FROM TANZANIA – For Barbara Jean Morris, climbing Mount Kilimanjaro was the fulfillment of a promise made to a friend.

“A high school dear friend had decided to summit on his birthday three years ago,” the SUNY Oneonta president said over email. “But he unexpectedly passed away, so the trip was canceled.  I decided that it would be special to summit on my 60th birthday.”

On Friday, July 26, Morris, now finishing her first year as SUNY Oneonta’s president, made it to Kilimanjaro’s summit, Uhuru Peak, 19,340 feet. A photo on SUNY Oneonta’s Twitter account showed her in front of the peak sign, holding a cardboard figure of Red, the college’s Red Dragon mascot.

Frederick S. Veseley, 92; Former Farmer Tended Cooperstown Museums


Frederick S. Veseley, 92;

Former Farmer Tended

Cooperstown Museums

Frederick S. Vesely Sr.

HARTWICK – Frederick S. Vesely, Sr., 92, former buildings and grounds superintendent at The Fenimore House and The Farmers’ Museum, passed away early this morning, June 28, 2019, at Fox Nursing Home.  He lived in the Town of Burlington.

He was born Feb. 24, 1927, in New Windsor, one of 10 children of Andrew and Matilda (Gaydos) Vesely.  In his youth, Fred attended a one-room schoolhouse in Little Britain. At the age of 16, he left school and went to work for Crowley’s Dairy Company.

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