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Rotary Club

In Memoriam Thomas M. Hughson, 88 Nov. 17, 1933 – Feb. 26, 2022

In Memoriam

Thomas M. Hughson, 88

Nov. 17, 1933 – Feb. 26, 2022

Thomas M. Hughson

ONEONTA – Thomas M. Hughson, 88, died peacefully in his sleep at the Cooperstown Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing on February 26, 2022. He is survived by his beloved spouse of almost 30 years, Susan M. Hughson.

Tom was born in Oneonta, New York on November 17, 1933. The son of Thomas P. and Doris M. Hughson, Tom went to Bugbee School – across the street from his childhood home – and Oneonta High School. He then attended Dartmouth College, where he majored in psychology. Following his graduation in 1955, Tom worked at the Glens Falls Insurance Company and was soon drafted to serve in the army. Before leaving for Germany, he married Susan Rosenheim, also of Oneonta.

Tom was honorably discharged in 1958 and returned to Oneonta to join his father’s insurance business, renaming their joint venture T.P & T.M. Hughson, Inc. During the 1970s, Tom was quick to recognize and embrace the potential of computer technology to revolutionize the insurance business. At the same time, he remained steadfast in his commitment to providing honest, personalized advice to all his customers, be they individuals, businesses, or school districts. As a result, T.P. & T.M. Hughson (now Hughson & Benson Associates) grew to become one of the area’s leading independent insurance agencies.

Douglas K. Walrath, 92 Dec. 11, 1929 – Dec. 17, 2021

In Memoriam

Douglas K. Walrath, 92

Dec. 11, 1929 – Dec. 17, 2021

Douglas K. Walrath

COOPERSTOWN – Douglas K. Walrath, beloved husband, father and grandfather, who served the Village of Cooperstown as Clerk, Treasurer and Administrator and who was active with the Rotary Club and Christ Church, left us suddenly and unexpectedly after a brief illness Friday afternoon, December 17, 2021, at Bassett Medical Center with his wife, Peg, and Fr. Nathan Ritter, his pastor by his side. He was 92.

Born December 11, 1929, at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, Douglas Kramer Walrath was one of two sons of Douglas O. and Bertha (Kramer) Walrath. Raised in the Village, he graduated from Cooperstown High School with the Class of 1947.

During the Korean War, Doug proudly served his country in the United States Army. He was badly wounded while on active duty and received the Purple Heart in April 1951.

Following his military service, Doug attended Ithaca College and earned a bachelor of science degree in radio and television graduating magna cum laude.

Beginning in February of 1965, Doug was employed by the Village of Cooperstown and served as Village Clerk and clerk of all the Village boards. As Village Treasurer, he was Administrator and Chief Budget Officer. He attended the training school sponsored by the New York State Conference of Mayors and in 1969 received their five-year award for training. He also helped organize the New York State Association of Municipal Purchasing Officials and served as Secretary.

Coop Rotary plans Fall Fling for Saturday

Coop Rotary plans Fall Fling for Saturday

by CHAD G. WELCH • Special to

The Rotary Club of Cooperstown is hosting the Fall Fling fundraiser at the Clark Sports Center from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday Oct. 9.

Fall Fling is replacing Spring Fling. which the club has hosted annually in May since 2017, event chairperson Sydney Sheehan said. It was canceled in 2020 and postponed this year.

“We decided to hold this event in the fall because we felt that a fun and festive fall event might be just the thing to bring everyone together,” Sheehan said. “Cooperstown has so much to offer in the autumn and year-round and it’s a great time to celebrate our community.”

Cooperstown mourns community servant, Kuhn

Cooperstown mourns
community servant, Kuhn

By PATRICK DEWEY • Special to

The Cooperstown community found itself forced to consider life without Santa Claus when Paul Kuhn died Wednesday, June 2, at the age of 83.

Kuhn was perhaps best known as Cooperstown’s Santa Claus, a post that he held with joy and authenticity for 20 years.

According to Molly Myers, a Main Street Christmas helper from a young age, Kuhn’s listening skills and genuine care for people were a big part of what made him the perfect Father Christmas.

A few years younger than Myers, Bella Anania said she remembers eagerly waiting in line with her three siblings to see Kuhn in character. She said that he could relate to any child.

“He embodied the spirit of Christmas,” Anania said.

Joseph George Smaila III, 92 Rotarian president, he helped start Worcester Pool and Worcester Health Center


Joseph George Smaila III, 92
Rotarian president, he helped start
Worcester Pool and Worcester Health Center

Worcester – Joseph George Smaila III, 92, went home to be with the Lord on April 10, 2021.

Joe was born in January of 1929 in New York City to Anna Udovich, who was originally from Austria.

He graduated from Worcester Central School, Class of 1949. He worked at his family’s restaurants, Bright Side Central Hotel and Anna’s Restaurant. He also worked at Worcester Lumber Co., General Electric, and Prudential Insurance as an agent. Joe was honored to receive several Vice-Presidential Academy of Honor Awards throughout his 30-year career at Prudential. Joe served as Rotarian President and contributed to the inception of the Worcester Pool and Worcester Health Center. He was a lifelong resident of Worcester. Joe loved his family, friends and community, enjoying bringing people together with a good laugh, cooking, a good poker game and a good polka.

Joe is survived by his wife, Jean Smaila of 20 years; son, Joseph “Buzz” and wife, Rita Smaila; daughter, Andria “Andi” Smaila; grandchildren, Christine (Smaila) and husband, Justin Soudant, Sara (Smaila) and husband, Brendan McGrath; great-grandson, Joshua Soudant; sister-in-law, Joyce Udovich; step-children, Marty and wife, Diane Winn, Ronnie and wife, Ginny Winn and Maryann (Winn) and husband, Wes Kryger; several grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Joe was predeceased by his first wife, Louise; his parents, Anna and Bill Udovich; sister, Barbara George and brother, William Udovich.

A private graveside service will be held at the St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Worcester.

Cards and remembrances may be sent to the family.

Online condolences may be made at, The Heller & Skinner Funeral Home, 155 Main St., Worcester, is assisting the family.

James Pasternak, 87; Spent Career In SUNY Business Office

IN MEMORIAM: James Pasternak, 87;

Spent Career In SUNY Business Office

James Pasternak

ONEONTA – James Edward Pasternak, 87, who spent his career in SUNY Oneonta’s business office, passed away peacefully at home with his family by his side on Friday, March 13, 2020.

The son of Stanley and Dorothy (Clute) Pasternak, Jim graduated from Waterville High School. He was a sergeant in the Army in 1952-54, serving in Korea.

Jim married his wife Kathryn (Swiantek) on April 14, 1956, in Utica. After living in Indiana, they moved to Oneonta, then Morris, to raise their family.


Voting Day!!!

14-19eventspageGENERAL ELECTION – 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Vote on public officers, whether to hold a constitutional convention for NYS, the use of Forest Preserve land, and more. Visit

PANCAKES – 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Enjoy hot pancakes, sausage, maple syrup, apple cider, apple sauce, coffee this election day. Cost $6/adult, $4/child. Cooperstown Vets Club, 60 Main St., Cooperstown.

Rev. John A. Blackman Jr., 84; Edmeston Leader For 52 Years

Rev. John A. Blackman Jr., 84;

Edmeston Leader For 52 Years

John A. Blackman Jr.
John A. Blackman Jr.

EDMESTON – The Rev. John A. Blackman, Jr., the award-winning and community-minded pastor emeritus of the Second Baptist Church, Edmeston, passed away Nov. 20, 2016.

He was born Aug. 31, 1932 in Rockland, Maine, to John A. Blackman and Olive Kalloch Blackman. He graduated from Rockland High School, Gordon College in Boston, and Gordon Divinity School, Wenham, Mass.

He married Dorothy Loyte in June 1955.

John served the First Baptist Church of Oswegatchie, in the North Country, from June 1958 to January 1964, where he was ordained into the ministry. He then was called to the Second Baptist Church, and served from February 1964 to September 1994.

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