News of Otsego County

Rotary Club

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.

Posts navigation

21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103