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.
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.
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.”
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, www.hellerskinnerfh.com. The Heller & Skinner Funeral Home, 155 Main St., Worcester, is assisting the family.
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.