News of Otsego County

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



Walter E. Backus, 88; Korean War  Vet, Union Leader At Scintilla

IN MEMORIAM: Walter E. Backus, 88;

Korean War Vet, Union Leader At Scintilla

Walter E. Backus

SIDNEY – Walter Edmund Backus, 88, a Korean War veteran and union leader during 40 years at Scintilla (Amphenol) passed away peacefully on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019 in the comfort of his home.

Walt was born in 1930 and graduated from Bainbridge-Guilford High School in 1947.

Shortly after, he enlisted in the Army; he was discharged in July 1950. Walt was recalled to active duty on Nov. 2, 1950 and sent to Fort Hood,  Texas, for eight weeks of advanced combat training.

Mary Ellen Bellows, 92; Worked At Palace Theater, Scintilla In WWII

IN MEMORIAM: Mary Ellen Bellows, 92;

Worked At Palace Theatre, Scintilla In WWII

Mary Ellen Bellows

MORRIS – Mary Ellen (Taber) Bellows, 92, passed away on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019 at Centers Cooperstown nursing home.

Ellen was born in Herkimer, the daughter of Harry and Genevieve (Strong) Taber.

She graduated from Oneonta High School and worked at the Palace Theatre in Oneonta as an assistant cashier and usherette. She worked in Scintilla in Sidney as a coil winder during World War II and later worked at the Oneonta Country Club.

J. Mason Reynolds, 90; Fortune 500 Executive


J. Mason Reynolds, 90;

Fortune 500 Executive

From Scintilla, Career Took Him Worldwide

J. Mason “Mace” Reynolds

COOPERSTOWN – J. Mason “Mace” Reynolds passed on, with his wife and children beside him, in Stuart, Florida on March 14, 2017.  He was 90.

A thoroughly gregarious man of exuberance, business acumen, impeccable honesty, and generous spirit, Mr. Reynolds was utterly devoted to Rhea, his wife of 68 years, their three children, seven grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.

Mr. Reynolds retired from Allied-Signal, Inc. in 1989, where he had served for eight years as head of the corporation’s worldwide automotive operations.  Allied-Signal Automotive was then a major OEM supplier of automobile and truck components, with such brand names as Bendix, Fram, Autolite and Garrett.

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