News of Otsego County

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


Joseph Paul Campbell, 91½ ;Teacher, Coach, Broadcaster


Joseph Paul Campbell, 91½ ;

Teacher, Coach, Broadcaster

Joseph Paul Campbell

ONEONTA – Joseph Paul Campbell, age 91½, passed away on March 6, 2019, at 4:05 p.m. after hearing “The Campbells are Coming” on the bagpipes while surrounded by family.

A few days earlier, Pastor Eda Dorosky led a family prayer circle around Joe, welcoming him with grace to God’s table. A memorial service will be scheduled at a teacher-friendly time, with so many family members following in Joe’s footsteps.

Joe, Oneonta High School Class of 1945, was one of Oneonta’s most dedicated life-long community members. He was recognized through honors and awards throughout his life. Joe’s dedication to teaching, coaching, broadcasting, and community service were among his greatest contributions, which were woven through his life as a father, athlete, philosopher, educator, radio personality, music aficionado, and coach.

Lillian A. Timer, 99; Former Teacher Lived In Mount Vision

IN MEMORIAM: Lillian A. Timer, 99;

Former Teacher Lived In Mount Vision

Lillian Timer

MOUNT VISION – Lillian Timer, 99, passed away peacefully on Friday, Dec. 14, 2018, at Chestnut Park Rehabilitation & Nursing Center in Oneonta.

Lillian was born on Nov. 30, 1919, in Middlefield, the daughter of Earl and Pearl (Chase) Alpaugh.  She was a graduate of Cherry Valley Central School and of Oneonta State College, Class of 1940.

On May 09, 1943, she married Edward Timer in Cherry Valley.  They lived in Laurens and moved to Mount Vision in 1950.

Stephen Hammond. 83; Teacher, Principal, Downtown Merchant

IN MEMORIAM: Stephen Hammond, 83;

Teacher, Principal, Downtown Merchant

Stephen Hammond Jr.

COOPERSTOWN – Stephen Hammond, Jr., 83, of Cooperstown, a retired teacher, principal and downtown merchant, died Feb. 28, 2018, AT Bassett Hospital after a long bout with cancer.  

Known to all as Buddy, he was a familiar figure at local hotspots such as the Cooperstown Diner, and was known for his outgoing personality and wonderful story-telling. 

Mary S. Buck, 90; Teacher, Nurse Helped Raise Llamas

IN MEMORIAM: Mary S. Buck, 90;

Teacher, RN Helped Raise Llamas

Mary S. Buck

MILFORD – Mary S. Buck, 90, a teacher and nurse who operated a llama farm here for 22 years, passed away Feb. 3, 2018, at home after a long illness.

She was born Nov. 24, 1927, in Brooklyn, one of 12 children to Herbert and Winefred Selleck.

She married David L. Buck on August 18, 1963.

Mary was a school teacher for many years.  She also received a register nurse’s degree, which became very valuable in the raising and caring for the llamas at the farm she and her husband owned and operated for 22 years.

Freda ‘Fritz’ Beliles Shultis, 94; Taught At Valley View, SUNY

Freda ‘Fritz’ Beliles Shultis, 94;

Taught At Valley View, SUNY

Freda “Fritz” Shultis

ONEONTA – Freda “Fritz” Beliles Shultis, 94, who practiced her teaching vocation from Valley View Elementary to SUNY Oneonta, died peacefully at Fox Nursing Home Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017.

Freda was born on Sept. 27, 1923, in Jones Township, Pa., the daughter of Sarah Bidgood and Christos Beliles. After her father’s unexpected passing she and her siblings thrived at the Randolph Children’s Home, Cattaraugus County, where she enjoyed participating in band, swimming and cheerleading before graduating.

Known for her fierce determination to excell all her life, Freda used both her inner drive and encouragement from the Randolph Home’s staff to get accepted to and then attend Cobleskill College.  At college she met the love of her life, Edmund Shultis Jr. He was a native of Oneonta, and it was in Oneonta that they married on Sept. 3, 1942, shortly before he entered service in the Army during World War II.

 Richard L. Hanson, 73; Marine, Retired Teacher, Former Farmer

 Richard L. Hanson, 73; Marine,

Retired Teacher, Former Farmer

Richard L. Hanson

SPRINGFIELD – Richard Lee Hanson, a Marine veteran of the Vietnam War,  retired school teacher and farmer, passed away following a valiant battle with cancer Wednesday night, Oct. 18, 2017, at his home in the Town of Springfield with his family by his side.  He was 73.

Born March 30, 1944, at Bassett Hospital, he was the son of Lester Hans and Ellamae Jessie (Myers) Hanson.  A gifted athlete, Dick attended Cooperstown Central School where he excelled in football, skiing, basketball and track.

Joan W. Atkins, 81; Teacher In Richfield, Schuyler Lake

IN MEMORIAM: Joan W. Atkins, 81;

Teacher In Richfield, Schuyler Lake

Joan W. Atkins

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Joan Willard Atkins, 81, a former teacher in Richfield Springs, passed away Monday July 17, 2017, in Cortland Regional Medical Center, with her family by her side.

She was born on Dec. 4, 1935, in Orchard Park, daughter of the late George E. and Florence Fisher Willard. Joan was raised in Orchard Park and was a graduate of Orchard Park High School. She received a bachelor’s in education at SUNY Cortland.


CCS High School Winter Concert


We still have 6 families in the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program in need of a benefactor this holiday season. CLICK HERE to learn how you can help them.

HIGH SCHOOL WINTER CONCERT – 7:30-9 p.m.. Auditorium, Cooperstown Central School, 39 Linden Ave., Cooperstown. Info,

SANTA’S SECRETS – 2 p.m. Learn the Secres of Santa’s Cooperstown Cottage with Santa. Woodside Hall, 1 Main St., Cooperstown. Info, (607)547-0600.

LEGAL AID SOCIETY – 10 a.m. Board meeting of the Legal Aid Society of Mid-new York, Inc. 268 Genesee St., Utica. Info, or call (315)793-7057 or visit

Jim Huntington, 63; Longtime Soccer Coach, Much More

IN MEMORIAM: Jim Huntington, 63;

Longtime Soccer Coach, Much More

Jim Huntington
Jim Huntington

WESTFORD – Jim Huntington, longtime soccer coach at Schenevus Central School, passed away suddenly from a heart attack on Tuesday, March 22, 2016.

Born May 6, 1952, Jim worked as a teacher, postal worker and business owner but is perhaps best known as a coach whose career spanned four decades. He was also a proud member of the American Legion, VFW, Masons and St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Westford.

While it may be convenient to define his life by citing his careers and memberships it fails to account for who Jim was.

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