Ethiopian guards massacred scores of Tigrayan prisoners, witnesses say     Ukraine live briefing: Ground conditions improving for battle, official says; grain ship arrives in Ethiopia     A more pragmatic Xi Jinping launches a global charm offensive for China     Ethiopian guards massacred scores of Tigrayan prisoners, witnesses say     Ukraine live briefing: Ground conditions improving for battle, official says; grain ship arrives in Ethiopia     A more pragmatic Xi Jinping launches a global charm offensive for China     Ukraine live briefing: Russian defense minister meets with Belarusian president; Kremlin decries price cap on oil     Kandinsky sale halted after Poland claims artwork was stolen in 1984      After Kherson, Ukraine’s military ponders new push south and east     Ethiopian guards massacred scores of Tigrayan prisoners, witnesses say     Ukraine live briefing: Ground conditions improving for battle, official says; grain ship arrives in Ethiopia     A more pragmatic Xi Jinping launches a global charm offensive for China     Ethiopian guards massacred scores of Tigrayan prisoners, witnesses say     Ukraine live briefing: Ground conditions improving for battle, official says; grain ship arrives in Ethiopia     A more pragmatic Xi Jinping launches a global charm offensive for China     Ukraine live briefing: Russian defense minister meets with Belarusian president; Kremlin decries price cap on oil     Kandinsky sale halted after Poland claims artwork was stolen in 1984      After Kherson, Ukraine’s military ponders new push south and east     
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News of Otsego County

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In Memoriam Frank M . Van Auken, 102 May 9, 1920 – November 10, 2022
In Memoriam

Frank M . Van Auken, 102

May 9, 1920 – November 10, 2022

Frank M . Van Auken

Frank M. Van Auken, 102, passed away peacefully at Woodside Hall in Cooperstown, NY, on November 10, 2022, where he had lived since February 2018. Frank was born May 9, 1920, at his family home on Fassett Rd. in East Springfield, NY. He was the son of Olen Van Auken and Jennie Marks Van Auken. After graduating from East Springfield School, Frank enlisted in the United States Army during World War II, where he was stationed both stateside and in the European theater. Frank was the oldest living WWII veteran in Otsego County.

Frank married the love of his life, Laura Leadley, in Oswego, NY. Together they enjoyed traveling, playing cards, eating out, and hosting dinner parties. Frank served his community well. He was a volunteer fireman, a member of the local church, and a frequent flyer to K.C.’s Diner.

In Memoriam Philip L. Washburn, Esq., 81 November 14, 1940 – October 22, 2022
In Memoriam

Philip L. Washburn, Esq., 81

November 14, 1940 – October 22, 2022

COOPERSTOWN – Philip L. Washburn, Esq., a long-time resident of Cooperstown and well-respected attorney, passed away peacefully Saturday afternoon, October 22, 2022, at HarborChase of Prince William Commons in Woodbridge, Virginia, with family at his side. He was 81.

Born November 14, 1940, in Gouverneur, Phil was a son of Leonard Bacon Washburn and Marguerite (Halpin) Washburn. After graduating from Gouverneur High School in 1958, Phil attended Harpur College, now known as Binghamton University. In 1960 he left college to enlist in the United States Army, and honorably served his country while stationed at a base in Sinop, Turkey. Upon receiving his honorable discharge from the military in 1963, he returned to college life and attended Tulane University Law School. It was there that he met Pamela Waits, and they were married August 20, 1966, in a ceremony at Lake Vista United Methodist Church in New Orleans, Louisiana.

In Memoriam Leon K. Beach, 73 December 8, 1948 – September 13, 2022
In Memoriam

Leon K. Beach, 73

December 8, 1948 – September 13, 2022

Leon K. Beach

ONEONTA – Leon K. Beach, 73 of Oneonta passed away Tuesday, September 13, 2022 at the NYS Veterans Home, Oxford.

He was born December 8, 1948 in Oneonta, the son of Kenneth and Margaret Beach.

In the summer of 1962 he worked on his grandparents farm while his grandfather was sick with lung cancer.

Leon attended Milford and Otego schools and graduated from Unatego Central School in 1967. He was an accomplished runner on the track team and ran under a 5-minute mile.

Boy Scouts were a big part of his life and he was proud to have attended the National Jam-boree in Valley Forge, Pa., in 1964.

Life Sketches by Terry Berkson: Thor Dackin, A portrait
Life Sketches by Terry Berkson

Thor Dackin, A portrait

Thor Dackin, center

The current attack on Ukraine reminds me of Russia’s invasion of Hungary back in 1956 and an army buddy who had been a product of the Hungarian Revolution. His name was Thor Dackin. His family upon fleeing Hungary and entering America, settled in Philadelphia. The first time I saw him was in June of ‘65 on the troop train that was carrying us and several hundred other guys down to Fort Gordon, Georgia for basic training. He was sporting a wild black head of hair that hung down to his shoulders. I remember thinking, ‘This guy’s looking for trouble. Wait till a drill sergeant eyeballs him.’

In Memoriam Gerald D. Monroe, 76 September 13, 1945 – May 8, 2022

In Memoriam

Gerald D. Monroe, 76

September 13, 1945 – May 8, 2022

Gerald Douglas “Jerry” “Jiggs” Monroe

COOPERSTOWN – Gerald Douglas “Jerry” “Jiggs” Monroe, 76, of Cooperstown, passed away Sunday morning, May 8, 2022, at the Samuel S. Stratton V.A. Medical Center in Albany following a valiant battle with cancer.

Jerry, or Jiggs, as many people knew him, was born September 13, 1945, in Cooperstown, a son of Walter J. and Ernestine (Tabor) Monroe. He was raised in Hartwick and attended Hartwick High School.

On November 22, 1965, Jerry was inducted into the United States Army. He proudly served his country during the Vietnam War as part of Company E, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry, 4th Infantry Division, and received a Purple Heart for injuries received in the line of duty. On November 12, 1967, he received his honorable discharge from the military.

Following his military service he was employed for 37 years as a gunsmith for Remington Arms in Ilion.

In Memoriam Lee Carlton Winnie, 75 Oct. 25, 1946 – Mar. 17, 2022

In Memoriam

Lee Carlton Winnie, 75

Oct. 25, 1946 – Mar. 17, 2022

Lee Carlton Winnie

FLY CREEK – Lee Carlton Winnie died peacefully on Thursday, March 17, 2022 at his home in Fly Creek, surrounded by his loving wife of nearly 40 years and his two sons. He was 75 years old.

Lee was born October 25, 1946 in Cooperstown, the son of Ernest and Gerda (Christiansen) Winnie. He graduated from Cooperstown Central School in the Class of 1965.

After graduating high school, Lee attended Hudson Valley Community College and studied as a mechanical draftsman. Shortly after college in 1967, he was drafted into the United States Army and served in the Vietnam War. As a mortarman, Lee received several commendation medals for his heroic actions in Dak Seang in 1968.

After being honorably discharged in 1969, Lee returned to work at his father and uncle’s farm machinery implement business. As a life-long resident of Fly Creek, he is most well-known for working for MOSA and Otsego County at the Cooperstown dump for many years, where he helped people with their recycling and local gossip.

In Memoriam Joseph A. Vagliardo, 74 Oct. 2, 1947 – Feb. 22, 2022

In Memoriam

Joseph A. Vagliardo, 74

Oct. 2, 1947 – Feb. 22, 2022

Joseph A. Vagliardo

WEST ONEONTA – Joseph A. Vagliardo, 74, of West Oneonta, NY, passed away on Tuesday, February 22, 2022, at Bassett Medical Center, Cooperstown.

He was born October 2, 1947, in Oneonta, NY, the son of James and Dominica (Vaccaro) Vagliardo.

Joseph proudly served in the United States Army from 1967 to 1970, with three tours in Vietnam. He received the Nation Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and Vietnam Campaign Medal.

He worked for the NYS Department of Transportation until his retirement. He had a passion for model trains and fish aquariums. He took great pride in maintaining his lawns, and was a long-time member of the Elks Club of Oneonta. He enjoyed annual vacations in Florida with his wife Debra, until her passing.

In Memoriam Theron S. Batistea March 8, 1933 – March 5, 2022

In Memoriam

Theron S. Batistea, 88

March 8, 1933 – March 5, 2022

Theron S. Batistea

DELHI – Theron Simplicia Batistea passed away Saturday March 5, 2022. He was born to parents Theodore R. and Bertha (Parish) Batistea on March 8, 1933, in Delhi, NY, which is where he lived in his later years.

He served 3 years in the US Army, 2 years in the US Air Force and 5 years in the US Army National Guard. He was a veteran who was active during the Korea War but was stationed in Germany. After his military days he would work as a security officer all over NY State in many different assignments.

To know “Uncle Teddy” you knew he had a deep infectious laugh that would bring you to laughing with him. He loved to talk about his love of cars especially Cadillacs and Lincolns, his love of music and dancing and the love of his life that he had left behind in Germany. His greatest conversations were memories of his parents, his younger siblings and just the good old days. He truly was at peace and was happy he lived a long full life.

In Memoriam David W. Brenner December 20, 1931 – March 04, 2022

In Memoriam

David W. Brenner

Dec. 20, 1931 – Mar. 04, 2022

David W. Brenner

ONEONTA – David W. Brenner, 90, passed away March 4, 2022 at Cooperstown Center Rehabilitation and Nursing Home.

David was born December 20, 1931 in Blooming Grove, NY, the son of Lee D. and Henrietta (Maxwell) Brenner.  He was the oldest of 10 children.  The family lived in various towns in and around Newburgh NY.

David Graduated from Washingtonville High School in 1949.  In 1950 he enlisted in the United States Army, achieving the rank of 1st Lieutenant.  His assignments included Germany and several posts in the United States. He was honorably discharged in 1954 at the completion of his service.

David married Lois I. Erickson on September 5, 1954 at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Brooklyn NY.

Following their marriage, they moved to Oneonta so that David could attend SUNY Oneonta on the G.I. Bill, graduating in 1957 and achieving a master’s degree in 1959.  After graduating college, he taught at Schenevus Central School and at Clarkstown Central School in New City, NY.  He then returned to SUNY Oneonta as Student Teacher Supervisor, before becoming Director of Registration and Records, and eventually Associate Dean of Students, retiring after 35 plus years.  During his time at SUCO, David was very proud to have received his Ph.D. from SUNY Albany School of Public Affairs.

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.

Harry G. Brannigan, 73 August 3, 1948 – October 7, 2021

In Memoriam

Harry G. Brannigan, 73

August 3, 1948 – October 7, 2021

Harry G. Brannigan

MILFORD – Harry George Brannigan, age 73, passed away early Thursday morning, October 7, 2021, at his son’s home in Mount Vision following a valiant battle with cancer.

He was born August 3, 1948, in College Point, Queens, a son of the late Harry and Margaret Brannigan.

A veteran of the Vietnam War, Harry enlisted with the United States Army on January 8, 1968, and served in Vietnam with Company B, 9th Engineer Battalion. On January 2, 1971, he received his Honorable Discharge from the military and returned home to Queens.

He met Carol Ann Spunt of Long Island while on a blind date arranged by mutual friends. The two hit it off, and were married May 5, 1973, in her hometown of Huntington on Long Island.

For many years, Harry was employed as a sheet metal worker and machinist for the Stella Corporation in Plainview.

In 1988, Harry and Carol Ann moved upstate to the Town of Milford and Harry became an organic farmer. He truly enjoyed growing vegetables, and sold them for a time at his farm stand, Mountain Top Farm, in Emmons. In his leisure, he enjoyed watching movies, especially National Lampoon’s Vacation and, no matter the time of year, Christmas Vacation.

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