COOPERSTOWN—Maria R. Parrillo, a long-time resident of Cooperstown, passed away peacefully with family by her side Thursday afternoon, January 26, 2023 at A.O. Fox Nursing Home in Oneonta. She was 94.
A native of Italy, Maria was born February 8, 1928 in Naples, a daughter of Ralph and Bianca (Peluso) DeSimone. She was raised and educated in Naples, with her schooling focusing on mathematics. During World War II she met Lewis Parillo, a native of Cooperstown who was serving in the United States Navy. Maria and Lewis were married April 8, 1946 in Naples, and upon his honorable discharge from the Navy they came to Cooperstown and settled into their home on Beech Street.
COOPERSTOWN—Around 60 family and friends gathered at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum last weekend for a promotion ceremony to honor Lieutenant Colonel E. Albert Eckart III. “Albert is like a part of the Grady family,” Pati Grady of Cooperstown said. “He’s always loved baseball and he visits us a lot.” So much so that Josh Rawitch, NBHoF president, offered to have the pinning ceremony in the Hall. “We are incredibly proud of Albert,” Grady said. Above, Eckart (left) is joined by Rawitch and Colonel (Retired) Matthew Keurejian.
In 1991, the infamous Tailhook convention scandal took place.
“There was some harassment of female pilots at that convention in Las Vegas,” said Dave Rees, Milford resident, business owner and former Navy pilot. “The whole thing got turned upside down. A lot of people didn’t get promoted because of that convention. I was not in attendance at the time.”
Since then, things have changed for the better at the Tailhook Symposium, and Rees recently returned from Reno, NV, where he attended the convention that celebrated the 100th anniversary of aircraft carrier aviation and reunited former Marine and Navy fliers.
ONEONTA – Kenneth C. Leslie, 86, of Oneonta passed away Wednesday, October 5, 2022 at Bassett Hospital, Cooperstown.
He was born August 29, 1936 in Franklin the son of the late James and Caroline (Gesell) Leslie. Growing up Ken worked on the family dairy farm. He graduated from Franklin Central School the Class of 1954. Following graduation, Ken joined the United States Navy and served on the USS Albany in the 6th Fleet. He was honorably discharged when his father passed away so he could help take care of the family farm.
Ken worked several jobs including Oneonta Ford Sales, Neil Nelson Construction and finally the D&H Railroad retiring from C.P. Railroad in 1996. In his retirement, Ken drove bus for OPT, and was a currier for Wilber Bank and later Community Bank. He was also a volunteer fireman for the Oneonta Fire Department.
MORRIS – Robert Charles Lander, 95, of Wallkill and Morris NY passed away Saturday August 6, 2022 surrounded by his loving family. Robert was born on October 5, 1926 in Elizabeth, NJ to Ralph George Lander and Rosalind (Sharetts) Lander. Bob was married in 1948 to Margaret Mary (Miehls) Lander for 58 years.
Bob served in the United States Navy from 1944 to 1946 during the Second World War. He attended Pace College on the GI Bill. He worked as a systems programmer for American Tobacco Co. from 1946 until his retirement in 1986 totaling 40 years. Bob was a lover of animals, cigars, martinis and an avid golfer. He will be dearly missed by all that knew him.
COOPERSTOWN – George W. McCrea, age 86, of Cooperstown, passed away peacefully early Thursday morning, June 16, 2022.
George was born February 11, 1936, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, a son of James M. and Alice (Reilly) McCrea.
When he was a youngster his family moved to Laurens, where he graduated from Laurens Central School with the Class of 1955. During his high school years, he was a three-sport all-star in football, basketball and baseball. On January 18, 1956, he enlisted in the United States Navy and proudly served his country as a Third Class Petty Officer for four years following the Korean War. He often recalled when his ship, the USS Leyte, hit a whale, noting, “It stopped the ship dead in the water.” His aircraft carrier was responsible for patrolling the northeast coast of the United States. Following his honorable discharge on December 17, 1959, he apprenticed to and became a stone mason and a bricklayer. He also owned and operated a farm on the Middlefield Center Road.
COOPERSTOWN – David Sprague Wilshere, a long-time resident of Cooperstown who served as caretaker of Doubleday Field for many years, passed away late Friday night, February 4, 2022, at his home on Curry Road in Hartwick with his wife, Meme, by his side. He was 78.
Born August 28, 1943, in Iowa City, Iowa, David was a son of Vernon S. “Whitey” Wilshere, a left-handed pitcher who played for Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics in the 1930s, and Betty Jean Munden Wilshere, a painter and Emergency Room RN at Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown.
When he was four-years-old, David and his family moved from the mid-west to his father’s hometown of Skaneateles, where David attended a one-room schoolhouse. In 1953, they moved to Cooperstown and settled into their home on Chestnut Street.
A graduate of Cooperstown High School, Class of 1961, David excelled in sports and was a letterman in baseball, football, wrestling and track.
In September of 1961, David enlisted in the United States Navy, and proudly served his country during a tour of duty at the NATO base in Naples, Italy. During this time his wife and daughter joined him. He received his honorable discharge from active duty in the military on August 10, 1964, and was released from the reserves in August 1967.
WEST EDMESTON – Carl F. Hecker, 86, of West Edmeston, passed away on Tuesday January 25, 2022 at his home, with his Godson and nurses at his side.
Carl was born on April 22, 1935 in Queens, NY the son of the late Curt and Wilma Germann Hecker, and predeceased by his brother Kurt A.Hecker. He is survived by many nephews and nieces throughout the Hecker family.
Carl was employed in the construction trade for many years with the Grumman Corporation on Long Island. He was a U.S. Navy Veteran serving from 1953 to 1957. He was a life member of the VFW and a 38 year member of the American Legion.
EDMESTON – Alan B Sheldon, 78, of Edmeston, passed away Monday January 17, 2022 in New Berlin.
Alan was born on October 14, 1943 in Oneonta the son of the late Howard and Evelene Field Sheldon. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his wife of 53 years Kathleen in June 2021.
He is survived by his daughters Caprice (Paul) Eckert of Edmeston, Monica (Brandon) Clark of Edmeston, sisters Connie Gallagher of Johnson City TN, Rebecca Flannery of Harpursville, NY, grandchildren Mallory, Rachel, Tatum, Braymon, great grandchild Lacie-Ann, and many nieces and nephews.
COOPERSTOWN – John Wellman Becker, 94 of Cranberry Township, PA, died peacefully December 23rd, 2021 at UPMC Passavan Hospital in McCandless PA. He was born March 11, 1927 in Cooperstown NY to Clyde S. Becker, Sr. and Laura Green Becker.
John’s childhood was marked by an early love of music. He studied piano with several teachers and by high school he was accompanying public events all over Cooperstown. John enlisted in the US Navy in 1948, serving on the U.S.S. Cascade in Japan. Returning to Otsego County after his tour, John earned a BA in business administration from Hartwick College. Moving to New York City to work at The International Paper Company, he studied organ with Searle Wright. At his teacher’s suggestion, and somewhat to his father’s alarm, he left I.P. to earn a Master’s of Sacred Music at Union Theological Seminary and in 1959-1960 he studied organ with Helmut Walcha at the Hochschule fur Musik, Frankfurt/Main. Surely, the world is richer for this choice.
Stephen A. Rudloff, 76
Feb. 19, 1945 – May 31, 2021
COOPERSTOWN – Stephen Anthony Rudloff, Commander, United States Navy (Retired) who survived 323 days in captivity as a POW during the Vietnam War, passed away peacefully following a long illness the evening of Memorial Day, May 31, 2021, at his home on Nelson Avenue surrounded by family. He was 76.
Born February 19, 1945, in Brooklyn, he was a son of Ernest and Mary (Camarro) Rudloff. After graduating from Lafayette High School in 1962, he attended St. John’s University.
On September 20, 1964, he entered the United States Navy School of PreFlight at NAS Pensacola, Florida, completed Basic Naval Aviation Officers School in August 1965, and completed Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) School at NAS Glynco, Georgia in October 1965. He was commissioned an Ensign in the US Navy on August 15, 1965, received his wings and designated a RIO on October 28, 1965. His first assignment was to VF-121 at NAS Miramar, California, for F-4 Phantom II Replacement Air Group training from December 1965 to June 1966, followed by service as an F-4 RIO with VF-154 at NAS Moffett Field, California, from June 1966 to June 1968. During this time, LT Rudloff deployed with his unit to Southeast Asia from September 1966 to January 1967, and from December 1967 to April 1968. Following that tour of duty, he reported to the Naval Plant Representative Office with McDonnell Douglas Corporation, in St. Louis, Missouri, where he remained for two years as a Public Affairs Officer. Following refresher training in the F-4, he reported to Fighter Squadron Ninety-Two in July 1971, and deployed to Vietnam aboard the USS Constellation in October.
David Damon Jeffres died peacefully at home on May 2, 2021, at the age of 91 following a 13-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease. He was surrounded by his family and canine companion Rocky.
He was also a loving husband, father and devoted college professor.
He was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa on November 2, 1929, the son of Edgar Perry Jeffres and Sibyl Irene Jeffres.
He graduated early from Thomas Jefferson High School in Council Bluffs, IA, at the age of 17, so he could enlist in the Navy.
After graduating from the U.S Navy School of Music he served honorably for four and a half years during which time he played trumpet in the Navy band, achieving the position of musician first class.
Following his discharge from the Navy, he earned Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Education and French, respectively, from the University of Colorado (Boulder) and completed PhD coursework in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas and SUNY Albany.
Editor’s Note: This press release arrived Monday, Dec. 14, from Lockheed Martin Corp. spokesman Kate Scruggs.
Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) 23, the future USS Cooperstown, completed acceptance trials in Lake Michigan. Trials included a full-power run, maneuverability testing, and surface and air detect-to-engage demonstrations of the ship’s combat system. Major systems and features were demonstrated, including aviation support, small boat launch handling and recovery and machinery control and automation.
Now that trials are complete, the ship will undergo final outfitting and fine-tuning before delivery to the U.S. Navy next year. LCS 23 is the 12th Freedom-variant LCS designed and built by the Lockheed Martin-led industry team.
“LCS 23, like other Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ships, delivers unique flexibility and capability to the U.S. Navy,” said Joe DePietro, Lockheed Martin vice president and general manager, Small Combatants and Ship Systems.
“Freedom-variant LCS are inherently capable, and they offer 40-percent reconfigurable hull space to evolve to future U.S. Navy missions.
“During acceptance trials, LCS 23 proved its maneuverability, automation and core combat capability.”
Unique among combat ships, the focused-mission LCS is designed to support mine countermeasures, anti-submarine and surface warfare missions and is easily adapted to serve future and evolving missions.