Obituaries

Apr 18, 2024 at 10:30 am by Observer-Review


Obituaries/Memorial/Death Notices week of April 17:

Michael Edward Ayres, 74, of Penn Yan passed away at home April 3, 2024, while under the loving care of his wife Ramona and his daughter Heather.
Memorial service will be held April 20 at 3 p.m., Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses, 1600 State Route 54, Penn Yan.
Memorial contributions can be made at JW.ORG or The Humane Society of Yates County.
Mike was born July 7, 1949, in Elmira. He graduated from Southside High School in 1968 and acquired his degree at Corning Community College.
Mike had a passion for baseball and was an avid supporter of the NY Yankees. In his spare time, Mike taught himself to play the guitar and enjoyed composing songs for his family and friends. Additionally, he had a fondness for antique cars and trucks. And really enjoyed driving his turquoise and white 1963 Ford F100 with his best fur baby Marcy on the seat next to him.
Mike had always been interested in knowing the purpose of life. In 1978, he prayed to God asking Him for help in finding the answer. He began studying the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses and was baptized on Nov. 10, 1979. From that point on, he dedicated his life to sharing his faith with others and helping them to learn Bible truths.
In 1991, Mike met the love of his life, Mona, and the two were married April 25, 1992. Over the course of nearly 32 years together, they enjoyed extending hospitality, traveling, raising pets and maintaining their home.
He will be deeply missed by all who knew him and fondly remembered for his kindness, devotion, and unwavering faith.
He is loved and will be dearly missed by his children, Kristen Yodis Ayres, Heather Ayres and Joshua Ayres, and his grandchildren Ashawna Ayres, Jada Ayres, Ameejah Robinson, Marcus Robinson, Jahzmyn Robinson, Emily Yodis, Aurora Ayres, Joshua Ayres, Arwyn Ayres and Ivy Rose Ayres.

Joseph Scott Cadwell, 36, of Dundee passed away unexpectedly March 28, 2024 at his home.
The family respectively wishes to grieve privately at this time, until his services, when everyone who knew and loved Joe are invited to a Celebration of His Life from 12 p.m. until 3 p.m. Saturday, April 20 at the Dundee American Legion, 10 Spring St., Dundee, where a remembrance service will be conducted at 1 p.m. with Lay Pastor Lew Ann Giles officiating.
Joseph (“Joe,” “Joe Joe,” “Joey”) Cadwell was born in the late evening hours of Wednesday, Nov. 1, 1987.
Joe had such a quiet nature and such a huge heart. He cared deeply about his family. He would show his love by helping people with anything they needed. He helped his grandmother Sylvia with many projects. They were very close. Joe was a hard worker and perfectionist. He had a passion for construction and woodworking. He worked with his father Scott for many years. He was so lucky as a child, always winning prizes. He was very competitive. He enjoyed playing games with his family attending family picnics and playing in our cornhole tournaments. Anyone who knew Joe, liked Joe. We will miss Joe for the rest of our lives.
Surviving are his mother, Jennifer Cady; father, Scott Cadwell; step-mother, Bobbie-Jo Cadwell; brother, Brandon Cadwell; sister, Brandi Van Horn; his brothers, Joseph, Robert and Thomas Blake; his grandmother Sylvia Cadwell; his grandparents, Patty and Duane Cady, Richard and Helen Axtell, Pat Axtell and Tom Carruthers; uncle; Tim (Rhonda) Cadwell; aunt, Joy LeShure; uncle, Jason (Susan) Cady; uncle, Jeremy Cady; and several cousins. “All will sorely miss Joe.”
He was predeceased by his grandfather, Ernest Cadwell, uncle, Wayne LeShure and cousin, Bradley LeShure.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Dundee Fire Company, 12 Union St., Dundee, NY 14837.
Arrangements entrusted to the Baird Funeral Home, 36 Water St., Dundee. Online condolences can be sent by visiting www.bairdfuneralhomedundee.com.

Pearl Champion, 75, passed away Friday, April 5, 2024. She was predeceased by her husband Jack, parents Bernard and Evelyn Thorpe along with siblings Marvin, Wayne, Laura Kent and Larry Thorpe.
Pearl is survived by siblings, Roberta Thorpe, Charlotte Bond, Lola Ray, Bill Thorpe, Jay Thorpe, Sue Olevnik and Rhea. Also survived by her children Todd Bennett and his children and grandchildren along with Lois Hayward and family. Pearl spent most of her life in the Lodi area before moving to Florida where she enjoyed life to the fullest.  
Per Pearl’s wishes there will not be any services. A private internment will take place at a later date.

Priscilla May Pike Kelly, 91, of Reynoldsville passed away peacefully in Texas where she had been staying with family while undergoing cancer treatments. Priscilla took flight to Heaven Feb. 9, 2024.
She joined her husband of 69 years, Donald Lee, parents Leon J. and Ruth H. Pike, brother Arvine J. Pike, and one of the many young men who were unofficially adopted into the family, son Robin McShane.
The family will receive friends at Royce-Chedzoy Funeral Home, 212 E. Fourth St., Watkins Glen, Saturday, April 20 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., followed by a funeral service at 12 p.m. She will be laid to rest with a graveside service at the West Lodi Cemetery on Lodi Station Road in Lodi at 1:30 p.m. that afternoon.
Priscilla is survived by her children, Donna Kelly-Smith (husband Donald), Keith W. (wife Diane), Kenneth R. (wife Charlene), Emery L. (wife Darlene). She was a proud grandmother of three granddaughters, two grandsons, and six great-grandchildren.
Priscilla was a graduate of Watkins Glen High School and Jean Summers Business School. She worked at Cotton Hanlon in Odessa until becoming a full time mother to her four children and any young person her children brought home in need of a meal or safe place to stay.
Priscilla later returned to the work force finishing out her career at The Retired Senior Volunteer Program. After retiring from RSVP. She continued to serve as coordinator for the Golden Globe Newsletter for 45 years.
Priscilla was known as “The Cake Lady” by many as she was famous for her scratch baked wedding cakes. She always brought a cake to community events, weddings, birthdays or other gatherings.
Priscilla attended Reynoldsville Methodist Church. She was a member of The Ladies Wednesday Afternoon Club. She was a founding member of The Burdett Community Players, later known as Lake Country Players, preferring to be behind the curtain rather than under the lights.
Priscilla had a servant’s heart, caring for those in need and a lifetime of helping others. She was loved by those who met her regardless of how long or little they had known her. In lieu of flowers the family would like to honor Priscilla’s request for donations to either Burdett Fire Department or Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Death notices
MICHAEL E. AYERS, 74, of Penn Yan, April 4, 2024 at home.
JOSEPH S. CADWELL, 36, of Dundee, March 28, 2024 at home. Arrangements by Baird Funeral Home, Dundee.
PEARL CHAMPION, 75, April 4, 2024.
NEIKO R. CRANE, Oct. 8, 2023–March 20, 2024. Arrangements by Baird Funeral Home, Dundee.
WILLIAM C. FRIES, 86, of Hammondsport, April 7, 2024 at Bampa’s House, Corning. Arrangements by Bishop & DeSanto Funeral Home, Hammondsport.
PRISCILLA M. KELLY, 91, of Reynoldsville, Feb. 9, 2024 in Texas. Arrangements by Royce-Chedzoy Funeral Home, Watkins Glen.
DENNIS J. SMITH, 70, of Watkins Glen, April 9, 2024 at home. Arrangements by Royce-Chedzoy Funeral Home, Watkins Glen.
 

Obituaries/Memorial/Death Notices week of April 10:

Ann E. Beardsley, 93, of Watkins Glen passed away March 29, 2024.  
She was born in Penn Yan Aug. 28, 1930, the daughter of Willis and Alice (Connolly) Emmons. Ann graduated from Watkins Glen High School and first worked as a telephone switchboard operator in the village. She continued to work for many years at AKZO (US Salt) in Watkins Glen, before retiring.  
Ann now reunites with her husband, W. Bruce Beardsley, who preceded her in death in 2017. Alongside him, she joins her brother William Emmons in eternal peace. Ann’s legacy lives on through the hearts of those she held dear: her son and daughter-in-law, William and Marlana Beardsley; her brother and sisters, Walter (Edith) Emmons; Marylou Haight, Carol Everett and Patricia (Richard) Pierce; sister-in-law Jean Beardsley; and grandsons Kyle and Jarrod Beardsley.
A private service will be held to honor Ann’s life. In this time of remembrance, condolences and memories may be shared with the family via her obituary at www.RoyceChedzoy.com.
Arrangements with Royce-Chedzoy Funeral Home, Watkins Glen.

Lynn Coolican, 78, of Elmira Heights passed away April 6, 2024. She was predeceased by her infant son; parents Dorothy and Robert Howell; grandparents Dan and Ethel Brace; in-laws, Richard M. Coolican, Elizabeth Fordham Smith and Wayne Smith; and brother-in-law Morrie Smith.
She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Richard J. Coolican; daughter and son-in-law, Heather and Angelo Tolomei; grandchildren, Ryan Tolomei and Shannon Tolomei (Jacob Goldstein); sisters-in-law, Julie Symes (Greg Harding) and Mary Gauck (Tom Morgan); nephew Zachary Smith and his daughter Rayne.
Lynn was known for her passion for flower gardening and her love of her grandchildren. She enjoyed her dogs Muffin and Frosty, and cats Graham and Smokey. She was a big fan of Celtic Thunder.
A Funeral Mass will be held Thursday, April 11 at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s of the Lake Church, 905 N. Decatur St., Watkins Glen. Burial will follow in Pleasant View Cemetery in Reading Center.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105, Shriners Hospital for Children, PO Box 947765, Atlanta, GA 30394, or an animal shelter of your choice. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Vedder-Scott & Zinger Funeral Home, Montour Falls. To leave the family a message of condolence, please visit www.vedderscottzinger.com.

Fledra Rose Ector (Parmalee), 85, of Watkins Glen has left this earth, to join the love of her life April 4, 2024. Fledra was born May 28, 1938 in Penn Yan. She was the daughter of Charles and Winifred Parmalee. Fledra graduated from a small school house in Bellona, New York, where she also met the love of her life, Robert Ector. After getting married, the pair started a little farm in Watkins Glen, where they had eight children.
Fledra was preceded in death by her husband Robert Ector (1996), her parents Charles Parmalee and Winifred Gary Parmalee, her brother Charles Parmalee and her son Robert James Ector (2006). She is survived by her children, Jon Ector, Bonnie Rappleye, Tim (Starlene) Ector of Watkins Glen, Holly Ector (Gordon Sherwood) of Bath, Sam (Kathy) Ector of Watkins Glen, Daniel Ector of Odessa and Andrew Ector of Watkins Glen; 25 grandchildren and 49 great-grandchildren.
Fledra was a wonderful devoted wife, mother, daughter, grandmother and great-grandmother to all of her family. She loved to accomplish all of her wonderful knitting and crochet projects, she loved to make her family blankets, sweaters and clothing. When it came to love she had for all her family there was no comparison.
Relatives and friends were invited to call Tuesday, April 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Vedder-Scott & Zinger Funeral Home, 122 N. Genesee St., Montour Falls. Her funeral service will begin at 1 p.m. followed by burial in Hillside Cemetery in Dundee. To leave the family a message of condolence, please visit www.vedderscottzinger.com.

Brian J. Rappleye, 61, of Rock Stream peacefully passed away April 2, 2024.
Brian was born Oct. 23, 1962 in Montour Falls. He is survived by his mother, Genevieve (Harry) Goossen; son, Joseph Swarthout; brothers, Harold J. (Vivian) Rappleye and Randy (Tina) Rappleye; sisters, Darlene Rappleye and Kim (Dale) Delong; several nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his father, Harold (Pete) Rappleye.
Brian’s career began driving truck for the town of Reading, then as a truck driver and equipment operator for Callahan Construction. His most recent and satisfying position was working for Elmira Structures, Inc. You could always find Brian enjoying a couple of beers after work. Brian enjoyed hunting, riding ATVs, NASCAR, watching old western movies and his much-loved dog companions.
A gathering to honor Brian’s life was held Tuesday, April 9 at Royce-Chedzoy Funeral Home, 212 E. Fourth  St., Watkins Glen, from 6-8 p.m., followed by a funeral service honoring his life at 8 p.m.  Brian will be laid to rest at Lake View Cemetery in Watkins Glen the following day.
In lieu of flowers, donations gratefully received in memory of Brian may be directed to CareFirst (CareFirstNY.org) in his memory.

Dean Lewis Thompson, 77, of Reading Center passed away Easter Sunday March 31, 2024 in the comfort of his home surrounded by his loving family.
Honoring his wishes there will be no prior calling hours, and services will be private.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Humane Society of Schuyler County, 124 Marina Dr., Montour Falls, NY 14865, noting “In Memory of Gretchen.”
Dean was born Dec. 2, 1946 in Penn Yan, son of Dean L. and Joyce E. Madigan Thompson.
He graduated from Watkins Glen High School in 1965. He served in the U.S. Army from 1966-1968, and in the reserves until 1972. On May 10, 1969 in the Dundee Baptist Church he married the former Catherine Jean Buckley.
A life-long area resident, he was a former fork lift operator for International Salt in Watkins Glen, and a member of the United Steel Workers Local Union 12460, retiring in 2002. He then took a position with the Montour Falls Rendering Plant where he worked for a few more years. Mr. Thompson was a member of the Watkins Glen VFW Post 6200. Dean was a farmer at heart and was often called upon for local butchering. He also loved fishing, deer and turkey hunting, and trapping. He enjoyed camping, bowling, bird watching, NASCAR and saving TV guides.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Catherine J. Thompson at home; three daughters, Cat Hall of Bath, Carrie (Bob) McFall of Penn Yan and Saraha (Danny Blair) Thompson of Dundee; a son, Frank (Michelle) Thompson of Bradford; 12 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren; three brothers, Bruce E. (Phyllis) Thompson of Tyrone, Brian D. (LouAnn Miller) Thompson of Millport and Byron D. (Marjorie) Thompson of Watkins Glen; three sisters, Sharon E. Thompson of Watkins Glen, Sharee E. Pulos of Alpine and Starlene J. (Timothy) Ector of Watkins Glen, along with countless nieces and nephews.
Arrangements entrusted with the Baird Funeral Home, 36 Water St., Dundee. Online condolences can be sent by visiting www.bairdfuneralhomedundee.com.

Death notices
ANN E. BEARDSLEY, 93, of Watkins Glen, March 29, 2024. Arrangements by Royce-Chedzoy Funeral Home, Watkins Glen.
LYNN COOLICAN, 78, of Elmira Heights, April 6, 2024. Arrangements by Vedder-Scott & Zinger Funeral Home, Montour Falls.
FLEDRA R. ECTOR, 85, of Watkins Glen, April 4, 2024. Arrangements by Vedder-Scott & Zinger Funeral Home, Montour Falls.
BRIGITTE I. NIELSEN, 89, of Penn Yan, March 31, 2024. Arrangements by Weldon Funeral Home, Penn Yan.
BRIAN J. RAPPLEYE, 61, of Rock Stream, April 2, 2024. Arrangements by Royce-Chedzoy Funeral Home, Watkins Glen.
DEAN L. THOMPSON, 77, of Reading Center, March 31, 2024 at home. Arrangements by Baird Funeral Home, Dundee.
RICHARD E. WELLS, 91, of Rock Stream, March 24, 2024. Arrangements by Royce-Chedzoy Funeral Home, Watkins Glen.
 

Obituaries/Memorial/Death Notices week of April 4:

Cheryl A. Johnson, 73, of Dundee passed away Monday, March 25, 2024 at Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester. 
Calling hours will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday April 9, at the Baird Funeral Home, 36 Water St., Dundee, where her funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday April 10, with Pastor Thomas Wunder officiating. Burial will follow in Hillside Cemetery, Dundee. 
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Penn Yan United Methodist Church, 166 Main St., Penn Yan, NY 14527.
Cheryl was born Nov. 21, 1950 in Penn Yan, the daughter of Arthur E. and Loraine F. Spoor Smith. She was member of the Dundee Central School class of 1968, and went on to attend Finger Lakes Community College. On March 29, 1987 in Dundee she married Ronald J. Johnson Sr. who passed away July 15, 2016.  She and Ron founded the Johnson Family Care Home in 1988, working through the Elmira Psychiatric Center, and have given countless women loving, caring homes ever since. Mrs. Johnson was a member of Penn Yan United Methodist Church, and she loved to cook.
She is loved and will be dearly and forever missed by her daughter, Dawn L. (Jesse) Jayne of Dundee; sons, Eugene L. (Melissa) Melendez of Himrod, Ramon C. Johnson of Dundee and Adrian (Gina Imburgia-Spadaccino) Lozada of Rochester; stepson Ronald J. Johnson Jr. of Arizona; 15 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren; five brothers, Harold A. (Diane) Smith and Martin Fultz, both of Penn Yan, Martin (Carol) Lozada of Victor, William Lozada of Rochester and Arthur N. Smith of Waterloo; three sisters, Ronna L. (Chuck Irion) Smith of Dundee, Brenda (Brad) Smith of Penn Yan and Bambi (Ron) Schiek of Honeoye; along with countless nieces and nephews. 
Besides her parents and her husband, she was predeceased by her stepfather Martin D. Lozada.
Online condolences can be sent by visiting www.bairdfuneralhomedundee.com.
 
Death notices
MILDRED L. BATES, 81, of Cary, Illinois, previously of Penn Yan, March 27, 2024. Arrangements by Baird Funeral Home, Dundee.
JOSEPH S. CADWELL, 36, of Dundee, March 28, 2024 at home. Arrangements by Baird Funeral Home, Dundee.
CHERYL A. JOHNSON, 73, of Dundee, March 25, 2024 at Strong Memorial Hospital, Rochester. Arrangements by Baird Funeral Home, Dundee.
 

Obituaries/Memorial/Death Notices week of March 27:

LEWIS “LEW” HALL, 72, of Hammondsport, March 18, 2024 at Arnot-Ogden Medical Center, Elmira. Arrangements by Bishop & DeSanto Funeral Home, Hammondsport.
CHERYL S. HICKS, 80, of Penn Yan, formerly of Port Richey, Florida, March 17, 2024. Arrangements by Weldon Funeral Home, Penn Yan.
PHILIP A. HUNN, 52, of Hammondsport, March 19, 2024. Arrangements by Bishop & DeSanto Funeral Home, Hammondsport.
 

Obituaries/Memorial/Death Notices week of March 20:

Our dad, Warren Elliott, passed away peacefully Jan. 31, 2024 after a long battle with congestive heart failure.
Growing up, we often heard stories about his life and they were always colorful, charismatic and sometimes, hard to believe. Our dad grew up in a small town in Upstate New York but went to a boy’s choir school in Trenton, New Jersey for part of his youth. Through this opportunity, he was able to travel throughout North America and started realizing his love of singing.
After graduating high school, he went to college in Chicago but left school because he was told to either cut his hair or leave. He chose to leave and opened a bar that he loved to perform at as a folk singer. He played on the Chicago Bears practice football team for two years and met many famous singers and actors who lived in Chicago at that time.
His next chapter after bar ownership, was going to nursing school where he met our mom. They graduated and shortly after, joined the Air Force and did multiple tours in Vietnam. They traveled all over the world collecting lots of treasures, including rocks and gems for the jewelry my dad loved to make.
After retiring from the military, my parents ended up divorcing, but Dad remarried and settled in Wilmington, North Carolina. He continued to perform in bars and at church and made jewelry when he could. He was proudly Scottish and was an active member of the Scottish Society. He and his wife spent much of that time traveling but always returned to Seneca Lake for the summer to the cottage our family built in the 50s.
We will never forget the story about how one night in high school, Dad swam across the lake at night to see a girlfriend and swam back before my grandmother woke up. One mile each way. At night. My brother and I learned a lot from our dad and will miss him, but look forward to passing on his life stories to our children and hoping they live their lives to the fullest too.
My dad didn’t want a service. In lieu of that, in remembrance of my dad, have a dance party, sing a song, eat some delicious food or do something that makes your day more fun.

Sara Jane Fullagar Hunt, 83, of Penn Yan, passed away peacefully at home, after her third battle with cancer, March 15, 2024.
Born to William Joy and Marjorie (White) Fullagar, Jan. 18, 1941, Sara lived her whole life on Second Milo Road. Penn Yan.
Sara attended a one-room schoolhouse (Milo #3) to start her education next door to her parents’ property, then transferred to the Penn Yan Central School graduating from the Academy’s class of 1958.
She was a young girl scout and sang with Varitones.
After high school, Sara was part of the candy stripers at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial hospital. She then went to RBI to earn her degree as a medical secretary. She worked for Dr. Jensen’s office in Penn Yan before earning her nursing degree at Corning Community College, graduating in 1970. Sara received her nurse practitioner degree in the early 1980s. She worked at the Rushville Health center for over 23 years.
Sara married Thomas H. Hunt Aug. 29, 1970. She will be deeply missed by friends and family. She is survived by her husband, Thomas H. Hunt; children, Brian E. (Lori) Covert from a previous marriage, Thomas E. Hunt, Nicole E. Hunt and granddaughter Lauren Covert, along with many nieces and nephews. Her sister Joyce Marie Button, from Rochester, predeceased her.
Some of Sara’s closest friends were called the “Lunch Bunch.” They met every Wednesday for lunch at the Liberty Restaurant: Dianne Hansen, Elsie Eighmey, Margaret Calder, Margo Zimdahl, Jeanne Hansen, Sylvia Thayer and Myrtle Ryder. All were high school friends. And we cannot forget a very close friend Diane Hayes.
Sara also enjoyed playing the piano, attending the Auburn theater, going out to supper (sometimes by boat), cross country skiing, downhill skiing, and reading. She was a member of the Remarkable Readers Book Club and a member of the United Methodist church. She also took great pride in her flower gardens and lawn.
Calling hours are 1-3 p.m., with service of remembrance at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 24 at Weldon Funeral Home, 102 E. Main St., Penn Yan.
Those wishing, may consider a memorial donation in her memory to Ontario-Yates Hospice. Condolences and remembrances of Sara may be left for the family in her obituary at www.WeldonFuneralHome.com.

Death notices
DOUG BERGSTRESSER, 62, of Penn Yan, March 11, 2024. Arrangements by Weldon Funeral Home, Penn Yan.
WARREN ELLIOTT, 83, Jan. 31, 2024. Arrangements by Atlantic Cremation Service.
Sara J. Hunt, 83, of Penn Yan, March 15, 2024 at home. Arrangements by Weldon Funeral Home, Penn Yan.
DAVID L. LAFAVE, 70, of Branchport, March 9, 2024. Arrangements by Weldon Funeral Home, Penn Yan.
BONNIE SCHROEDER, 69, of Penn Yan, March 8, 2024. Arrangements by Weldon Funeral Home, Penn Yan.
JOE R. SEARLES, 82, of Geneva, March 13, 2024. Arrangements by Weldon Funeral Home, Penn Yan.
RAYMOND W. “RAY” SPENCER, 72, of Hammondsport, March 14, 2024 at home. Arrangements by Bishop & DeSanto Funeral Home, Hammondsport.
Sections: Left Menu