In Remembrance

We pause and reflect on the family and friends of NYSFDA who have passed away. May our cherished memories fill some of the void left by their departure, and may they rest in eternal peace as they live on in our hearts.

2021

Sean "Seanny Bernie" Patrick Doyle, 34, pass away on November 19, 2021. Sean was a licensed Funeral Director and the son of NYSFDA Past President Timothy Doyle of Timothy P. Doyle Funeral Home in Poughkeepsie.

Anna E. Scamardella, 96, passed away on November 11, 2021. Anna, along with her husband Matteo (1999), founded NYSFDA member firm Matthew Funeral Home, Inc. on Staten Island. She is also the mother of long-time NYSFDA members John and Matthew J. Scamardella.

Dr. Vanderlyn (Van) R. Pine, 83, passed away on November 9, 2021. Van was founder of NYSFDA Member Advantage Partner American Funeral Consultants (AFC).

Margaret Martin passed away on October 29, 2021. Margaret (Peg) was the mother of NYSFDA Past President Francis “Joe” Martin, Jr. of NYSFDA member firm Miller Funeral and Cremation Services, Inc. in Rochester.

James A. Reed, 79, passed away October 27, 2021. Jim was a long-time funeral service professional in New York, most recently with NYSFDA member firm DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Homes, Inc.

William Henry Cassidy, 73, passed away on September 29, 2021. William was Owner and Operator of NYSFDA member firm Cassidy Funeral Home in Mineola.

Peg A. Wilsey, 90, passed away on August 25, 2021. Peg was the mother of NYSFDA members Jack, Mark and Eric Wilsey of Seamon-Wilsey Funeral Home, Inc. in Saugerties.

James P. Nolan, Jr., 81, passed away on July 2, 2021. Jim was an NYSFDA Past President and father of current NYSFDA Board member Mark J. Nolan, both of NYSFDA member firm Nolan Funeral Home, Inc. in Northport.

Sara A. Powell passed away on June 22, 2021. Sara was the mother of NYSFDA Past President Wesley A. (Andy) Powell of Powell Funeral Home, Inc. in Amityville. 

Vincent S. LoIacono passed away on May 26, 2021. Vincent was a long-time funeral industry professional, retiring in 2017 from the Batesville Casket Company.

Jean E. Smith passed away on May 25, 2021. Jean was the mother of NYSFDA member Joe Smith of Joseph J. Smith Funeral Home, Inc. in Mahopac.

Pamela Long Nolan, 80, passed away on May 22, 2021. Pamela was the wife of NYSFDA Past President James P. Nolan, Jr. and mother of current NYSFDA Board member Mark J. Nolan, both of NYSFDA member firm Nolan Funeral Home, Inc. in Northport.

Robert W. Shaver, Sr., 79 passed away. Robert was a long-time Funeral Director in the Rochester area and a past president of the Rochester Genesee Valley Funeral Directors Association.

Maynard D. Baker, Sr., 91, passed away on April 19, 2021. Maynard was the former owner of NYSFDA member firm Alexander-Baker Funeral Home in Warrensburg, NY.

Mrs. Jacqueline L. Stewart, 89, passed away March 25, 2021. Mrs. Stewart was a long-time employee at the family owned NYSFDA member firm Walrath & Stewart Funeral Home in Gloversville, NY. 

G. Brian Roberts, 77, passed away on March 21, 2021. Brian was a well-respected funeral director and most recently was a consultant with NYSFDA member firm Dengler, Roberts, Perna Funeral Home in East Amherst, NY. He served as President of the Erie-Niagara Funeral Directors Association, and his father (George J. Roberts) was a Past President of the NYSFDA.

C. Bruce Wetmore, 82, passed away on March 13, 2021. Bruce was a long time NYSFDA member and former co-owner of Carleton Funeral Home in Hudson Falls, NY.

James C. Magee, 64, passed away on March 11, 2021. James was in the funeral services industry for more than 40 years and worked for several NYSFDA member firms before retiring in 2018.

Howard M. Boniface Jr., 77, passed away on January 23, 2021. Howard was a long time and beloved employee of NYSFDA member firm Wm. J. Rockefeller Funeral Home Inc. in Rensselaer, NY.

Joseph R. Noll, 68, passed away on January 22, 2021. Joseph was the owner of NYSFDA member firm Macken Mortuary in Rockville Centre, NY.


2020

Joanne Cady Nulton, passed away on December 26, 2020. Joanne was the wife of NYSFDA Past President Malcolm Nulton.

Larry Stanimer, 70, passed away on December 16, 2020. Larry was the father of NYSFDA member and Region 3 Director Edd Stanimer of Johnston & Stanimer Funeral Home.

John Anthony Barry, 77, passed away on December 13, 2020. John was the owner of NYSFDA member firm Barry Funeral Home in Rome, NY.

John P. Plonka, 70, passed away on December 10, 2020. John was the owner of NYSFDA member firm Buck Funeral Home Inc. in Norfolk, NY.

Gerald "Jerry" B. Jansen, Jr., 55, passed away on November 20, 2020 after a courageous battle with colon cancer. Jerry was a Licensed Funeral Director and most recently worked for NYSFDA member firm M.J. Colucci & Son Niagara Funeral Chapel in Niagara Falls.

Randall "Randy" Way, 49, passed away November 4, 2020 after a long battle with Muscular Dystrophy. Randy was the son of NYSFDA Past President Martin "Rusty" and Sharon Way.

Kacie Yvonne Buchanan, 28, passed away October 29, 2020. Kacie was the cherished daughter of Martin (Karen) Kohler, a licensed Funeral Director for NYSFDA member firm Nolan Funeral Home, Inc.

Gary R. Donaldson, 75, passed away August 8, 2020. Gary was the former owner/manager of NYSFDA member firm Donaldson Funeral Home in Massena.

Marie H. Looby Daniele, 93, passed away on July 19, 2020. Marie was an employee of NYSFDA member firm Dufresne Funeral Home in Cohoes.

Jack A. Marsh, 52, passed away May 17, 2020. Jack was a funeral director for NYSFDA member firm W.S. Davis, Inc. in Arcadeand the Smith-Weismantel Funeral Home where he became manager in 2013. 

Anthony N. Speciale, Sr., passed away April 2020. Anthony worked in the funeral industry for 30 years as part of the Matthews International team.

John Gordon Roemer, 97, passed away March 28, 2020. John was the father-in-law of NYSFDA Board member Scott Mason.

Thomas Sidney Hynes, 80, passed away March 20, 2020. Tom owned and operated Miller Funeral Home in Roxbury and Hynes Funeral Home in Margaretville.

Warren H. Riles, CFSP, passed away on March 20, 2020. Warren was a long-time member of the association, served on our Board of Directors as well as a number of committees, and was currently serving as Secretary/Treasurer of our affiliate Directors Choice Credit Union. He was co-owner of member firm Riles & Woolley Funeral Home in Forestville.

Thomas H. McCarthy, passed away on March 10, 2020. Tom was an NYSFDA member and owner of Thomas H. McCarthy Funeral Home in Buffalo.

Joseph R. Donovan, passed away on February 25, 2020. Joseph was an NYSFDA member and owner and operator of Donovan Funeral Home in Goshen.

Daniel R. Foley, 46, passed away on February 22, 2020. Daniel was the husband of NYSFDA member Carrie Benedict Foley of Westchester Funeral Home. 

Dorothy Lorey, 88, passed away on February 17, 2020.  Dorothy was the mother of NSFDA member Charles Lorey, grandmother of NSFDA member and vice president, Michael J. Gorton Jr. and Christian Lorey. Dorothy is also survived by her "forever daughter-in-law" Dorothy Comodore.

Raymond C. Fuller, passed away on February 16, 2020. Raymond was the father of Thomas W. Fuller, Director of the Bureau of Funeral Directing.

Todd M. Pacer, 54, passed away on February 12, 2020.  Todd was the owner/manager of Pacer Funeral Home, Inc. in Buffalo.

Lawrence Allen Spaulding, 84, passed away on February 11, 2020.  Larry was the owner/manager of Spaulding Funeral Home in Malone. Larry also served as Franklin County Coroner for many years.

Noe Hamer, 42, passed away on February 6, 2020.  Noe was employed as a funeral director with T.J. McGowan Sons Funeral Home in Haverstraw and a current member of NYSFDA.

Gertrud "Trudy" Cunningham, 90, passed away on January 11, 2020.  She was the wife of the late Leland A. "Lee" Cunningham, second-generation owner, and step-mother of Curtis A. "Curt" Cunningham, retired third-generation owner of A.J. Cunningham Funeral Home in Greenville.


2019

John P. Maurer, 83, passed away on December 27, 2019. John was a President of NYSFDA member firm The Maurer Funeral Homes in Liverpool and Baldwinsville.

Margaret L. McCormack, 73, passed away on December 17, 2019. Peggy was Vice President of NYSFDA member firm J.A. McCormack Sons Funeral Home and her husband Bill served as NYSFDA president from 1991-92.

Vincent Lynn Lawyer, 26, passed away on December 14, 2019. Vince was a member of NYSFDA and funeral director with Buranich Funeral Home for 6 years.

William "Bill" C. Leahy, 81, passed away on October 23, 2019. Bill was the President of Wm. Leahy Funeral Home Inc. in Troy, NY for over 50 years. He was a long-time member of NYSFDA.

Jacquelyn S. Taylor, PhD, 66, passed away on October 20, 2019. Jacquelyn was a funeral director, the special projects coordinator for The Dodge Company and worked tirelessly on the REAL project.

John "Jack" G. Butler, Jr., 77, passed away on October 19, 2019. John was a New York State Licensed Funeral Director and Legacy member of NYSFDA.

Kathie D. Halvey, 67, passed away on October 16, 2019. Kathie was the wife of Peter T. Halvey, retired owner of Halvey Funeral Home, and mother of William J. Halvey (Straub, Catalano & Halvey Funeral Home) and Patrick J. Halvey (Riverview Funeral Home by Halvey).

Arthur J. Sonnick III, 64, passed away on October 14, 2019. Arthur was a funeral director at Hempstead Funeral Home for over 30 years.

George James Traub, 77, passed away on October 10, 2019. James was the President of Traub Funeral Homes and a longtime member of NYSFDA's Government Affairs Committee.

Mark C. Kowalczyk, 54, passed away on October 2, 2019. Mark served as President of NYSFDA from 2000-2002 and was a member of the NYSFDA Board of Directors from 1995-2004. He also chaired the Association's Government Affairs Committee at one time. Mark was the Vice President and co-owner, and operated Kowalczyk Funeral Homes, in Utica and in New York Mills.

Dr. Elissa Ann DeBenedictis, 49, passed away on September 18, 2019. Elissa worked at American Academy McAllister Institute for 22 years as a Professor, Director of Academic Support and Coordinator of Clinical Embalming.

Evelyn J. Seymour, 92, peacefully passed away July 17 with her loving family by her side. Evelyn was a longtime funeral director and former owner of the Seymour Funeral Home.

Lorraine M. Mahoney, 80, of South Farmingdale, NY, entered into eternal life on July 16, 2019. Lorraine was the mother of Stephen J. Mahoney, a funeral director at Arthur F. White Funeral Home, Inc., in Long Island.

Dorothy "Dotty" Jean Cervo Parente, 89, of Loudonville, entered into eternal life on July 15, 2019. Dotty is the mother of PrePlan Trustee, Funeral Directors Support Services Board of Director and Capital District Funeral Directors Association President, David A. Parente of McVeigh Funeral Home, Inc., in Albany.

Craig A. Reukauf, 72, of New Smyrna Beach, FL, passed away on July 5, 2019. Craig served as a funeral director/owner at Brewer Funeral Home in Lake Luzerne for nearly 30 years.   

John H. Darrow, 87, passed away on June 24, 2019. In 1958, John became owner of Joseph J. Darrow Sr. Funeral Home, Inc., and Darrow Memorials, in Poughkeepsie, and continued to serve throughout his lifetime without retire.

Robert W. Barber, 99, of Johnson City, passed away on June 20, 2019. Bob was the second generation owner of the Barber Memorial Home, Inc., in Johnson City, where he took great pride in helping many families for over 40 years.

Millie R. Bruno, 100, mother of Joe Bruno from Matthew Aurora Funeral Solutions, passed away on June 21, 2019.

A. Andrew Gigliotti, age 79, of Loudonville, entered into eternal life on June 20, 2019. Andy was a well-known and respected funeral director in the City of Albany for over forty years, owning Lasak & Gigliotti, Inc.

Jeanne Evans Battle, 77, passed away on June 10, 2019. Jeanne was the beloved sister of Mrs. Ayris B. Granby and sister-in-law of Samuel Granby Jr. of Granby’s Funeral Service, Inc., in the Bronx.

Mary E. Dalton, 90, of Islip (formerly of Oyster Bay), passed away on June 13, 2019. Mary was the mother of Beth Dalton-Costello, LFD, and widow of Thomas F. Dalton of Thomas F. Dalton Funeral Home in Hicksville.

Richard D. "Dick" Williams, 83, of Cicero, passed away on April 28, 2019. Dick was a graduate of Simmons Institute of Funeral Service. As proprietor of Williams Funeral Home, he served his community as a funeral director for over 55 years.

William “Bill” Guy Olmsted, 77, passed away in May 2019. Bill was a licensed funeral director in the state of Wisconsin and worked as a sales representative for Embalmer’s Supply Company, Bass-Mollett Industries, Schuylkill Haven Casket Company and Columbia Casket Company. He was a friend of funeral service and was well-known by many. 

Robert John Arndt, 49, passed away April 23, 2019. Robert served his community as a Funeral Director for 25 years at the Arndt Funeral Home of Rochester.

Joan P. D'Arienzo, 83, passed away April 2, 2019. Joan was the mother of funeral directors John D'Arienzo of D'Arienzo Funeral Home and Peter D'Arienzo.

John A. "Jack" Bernius, 87, died March 29, 2019. John was the father of NYSFDA member John Bernius Jr. of Chapey Funeral Home and the father-in-law of Stephenie Nowak-Bernius of Fairchild Funeral Home.

Kevin A. Magnanti, 41, died March 26, 2019 following a battle with cancer. Magnanti, the nephew of NYSFDA President Jeffrey A. Jennings, CFSP, leaves behind a wife and two young children.

Donald W. Knight, 84, passed away March 25, 2019. Don is the father of former NYSFDA President Patricia Knight Scholl. Licensed in 1954, Don served families as a funeral director for 63 years both in New York City and, later, from the Keegan-Osbelt-Knight Funeral Home in Syracuse. 

Joseph M. Riley III, 66, passed away March 21, 2019. Joseph served as a funeral director at Riley Mortuary Inc., of Amsterdam, NY; and held the position of Montgomery County Coroner for 35 years. 

Thomas James (T.J.) Lester, 69, passed away February 18, 2019. TJ was a well-known vendor/supplier of products for the funeral profession. He leaves behind his wife, a brother and sister.    

Linda A. Angiolillo, 71, passed away February 5, 2019. Linda was the wife of NYSFDA member Michael G. Angiolillo, a funeral director at the Robert M. King Funeral Home in Granville. Linda is survived by her husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.   

Vincent Paul Fritsch, 52, died February 22, 2019. Vincent was the brother of Joseph Fritsch of Ernest H. Parsons Funeral Home in Binghamton, NY. A U.S. Army Veteran, Vincent was a funeral director at Hollomon-Brown Funeral Homes in Chesapeake, VA.

Martha M. Knowles, 100, died January 31, 2019. Martha was owner and manager of Austin F. Knowles, Inc. Funeral Home in Port Washington, NY. She is survived by children, grandchildren, and a great grandchild.

Patricia J. Kaiser, 86, died December 22, 2018. Patricia is the mother-in-law of NYSFDA Continuing Past President Walter J. Kent. Patricia was a member of the St. Luke's Lutheran Church and a dedicated election worker. She is survived by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Grace M. Kent, 92, died Friday, February 1, 2019. Grace is the mother of NYSFDA Continuing Past President Walter J. Kent and grandmother of NYSFDA member Tyler Kent of the Walter J. Kent Funeral Home in Elmira, NY.

Maureen B. Maurer, 82, died February 3, 2019. A licensed NYS Funeral Director, Maureen served her community as Vice President and Secretary of the Maurer Funeral Homes located in Liverpool and Baldwinsville. She will be remembered as a kind, gentle, caring and devoted wife, mother and grandmother.

Stephen H. Ellis, 76, a longtime employee and former manager of Thomas F. Dalton Funeral Home, passed away on February 2, 2019. The U.S. Navy Veteran, member of Tadmor Lodge #923 F&AM, American Legion Post 421 Hicksville, and Levittown Kiwanis Club is survived by a wife and children.  

James Francis “Digger” Gilpatric, 89, one of Kingston’s longest-serving morticians, passed away on January 12, 2019. In 1950, he joined his grandfather’s funeral firm, the James M. Murphy Funeral Home. Following the death of his grandfather, Jimmy took over as owner and funeral director of the firm in 1954. In 1972, Jimmy marked the 100th anniversary of his funeral home with a change of name and plans for expansion, revealing that the four-generation family firm would be renamed the Gilpatric-Murphy Funeral Home. In 2009, the funeral home business was sold and renamed the Gilpatric-VanVliet Funeral Home, and eventually moved to Ulster Park in the Town of Esopus in 2012.


2018

Harold Ivor “Ted” Surridge, Jr., 76, passed away on December 12, 2018. He served his community, along with his father, in the funeral service business, which started in 1927 as the Surridge Funeral Home in Utica.

John Boyd Caveny, 78, passed away on October 10, 2018. John was well-known in the funeral service community working as a salesman for Marsellus Casket Company.

Judith “Judy” Ann Hughes, 71, of Hagaman, passed away on September 24, 2018.  Judy was the mother of NYSFDA Board member Martin J. “Marty” Hughes of Betz, Rossi & Bellinger Family Funeral Homes.

Ralph Francisco, 74, passed away on September 15, 2018. Ralph was a past president of the MetFDA and owner of Francisco Funeral Home, Inc., in Ozone Park.

Joseph Hubik, 74, of Binghamton passed away on August 31, 2018. Joe graduated from Simmons School of Mortuary Science and was a funeral director for over 50 years with more than 30 years of service at J.F. Rice Funeral Home in Johnson City.

Gordon C. Light, 81, passed away on August 30, 2018. A graduate of Simmons School of Embalming, he was the owner and president of Light's Funeral Home Inc. in Schenectady, NY. During his career, Mr. Light also served families at Harvey's Funeral Home in Yonkers, NY and Loucks Funeral Home in Ellenville, NY.

Elaine F. Krtil, passed away on August 24, 2018. Elaine, of John Krtil Funeral Home; Yorkville Funeral Service, Inc., in New York, NY,  was a licensed funeral director since 1973.

Reginald F. Clark, 89, of Lake Placid, passed away on July 30, 2018. Reg graduated from Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science in 1949. He then apprenticed under his father, eventually taking ownership of M. B. Clark, Inc., Funeral Home, located in Lake Placid.

Ronald J. Coolican, 74, of Oneida, passed away on June 26, 2018. He was a graduate of Simmons School of Mortuary Science. Ron was a caring and proud funeral director and owned Coolican-McSweeney Funeral Home in Oneida for 48 years. Prior to that, he worked alongside his father and uncle at Coolican Hearse Service in Syracuse.

Vincent R. Jendrzejczak, 69, of Williamsburg, VA, passed away on August 1, 2018. He was a licensed funeral director since 1974 assisting at the family business, Jendrzejczak Funeral Home in Amsterdam, NY, until retiring.

Irene D. Farenga passed away on August 4, 2018. The beloved wife of the late Felix “Phil” Farenga, MFDA Past President. Mother of Sal Farenga, MFDA Past President and grandmother of Sal Anthony, MFDA Secretary/Treasurer and Nicholas Farenga, proprietors of Farenga Bros. Inc. and Hodder Farenga Funeral Homes.

Paul A. Kloc, 77, passed away on July 29, 2018 after his vehicle was struck by a drunk driver. Paul was the owner of Paul A. Kloc Blossom Chapels in West Seneca.

Bernard F. Dowd, owner of Bernard F. Dowd, Inc. Funeral Home in Jamaica, NY, passed away in July 2018. 

Mildred Chopyak Scheider, 89, of Endwell, passed away on July 12, 2018. Mildred graduated from the American Academy of Mortuary Science in 1950. Mildred joined her mother in operating the Chopyak Funeral Home and later the Chopyak-Scheider Funeral Home, Inc. with her son, Bill until she retired in 1984.

Peter E. Tuyn passed away on July 12, 2018. Peter was the former owner of Beach-Tuyn Funeral Home, Inc. in Williamsville.

C. Edward Hindle, 81, well known area funeral director and former Mayor of the Village of Dansville passed away on July 3, 2018. Ed operated the Hindle Funeral Home for many years until his retirement in 1995 when his son, Carl and his wife Lisa, assumed operation of the business.

Harry Van Vliet III, 81, of Ulster Park, passed away peacefully on July 1, 2018. Harry assisted his son, Harry VanVliet IV, at the family-owned funeral home, Gilpatric-VanVliet Funeral Home in Ulster Park.

Larry A. Model, 74, of New City, NY, passed away on June 15, 2018. Larry worked as a funeral director at Hellman Memorial Chapels in Spring Valley until his retirement just a few years ago.

Alan J. Reitter, 79, of Ridgewood and Centerport, passed away on June 9, 2018. Alan was the former owner of Ridgewood Chapels Inc., in Ridgewood.

Mary Joanne Rudnicki, of Lake View, passed away on June 10, 2018. Joanne was a compassionate employee of Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home, Inc. for over 17 years.

Donald L. Barber, 75, of Homer, died on May 26, 2018 from injuries sustained in an ATV accident. Don was a 1962 graduate of Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science. In 1968, he opened the Donald L. Barber Funeral Home.

Ronald P. Konieczny, 70, of Akron and Batavia, passed away on Friday, May 25, 2018. Ronald was a 1967 graduate of Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science and owner of J. Leonard McAndrew Funeral Home.

Robert A. White Sr., 86, passed away on May 26, 2018.  Robert was the owner of Arthur F. White Funeral Home in Farmingdale and Bethpage.

Stanley C. Wolanin, 91, passed away on May 17, 2018.  In 1958 Stan opened up the Wolanin Funeral Home, Inc. in Yorkville. In 1963, he moved his funeral business to the newly constructed building on Main Street in New York Mills. As Chairman of the Memorial Day Committee he was responsible for placing over one thousand flags at veteran’s graves at five cemeteries in the towns of Whitestown and New Hartford.

D’deen L. Bezio, 57, passed away on May 11, 2018. D'deen was the mother of Kari A. Bezio-Wenskoski of Northville Funeral Service Inc. and Gloversville Funeral Service.

Albert J. "Al" Baris, 64, passed away on May 3, 2018. Al graduated from American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service in 1974. After receiving his Funeral Directors License in 1975, he worked at Schuyler Hill Funeral Home in The Bronx before moving to Clyde in 1981 where he owned and operated the Baris Funeral Home.

Michael A. Ruggiero, Jr., 33, a lifelong resident of Yonkers passed away suddenly on April 29, 2018, after a long battle with addiction. Michael is survived by his wife, Nicola; his devoted parents, Michael & Eileen (of F. Ruggiero & Sons, Inc. Funeral Home in Yonkers); his loving siblings, Andrew & Andrea and his adoring grandmother, Peggy Mahedy.

Doris Bolden, a long time resident of New Rochelle, departed this life after a lengthy illness, April 17, 2018. Doris was the office manager/secretary for Barney T. McClanahan Funeral Home, Inc., and wife of Ernest B. Bolden, LFD.

Kevin P. McManus, 68, of Binghamton died on February 16, 2018 after a courageous battle with cancer. Upon graduation from Simmons School of Mortuary Science in 1970, he was employed by McDevitt Brothers Funeral Home in Binghamton for 38 years. In 2008, he became the owner of McDevitt & McManus Funeral Home.

Douglas M. Coleman, 70, passed away on February 23, 2018. Doug was former owner of Coleman & Daniels Funeral Home, Inc., in Endicott, and was a member of NYSFDA's Disaster Committee for many years.

Janice W. Bowen, of Newtonville, passed away on February 11, 2018. Janice was the wife of 54 years to Arthur E. Bowen of Bowen Funeral Home. She served as office manager and chief obituary writer for their funeral home, retiring in 2007.

Emma Stiles Walkup, 102, passed away on January 25, 2018. Emma was the mother of Sally W. Baxter, wife of NYSFDA past president, Wayne C. Baxter of Fox Funeral Home in Forest Hills.

Donald Frederick Virkler, 87, died on January 7, 2018.  Donald  worked for the Virkler Funeral Home in Lowville until 1977 when he and his wife, Sylvia, opened the Donald F. Virkler Funeral Home in Lowville. They continued the business until selling it in 1988.

Franklin O.L. Steinberg, 83, passed away on January 12, 2018. Franklin was president and owner of Sunset Chapels in Manhasset and was a past State Director for NYSFDA and a board member of the Metropolitan Funeral Directors Association.

Lewis “Lew” G. Putnam, 85, of Palm Bay, FL, formerly of Scotia, passed away on January 7, 2018. Lew was the father of Richard Putnam of Mereness-Putnam Funeral Home in Cobleskill.


2017

Ambrose Charles Babella, 91, of Spring Hill, FL, passed away on December 30, 2017. Ambrose was the father of NYSFDA staff member, Linda Babella.

Thomas R. Myslinski, 77, died peacefully on November 26, 2017. Tom became a licensed funeral director on his 21st birthday, a profession he dedicated his life to for over 50 years. Tom and his wife, Barbara, purchased Swiatek Funeral Home in 1963, which later became Myslinski Funeral Home in Utica.

Alfred E. “Fred” Fergerson, 69, of North Syracuse, passed away on November 17, 2017. Fred graduated from  Simmons School of Mortuary Science and was the owner of Fergerson Funeral Home in North Syracuse. He belonged to CNYFDA, NYSFDA and NFDA. 

Stanley R. Adydan, 63, of E. Syracuse died peacefully on November 15, 2017. Stan was a graduate of Simmons School of Mortuary Science. He was employed by and operated Delaney Greabell Adydan Funeral Home for many years. Stan was the chairperson of the E. Syracuse Board of Ethics and a member of both CNYFDA and NYSFDA.

Peter P. Pritchard, 69, passed away on November 9, 2017. A funeral professional for over 40 years, Peter worked in all facets of the death care industry. In 2005 he joined the family of directors at Betz, Rossi, Bellinger and Stewart Family Funeral Homes in Amsterdam, retiring in December of 2013.

Gordon C. Tappan, 87, of Phoenix, passed away on October 28, 2017. Gordon was a past president of the Central New York Funeral Directors Association and owner of Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Homes, Inc., in Phoenix. He was active in NYSFDA and NFDA.

Richard Zacharias, of Deposit, passed away on October 16, 2017. Rick graduated from Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science in 1973. In 1974, Rick purchased the Zacharias Funeral Home in Deposit and served the residents of the area faithfully until the day he died. He was a member of the Broome County Funeral Directors Association, Leatherstocking Funeral Directors Association and NYS Funeral Directors Association.

John (Jack) Strom Friedel Jr., 84, of New Hartford, father of James Friedel and father-in-law of Donald Edmunds of Friedel, Williams and Edmunds Funeral and Cremation Services, died on October 3, 2017. Over the years John was involved in many professional organizations including, NYSFDA; Tri-County FDA; the Preferred Funeral Director’s Association and Selected Independent Funeral Homes.

Shirley F. Mills Crocetti, 83, passed away on September 17, 2017 in Boonville after a long illness. Shirley was the mother of Greg T. Mills of Mills Funeral Home in Boonville and Ackley-Mills Funeral Home in Remsen.

Sylvia E. (Camerota) Simonette, 84, of Ilion, mother of Geri Hendrix, and mother-in-law of Tri-County FDA President Scott Hendrix, passed away on August 24, 2017.

Edward C. McCullough, 85, of Albany, passed away on August 27, 2017. Ed was the father of Colleen M. Connelly, former Director of Preneed Trust Services at NYSFDA.

Merle B. Ross, of The Bronx, formerly of Grenada, passed away on August 12, 2017. Merle is the mother of Francine "Frankie" Ross-Roden, Funeral Director of Ross-Roden Funeral Service in The Bronx, NY.

Rose F. Dunn, of St. Saviour/Park Slope, passed away on June 25, 2017. Rose was the mother of Meg Dunn, President/CEO at American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service in New York.

Loretta M. Gadani, 86, of Albany, passed away on July 23, 2017. Loretta was the mother of Ann Marie Schreiber, a sales representative with Batesville and previously of NYSFDA.

Selden Chase, of Honeoye Falls, passed away on July 11, 2017. Selden was the father of Cindy Martin, wife of NYSFDA past president Francis "Joe" Martin, Jr.

James F. (Jeff) Corbet, II, passed away on July 3, 2017. Jeff was a sales representative for Abigal Press.

Arthur T. Sullivan, 95, passed away surrounded by his loving family on June 27, 2017. Arthur was a licensed funeral director for 68 years and retired after 25 years as Partner of William F. Hogan Funeral Home, Inc. in Highland Falls, NY.

Sheila Butler McVeigh entered Eternal Life on June 19, 2017. Sheila was the wife of NYSFDA Government Affairs Committee Chairman and NYSFDA Past President, William "Bill" E. McVeigh.

John J. "Jack" Harland, 85, of Port Henry passed away on June 12, 2017. Jack graduated from Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science. He worked with his father at the Harland Funeral Home, serving the community as a funeral director for over 65 years.

Mary Cutini, 99, passed away on June 2, 2017. Mary was the grandmother of NYSFDA member and past Region 1 Director,  Charles A. Castiglia, CFSP of Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home in Hamburg.

Irmgard E. Miller, affectionately known as "Yummy" by all who knew her, passed away on May 25, 2017. She was the mother of Gary Miller from O.B. Davis Funeral Homes in Port Jefferson Station.

Dorothy C. "Dot" Macken, of Rockville Centre, passed away on May 11, 2017. Dot was the mother of John Macken of Macken Mortuary.

Ronald Savaria, 77, of Pompano Beach, FL and formerly of Tarrytown, died on April 29, 2017. Ron was a funeral director with Coffey Funeral Home in Tarrytown. He remained with the funeral home until 2002 when he retired after 40 years. He was a graduate of Simmons School of Mortuary Science and Embalming, class of 1959.

Stephan N. Steinberg has passed away. Stephan was the brother of Past President of the Metropolitan Funeral Directors Association and current Board member Franklin O.L. Steinberg. Stephan was co-owner of Sunset Chapels of Manhassett, New York.

Peter Michael Connell, of M.A. Connell Funeral Home, in Huntington Station, passed away on April 20, 2017. Peter was long-time NYSFDA member and a pillar of his community as recognized in the Long-Islander News last year.

Doris D. Bell, 95, passed away on January 29, 2017. Doris was the co-founder of Frank R. Bell Funeral Home, Inc. in Brooklyn.

Frederick Kellogg Gifford III, 57, died suddenly on February 28, 2017. Fred was a licensed funeral director and a Sales Representative with The Dodge Company.

Joseph (Joe) Price, 87, went home to the Lord peacefully on February 23, 2017. He was the father of Nora Nolan and father-in-law of FDSS Board Member, Mark J. Nolan, of Nolan & Taylor-Howe Funeral Home in Northport.

John P. "Jack" Moloney, 81, passed away on February 12, 2017. Jack was a funeral director for over 60 years, proudly serving Central Islip at Moloney Family Funeral Homes.

Stephen G. Murphy, 74, passed away on January 30, 2017. Steve was a graduate of the Simmons School of Mortuary Science and the former owner of Murphy Funeral & Cremation Chapel in Ontario, NY.

Janet M. Jillson, 59, passed away on January 27, 2017 after a long battle with cancer. Janet was the wife of Jay T. Jillson of Jillson Funeral Home in Whitehall.

Mike Dodge, (legally named George B. Dodge, Jr.), died on Sunday, January 29, 2017 after declining health for the last few years. He happily spent most of his life as the Vice President and Treasurer of The Dodge Company.

Kathleen E. McVeigh Redpath, 78, passed away on Saturday, January 7, 2017. Kathy was the beloved sister of NYSFDA Past President and Government Affairs Committee Chairman William E. McVeigh of McVeigh Funeral Home in Albany, NY.


2016

Joanne D. Thorpe, 68, passed away on December 3, 2016. Joanne is the mother of Tiffany J. Morley of Thomas E. Burger Funeral Home, Inc., in Rochester.

Joseph J. Smith, a longtime resident of Mahopac, NY passed away on Tuesday December 6, 2016 at the age of 83. Joseph is the father of NYSFDA Member Joseph Smith. Mr. Smith was born in Archbald, PA on October 10, 1933, the son of Joseph L. and Mary McGee Smith. He retired as Director of Financial Reporting from IBM Corp. after a long and distinguished career with the company. He also served as a member of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB). Joe was a parishioner of St. John The Evangelist Church in Mahopac and was a former Eucharistic Minister there, along with his wife, Jean.

Ferdinand "Fred" Johnstone passed away on November 27, 2016. Fred was the owner of Johnstone Funeral Chapels, Inc. in New York, NY. 

Robert Richard "Dick" Walker, 78, died on November 5, 2016. Dick was the former owner of R. W. Walker Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Plattsburgh and was a licensed funeral director for more than 50 years. Dick dedicated himself fully to the profession. He was a past Regional Governor and Board member of NYSFDA, was the past President of the North Star Funeral Directors Association, and was a member of the Order of The Golden Rule.

Joseph M. Velotti Sr., 76, died on November 5, 2016. Joseph was the father of Joseph M. Velotti Jr. of Roslyn Heights Funeral Home in Roslyn Heights.

Theresa C. Flooks, 90, passed away on November 3, 2016. Theresa was the mother of NYS Tribute Foundation past chairman, William F. Flooks, Jr., of Beecher Funeral Home in Pleasantville. 

Jeffrey Smith, Jr., 84, died on November 2, 2016. He joined the family businesses of H. P. Smith & Son more than sixty years ago and has been actively employed there since, with the exception of two years active duty (1952-1954) in the US Army, during the Korean Conflict. He and his brother became active in the management of the business in 1956. He was a member of Steuben County, New York State and National Funeral Directors Association.

Dwain Caunitz, 52, passed away on October 18, 2016 after a short battle with cancer. He was the husband of Vesta Zaichenko-Caunitz of PrePlan.

James A. Barnhart, 72, died unexpectedly on October 9, 2016 in Asheville, NC while spending time with his family. Jim graduated from Simmons School of Mortuary Science in 1964 and began working for C.H. Landers Funeral Chapel in Sidney that same year. In 1972, Jim purchased the funeral home from Charles Landers and together with his wife, Carol, owned and operated the funeral chapel until his retirement in 2015. Jim held numerous positions in the Leatherstocking Funeral Directors Association and served on the Budget and Finance Committee of NYSFDA.

David L. Monroe, 85, passed away on October 7, 2016. At a very early age, Dave knew that he wanted to be a funeral director. While in high school, Dave began working for Leonard Hall Funeral Home in Delhi. Later, Dave began working for the Bookhout Funeral Home and eventually bought the funeral home. He owned and operated the Bookhout Funeral Home for many years until his retirement in 1997.

Deaconess Eva W. Lane, passed away on October 9, 2016. She was the mother of Milton Lane of Paul Lane Funeral Home, Inc., in Jamaica.

Roy A. Solace, 78,passed away on September 19, 2016. Roy was the former owner of Perry Funeral Home in Lynbrook, NY.

Donald E. Kalec, Sr., 85, of Elmira, NY died peacefully on August 17, 2016. He graduated from Simmons School of Embalming in 1951 and received his funeral director license in 1952. In 1956 he and wife the late Regina Horka Kalec purchased the CL Davis Funeral Home and established the Kalec Funeral Home Inc. Don's son, Donald E. Kalec, Jr. is a current member of NYSFDA and the owner of the Kalec Funeral Home Inc.

Irene Rose Kwiecinski, 92, passed away on August 12, 2016. Irene was the mother of Diane Roberts, wife of NYSFDA past president Brian A. Roberts of Roberts & Enea Family Funeral Home in Dolgeville. Her arrangements were under the guidance of her son and son-in-law Edward J. Kwiecinski and Brian A. Roberts, funeral directors.

Teresa "Terry Ann" Ann Scarano, 59, Passed away May 27, 2016 in the Bronx, after a courageous two year battle with cancer. Terry Ann worked for Service Corporation International of New York where she dedicated and devoted her professional life of 30 years as a Licensed Funeral Director & Market Manager.

Alice "Sally" Sigrid Bidleman, 90, passed away on April 24, 2016. Sally and her husband, Porter E. Bidleman, LFD, owned the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont for over 25 years. Sally was also the mother of PrePlan administrator, Beth Burlingame.

Mario J. Colucci, 89 of Niagara Falls, NY passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 10, 2016 at Mt. St. Mary’s Hospital. Mario was a lifelong resident of Niagara Falls, NY and attended local schools. He received his high school diploma in 1947 from Trott Vocational in Niagara Falls, NY and graduated from the McAllister School of Mortuary Science in New York City in 1949. In 1958, Mario established the M.J. Colucci Funeral Chapel located on 19th Street in Niagara Falls and served the community for 56 years. In 2004, he was very proud when his son expanded to open their new funeral chapel located in the Town of Niagara. Mario was a member of the Erie-Niagara Funeral Directors Association, New York State Funeral Directors Association, and the National Funeral Directors Association.

Gerald W. Chestney, 80, of Pine Plains, passed away on April 3, 2016. Jerry came to work as a funeral director for Peck & Peck Funeral Homes in Copake and Pine Plains in 1958. He eventually became the owner of the funeral homes in 1985. In 1985, Jerry was also honored with the opportunity to purchase Dapson Funeral Home in Rhinebeck. Jerry was a member of the Dutchess, Putnam, Ulster Funeral Directors Association and NYSFDA.

Michael J. Torsone, 62, of Poughkeepsie died March 18, 2016. Michael graduated from the Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science, class of 1973. Upon graduating from Simmons, he became a Licensed Funeral Director-Manager with the family owned business, Michael Torsone Memorial Funeral Home for 36 years.

Lottie K. Weldon passed away on Thursday, February 11, 2016. Lottie was the co-founder and president of George H. Weldon Funeral Home, Inc., of New York City, and mother of NYSFDA Government Affairs Committee member and MetFDA Board member, George Weldon, Jr.

Herman J. Sandles, 83, of Islip, passed away January 18, 2016. Herman was founder and owner of the Sandles Funeral Home in Islip Terrace, NY for over 50 years.

Mamma Rosa Ferrari (Panetta), 91, passed away on January 23, 2016. She was the grandmother of John Ferrari, owner of Ferrari Funeral Home, LLC, in Schenectady.

Robert D. Gray Jr., passed away on January 26, 2016. The career path Bob chose was well suited to his patience, gentlemanly nature, and his true sense of compassion. He graduated from Simmons School of Embalming in 1968 and served on the Military Honor Guard in the Reserves while he worked as a funeral director in Skaneateles. He established the Robert D. Gray Funeral Home in 1975 and the Gray House Bed & Breakfast in 1990. He was a member and past president of the Onondaga-Oswego Funeral Directors Association.


2015

Joseph M. Trudden Sr., of Farmingdale, passed away on November 30th 2015. Joseph was the owner of The McCourt & Trudden Funeral Home and a former Nassau-Suffolk FDA board member.

Brett D. Grandaw passed away on November 18, 2015. Brett was a funeral director at Seymour Funeral Home, Inc. in Potsdam, a fire instructor with the NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control, and 1st Assistant Chief at the Pierrepont Volunteer Fire Department. He was a graduate of SUNY Canton.

Dorothy Mae Joslin, 68, passed away unexpectedly on November 16, 2015. Dorothy was the mother-in-law of NYSFDA staff member Ed Munger.

Adaline Paul Loucks, 99, passed away on Sunday, November 8, 2015 at the Mt. View Nursing Home in New Paltz at the age of 99. She was born on August 10, 1916 in Yonkers, the daughter of the late Edward and Emma (Rittinger) Paul. She was married to Sherman Bain Loucks for 48 years until he died on March 19, 1988.

E. Ray Spink, 86, passed away on October 24, 2015. Ray graduated from Simmons School of Mortuary Science in 1951. Ray worked at funeral homes in Webster, Geneva, Gloversville and Plattsburgh, NY. He returned to the Olean area in 1963 to join his two brothers Joseph, Phillip and his mother Edna, in the family Spink Funeral Home business with locations at that time in Olean, Portville and Allegany. In the mid 1990's, Ray sold the business to his son Brad, after 60 years of dedicated funeral service.

Melvin D. Thompson passed away on October 31, 2015 in Brooklyn. Melvin was the CEO/owner of Lawrence H. Woodward Funeral Home, Inc. in Brooklyn since 1968.

John T. Sedlock, 82, passed away on October 17, 2015 in Binghamton after a short illness. John was the oldest practicing funeral director in Broome County. He founded Sedlock Funeral Home in the Late 1950s. He leaves behind his wife Ann and four children Steve, Lianne, Tom, and Mark.

Mark 'Burls' Burlingame, 60, passed away on October 12, 2015 after an intense yet courageous battle with cancer. Burls was a longtime Capital District FDA member, and the husband of Beth Burlingame, a PrePlan Administrator at NYSFDA. Mark devoted over 25 years to funeral directing, or as he referred to it, "the call." He began his journey in Albany at the Frederick Funeral Home before moving to Altamont where he became a pillar in his family's business at Fredendall Funeral Home.

Elizabeth A. Schmidt, 76, passed away on October 5, 2015. Betty was the mother of Scott M. Schmidt, president of the NYS Association of County Coroners and Medical Examiners and a funeral director at Christopher-Mitchell Funeral Homes, Inc., in Albion.

A. Dorothy ("Dutchie") Wilson, 96, passed away peacefully on Sunday morning, September 13, 2015, at the Residential Health Care Facility of Chenango Memorial Hospital in Norwich, NY. She was the mother of NYSFDA Past President, Doug Wilson.

Shirley M. (Griswold) VanValkenburgh, 93, died peacefully at Kingsway Arms in Schenectady, NY on September 5, 2015. She was the daughter of Earl and Georgia (Bush) Griswold, founders of Griswold Funeral Home. A lifelong resident of Schenectady and Lake George, Shirley married her high school sweetheart, James “Jim” VanValkenburgh and together they worked as partners at the funeral home. Shirley assisted with the needs of the families until Jim’s passing in 1987. Shirley was the mother of NYSFDA Past President, Terry VanValkenburgh.

Marion B. Betz, 94, of Amsterdam, died peacefully on August 30, 2015. On April 12, 1941 she was united in marriage to John J. Betz, Jr. Together for 55 years, they owned and operated Betz Funeral Home from 1945 until 1990; which is now known as Betz, Rossi, Bellinger & Stewart Family Funeral Home. Marion continued her service to the organization assisting in several capacities until her retirement in 2005 at the age of 85.
Joseph W. Sorce, owner of Joseph W. Sorce Funeral Home, Inc. in West Nyack passed away on August 24, 2015.

Leonard Paul Audette, 54, died on August 19, 2015. Len was a sales representative for Messenger Corporation, as their representative in New York and the New England region.

Leonard C. Dutcher, 88, owner and manager of A. W. Dutcher's Sons Funeral Home in Haverstraw passed away on August 10, 2015.

The Honorable, Anthony Fratto, former Mayor of the Village of Phoenix, passed away August 5, 2015. Tony was employed as a funeral director with Falardeau Funeral Home, Baldwinsville. Previous to this, Tony worked at Pirro & Sons Funeral Home (Thomas J. Pirro, Jr).

James V. Rhoney of Niagara Falls, a Marine Corps veteran of World War II and longtime president of the Rhoney chain of funeral homes in Niagara County, who also found a second career on the circus circuit, died July 1, 2015.He was 87.

Joseph S. “Buddy” Macken, of Rockville Centre, passed away on June 30, 2015. Mr. Macken was the former proprietor of Macken Mortuary.

Mindy Harris, 43, passed away peacefully on June 11, 2015. Mindy is survived by her devoted husband, Michael Harris of Paul W. Harris Funeral home in Rochester; and children, Emily & Michael Harris.

Elizabeth Jane Law passed away on May 26, 2015. Elizabeth was the wife of William J. Law of William E. Law Inc. Funeral Home in Massapequa.

Harold G. "Bucky" Buck Jr., 91, passed away on April 16, 2015. Bucky attended Simmons School of Embalming, graduating in 1948. He returned home and joined his father in the funeral business. After his father passed, Harold took over the business in Norwood and later acquired the Hawley Funeral Home in Colton, the Clark and Foote Funeral Home in Potsdam, and the McGlaughin Funeral Home in Norfolk. Among his many accomplishments through-out the years was owning the Buck Funeral Homes, owning Healy’s Gift Shop in Norwood and operating the Colton Hardware Store.

Louise Falvo passed away on April 14, 2015. Louise was the wife of Art Falvo of the Falvo Funeral Home in Rochester and Webster.

Edward Donnan, 72, passed away on Wednesday, April 8, 2015. Ed attended Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science receiving his degree in 1968. As a licensed funeral director, he was the owner and operator of the Barter & Donnan Funeral Home. Mr. Donnan worked for 40 years in the business started by his father in 1944 as Donnan Funeral Home. After his father's death in 1969, Ed continued operating the funeral home, and bought the Frederick W. Barter Funeral Home in 1975, when the two homes were merged into the present location.

Joanna V. Kasler, passed away on April 1, 2015. Joanna was the former owner of the E.C. Waldeck Home For Funerals and Fred Herbst Sons Funeral Home of Brooklyn. She is survived by her four children: Drew, Brian, Janice, and Christopher Kasler.

Stephen M. Mack, Senior Vice President of Operations of Service Corporation International (SCI), passed on March 19, 2015 after a battle with cancer. Prior to his role with SCI in Houston, Steve worked at Claude R. Boyd Funeral Home in Babylon and other SCI funeral homes in New York City.

Ian P. Mason, 31, passed away on March 6, 2015. Ian was the husband of Jade Kellam Mason, owner of Henderson-Biedekapp Funeral Chapel in Hancock.

Edna M. Kelly Sanvidge, 87, passed away on February 21, 2015. Edna married the love of her life, John J. “Bud” Sanvidge in 1950 and they were married for 56 years until his passing. Together they opened the John J. Sanvidge Funeral Home in Lansingburgh. She was very active in the operation of their business while at the same time raising their 7 children.

Thomas E. Warren, 73, passed away suddenly on February 16, 2015. A Licensed Funeral Director, Tom was owner of Ramsay's Funeral Homes Inc. with primary offices in Liberty, NY. Tom also served as a Sullivan County Coroner for many years.

Rho B. Mitchell, 86, passed away on February 1, 2015. Rho was a NYS Licensed Funeral Director and owned and operated Christopher Mitchell Funeral Homes, Inc. in Albion & Holley, retiring in 1992 at which time the business was passed on to his son David and in 2012 his grandson Joshua joined the family business.

Joanne M. Baird, 74, passed away on February 1, 2015. She was the co-owner and secretary of the Walter E. Baird & Sons Funeral Home Inc., with her husband Gene for 38 years; they retired in 1997. Joanne was the mother of Walter "Chip" Baird and Richard Baird of the Walter E. Baird and Sons Funeral Home in Wayland, Naples and Dansville.

Dr. Thomas Grant Eppink, Esq., 54, passed away on January 24, 2015. Tom was the brother of Mimi Enos, wife of NYSFDA President, Robert C. Enos of Hoy Funeral Home, Inc., in West Seneca.


2014

Albert Orsi passed away on December 29, 2014. Al was a licensed funeral director who was employed by Matthews International.

Tracey L. Spencer DelVecchio, 44, of Galway, NY, passed away on December 22, 2014. Tracey was the sister-in-law of NYSFDA Super Region B Director, Mark T. Phillips, of William J. Burke & Sons/Bussing and Cunniff Funeral Homes in Saratoga Springs.

William Mannix passed away on December 19, 2014. William was Mark Mannix's brother and Todd Mannix's father -- both of Cooperative Funeral Fund.

Andrew L. Fier passed away on December 18, 2014. Andrew was the past president of the Jewish Funeral Directors of America.

Michael D. Whelan, passed away on December 18, 2014, after a two year battle with pancreatic cancer. Michael was a licensed NYS funeral director for over 42 years and former owner and president of Whelan Bros. Funeral Home in Syracuse.

Warren J. Fitzgerald Sr., 78, formerly of Fitzgerald Funeral Home in Cohoes, passed away on September 28, 2014. Warren attended Simmons Mortuary School, where he received a scholarship given on a competitive basis from NYSFDA.

Frank D. “Dom” Cieri, passed away on December 16, 2014. Dom was the father of former NYSFDA Super Region C Director, and Metropolitan Funeral Directors Association past president, Frank J. Cieri, CFSP, licensed manager of Sisto Funeral Home, Inc., in The Bronx.

Deacon William J. Robinson, passed away on December 7, 2014. He was the father of Kenneth R. Brewster, CFSP of Crowe’s Funeral Home, Inc., in Jamaica, NY.

Robert J. Rogers, 74, of Syracuse, passed on November 28, 2014. Robert was the father-in-law of PrePlan Trustee, Delvena Rogers, of Owens-Pavlot & Rogers Funeral Service, Inc., in Clinton.

Rose D. Iocovozzi Seppi, 87, of Herkimer, passed away on November 27, 2014. Before her retirement, Rose was the president of V.J. Iocovozzi Funeral Home, Inc., in Frankfort; Petykiewicz, Iocovozzi & Burns Funeral Home in Herkimer; and Forget-Me-Not Pet Memorialization and Cremation Service in Herkimer. Rose was the mother of NYSFDA member Vincent De Paul Iocovozzi of V.J. Iocovozzi Funeral Home, Inc.

Jeanne Grazia, 70, of Islip, was killed by a drunk driver in a head-on collision when she was on her way home from work at the McCourt & Trudden Funeral Home, Inc., in Farmingdale on November 23, 2014.

John J. Strong, Jr., Funeral Director and owner of Strong and Burns Funeral Home passed away at 77, on November 13, 2014 in Rome, NY. John graduated from Colgate University and Simmons School of Mortuary Science. He joined his mother in the Strong Funeral Home in 1958, then became owner in 1982.

Mary Anne Semski passed away on November 11, 2014, after a brief illness. She studied undertaking under her father, John J. Buszka and mother Sophia Buszka, founders of the John J. Buszka Funeral Home in Cheektowaga, which she took over in 1948. Mrs. Semski, who had the distinction of being one of New York State’s last licensed female Undertakers, received honorary membership from the Erie-Niagara Funeral Directors Association in 2013 and was a member of the NYSFDA, and NFDA. Until the time of her death, Mary was active and still attending continuing education classes.

Anna Marie Odorfer of Massapequa Park passed away on October 30, 2014. Anna was the mother of Anthony Speciale from Matthews Funeral Home Products.

Gordon A.Werner, 63, of Westhampton Beach, passed away suddenly on October 23, 2014. Gordon was the former owner of Lindenhurst Funeral Home and Follett & Werner Funeral Home.

Margaret V. Cecere, wife of NSFDA Board member Mike Cecere, Jr. and mother of Mike J. Cecere, died October 4, 2014.

Warren J. Fitzgerald Sr., 78, of Cohoes, died peacefully on September 28, 2014 at his residence. In 1963, Warren established the Fitzgerald Funeral Home in Cohoes and operated the funeral home with dignity and dedication, serving his community proudly.

David E. Donaldson, 73, of Zephyrhills, FL, and a native of Massena, passed away on September 10, 2014. After graduating from Simmons Institute, David became a funeral director with the family business, Donaldson Funeral Home in Massena, where he remained until moving to Florida. He also worked at funeral homes in Florida. David served as a St. Lawrence County Coroner for many years and was an E.M.T. Instructor in New York State.

Grant Murray Kennedy, 54, of Canandaigua, passed away on September 11, 2014. He was a licensed Funeral Director and owned and operated Kennedy & Son Funeral Home, Inc. from 1986 to 2008, in Canandaigua and Bloomfield. Grant was a member of the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team, Region II (DMORT) and responded to the Katrina disaster in New Orleans and the flight 800 aviation accident in New York.

Margaret Alice Parmele Caven, died peacefully at her home in Rochester on August 23, 2014, she was 98. Margaret and her husband John D. Caven, III, owned and operated her family's funeral home (Parmele Funeral Home) that her father started in 1907. Margaret will forever be remembered for her dedication to the funeral profession. When families called the funeral home, Margaret was the one who answered the phone and no matter the situation could ease anxiety with her calming, articulate manner. She afforded many funeral directors in Dutchess County the opportunity to perfect their trade while she observed in the background, a true class act. She knew that grieving families came first and she was always committed that. Margaret was and always will be considered the Matriarch of funeral service in Dutchess County and many funeral directors have her to thank for their success.

Myrle E. Knapp, of Elmira, went home to be with her Lord on August 24, 2014 surrounded by her family. "Yai Yai" as she was known, was the mother of John Knapp of Olthof Funeral Home, Inc., in Elmira.

Regina M. Kalec, 83, of Elmira, passed away on August 23, 2014. Regina was co-owner of the Kalec Funeral Home since 1956 and was the mother of NYSFDA member Donald Kalec, Jr.

Merrell A. Lane, 67, of Wheatfield, passed away on August 16, 2014. Merrell was a member and former district governor of NYSFDA, a member and former president of the Erie Niagara Funeral Directors Association, and a member of the Niagara County Funeral Directors Association. He was the second-generation owner of the Lane Funeral Home. He retired in 2010.

Mary P. (Walsh) Jendrzejczak, 89, of Amsterdam, passed away on July 26, 2014. In 1949, Mary's husband Vincent C. Jendrzejczak established the Jendrzejczak Funeral Home in Amsterdam. Vincent was a funeral director for almost 65 years until his death in June 2014. Mary assisted him at the funeral home, utilizing her skills of patience, gentleness, generosity and compassion to assist bereaved families.

Frank H. Simpson, 93, formerly of Kingston, passed away on May 28, 2014 in Florida. Frank was a graduate of Collier School of Embalming in New York City, and in 1952 founded the Frank. H. Simpson Funeral Home.

John A. (Jack) Fraser, 81, passed away on June 30, 2014. Jack was the father of NYS Tribute Foundation Board member, Rev. John Fraser of Holy Rosary Church (Archdiocese of New York) in Hawthorne, NY.

Maryann Hogan, 47, passed away on June 3, 2014. Despite her challenges she had a true zest for life and lived hers to the fullest. MaryAnn was the daughter of NYSFDA and NFDA past president John J. "Jack" Hogan, Jr., CFSP, and sister of current NYSFDA Board member and MetFDA past president Robert "Bob" Hogan.

Vincent C. Jendrzejczak, 89, of Amsterdam, passed away on June 1, 2014. In 1949, he established the Jendrzejczak Funeral Home in Amsterdam and was a funeral director for almost 65 years. He was a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, New York State Funeral Directors Association, Fulton-Montgomery Funeral Directors Association and the Adirondack Funeral Directors Association.

Sheng C. “George” Sung, 77, of North Syracuse, passed away on May 5, 2014. Sheng was the father of Tzewei Sung of New Comer Funeral Home.

Donald G. Colvin, 87, passed away on April 25, 2014. Donald was the former owner of the Colvin Funeral Home in Savannah and the Colvin-Robertson Funeral Home in Wolcott.

Frank Mathias Heller, 77, passed away on April 18, 2014. Frank, a graduate of Simmons Institute of Funeral Service, owned and operated the Heller Funeral Home in Schenevus since 1967. In 1995 he bought the E.J. Skinner Co. Funeral Chapel in Worcester, where he has enjoyed working side by side with his daughter, Kathleen and son-in-law, John Pietrobono.

Margaret "Marge" A. Larkin, 102, passed away on April 7, 2014. Marge was the mother of Mary McPhillips of Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home, Inc., in Middletown, NY.

Vincent L. Rossi, 86, passed away on March 29, 2014 at the Vermont Veterans Home in Bennington, VT. Mr. Rossi was the father of funeral director, Vincent J. Rossi, of Betz, Rossi & Bellinger Family Funeral Home in Amsterdam.

Gregory J. Bruhn passed away on February 28, 2014. Gregory was a funeral director with O.B. Davis Funeral Homes in Miller Place.

Richard R. “Dick” Pensa of Las Vegas, formerly of Williston Park and Baldwin, passed away on February 24, 2014. Dick was a licensed funeral director and proprietor of Weigand-Pensa Funeral Home for many years.

Rev. Deacon Richard M. Dunlop, 62, passed away on February 24, 2014. Richard graduated from Simmons School of Mortuary Science. He served his residency at the Wagner Funeral Home in Ithaca, and worked his entire career as a licensed funeral director at the Ernest H. Parsons Funeral Home in Binghamton, until illness forced his retirement seven years ago. He was also the owner of Broome Monument Co. for 21 years.

Kevin M. Lynch, 64, of Clifton Park passed away in February 2014. Kevin was a Lt. Col. in the New York Guard, at the time of his death, Deputy Commander of the Tenth Brigade and served as a Police Officer with the Albany Police Department, the Albany County Sheriff’s Office and as a Captain of Police with the Conrail Police Department in Philadelphia, PA and Selkirk. He was a member of the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team and was a Licensed Funeral Director for over 45 years.

David I. DeFriest, 97, passed away on February 6, 2014. Dave was the founder of the DeFriest Funeral Home in 1940 which later grew to include locations in Mattituck and Shelter Island. He served his profession well and was a Past President of MFDA, 1977-78.

Jean F. McCullough, 87, passed away on Friday, January 31, 2014. Jean was the mother of NYSFDA Deputy Executive Director, Randy L. McCullough.

Wesley C. "Bud" Hall passed away on January 29, 2014. Bud was the owner and funeral director of Hall Funeral Home in LaFayette, which was established by his father. He was also the owner and funeral director for many years of Briggs-Hall Memorial Home in Homer. Bud was also active in the Central New York Funeral Directors Association.


2013

Paul Cutrupi, 68, passed away on December 15, 2013. Paul attended the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service and for nearly 40 years served countless families as a Licensed Funeral Director at McElroy-Flynn Funeral Home in Elmsford and Cassidy-Flynn Funeral Home in Mount Kisco.

Donald L. McCabe, 96, passed away on December 10, 2013. Donald served NYSFDA well during his 1962-1963 and 1963-1964 terms as president. He was the owner and president of the Yar Mar Group and also the Weeks Funeral Home in Warsaw for 30 years.

William J. Dengler, 86, passed away on November 22, 2013 in Kenmore Mercy Hospital after a short illness. Mr. Dengler, an Amherst resident, started the Dengler Funeral Homes and previously served as president of the Erie Niagara Funeral Directors Association.

Elizabeth D. Simonson passed way on November 15, 2013. Elizabeth was the mother of Bill Simonson of Simonson Funeral Home.

Austin Francis Cassidy passed away after a long struggle with cancer on November 1, 2013, at Rosary Hill Home. He was 64 years old. Austin was born in the Bronx, to the late Theresa "Terry" Cassidy and Edward Cassidy, founders of Cassidy Funeral Home in Mt. Kisco.

Theresa "Terry" Cassidy, 94, of Carmel, passed away on October 31st 2013. Terry and and her late husband Edward began the Cassidy Funeral Home in Mt. Kisco.

Louis J. "Lou" DelSignore, Sr., 76, of Clifton Park, passed away on November 8, 2013. Lou was the brother of Maria McGinniss of NYSFDA/Directors Choice Credit Union.

Catherine M. Dziuba passed away on November 8, 2013. Catherine was the mother of Stephen J. Dziuba of the Leahy-McDonald Funeral Home in Richmond Hill.

Marlene A. Sorce, 74, of West Nyack, passed away on October 30, 2013. Marlene was the co-owner with her husband of the Joseph W. Sorce Funeral Home, Inc. in West Nyack.

Bernice S. Wischerth, of Amityville, passed away on October 8, 2013. Bernice was the wife of George Wischerth of D'Andrea Bros. Funeral Home in Copiague.

Matthew F. Carlone, 73, of Cortlandt Manor, died at his home on October 6, 2013. In 1984, he joined the J.J. Dorsey Funeral Home, Peekskill, where he worked with his father-in-law, William J. Dorsey. Matthew was the proud owner of Dorsey-Carlone Funeral Home from 1991 until his death.

It is with deep regret and sadness that we inform you of the death of Lydia DeLuca Feaster. Lydia was the mother of Peter C. DeLuca, owner of Greenwich Village Funeral Home in Manhattan and Vice-President of the Metropolitan Funeral Directors Association.

Eugene F. "Chuck" Keegan, 87, passed away on October 3, 2013 at home following a long illness. Chuck was a 1949 graduate of the Simmons School of Mortuary Science, he founded the Magin and Keegan Funeral Home with his partner Fred Magin in 1956. With the love and partnership of his high school sweetheart, Chuck successfully raised nine kids who carry on his humanitarian ideals as nurses, teachers, law guardians for children, funeral directors and social workers.

Joseph D. Falardeau, 47, of Baldwinsville, passed away unexpectedly on October 2, 2013. Joe was a graduate of Simmons Institute of Funeral Service. In 1990, he joined his father Don in the family funeral business, becoming the third generation to own and operate the Falardeau Funeral Home.

William J. "Bill" Alexander, 81, of Davenport passed away on September 26, 2013 in Oneonta. William served NYSFDA well during his 1987-1988 term as President of the Association. He was the owner of Hall Funeral Home in Stamford. Along with his funeral business, he was proprietor of the Stamford Monument Company, and Guidelines Publications, a company supplying helpful literature to those experiencing loss. A leader in service to his profession, Bill was also a member of the former Ninth District Funeral Directors Association, and was a past Regional Governor of NYSFDA.

Dorothy Dean Finch Smolak, of Auburn, passed away on September 14, 2013. Dorothy was the mother of the Hon. Gary D. Finch (126th Assembly District) owner of Brew-Finch Funeral Homes, Inc., in Auburn.

Arthur Bryant passed away on September 10, 2013. Mr. Bryant was the founder of Bryant Funeral Home, Inc., in East Setauket, and was the father of Fred Bryant of Bryant Funeral Home.

Hilda Alexander of Florida passed away on August 31, 2013. Hilda was the mother of Kathleen (Joel) Dolci of the Metropolitan Funeral Directors Association.

Eugene R. Rinaldi of Montgomery, NY, a retired Funeral Director, graduate of McAllister School of Mortuary Science, and a lifetime resident of the area passed away on September 1, 2013, in Middletown. He was 79.

Kathleen M. Borzello, 56, of Sayville, passed way on August 12, 2013. Kathleen was the sister of Kevin R. Mack of David Funeral Home in Long Island City.

Marion Russell Pine died at her home in New Paltz, on July 8, 2013 at the age of 105. In the early 1930s, Marion was a cabaret singer/dancer and was part of several Vaudeville touring companies across the country, along with her husband, Gordon, who was an aspiring stage actor. The Pines eventually settled in New Paltz where they raised their two sons and where Gordon joined the family funeral home business, Pine Funeral Home. When Gordon died unexpectedly at the age of 48, Marion and their son Vanderlyn became licensed and assumed the operation and management of the funeral home. In later years, Van became a nationally-known business consultant in funeral service.

Philip J. D'Angelo, 87, formerly of Syosset and Woodbury, passed away on August 4, 2013. Mr. D'Angelo is the father of Bethany Cecere and father-in-law of Michael J. Cerere, III, of Cecere Family Funeral Home in Baldwin.

Lillian S. Brueggemann, 89, passed away on July 25, 2013. Lillian was the mother of NYSFDA Region 9 Director, Douglas R. Brueggemann of Brueggemann Funeral Home of East Northport, Inc.

Katharine N. Bruzzo, 85, of Oceanside, LI, passed away on July 20, 2013. She was the loving mother of Kathy Towers and her husband, Robert E. Towers of Towers Funeral Home Inc.

William E. Butler, 74, passed away on July 13, 2013 after a courageous battle with Pulmonary Fibrosis which he contracted during his recovery efforts at the World Trade Center after the attacks of September 11, 2001. William was the father of NSFDA Immediate Past President Bill Butler.

Gerry Carey passed away on July 12, 2013. He was with Clair S Bartholomew & Son Inc. in Bellmore.

Robert Jenks passed away on July 8, 2013. Before his retirement, Robert was a funeral director at Jenks Funeral Home in Mount Vernon. Condolences can be sent to his wife: Lynn Jenks, 1800 SW 157th Place Rd, Ocala, FL 34473.

Dorothy “Dottie” H. Bush, 75, formerly of Camillus, passed away on June 29, 2013 with her family by her side on the Eastern Shore of MD where she had been living for the past five years. She served as the secretary for B.L. Bush and Sons Funeral Homes for over forty years.

Selden E. Tubbs, a native of Manlius, passed away on June 23, 2013. Selden was the owner of Eaton-Tubbs Funeral Home in Fayetteville. He joined Chet, his father-in-law, in 1946 shortly after returning from service in World War II. After many years of faithful service to the community, Selden retired in 1986.

Louis T. Jennings, 83, of Rome passed away on June 21, 2013, with his loving family at his side. Louis was the father of NYSFDA member Jeffrey A. Jenning, CFSP of Jennings, Nulton, & Mattle Funeral Home.

Sandra Elster, 70, passed away on May 29, 2013. Sandra was the mother of Brian Elster of Bryant Funeral Home, Inc., in East Setauket.

Joel F. Morris passed away on May 30, 2013. Joel is the former owner of I.J. Morris Funeral Homes and was a long-time member of the NYSFDA Government Affairs Committee, and a Board member of the NYS Tribute Foundation.

Jason M. Simone, 37, of Saratoga Springs passed away on May 17, 2013. Jason was the son of funeral director Thomas E. Simone of William J. Burke & Sons/Bussing & Cunniff Funeral Homes in Saratoga Springs.

William M. Doyle, 77, passed away on May 9, 2013. William was the father of NYSFDA President, Timothy P. Doyle, CFSP, of Timothy P. Doyle Funeral Home in Poughkeepsie.

Frank Davi, passed away on April 13, 2013. Frank was the father of Vincenzo Davi, a funeral director with Denis S. O'Connor Funeral Home.

Clarice Millspaugh, 91, of Athens, passed away on April 6, 2013. Clarice was the mother of the late Mary Millspaugh Hoyt and wife of the late Henry J. Millspaugh of Millspaugh Camerato Funeral Home in Catskill.

Hugh L. Norris, 74, passed away on March 7, 2013. A native of Marcellus, Hugh completed his studies at the Simmons School of Mortuary Science, and joined Norris Funeral Home in Marcellus and later became owner and manager, retiring in 2003. He was a member of the NYSFDA, NFDA, and was a past president and member of the board of directors of the Onondaga Oswego County Funeral Directors Association.

Donald B. "Mr. Mac" McLagan, 95, of Waycross, passed away on February 20, 2013. He was the father of Donna Hazzard and father-in-law of NYSFDA past president Richard T. Hazzard of Patterson.
Annette Wolfe, a dedicated leader in the funeral industry for over five decades passed away on January 31, 2013. Annette raised funds for the MetFDA, the NFDA PAC, and NYSFDA. Her hardworking hands are now at rest. She will be deeply missed.

H. Seymour Weinstein passed away on September 9, 2012 after 60 years in the funeral industry. He owned Weinstein, Garlick, Kirschenbaum Chapels in Brooklyn (West End) and Weinstein Memorial Chapel in Yonkers, NY. Past President of the JFDA. With his wife, Martha owned Sun Casket Company for 25 years. He is missed daily by his family, his employees and all those blessed to have known him.

Dorothea M. DeVine, of Oyster Bay, passed away on December 2, 2012. She was the mother of NSFDA Secretary, Karen DeVine-Taglia of Francis P. DeVine Funeral Home Inc.


2012

Gordon Wise passed away in December 14, 2012. He was the owner of Young Funeral Home in Williamson, and the 2009 recipient of the Rochester-Genesee Valley FDA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Mary Frances Millspaugh Hoyt, 51, passed away on November 22, 2012 following a brief illness. Mary was the owner of Millspaugh Camerato Funeral Home in Catskill. Additionally she was very active in her professional community, serving as a Board Member of NYSFDA, and Secretary/Treasurer of Directors Choice Credit Union.

Edward O. Curry, Jr., 96, of Peekskill, passed away November 17, 2012. Edward had been a licensed funeral director and embalmer since 1937, and was associated with the E.O. Curry Funeral Home, the family-owned business for 75 years.

Nancy Bruso, of Malone, passed away unexpectedly on November 8, 2012. Nancy was the wife of Joseph M. Bruso, owner of Bruso-Desnoyers, Cappiello, McKenzie, and Cosgrove Funeral Home, and Anderson Funeral Homes.

Dain Venne, 29, son of Brian and Laura Venne, was killed in action November 3, 2012 while on patrol in Afghanistan. His dad Brian is a long-time funeral director at the Harland Funeral Home in Port Henry.

Thomas L. Pavlot, 65, passed away peacefully in his sleep on October 5, 2012. Tom was the President of Owens-Pavlot Funeral Service, Inc., in Clinton. He retired in 2008 after over 40 years in the funeral service. He is survived by: his wife, Jill; five children, Tom Pavlot, Deli Rogers (FDSS Trustee), Krystal L. Pavlot, Joseph T. Pavlot, and Paige Ellen Pavlot; and four grandchildren.

Mark Greco, 58, passed away on October 4, 2012. Mark was a licensed funeral director and a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner for over 35 years where he worked for various Funeral Homes, and the last 20 years at Robertaccio Funeral Home, Inc., in Patchogue.

I. James Oatman, 65, passed away on September 6, 2012. James was president and manager of Smith-Weismantel Funeral Home in Springville until 2011.

Ray E. Stout, Jr., 84, passed away on August 15, 2012 in New York. Ray was a licensed funeral director for over 50 years. He is survived by his beloved wife, Joan; his children Ray III, John, Joan, and Jean; seven grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

Charles E. Metzroth, Jr., 70, passed away on July 31, 2012 after a prolonged illness. Charlie, known as Professor Metzroth to many, taught mortuary science at SUNY Farmingdale and Nassau Community College and was the proprietor of Metzroth Funeral Home in Babylon.

Roger H. Swartz, 87, passed away on May 31, 2012 in Albany. Roger was the owner of Swartz Funeral Home in Fort Plain for over 40 years. He is survived by his beloved wife, Edith; his children James “Dennis” Swartz; and David J. Swartz; granddaughter; and several great grandchildren.

Ruth Ager Vreeland, 95, passed away on April 5, 2012. She was the loving mother of Janet and dearest mother-in-law of NYSFDA past president, John Sommese.