New York State Funeral Directors Association

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.