HACKETTSTOWN, NJ–Curtis L. Pfaff, 82, of Heath Village, died Sunday, April 3, 2005 in the Hackettstown Community Hospital.
Born on Dec. 16, 1922 in Deer River, N.Y., he was a son of the late John L. and Naomi Wisner Pfaff.
Mr. Pfaff retired in 1978 after 32 years as an educator for the Ithaca New York Public School System and also with Cornell University. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees degree from the University of New York Albany campus. He resided in Ithaca, from 1949 to 1994 and from 1994 to 2000 he lived in both Belvidere, and in the summer months in Stillwater Township. He was a veteran of World War II and he served in the army from 1943 to 1946.
He was a member of St. James Episcopal of Hackettstown. He was a member of the American Legion Post of Belvidere, the Disabled American Veterans. Mr. Pfaff was a former member of the Blairstown, and Ithaca, N.Y. Rotary Club, the Stillwater Township Taxpayers Association, the Fairview Lake Community Club and the Fairview Lake and Watershed Conservation Foundation.
He is survived by his wife, the former, Margaret "Peggie" Wilhelm; a son Eric of Charlestown, Mass.; two daughters, Leslie Bresnahan of North Andover, Mass., and Cynthia Wilson of Washington, D.C.; a brother Eugene Pfaff; five grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
A memorial service was held in the Heath Village Auditorium, Schooleys Mountain Road, Hackettstown. Burial will be at Sunnyside Cemetery, Carthage, N.Y., at a later date.
Vito E. Mason
SILVER SPRING, MD - Vito E. Mason, 80, of 306 Colesville Manor Drive, Silver Spring, Maryland, passed away on November 25, 2008 of natural causes. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Rosina Mason; three daughters and their husbands, Rosina and Daniel Whitfield of Greensboro, North Carolina, Joli and Ken McCathran of Washington Grove, Maryland, and Rebecca and Rob Simmons of Aldie, Virginia; and six grandchildren, Rose and Emily McCathran, Skyler Whitfield, and Benjamin, Kira, and Sean Simmons.
Prof. Mason lived a spectacular life. Born on January 6, 1928 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, as the son of Lithuanian immigrants, he came to be Professor Emeritus of Music at American University in Washington, DC. He was also a world traveler, and a loving husband, father, and grandfather.
He loved people and enjoyed making them smile. With his booming voice and buoyant, raucous laugh he would joke with people all the time, brightening their day.
In his career as a Professor of Music he also became an internationally acclaimed choral conductor, adjudicator, and clinician. Highlights include performing with his choir at the White House, with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap Farm Park, and countless festivals, concerts, and all-state choruses throughout the country and in many parts of the world.
Before moving to the Washington, DC area, for 14 years he served as the Director of Choral Music at Ithaca High School in Ithaca, New York. Vito was also the Choir Director of the First Presbyterian Church in Ithaca for 12 years (1954-1966), when Rev. Walter Dobbs was minister.
He has been listed in "Outstanding Educators of America," and "Who's Who of World Musicians." He is also the recipient of the prestigious Porter W. Averill Award for his distinguished work in choral conducting and music education.
A memorial service is planned for December 14, 2008, at 1:00 p.m. at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation, 212 E. Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003, where he also served as the Choir Director for many years.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Vito E. Mason Vocal Music Award, c/o the Ithaca City School District, 400 Lake Street, Ithaca, New York 14850; or the Stained Glass Restoration Fund at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation.
VITO MASON'S WIDOW PASSED AWAY
"I have just received an email from Vito Mason's daughter,
Joli , that Rosina, Vito's wife, died the second Sunday in May. As you may know,
I have stayed in touch with them over the years. I attended Vito's funeral in
DC, and renewed my friendship with Rosina at that time. Judy and I even spent a
weekend with her at their home in Maryland. They loved their camper and
travels, and delighted in getting my reports from the road. In the last several
years, we have emailed each other on a weekly basis.
I thought that you might want to alert classmates of our mutual loss - truly the end of an era.
I hope you all have a wonderful reunion. We are having great fun touring the
West , visiting family and friends, including Elaine (Tutton) and Phil Newcomb."
Much love to all, Ron and Judy Winchell
MURIEL C. WEEKS
ITHACA – Muriel C. Weeks, beloved mother, teacher, grandmother and great-grandmother, passed from this earth on March 13, 2008 in Billings, Montana surrounded by family. Muriel was born in East Greenbush, NY on September 15, 1916 to Everett and Marie Crear. She spent a happy childhood with her brothers, Paul and Everett; and sister, Elaine, in Albany, Glen Falls and in the Adirondack Mountains of NY near the village of Schroon Lake where she enjoyed the mountains, fields and woods, and the one room schoolhouse. The Adirondacks eventually became her permanent home.
Muriel graduated valedictorian from Schroon Lake High School in 1933 at age 16. She attended Albany State College for Teachers, eventually majoring in science. On graduating in 1938, the country was in the depths of depression and teaching jobs were scarce. Muriel returned to Schroon Lake and married Sidney R. Weeks. Together they had three daughters, Sondra-1940, Judy-1943, and Nancy-1944.
When the marriage ended, Muriel returned to obtain her Master’s degree in Education at Albany and became the teacher she always wanted to be.
She began her career teaching at Ellenberg, NY in 1949 and then in 1953 became a teacher of Biology at Ithaca High School, Ithaca, NY, touching the lives of many until she retired in 1978.
During this time she had the honor of being selected into a program of Teacher Education in East Africa at Nkozi Teacher Training College in Nkozi, Uganda from 1968 thru 1970. It was the highlight of her career, fostering a love of Africa and enabling her to also visit other overseas destinations.
Muriel never stopped learning and never stopped teaching others. She shared her love and appreciation of nature with family and friends, often sharing the simple joy of a walk together in the woods. Her grandchildren have fond memories of these walks where she could name all the plants and animals including genus and species. She was the inspiration and anchor of her family, a great lady who will be sorely missed.
Muriel is survived by two daughters, Nancy Poolet and Sondra Quick; seven grandchildren, Valerie McKenzie, Cherie McGinn, Danny McKenzie, Michael Quick, Laura Haynes, Alex Poolet and Robert Lesson; eight great-grandchildren, Anna and Korin O’Dohercy, McKenzie "Lizzie" McGinn, Kyle McKenzie, Connor and Malachi Quick, Cassandra Poolet and Grace Poolet; and one great-great-grandson, Andrew Eddy.
A memorial service will be in Schroon Lake at a later time and will be announced.
ROBERT H. HOLGATE
ALPINE, NY – Robert H. Holgate Sr., of Culver Road, Alpine, NY, died Saturday, January 28, 2006, at Cayuga Medical Center. Born November 5, 1919 in Philadelphia, PA, he was the son of Paul B. and Beatrice Holgate. He was predeceased by his eldest son, Robert Jr.; and by his wife Priscilla.
Bob earned both his undergraduate and graduate degrees at Cornell. His studies, however, were interrupted by the war in Europe where he flew 30 missions over Germany. On his return, he taught literature at Cornell and Syracuse University, and then joined the faculty at Ithaca High School. With the exception of one year, 1960-61, when he taught at Wantaugh High School on Long Island and was Chairman of the English Department, he taught at Ithaca High School from 1955 until his retirement in 1979. He is known by countless HIS alumni as an inspiring teacher who brought passion to the teaching and learning of the English language and its literature. Bob was devoted to his students and he held them all to exacting and caring standards. Especially through his coveted elective in creative writing. Bob shared his love for the art and craft of written expression with many successive classes of Ithaca students to whom he dedicated his teaching career. Bob Holgate is survived by six children, Richard, Tamara, Paul, Lisle, David and Ashley; their spouses, 11 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Friends may call at Bangs Funeral Home at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, February 3rd, with a memorial service at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please make a contribution in Bob’s memory to a charity of your choice.
Donald F. Henry
(1920 - 2011) July 16, 2011 WW II Veteran Educator Don was born July 15, 1920 in Taylorville, NY to Anselm and Minnie Henry. He passed away peacefully at his daughter's home in Pennellville, NY surrounded by his family following his 91st birthday. Donald and his loving wife, Genevieve were long term residents of Ithaca, NY, having lived the past several years in Bradenton, FL. A 1943 graduate of Oswego State University, Oswego, NY, Don's career included 34 years of teaching Industrial Arts education in Ithaca Schools, having served as Dept. chair, as well as president of NY State Drivers Ed. Certificate # 5 issued in 1946. Justly proud of his WW II service, he spent his 24th birthday in Normandy with Patton's Army, 257th Ordnance Battalion Headquarters. Donald is survived by his wife of 68 years, Genevieve, of Oswego, NY, along with their five children, Donald Jr., of Ithaca, NY, Michael of Las Vegas, NV, Richard of Tully, NY, Jack of Winter Springs, FL, and Janine Henry Sicchio of Pennellville, NY. He was pre-deceased by their infant daughter Mary Teresa in 1948. He is also survived by sisters, Helen Allan of Buffalo, Patricia VanderBogart of Rome, NY, Barbara DeVito of Watertown, Joan Henry of Watertown, Nancy Lawlor of CT, and brother William of Oswego, NY. He was predeceased by brothers Robert of Bradenton, FL, Russell of Alexandria Bay, NY, Harold of Watertown, NY, and sister Doris of Dexter, NY. He is survived by 14 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. Don's Life will be celebrated with a memorial Mass at Holy Family Church at 129 Wintrop St., Watertown, NY on Thursday July 21, at 11 am. Contributions in Don's memory to: South East Guide Dogs, at 4210 77 St., East, Palmetto, FL 34221
EDGAR M. CLEMENS
Edgar M. Clemens died Sunday, September 3, 2006 at the Fairmount Homes in Ephrata. He was born May 8, 1926 in Souderton, Pa., son of the late Raymond and Esther (Moyer) Clemens. Edgar graduated from Goshen (Ind.) College in 1950 after serving two years in the Civilian Public Service. Later, he studied at Penn State Univ.
and the University of New Hampshire and was awarded Masters Degrees from both institutions. He taught high school sciences at Belleville (Pa.) Mennonite School (1951-54) and at Christopher Dock (Pa.) High School (1954-59). He began teaching at Ithaca (N.Y.) High School in 1959 where he taught chemistry until his retirement in 1989. He moved to New Holland, Pa. in 2004. Edgar married Rhoda Hostetter in Gap, Pa. August 16, 1952. Throughout his 45 years in Ithaca, he took an active part in church and community. He served as an elder in the Bethel Grove Church and taught Bible Studies and Sunday School. Edgar loved to sing and over the years was usually part of a choir, chorus or male quartet. Edgar is survived by his wife, Rhoda; children, Fredric (Carol Brimer) of Goshen, Ind., Rosa (Thomas Hines) of Philadelphia, Jonathan (Ruth Keidel) of Baltimore, Marcia (Edmund Ludwig) of DeRuyter N.Y., Conrad (Andrea Gerlak) of Tucson, Ariz., and Andrea (Ian Zuercher) of Goshen, Ind. He was predeceased by his daughter Darlis. He is also survived by 19 grandchildren and three siblings, Olive (James Kuhns) of Harrisonburg, Va., Mildred (Henry Paul Yoder) of Phoenix Ariz., and R. Wayne (Donella Peachey) Clemens of Souderton, Pa. A service will be held at New Holland Mennonite Church, 18 Western Ave. in New Holland, on Saturday, September 9 at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Fairmount Homes, 333 Wheat Ridge Dr., Ephrata PA 17522 or to Mennonite Central Committee, 21 S. 12th St., PO Box 500, Akron, PA 17501. Arrangements are by Groff-High-Eckenroth Funeral Home.
Sister of St. Joseph Raymond Mary (Mary Catherine Davis) died on May 10, 2011, at the age of 85.
Sister Davis entered the congregation from her home parish of St. Alphonsus in Auburn in 1944. She earned a bachelor's degree in education in 1953 and a bachelor's degree in history and English in 1960 from Nazareth College in Pittsford.
Sister Davis taught at Blessed Sacrament, St. Monica and Holy Apostles, Rochester; Mother of Sorrows, Greece; Immaculate Conception, Ithaca; and at Sacred Heart, Auburn, where she also served as principal. From 1963-69, she was assigned superior of the motherhouse in Pittsford. She then returned to education and served as principal at Nazareth Hall, Rochester; Immaculate Conception, Ithaca; Christ the King, Irondequoit; and St. Patrick, Seneca Falls, until 1986. After a brief illness, she worked in the office at St. Francis de Sales/St. Stephen, Geneva, until her retirement in 1998. Returning to the motherhouse, she continued doing congregational service for several years.
She is survived by her sister-in-law, Nancee Davis; her cousin, Mary Sears; several other cousins; and her sisters in the congregation. Her funeral liturgy was celebrated in the motherhouse chapel on May 16, 2011, with burial in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.
Sister Raymond Mary taught eighth grade at Immaculate Conception School in Ithaca. Many members of the Ithaca High School Class of 1960 had her as their teacher.
The following information was provided by Millie Pirko Triff in an e-mail to John David, Class of 1961,on January 15, 2012.
Dr. Lawrence Bach, Biology Teacher, Passed Away 1987
I have information on how and when Mr. Bach (Biology teacher) died if you want to add it to that link.
As you know, I live in Hancock and Mr. Bach, it turns out, was originally from Hancock. I didn't know this until I was married, had three children, and had moved to Hancock in 1975. I was sitting in church one Sunday morning with my family waiting for the morning service to begin when all of a sudden a voice from the back of the church softly "shouted" -- Millie Pirko!!! My first thought was "Who in the world in Hancock knows my maiden name?" I turned around and there was Mr. Bach, beaming at me.
Fast forward to today. I was reading my weekly issue of The Hancock Herald where they have excerpts from the paper from 100 years ago, 50 years ago, and 25 years ago. In the Herald I got this week I read in the 25 year ago notes:
Lawrence E. Bach, 65, Ithaca, died Friday, January 2, 1987 after suffering a heart attack while shoveling snow at his home. He was born in Hancock, a son of Christian F. and Mabel (Wagner) Bach. He was a graduate of Hancock Central School, Class of 1939, of which he was president.
He was such a sweetheart of a man and I remember taunting him with difficult questions in Biology just to see him stammer and blush. Shame on me!! Apparently he forgave me because he gave me a big hug that morning in church.
MARJORIE WILSON PENALVER, ENGLISH TEACHER
Marjorie Wilson Penalver died on August 25, 2010. She was the first African-American teacher hired by the Ithaca School District (in 1955) and taught English at IHS. Born on March 26, 1928, she was a native of Greensboro, North Carolina. She received a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Bennett College for Women in 1948. Her teaching career spanned 48 years, beginning at Lincoln High School in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, and ending at The Learning Center in Encino, California, where she was a tutor, in 1996.
Her move north led her to the love of her life and husband of 50 years until his death in 2008, Theodore “Ted” Penalver. Although being married to an Air Force serviceman required the family to move frequently, Marjorie secured teaching positions everywhere their travels took them. She headed the English Department at Edison High School in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania from 1963 to 1967, and taught English, speech, and journalism at Edmunds High School in Sumter, South Carolina from 1967 to 1970. The following year she taught English at Okaloosa Walton Junior College in Niceville, Florida and also English as a Second Language to foreign-born prisoners incarcerated at Eglin Air Force Base. Upon returning to Ithaca in 1973, she resumed her teaching position at IHS. She became Vice Principal in 1979.
In 1986 Marjorie was given an award by the Tompkins County Human Rights Commission for her role in implementing multi-cultural education. The Marjorie N. Penalver Award still exists and is given to the educator who has done the most in the area of human rights by increasing awareness of diversity or issues of oppression within Tompkins County. A member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority for over 40 years, Marjorie was a charter member and founder of the sorority’s Ithaca Alumnae Chapter, which
celebrated its 30th year in 2009. The Delta Sigma Theta Ithaca Alumnae Chapter Penalver Award, established in 1986 in honor of both Marjorie and Theodore Penalver, is a scholarship award presented each year to African American senior high school students who have demonstrated strong academic motivation and diligence combined with a contribution towards multi-culturalism.
Phyllis M. Seager, 105, died on May 16, 2022, at the Masonic Care Community under the care of the devoted staff of the Saranac Household.
Phyllis was born on January 18, 1917, in Syracuse to Nina (MacDonald) and William H. Mallory.
She graduated from Nottingham High School at age 16. Phyllis received a B.S. from Syracuse University School of Education and Business Management in 1938 and an M.S. in 1950. During college, she received an honorary membership in Phi Kappa Phi for academics and activities. All four years, she sang in the Hendricks Chapel Choir and continued to sing in other choirs throughout her life.
From 1946-1968, she taught business subjects and driver education at Ithaca High School. From 1968 – 1972, as Assistant Professor of Secretarial Science, she set up the Secretarial Science Department at the newly established Tompkins County Community College.
After retiring from teaching, Phyllis joined New Horizons for the Handicapped as Coordinator, where she worked to install ramps at public buildings, such as the newly constructed Herbert Johnson Art Museum at Cornell. Subsequently, she joined the Cornell University Council as Executive Assistant to the Director. Throughout her life, Phyllis enjoyed golfing, bowling, swimming, singing and traveling.
Survivors include a daughter, Carol Seager and her husband, Richard Loe, of New Hartford; a son, Robert Seager and his wife, Janet, of Edmonds, Washington; five grandchildren, Sara and Emma Loe, Jill, Kendal, and Robby Seager; three great-grandchildren, Edie, Miles, and Nathan; and two nieces, Jane Park and Margaret Wenge. Phyllis was predeceased by her brother, John Mallory; two former husbands, George Seager and Nader Maroun; and her long-time traveling companion, Richard Dower.
In keeping with Phyllis' wishes as a secular humanist, there was no public ceremony. Interment in Onondaga Valley Cemetery, near her mother and father, was attended by family. Please consider any memorial contributions to The Southern Poverty Law Center, Montgomery, AL and Doctors Without Borders. Messages of sympathy may be left at Friedel, Williams & Edmunds atwww.fwefh.com.