BACKS, Travis Ronald, 28, of Seneca Falls, passed away Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. Calling hours are 4 to 7 p.m. this Friday at Pettigrass Funeral Home, 196 Genesee St., Auburn. Services at 11 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, contributions to either Alzheimer's Association or Seneca Falls Nursing Home.
AUBURN — Frank M. Emmi, 96, the husband of Anita Cristello Emmi, of Auburn, died Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in The Commons on St. Anthony.
Born in Auburn, Frank was a veteran of World War II, having served with the United States Army Air Force from 1942 to 1945. Frank was a gun armorer specialist on P-38, P-47, and P-51 aircraft all in 30 and 50 caliber as well as 20 mm weaponry. He also handled the synchronization of the gun camera to the guns recording aerial victories for the pilots. He served with the vaunted 39th fighter squadron of the 35th fighter group of the 5th Air Force. With this well-traveled historic fighter squadron, Frank saw action in New Guinea, Netherlands, Bismarck Archipelago, Luzon, Northern Solomons, Western Pacific, East Indies, Philippines, and Okinawa. Frank retired after more than 34 years at Buckeye Pipe Line Co. and enjoyed gardening and operating Frank’s Nursery on Canoga Road.
Within the past month, Frank and his wife, Anita, lost their precious son, Frank to cancer. He passed away Jan. 2, 2020, in Huntington, N.Y., and was mourned deeply.
In addition to his wife, Anita, Frank is survived by his treasured son’s wife, Janet Emmi, of Long Island; brother, James Emmi, of Syracuse; three sisters, Rose Mailloux, of Auburn, Nancy Avery, of Ithaca, and Rita Canas, of Connecticut; sister-in-law, Lorraine Emmi, of Auburn; granddaughters, Leeann, Sarah, and Elizabeth Emmi, all of Long Island; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Louis and Filomena Spinelli Emmi, and his son, Frank was predeceased by five brothers, Tony, Sam, Mike, Steve, and Alfred Emmi; and two sisters, Mary Emmi and Josephine Kuczek.
Friends are invited to join the family for a Mass of Christian burial to be offered at 11 a.m. Thursday in St. Francis Church. Burial with full military honors will follow in St. Joseph’s Cemetery. Calling honors will be conducted from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at the Cheche Funeral Home Inc., 1778 Clark St. Road, Auburn.
THROOP — Kenneth Paul Hahn, 68, son of the late Paul L. and Ellen “Janie” Hahn passed away peacefully in his sleep at home in Throop.
Kenny was loved deeply by those who were close to him and he showered those he loved with gifts and good deeds. He was an exceptional artist, author, musician, and photographer. He loved to read and had a brilliant mind. Kenny graduated from Port Byron Central School in 1970.
He is survived by his brother, Paul L. Hahn and his wife, Wendy, of Shelton, Conn.; nephew, Timothy James Hahn and his wife, Tereze, of Seattle, Wash.; niece, Karissa Hahn and her boyfriend, Andrew, of Los Angeles, Calif.; several cousins, aunts, and uncles.
In addition to his parents, Kenneth was predeceased by his brother, Steven Lester Hahn.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, at Brew Funeral Home, 48 South St., Auburn.
WEEDSPORT — Sharon L. “Shooma” Dodier, 78, of Weedsport, passed peacefully at Matthew House on Feb. 8, 2020, with her family by her side.
Mrs. Dodier was born in Copenhagen, N.Y., on March 18, 1941, to the late James and Evelyn Lee Wilson. She was a 1959 graduate of Copenhagen Central School. Sharon was previously employed by the Town of Elbridge and retired from the Town of Brutus as clerk to the assessor and court clerk. She was an avid Redskins football fan, and absolutely loved the 30 plus years she spent camping at River Forest Campgrounds in Weedsport. Camping gave her great joy and peace; she made many friendships there over the years, and of course had her Redskins flag flying at her campsite.
Sharon is survived by her sister, Cindy (George) Myers, of Weedsport; her nephews, Michael (Tammy) Harris, of Cedar Falls, Iowa, and Brian (Guadalupe) Dodier Harris, of Gloucester, Va.; her brother, James (Vivian) Wilson, of Elbridge; sister-in-law, Cindy Wilson, of Camillus; along with several special nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents, Sharon was predeceased by her husband, Gaston (Gus) Dodier; her longtime companion, Richard (Dick) White; her siblings, Kay Hosmer, Lee Wilson, Patricia Heath, and Stephen Wilson.
Calling hours will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. (today) Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020, in the Sennett Federated Church, 7777 Weedsport-Sennett Road, Auburn, with a funeral service to immediately follow at 6 p.m. Burial will take place in the spring in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in Elbridge.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Sharon’s name may be made to Hospice of the Finger Lakes, Matthew House, or the Sennett Federated Church.
Arrangements are with White Chapel Funeral Home, Weedsport.
LAGRANGE, Ga. — Mr. Leon Lewis Porter Sr., 77, of LaGrange, Ga., passed away Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at River Towne Care and Rehabilitation.
Mr. Porter was born Aug. 14, 1942 in Auburn, N.Y., to the late Louis Leon Porter and Mary Elizabeth Stall Porter. He worked for Winn Dixie until his retirement. Mr. Porter loved to travel, and was always ready to go at a moment’s notice. He enjoyed walking and going to dirt track races.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by siblings, Frances Porter, John Porter, and Terry Deyo.
Survivors include his daughters, Brenda Porter and Sherry (Robert) Gilman; sons, Leon Porter Jr., Michael Porter (Rebecca Swartz), and Mark (Pauline) Porter; brother, Frank (Lois) Porter; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren; other relatives and friends.
A memorial service will be held in Auburn, N.Y., at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to St. Jude’s in memory of Leon L. Porter Sr.
Those wishing to share a condolence or remembrance with the family may do so by visiting www.shlagrange.com.
Arrangements are by Striffler-Hamby Mortuary, 1010 Mooty Bridge Road, LaGrange, GA.
MCCALL, John A., 93, of Auburn, died Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. Service at 1:30 p.m. (today) Sunday, Feb. 9, at the Cheche Funeral Home Inc., 1778 Clark St. Road, Auburn. Calling hours from noon to 1:30 p.m., prior to the service.
DODIER, Sharon L. "Shooma", 78 of Weedsport, passed away on Feb. 8, 2020. Calling hours will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, in the Sennett Federated Church, 7777 Weedsport-Sennett Road, Auburn, with a funeral service to immediately follow at 6 p.m. Burial will take place in the spring at Mt. Pleasant cemetery in Elbridge.
AUBURN — John A. McCall, 93, the husband of the late Gladys Freeman McCall, of Auburn, died Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in Auburn Community Hospital.
A native of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., John lived most his life in the Auburn area and retired from McQuay. He was a jack of all trades and could do any mechanical, auto, home or electrical repair. John had a zest for life and a tremendous sense of humor, telling riddles and humorous anecdotes. He enjoyed following the New York Yankees, sharing his own unique sayings, and loved the time spent with all of his grandchildren.
He is survived by one daughter, Janice Regis (Frank Walters), of Auburn; and one son, John Jr., of South Carolina.
In addition to “his Gladys,” John was predeceased by two sons, Neal McCall and Guy McCall; and one daughter, Tina Currier.
Friends are invited to join the family for a service to be offered at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, at the Cheche Funeral Home Inc., 1778 Clark St. Road, Auburn. Calling hours will be conducted from noon to 1:30 p.m., prior to the service.
MELBOURNE, Fla. — Leroy L. Compson, 97, of Melbourne, Fla., and formerly of Weedsport, N.Y., passed away peacefully on Jan. 30, 2020, at the Vitas Inpatient Hospice Center in Rockledge, Fla.
Leroy was born in Lyons, N.Y., the son of Leroy and Ella Compson and upon graduation from Lyons High School in 1943, enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He was a tail gunner/armorer assigned to the 717th squadron of the 449th Bomb Group (Heavy). He was a member of the initial cadre of B24 bombers sent to Grottaglie, Italy in late 1943. He flew 50 combat missions over Europe that included bailing out over then Yugoslavia and avoiding capture with the help of the local Yugoslavian partisans. After 15 days hiking through the countryside with the partisans he was able to return to allied lines and eventually return to Grottaglie and complete the remainder of his missions. He was awarded the European-African-Middle Eastern Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Distinguished Unit Medal, and the Air Medal with six oak leaf clusters. In 2016 he was awarded the French Legion of Honor Medal by the French Republic in a ceremony in central Florida for his service in World War II. Upon his discharge from active duty, Leroy enrolled in watch making school at Morrisville College graduating with an associate’s degree in Horology.
On Feb. 25, 1948 he married Agnes F. Hicks from Bennington, Vt., a nursing student at Syracuse University. They were married in Hendricks Chapel at Syracuse University. Leroy and Agnes settled in Weedsport, N.Y. where they owned and operated L.L. Compson Jewelry and Gift Store for more than 25 years. After closing their store, Leroy worked for the Roth Jewelry Co. in Syracuse as a watchmaker and in retirement as an independent watchmaker. Leroy and Agnes enjoyed many years of traveling with their Airstream trailer and friends in their Airstream club. Upon retirement and after being snowbirds for several years they eventually moved to Melbourne, Fla. Leroy was a 73-year member of the Masonic Lodge in Weedsport and attended the Melbourne Masonic Lodge when in Florida. He was Past-President of the New York State Watchmakers Association. He was also active in the Cayuga County Boy Scouts of America, First Presbyterian Church in Weedsport, Presbyterian Church of the Good Shepherd in Melbourne, Wally Byam Airstream Club of Central NY, 449th Bomb Group Association, and the Salvation Army of Melbourne.
Leroy is survived by his wife of 71 years, Agnes, of Melbourne, Fla.; his son, Loren and wife, Joyce (Shepherd), of Queensbury, N.Y.; grandchildren, Keith (Rebecca) Compson, of Cary, N.C., Christopher (Rebecca) Compson, of Pittsford, N.Y., and Maria (Brian) Whitney, of Glens Falls, N.Y.; six great-grandchildren; and dear friends, Rev. Sandy Hill and her husband, Bob, of Merritt Island, Fla.
Leroy’s family would like to express their gratitude to Vitas Hospice for their compassionate care.
There will be no calling hours. A memorial service will be held in the Presbyterian Church of the Good Shepherd in Melbourne, Fla., in the future at the convenience of the family. Interment will be in the Memorial Garden at the Presbyterian Church of the Good Shepherd.
Memorial donations in Leroy’s memory may be made to Vitas Hospice Care, 4450 W. Eau Gallie Blvd., Melbourne, FL 32934 or the Presbyterian Church of the Good Shepherd, Florida Avenue, Melbourne, FL 32901.
Arrangements are by Ammen Family Cremation and Funeral Care, Melbourne, FL 321-724-2222. Condolences at afcfcare.com.
UNION SPRINGS — Eugene R. Heath, 84, of Union Springs, passed away at home surrounded by his family and friends on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020.
Mr. Heath was born in Auburn on Dec. 14, 1935, to the late Earl J. and Mary Etta Ramsey Heath. Eugene was a partner in Ward and Heath Tree Service for many years, and retired from Alco in 1993. After retiring, he went on to drive trucks for Dickman Farms. Gene was a Mason and a lifetime member of the Utopia Club. Mr. Heath enjoyed playing cards, gardening, and was an avid birdwatcher; he was even able to train the bluebirds. He had a love of all animals, over the years he took in more than 100 stray cats. Gene and his wife, Shirley, enjoyed going to the Fingerlakes Mall several times a week, and made many special friends there.
Eugene is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Shirley Schryver Heath; children, Dawn (Larry) Whitcomb, Douglas Heath, Edward Heath, and Terri (Paul) Antoniewicz; grandchildren, Nichole (Joe) Wager, Jennifer (TJ) Johnson, Alicia Conboy, Debra (Craig) Williams, Nathan (Jeanette) Whitcomb, Timothy (Anne Marie) Whitcomb, Philip (Caitlin) Whitcomb, Joel Whitcomb, Andrea Antoniewicz, and Jade Hotchkiss; great-grandchildren, Finn and Cooper Wager, Sydney and Donovan Johnson, Ariana Heath, Caitlin and Nathan Conboy, Zyair and Moneia Reid-Yancey, Brandon Whitcomb, Andrew and Kyle Rothenburg; sister-in-law, Sally Heath; several nieces and nephews; and a special friend, Tina Potter and family.
In addition to his parents, Gene was predeceased by his siblings, Earl, Stanley, Donald, John, Virginia, Genevieve, and Ina (James); and granddaughter, Erin Michelle Whitcomb.
The Heath family would like to thank Erica, Jolene, and Denise from Lifetime Care and the Hospice team for the wonderful, compassionate care they provided to Gene.
A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at White Chapel Funeral Home, 197 South St., Auburn, with Howard Haines officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the SPCA, St. Jude Children’s Hospital or the Shriners Hospital for Children.
AUBURN — Anna Louise Fiacco Murray, 94, of The Commons on St. Anthony, Auburn, passed away peacefully on Feb. 4, 2020.
Anna was born in Massena, N.Y., to Henry and Vernida Fiacco. She married Cecil W. Murray in her early 20s and had five boys. She enjoyed giving to people while working at Mercy Hospital for well over 30 years. She liked to crochet, play bingo, and spend time with her family. Anna was very active in the VFW Ladies Auxiliary. She was passionate about supporting the United States military as her husband, children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren have served in the armed forces. Anna was a very giving and caring soul. She was regarded as the kind of lady that would give you everything she had if it would make you happy. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were her pride and joy.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Franklin in World War II; brother, Carl; her two sisters, Noreen and Rose; also her husband, Cecil, in 1988.
Anna is survived by her sons, William (Wanda), of Tennessee, Kim (Debi), of South Carolina, Joseph (Darlene), of Wisconsin, Todd, of New York, and Jay (Delores), of New York; grandchildren, Kip (Stephanie), Bill Jr. (Ross), Justin, Ray, Verneda, Christopher (Heather), Brittany (Reece), Brian (Ashley), Mark, Matthew, and Jeremy; and 11 great-grandchildren.
Calling hours will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, at Farrell’s Funeral Service, Inc., 84 South St., Auburn. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in St. Alphonsus Church, on Genesee Street, Auburn. Interment will follow the funeral Mass in St. Joseph’s Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, Anna’s wishes were for donations to be made to Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund of CNY at findacurecny.org. Anna was a three time cancer survivor.
ROCHESTER, NY — “Powerhouse” Beverly Ann Powers Navarro, age 89, of Brighton, NY, Honeoye Falls, NY, Auburn, NY, and Carthage, NY, went to be with her Lord on Jan. 30, 2020.
She was predeceased by her parents, Joseph and Theadosha (Koscelny) Powers (Pasneski), and her only sister, Marie (Gerald) Haefner.
She is survived by her indomitable six children, Jeanine Navarro Richardson, of Honeoye Falls, NY, Carol (Daniel) Adams, of Burnet, Texas, Noelle (Sharon Vuono) Navarro, of Columbia, Md., Kathryn Navarro, of Gates, NY, Daniel (Marie) Navarro, of Kansas City, Mo., and Diane (Steve Gates) Navarro, of Chili, NY; 12 amazing grandchildren, Joseph Richardson, of Auburn, NY, Thomas Solich, of Haiku, Hawaii, and Ryan (Julie) Solich, of Albuquerque, N.M., Moses Cohen, of Salisbury, Md., and James Cohen, of Merritt Island, Fla., Nate, Daniel, Kristie, and David DeHond, of Rochester, NY, Lina, Siena, and Jenna Navarro, of Kansas City, Mo.; and two delightful great-grandchildren, Joseph Navarro Richardson and Jaina DeHond; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and loved ones.
She graduated with honors in 1949 from Nazareth Academy, Rochester, NY. She received a musical scholarship from the Eastman School of Music, and studied there from 1944 to 1948. Her father declined her Eastman scholarship, as he said she “needed a husband not a musician.” Later she took summer classes while her kids spent their summers at Camp Mohawk with their father. She received acclaim for her pianist abilities, playing concerts first in Eastman’s Kilbourn Hall and then in various venues in upstate New York.
While in high school, she was encouraged to become a nun, but after six months in the St. Joseph’s convent, she withdrew to attend SUNY Brockport. There she received her BA in general education from teachers college 1954. At Brockport she met and married Dan Navarro (divorced 1975; he died October 2016), who was a PE major. They moved to Carthage, NY to start their teaching career. All six children were born while the family resided in Carthage. She taught (1963-1971) music, math, art and general education at all levels in Carthage; where she directed for many years the high school plays.
She has earned her master’s degree certification in music (1977), kindergarten (1954), elementary grades 1-6 Ed (1954), math grades 7-12 (1970), and public administration, from classes taken at Eastman School of Music, Syracuse University, SUNY at Potsdam, and SUNY at Brockport.
She loved playing bridge, and was president of the bridge club in Carthage, for several years. An interesting fact, was the first JRECK Sub bus, (named after teachers, Jerry, Ron, Ellie, Carl, and Keith), was refurbished on their farm and placed near the Fort Drum Army base. That bus started the JRECK Corporation that still exists today!
The Navarro’s relocated to Auburn in 1970. Beverly finally retired 1992 from teaching music at Herman Elementary, Auburn. She was thrilled to have, as her end of life, visiting doctor, Dr. Brenda (Bove) Baratta. Dr. Baratta was one of her Seward Middle School math students, of whom she clearly remembered having a 102% average!
She taught piano, played piano, at the Springside Inn (Auburn) and the Sherwood Inn (Skaneateles) for many years, and was involved in the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse (Auburn).
She often held three to five jobs consistently, to support her children’s avid athletic endeavors. Seeing her six kids participate in sports, (often at the same time-different sports), was one of her greatest joys. She set the bar for her forerunner children, as the first female life guard at Charlotte Beach, Rochester, NY. All six of her children were Auburn High athletic letter winners and several received athletic scholarships.
Beverly taught thousands of people throughout her lifetime how to sing, play piano, bridge, math, and especially, till her last breaths, grammar! She was a certified master’s level bridge player. She loved to entertain her family, and daily played at dinner time for her neighbors at The Gables of Brighton.
She received a personal voice, violin, and piano concert, by the precious Lee family, a day before her death. Her final days were filled with many cherished ones coming to her bedside speaking words of appreciation and love.
Finally, most importantly, was her faith in God, from which all of her children founded their variations of beliefs. She has finished her race. “Well done good and faithful servant.” (Matt 25:23)
The burial service will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, 2020, in Whitehaven Memorial Park Chapel, 210 Marsh Road, Pittsford, NY.
Following the burial, at 5 p.m., there will be a “Celebration of Life” service at Henrietta Christian Fellowship, 1085 Middle Road, Rush, NY 14543, with a pot luck meal to follow.
LIVERPOOL — Ann Marie “Mimi” Netti, 74, of Liverpool, passed away Feb. 2, 2020.
Ann was born in Auburn, N.Y., to the late William and Helen (Grega) Netti. She worked at Well Point National Government Services for many years until her retirement. Throughout her life she enjoyed spending time with her family and many close friends. Ann was an avid sports fan who loved to attend and watch her hometown favorite Syracuse Orange. She was also a big New York Giants fan. Ann traveled often with her friends, and thoroughly enjoyed making lasting memories with them.
Ann was preceded in death by her parents; her only sister, Carol Walker; and her lifelong friend, Sherry Mooney.
Ann is survived by her niece, Rebecca (Tim) Leonardo; nephew, Bruce (Alison) Walker; great-nephews, Grayden and Reid; and great-nieces, Samantha, Kylie, and Adelyn.
Family and friends may call from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, in St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, 30 Cross St., Auburn, NY 13021. Ann’s funeral service will begin immediately following the calling hours.
AURELIUS — Robert Colbert, 84, the husband of the late Carol Pratt Colbert, of Turnpike Road, Aurelius, died Friday, Jan. 31, 2020, at his home.
Bob was born in Auburn on Oct. 27, 1935, to the late William and Dorothy (Taylor) Colbert. He graduated from Union Springs High School, class of 1953, and was a U.S. Army veteran having served from 1955 to 1957 in Rapid City, S.D. Following his service he worked as a carpenter, and also built his family home. He then was employed as a New York State corrections officer, retiring after 35 years. Bob enjoyed his coffee time at the West End McDonalds, listening to country music, camping, watching old westerns and loved John Wayne. He even had an extensive movie collection and knowledge he loved to share. Most importantly, Bob was always willing to help out anyone in need.
He is survived by his children, Colleen (Rick) Saxton, Robin (Eddie) DeVellis, Scott (Lorie) Colbert, Melody (Mark) Vanacore, Penny (David) Colbert-Medina, and Jennifer Colbert; grandchildren, Eric (Sara) Saxton, Andrea (Al) Saxton-Woodard, Joey DeVellis, Amanda Colbert (Bryan), Jason (Carly) Colbert, Ben (Amanda) Vanacore, Samantha Vanacore and Roothland, Carla and Sophia Medina, and Kailee Greene; great-grandchildren, Natalee and Noah Woodard, Olivia, Charlotte, and Reed Robert Buck, Finn Robert Saxton, and Evalynn Vanacore; brother, Terry (Trudy) Colbert; and sisters-in-law, Marylou (Monte) Courter and Betsy (Bob) Lamphere.
In addition to his parents, and Carol, his wife of 59 years, Bob was predeceased by his siblings, Gary Colbert and Donna Passarello
Bob dearly loved his family and appreciated his caregivers, especially Lori, David, and Samantha for their dedication over the long haul.
Friends are invited to join the family for a service to be offered at 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, at the Cheche Funeral Home Inc., 1778 Clark St. Road, Auburn. Calling hours will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. prior to the service.
Contributions may be made in memory of Bob to the Aurelius or Cayuga Volunteer Fire Departments; the Cayuga Methodist Church Campership Fund; or to a charity of your choice.
COLBERT, Robert, 84, of Aurelius, died Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. Calling hours from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, with a service to follow at 4 p.m. at the Cheche Funeral Home Inc, 1778 Clark St. Road, Auburn.
HEATH, Eugene R., 84, of Union Springs, passed away on Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. Memorial service at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8, at White Chapel Funeral Home, 197 South St., Auburn. In lieu of flowers, donations to the SPCA, St. Jude Children's Hospital or the Shriners Hospital for Children.
CINCINNATI — Morag H. (nee Todd) Abbott, of Cincinnati, formerly of Auburn, N.Y., passed away Jan. 28, 2020, at the age of 80.
She was the beloved wife of 58 years to John Abbott; loving mother of Iain (Jenelle) Abbott; proud grandmother of Iain and Evan; dear sister of Carolyn (Paul) Costanzo and Patricia Purcel.
Mori earned her master’s degree from SUNY Cortland, and went on to work as an elementary school teacher in the Auburn, N.Y. school district for 28 years. After her retirement from teaching, she worked as an investigator for Cayuga County, NY Coroner’s Office and also for the FEMA D-Mort Region 3 after 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina. Lastly, she worked as a choir director and soloist at St. Luke and Trinity Methodist Church, both in Auburn, N.Y.
Donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.
AUBURN — Elizabeth (Lib) M. Perkins, age 104, previously of Moonshine Road, Aurora, N.Y., and Bluefield Manor, Auburn, passed away on Jan. 31, 2020, at Absolut Care Three Rivers in Painted Post, N.Y.
She was born on June 24, 1915 in Scipio Center, N.Y., the daughter of Louis and Cecelia (Golden) Murphy. She married Charles R. Perkins on April 30, 1942. He predeceased her on Aug. 16, 1997.
Lib attended school in Sherwood, N.Y., where she enjoyed playing basketball. She went on to study to be a dental assistant at New York University. Later, she maintained a lakefront cottage on Cayuga Lake, where water skiing was her passion. An avid china painter and water color painter throughout much of her life, she painted china lamps, clocks, and landscape portraits, which were available for sale at craft fairs throughout New York State. Many of these items are also found in the homes of friends and family members. Lib and Charlie operated a farm on W. Corey Road in King Ferry and for many years she was the bookkeeper for their Purina Store in Genoa, N.Y. A sports fan, she followed the New York Mets in baseball and the Duke University Blue Devils in basketball. However, she was not a fan of the Syracuse Orange. She eagerly wagered with her grandchildren on sporting events, and always made sure to collect her winnings even though she typically had bet on the favored teams. She would wager on tennis, bowling, and golf regularly. She organized an annual family golf tournament, the Grandmother’s Open, which she often somehow won.
Throughout her life, Lib maintained impressive flower and vegetable gardens, growing squash, tomatoes, lettuce, and cucumbers, which she used to make her famous “Lib’s Sweet Pickles.” A visit to Grandma’s was not complete without a trip to the pantry, where guests were gifted a Mason jar full of homemade pickles. Lib was a long-time member of the Altar Society at St. Hilary’s in Genoa, N.Y., played for many years in the women’s golf league at Wells College, bowled at the King Ferry bowling alley, was a member of the Heart of New York China Painters, and a 4-H leader for many neighboring girls, spending countless hours teaching them to sew, cook, and build lasting friendships. In addition to painting, farming, gardening, gambling, and mentoring, she knew which berries made good pies. How to bait a hook. Tricks to encourage timid kids to jump off of docks. How to tell a filthy joke. When to tell a filthy joke. How to make homemade crust. She could sew buttons on and mend clothes. She enjoyed card games.
Knew what rhubarb was. Wasn’t afraid of snakes. Could skip stones on the water. She baked cookies and made sure she was always stocked for visitors. Operated a riding lawnmower. Let grandchildren race her riding lawnmower. Recited the Rosary so intently, it made people sitting next to her feel guilty for not praying better. She could navigate all-you-can-eat buffets with or without a walker. Was good at game shows. Whittled slingshots. Taught grandkids to shoot bows and arrows. She was a sound hugger. She had a good laugh. Was a wealth of knowledge and was eager to pass it along. Years later, when a family member is asked “where did you learn that?” the response is often the same, “Grandma Lib taught me.”
In addition to her husband, Charles, Lib was predeceased by her parents; daughter, Marion (Frank) Canale; three brothers and three sisters.
Lib is survived by a sister, Mildred Hayes; two brothers, Harry Murphy and George (Ann) Murphy; sisters-in-law, Joan (Everett) Murphy and Helen (George) Perkins; daughter, Joanne (Jim) Methven, of Corning, N.Y.; grandchildren, Cherri (Dan) Major, Kim Scala (Andy Manigan), Terri (Bob) Doolittle, Karen (Joe) Battaglia, Kathy (Jim) Reynolds, Jeff (Amy) Methven, Jon (Alia) Methven, Julie (Jeff) Gray, and Megan Methven; great-grandchildren, Carolyn Doolittle, Jill Doolittle, Howie Reynolds, Sally Reynolds, Aubrie Methven, Ian Methven, Logan Methven, Jack Methven, Hank Methven, Aurora Gray, Noah Gray, and Micah Gray; many nieces, nephews, and Tessie, a beloved foreign-exchange student from the Philippines. Also, special friends, Dave Leonard, Marianne Littlejohn, Lucy Steger, Carol and Joe Moran, Karen Laird, Maggie Green, Jan Passmore, and Margie Miles. Special thanks to all of her friends at Bluefield Manor and the wonderful staff at Absolut Care Three Rivers.
Family and friends are invited to call from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, at Brew Funeral Home, 48 South St., Auburn. A funeral Mass will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020, in St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Aurora, N.Y., with the Rev. William Moorby officiating. Burial will be in St. Bernard’s Cemetery in Scipio Center, N.Y., at a later date to be determined by her family.
There will be a gathering at Dugan’s Country Grill, 3234 State Route 34B, Aurora, NY, for friends and family immediately following the ceremony.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing may make donations to Corning Meals on Wheels, 144 Cedar St., Corning, NY 14830.