Louis J. Bobnick

1926 - 2021

COOPERSTOWN – Louis John Bobnick, a retired truck driver for Otsego Ready Mix and long-time area resident, passed away peacefully late Wednesday night, July 14, 2021, at Valley Health Services in Herkimer. He was 95.

Born March 8, 1926, in Chesterland, Ohio, he was one of six children of Louis W. and Mary (Geizer) Bobnick. In 1932, the family moved from Ohio to New York State and settled in Worcester. They then moved to Milford in 1941 and Lou graduated from Milford Central School. 

In 1964, Lou came to reside in Cooperstown and met long-time resident Diane J. Slover, and on November 26, 1965, they were married in a ceremony at the First Baptist Church of Cooperstown. They first lived on Elm Street in the village, and then for 40 years made their home and raised their family just outside of Toddsville. 

Lou worked as a truck driver for many years, first for Lester Hanson and his brother, Christian, who owned and operated Gahanunda Farms in Pierstown. He then went to work for Otsego Ready Mix in Oneonta, driving trucks for them for 30 years until his retirement. 

Lou always cherished his time with family, extended family and friends. He and Diane especially loved to travel the countryside, either by motorcycle or car. After his retirement in 2002, he and Diane, along with his sister, Rose Mary, took a cross country trip to the West Coast to visit his three other sisters. At the time, Irene lived in Washington State, while Helen and Mary Jane lived in the Los Angeles area. After Diane’s passing, he and John, and when Michael was visiting, would continue the car rides around the area during the late Spring, Summer and early Fall, as Lou did not like the cold weather and hibernated during the winter months. As Lou loved blueberries, Dan would take him to Ingalls Blueberry Hill to pick some once they were in season. 

Regrettably, the COVID-19 restrictions on face-to-face visitations put in place by the State of New York and area nursing homes contributed greatly to Lou’s recent decline in health, both mentally and physically. At least in his final days he was able to have visits with his family and most especially, his beloved dog, Molly. 

Lou is survived by three sons, Michael Bobnick of Amsterdam, Daniel Bobnick of Laurens and John Bobnick of Toddsville; two sisters, Irene Barr of Keystone, Heights, Florida and Helen Polanis of Buena Park, California; and many nieces and nephews. He is further survived by his faithful canine companion, Molly, who could often be seen clutched in Lou’s arm as they took their daily drive into town for the newspaper and some grocery shopping. 

He was predeceased by his loving wife of 50 years, Diane S. Bobnick, who died December 2, 2015, as well as two sisters, Rose Mary Stringer who died October 15, 2015, and Mary Jane Chapman who died December 29, 2016, and a brother who died in infancy. 

Friends may call to pay their respects to Lou's family from 4-6 p.m. Monday, August 2, 2021, at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown. The visitation will be followed by a service at 6 p.m. 

The Service of Committal and Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Tuesday, August 3, 2021, at the Hartwick Seminary Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Fly Creek Emergency Squad, PO Box 218, Fly Creek, NY 13337.

Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown. 

If you would like to send condolences to the family, send an email to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth. We will forward your comments to the family. If you would like to send flowers in memory of the deceased, contact Mohican Flowers at (607) 547-8822, or A Rose is a Rose at (607) 264-3100.

Jill Stauffer Maney

1964 - 2021 

SPRINGFIELD – Jill Maney passed away on Saturday, July 10 in Springfield, with Jonathan Maney, her loving husband of 33 years, at her side. She is also survived by her parents, James and Dora Stauffer, her brother, Donald Stauffer, sister-in-law, Fiona Stauffer, and nephew and niece, Henry and Margot Stauffer, all of Rochester, New York. 

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Jill graduated from Amherst College summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. She earned a Master's Degree in English at the University of Utah and a Ph.D. In English at the University of Rochester. She taught at a variety of schools, including Keuka College, Finger Lakes Community College, and SUNY Cobleskill. She also received a postdoctoral fellowship to teach at Cornell University. 

In addition to her educational achievements, Jill was an avid textile historian and collector. In 2004 she came to Cherry Valley to work as business manager for Rabbit Goody at Thistle Hill Weavers. She then accepted a position as Individual Giving Manager & Development Writer at Friends of Bassett Healthcare Network, Cooperstown. Her most recent position was Director of Development at Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, New York. She loved each of these jobs and the wonderful people she met through them. 

Her community work included serving as vice-president of the Glimmerglass Opera Guild and volunteering at Hyde Hall's numerous events and galas. 

Known for her exceptional intelligence, poise, and grace, Jill will be sorely missed by her many friends in the worlds of art, antiques, fundraising, and historic textiles. She was also an accomplished poet with many publications and recently completed a biography of Mercy Otis Warren, an American Revolutionary War period playwright, poet, and historian. In addition, Jill at various times in her life was a dedicated runner, skater, and ballerina. A person of many parts, she will be remembered as someone whose kindness was apparent to all. 

Gifts in her memory may be given to Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute, Friends of Bassett Healthcare Network, and/or Hyde Hall, Inc. A memorial celebration of Jill's life will be announced at the convenience of her family. 

Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown. 

If you would like to send condolences to the family, send an email to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth. We will forward your comments to the family. If you would like to send flowers in memory of the deceased, contact Mohican Flowers at (607) 547-8822, or A Rose is a Rose at (607) 264-3100.

John D. Robinson

1937 - 2021

PHOENIX MILLS – John D. Robinson, a Cooperstown native son and avid outdoorsman, passed away late Sunday night, July 4, 2021, at Cooperstown Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing. He was 83.

Born October 15, 1937, in Cooperstown, he was one of three sons of Torrey G. and Leonore M. (Goddard) Robinson. John could trace his long-standing family roots in Otsego County back to 1792 when his ancestors settled in Lena in the Town of New Lisbon. 

John graduated with the Class of 1956 from Cooperstown High School. For many years he was employed in the area as a union laborer, and was involved with construction projects at Hyde Hall, Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital and Interstate 88. 

Throughout his life he enjoyed outdoor activities, and spent innumerable hours exploring the Otsego region swimming, hiking, fishing, trapping, and hunting. He was also an avid motorcyclist – his favorites were Indians – and also enjoyed riding snowmobiles in the winter months. His hand-crafted log cabin home on the shore of the Susquehanna River, his workmanship in stone masonry at Hyde Hall and his keen interest in local history reflected his deep and abiding passion for local culture and conservation. 

A regular participant at walks offered by Otsego Land Trust, he became aware of their mission to protect natural areas, working farms and forests, and historic sites while exploring some of the special lands they have secured. Because of a timely lead from John, Otsego Land Trust was able to make its first land purchase of a 3-acre parcel of wetlands along the Susquehanna River. As a result of this contribution which became the Compton Bridge Conservation Area, Otsego Land Trust presented him with their inaugural “Trailblazer Award” for enabling them to reach this important milestone.

Throughout his life, John was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown, where he served as a Trustee and later as a member of the Buildings and Grounds Ministry Team. He also enjoyed volunteering at the Cooperstown Food Pantry. 

John is survived by his son, John D. Robinson, Jr. and wife, Kathleen of the Town of Decatur; grandchildren Leigh Ann Gilbert and husband, Phil, Jonathan Robinson, Marsha Shoemaker and husband, Jason, and Bobbijo Perry; several great grandchildren; and his loving partner, Donna Shaver of Laurens, who stood by his side to the end. 

He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Bruce E. and George F. Robinson. 

The family will receive friends from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, July 10, 2021, at The First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown.

At the conclusion of the visitation, a Service in Celebration of the Life of John D. Robinson, will be offered at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 10, 2021, at the First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown, with the Rev. Faith E. Gay, pastor, presiding. Interment will be private at the Fly Creek Valley Cemetery in Fly Creek. 

For those who so desire, donations in memory of John may be made to the organization that was closest to his heart and always inspired him, the Otsego Land Trust, PO Box 173, Cooperstown, NY 13326.

Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown. 

Dr. Balázs Seléndy

1937 - 2021

Dr. Balázs Seléndy, born in Budapest, Hungary, to Jenö Seléndy and Irén Kosma on September 5, 1937, passed away peacefully in his home on July 5, 2021, after an intense and devoted life of public service and study in three countries. He spent his last years in the pursuit of lifelong passions, including for reflection, writing, reading, karate, and photography, living quietly with his beloved Patricia Gambitta in Fly Creek, New York. 

Balázs grew up in war-torn Hungary, spending his childhood in the midst of the deprivations of World War II. With Calvinist and Catholic parents but a Jewish paternal grandfather, his family stayed beyond reach of the Nazis due in part to his father’s military service to the Austro-Hungarian empire during WWI. 

In October and November 1956, as a young medical student, Balázs fought in the spontaneous, student-led revolution against the Soviet-backed Hungarian People’s Republic. After a large Soviet force invaded Hungary and destroyed the uprising, rounding up revolutionaries, Balázs was forced to leave his family, including younger brother Szabolcs, and to emigrate with other Hungarian refugees under cover of darkness across the border to Austria. His father gave him a treasured Leica camera to pay for his crossing, but, after Balázs helped a fellow refugee escape, she paid for him, and he photographed with the Leica for decades.

After being resettled from Austria to Belgium, Balázs learned French in a matter of months, and earned admission into medical school at the prestigious Université Catholique de Louvain, where he trained as an obstetrician/gynecologist. At the same time, he built upon a childhood love of American literature by learning English. Toward the end of his studies, he fell in love and, in 1963, married Francoise Jadot, who died tragically of lymphoma within the following year.

In July of 1964, Dr. Seléndy emigrated to the United States. After an internship in Philadelphia, he became a resident at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. There he met medical researcher Janine Irvine, who became his wife for six years, and with whom he had children Philippe (1966) and Bela (1968). 

During the Vietnam War, from 1968-1970, Dr. Seléndy served as a medical officer for the U.S. Army with the rank of major. He became an American citizen in 1970.

That year, Dr. Seléndy took up his post as an Ob/Gyn at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital, a teaching hospital affiliated with Columbia University. In addition to delivering thousands of children and developing a speciality in micro-surgery, Dr. Seléndy became a champion of the midwife program. In 1978, Balázs married Mildred Mook, with whom he had Maude (1980) and raised his stepson Zachary.

Dr. Seléndy served at Bassett for nearly 40 years, long past retirement age, out of love for the profession, for teaching, and for his community.

A lifelong and gifted critical thinker, Balázs was a voracious reader in every subject matter, particularly in literature, science, history and philosophy. He wrote volumes of poetry in three languages, labored over poignant English translations of Miklós Radnóti, and published books of verse in Hungarian. He also was a passionate and skilled photographer and carpenter.

In 2002, Balázs met his long-term partner and closest friend, the fiercely independent Pat Gambitta, then the Director of Community Services for Otsego County.

At the age of 65, Balázs first took up motorcycling, with delight. Seven years later, he was struck broadside by a car at 60 mph. After his bike flew into the air and spun around three times, he was able to walk away from the accident with broken ribs and minor injuries. From then on, he marked the date of the accident each year as a sign of gratitude for the additional life he was given.

Dr. Seléndy practiced karate for decades, and became a senior black belt under Hidy Ochiai, ultimately wearing an oxygen tank during kata as he struggled with late-stage emphysema. He attended classes at the dojo through 2019, at the age of 82, and then continued his practice at home until his recent illness. 

Balázs treated everyone equally, with kindness and generosity, and befriended people from all walks of life, including from the medical profession, the dojo, and his literary, photography, and motorcycle circles, and he loved his upstate New York community for more than fifty years.

Balázs is survived by loving children and grandchildren: Philippe and his wife Jennifer, and their children Maximilian and Liam; Bela and his wife Helen, and children Nicolas and Linnea; Maude and her husband Terry, and their children Luke and Leilani; Zachary and his wife Carmen, and children Karina and Avery.

A memorial service to celebrate Balázs’ extraordinary life will be held in the spring of 2022 in Fly Creek.

If you would like to send condolences to the family, send an email to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth. We will forward your comments to the family. If you would like to send flowers in memory of the deceased, contact Mohican Flowers at (607) 547-8822, or A Rose is a Rose at (607) 264-3100.

Barbara R. Oles

1926 - 2021

COOPERSTOWN – Barbara R. Oles, 95, formerly of Gladstone Hollow, Andes, died Saturday June 19, 2021, in Cooperstown, surrounded by her daughters. 

Barb was born April 23, 1926 at the family home in Franklin, Meadowdale Farm, a daughter of Edwin C. and Mildred E. (Payne) Rowell. On April 6, 1947, she married Franklin G. Oles of Delhi.

Barb attended the Delaware Literary Institute in Franklin where she excelled in art, graduating in 1944. She was accepted into the art program at Alfred, but shortly before classes were to begin a returning WWII soldier was awarded her spot. She then elected to attend the home economics program at Delhi Tech.

Barb and Frank owned and operated the F.G. Oles IGA Store (later the F.G. Oles General Store) in Andes for 20 years, with Barb tending to the bookwork and clerking. In 1966 she began a career with the Delaware County Department of Social Services, in addition to continuing her commitments to family, home and the store. She successfully completed every civil service test that was available and rose through the ranks from typist in the Child Welfare Unit to Director of the Food Stamp Division at the time of her retirement in 1988. She then began yet another career as a receptionist/transcriptionist in the Radiology Department at Delhi Hospital.

Barb was an avid reader and a master of crossword puzzles, using pen not pencil. Everyone knew not to call her during “Jeopardy,” and if you were watching with her, she was always quicker with the answer. Upon her retirement she enjoyed meeting up with the Andes ladies daily at the local café for camaraderie, laughter and news. She moved to Cooperstown in 2009 and was quickly welcomed into “The Dinner Belles” who dined every Wednesday night at The Otesaga. In the last several years Barb was able to resume her interest and talent in art and enjoyed local concerts. 

Above all else, Barb loved her family. She loved hearing about their adventures and was endlessly proud of their accomplishments. Chats and visits always brought smiles and laughter. Moments big and small at the family gatherings in Andes are memories her loved ones will carry with them forever.

Barb was a former member and trustee of the Andes Presbyterian Church and a former member of the Order of the Eastern Star.

She is survived by her three daughters: Kathy (Doug) Woodin of Andes, Susan (Andy) Lazar of Plains PA, and Debbie (Jim) Dow of Cooperstown; 7 grandchildren: Matt and Jared “Boomer” Woodin, Valerie (Casey) Roache, Andrew and Shelly Lazar, Neil (Jaime) and Brian Dow; 11 great grandchildren: Kiera, Skyler and Owen Woodin, Olivia and Ellie Roache, and Mitchell, Baylie, Alivia, Brianna, Kendra and Cooper Dow. Barb is also survived by her sister, Marilyn Monaco of Tampa, FL; a sister-in-law, Anita Rowell, of Kingston, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

She was predeceased by her husband, Frank, in June 2005; a daughter, Jenny in May 1966; brothers Edwin C. and James A. Rowell; and a sister, Audrey Geiselman.

A committal and burial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, July 23, 2021, in the Woodland Cemetery in Delhi. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Andes Presbyterian Church, PO Box 299, Andes, NY 13731.

Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.

If you would like to send condolences to the family, send an email to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth. We will forward your comments to the family. If you would like to send flowers in memory of the deceased, contact Mohican Flowers at (607) 547-8822, or A Rose is a Rose at (607) 264-3100.