Richard Clyde Butler

1939 - 2021

ST. PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – Richard C. “Dick” Butler, 82, of St. Petersburg, Florida, and native son of Cooperstown, passed away October 19, 2021. He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Anita Gettys Butler of St. Petersburg, Florida; son Brian Butler of Woburn, Massachusetts, daughter-in-law Siobhan and granddaughters Joanie and Sinead; daughter Wendy Macfarlane of Essex, Vermont, granddaughters Alexandra, Jill and Megan, and great-granddaughter Lucy; son Keith Butler of Honeoye Falls, daughter-in-law Jennifer and granddaughter Mairen; sister Susan Butler McCullough of Cazenovia, husband John; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was especially proud of his granddaughters and great-granddaughter. He was predeceased by his parents Clyde and Agnes Butler; sister Jean Butler Olin, brother-in-law Richard Olin; and former wife Gail Thomas Pillar.

Dick was born at MIB Hospital Cooperstown on May 11, 1939, and graduated from Cooperstown High School in 1956, where he lettered in basketball and baseball, and was active in many clubs and activities, including the Student Council. In 1956 he was awarded the CCS John Terry McGovern Sportsmanship Trophy. Upon graduation, he attended St. Lawrence University, and before finishing, enlisted in the US Army, where he served from 1959-1960 and 1961-1962. Upon discharge, he returned to St. Lawrence and received a BA degree in English in 1964. During this time, he married Gail Thomas, started a family, and went on to work for Key Bank in Albany, Honeywell in Needham Heights, Massachusetts, Mohawk Data Sciences in Herkimer, and Hewlett-Packard in Framingham, Massachusetts. In 1974, he returned to Cooperstown as a third-generation owner/operator of Butler Press. He loved the opportunity to carry on the family printing business, be his own boss, and for his children to call Cooperstown home.

He was very active in the Cooperstown community, and particularly proud of his service in the Cooperstown Fire Department, where he was Secretary and Foreman of Engine Company 2, and the Cooperstown Emergency Squad, where he responded to over 1,000 calls. He also served as president of the Chamber of Commerce and was president of the CCS Alumni Association. He and his family took advantage of all that Cooperstown had to offer, particularly Otsego Lake, where his Chris Craft ski boat was a fixture. He was a member of the First Baptist Church and American Legion Post 579.

In the mid 1980’s, Dick moved to Florida to pursue a warmer climate and a career in real estate. It was here that he would meet and fall in love with Anita Gettys, marry, and settle in St. Petersburg. He spent many years investing in and renovating homes, as well as providing mortgage brokerage services. Anita was his biggest supporter, and by his side when he passed.

Throughout his whole life, his true passion was flying. He first flew an airplane in the early 1960s, and eventually received his pilot’s license in the 1970’s, going on to receive an instrument rating and commercial license. In the late 2000’s, he achieved a life-long dream and purchased a Lake Amphibian airplane and enjoyed flying it off the waters in Florida.

He also loved to travel and see new places, and has been to every state except Hawaii, nine countries, the Bahamas and US Virgin Islands.

Dick had many dreams, many of which he realized, and others that eluded him. However, he always felt that his faith and family were all that really mattered. He was an eternal optimist and had a smile that put everyone at ease. Anyone who knew him could see this.

The family will hold a private burial service at Lakewood Cemetery, Cooperstown. Memorial gifts can be made to the Cooperstown Fire Department, PO Box 1, Cooperstown, NY 13326.

The Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown is assisting the Butler Family. 

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.

Inge Otten Roemer

1921 - 2021

Inge Otten Roemer, 100, a resident of Sand Hill, Otego, Fly Creek and Oneonta in Otsego County for 75 years, passed away Saturday night, October 16, 2021, at her home in Otego.

A native of Germany, Inge was born February 1, 1921, in Hamburg, a daughter of Ernest and Elizabeth (Bartels) Bondiek. When she was 2 ½ she and her parents moved from Germany to Fairview, New Jersey, to live with an uncle who paid their way to the States. One of her earliest memories was witnessing the opening of the George Washington Bridge in 1931. As a teenager she worked in the summer as kitchen help for a wealthy family, and also on a farm that had summer boarders. After graduation from Cliffside High School in 1938, she travelled to Germany to live with relatives still in the old country, as well as to begin her training as a school teacher, studying the methods of kindergarten founder Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel at the Froebel School in Hamburg. 

Her training was interrupted in August 1939, when the American Consulate sent a message to "leave immediately" because the German borders were closing at midnight. With the help of friends and strangers, Inge was able to take a ferry to Sweden, then drive through the night to Oslo, Norway. As her German Reichsmarks were suddenly worthless, it was only through the kindness of an American – who happened to live near where her parents were living in New Jersey – that she was able to book passage on the Norwegian  SS Bergensfjord. 

While on board she was able to spend time with the von Trapp family, who were also escaping the Nazi regime. Inge once recalled, “They would give concerts for us! We didn’t make that big a deal out of it. I didn’t know they were famous! They were just a nice, wealthy family, who was staying in a big cabin up front.”

A year after she returned to the US from Germany, Inge met and then married Martin Otten in 1941. The two of them worked successfully toward their dream of having a farm and a family, and in 1945 they bought a dairy farm on Sand Hill, Unadilla Township and moved there with their two children, Helga and Martin. Shortly thereafter daughters Bettie and Melanie were born, and over the next 20 years they raised their four children there. For the first several years they also had summer boarders. In 1955, with the support of her family, Inge was able to return to her studies. She was passionate about completing her education, and making sure her children would go to college as well. She received a bachelor's degree from SUNY Oneonta in 1959, and taught third and fourth grade at Mount Upton Elementary School for 22 years. Her four children all completed bachelor's degrees. In 1967 Inge and Martin moved from their farm to Otego. 

Travelling was part of Inge and Martin's lives. There were countless trips “across the pond” to visit Inge and Martin’s relatives and friends in Germany. In 1950 their children, Helga and Martin went along, and ten years later the younger two, Bettie and Melanie went. In the 1960s there were family trips to Florida during spring break, and after the children were grown, Inge and Martin drove down the eastern seaboard and out west to visit friends and relatives, particularly her sister, Maren in Utah. Inge and Martin flew numerous times to northern Germany to visit Helga and her family in Alfstedt, and other relatives who lived in the area as well as Inge’s relatives in Hamburg.

Inge’s adventurous spirit drew her many times to other travel experiences and destinations. She and a girlfriend made an Elder Hostel trip to the southwest in the 1990s, and later took a tour of Hawaii together. She traveled in southern Germany and Austria with Bettie and her family in 1998. She also went on a road trip with Bettie and Bob to explore the coast of Maine and to finally see the Bay of Fundy and the huge tides there. In 2002 at 81, she went sailing for ten days with Martin, Bettie, and their families on a 50-foot yacht in Tortolla, BVI. She made a land-sea tour of Alaska and Glacier Bay with Melanie in 2014. Over the years, Inge made numerous trips to Utah accompanied by her children to visit her sister, Maren and to see the natural beauty of the region. Once she was asked for her secret to growing older. Just like George Burns said, “you have to have younger friends!”

After Martin's death in 1996, Inge met Carl Roemer, a widower in the German reading group in Cooperstown. They married in 1998 and lived in Otego as well as in his home in Fly Creek for the next 15 years. She and Carl were active in the German reading group and travelled abroad via bus and boat tours in Germany, Italy and Austria. After Carl's death in 2013, Inge moved to The Plains at Parish Homestead in Oneonta.

Music was an important part of Inge's life and she recognized the joy it brought to others. She played piano, recorder and autoharp, sang in the Women's Glee Club at SUNY Oneonta during the 1950s, and taught her elementary school students to play tonette. Family road trips often included three-part rounds and folks tunes in German or English in the car. Inge went on to learn accordion in her 60s, and at 95 took up harmonica to play in a harmonica band after moving to The Plains at Parish Homestead in Oneonta. She played for her own enjoyment, for family and friends, and for members of retirement communities, often as a sing-along. At 99 she bought a Chromebook and used it to connect with relatives. 

She celebrated her 100th birthday on February 1, 2021, with a dinner party in her honor at her apartment in Otego and an international Zoom party with friends and family from Europe and the U.S. with a few guests at her apartment. 

Inge is survived by her children: Helga (Klaus) Kahrs, Martin (Carol) Otten, Bettie (Bob) Bennett and Melanie (Jack) Manis; as well as 7 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren, and numerous relatives in Germany. 

A private graveside service will be held at the convenience of the family in Sand Hill Cemetery, Unadilla. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the First Christian Church of Otego, Otsdawa Road, Otego, NY  13825; The Otego Emergency Squad, PO Box 79, Otego, NY  13825; The Sand Hill Cemetery Association, c/o Gloria Hall, Secretary, 1497 Covered Bridge Road, Unadilla, NY  13849; Helios Care (Hospice), 297 River Street Service Road, Suite 1, Oneonta, NY 13820; or the Carl and Inge Otten Roemer ’59 Scholarship, c/o The College at Oneonta Foundation, SUNY Oneonta, 308 Netzer Administration Building, Oneonta, NY 13820 in memory of Inge Ottem Roemer.  

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.

Anthony G. Schlesier

1935 - 2021

HARTWICK – Anthony G. Schlesier, a long-time resident of Hartwick, died October 16, 2021. He was 86 years old.

Anthony was born in Huntington on October 1, 1935, and was predeceased by his wife Angelina S. Schlesier.   

Tony is survived by his daughters, Elizabeth (Scott) Flaska, Lucy (Robert) Dubray, Theresa (Gary) Davis and Mary (Christopher) De Nike and many grandchildren and great grandchildren.

He spent most of his career in agriculture and retired from the Army Reserves. He enjoyed his retirement by traveling and spending time on the family farm. He will be missed by many. 

Private arrangements are being made through Connell, Dow & Deysenroth, Inc. by his family. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. 

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.

Byron O. Crowson

1953 - 2021

FLY CREEK – In the early morning hours of Tuesday, October 12, 2021, Byron O’Neal Crowson passed away unexpectedly.  He bravely and optimistically confronted failing health during the past six months.  He was a devoted husband and father.   

Byron was born on July 4, 1953, in Dayton, Ohio.  He was a son of the late Joseph and Beatrice (Hendrickson) Crowson. Byron graduated from Tecumseh High School in New Carlisle, Ohio, received his associate degree in nursing at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, and his bachelor'se degree in Nursing at Indiana Wesleyan University.  Byron was a dedicated Registered Nurse for more than 40 years and was employed at Ohio State University and at the Dayton VA Hospital, prior to relocating to Fly Creek.  It was while he was working as a nursing supervisor that he met his future wife, Joanne Weidel.  They were wed on May 5, 2002, in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada.   

After relocating to Fly Creek, he took on his new and favorite job as a stay-at-home dad, learning to cook family meals and juggling busy schedules. He took on this role with great dedication and pride. He returned to nursing and was most recently employed at Cooperstown Center, Foltsbrook Center, and Chestnut Park Nursing Home.   

Byron is survived by his wife, Joanne, son Grant F.J. Crowson, and daughter Rose Elizabeth Crowson, all of Fly Creek. He is also survived by his mother-in-law, Elizabeth Weidel of Glenmont, NY, sister-in-law and brother-in-law Lisa and William Lorman of Amsterdam, NY, sister-in-law and brother-in-law Linda and James Burke of Elkins, WV, sister-in-law and brother-in-law Laura Weidel and James Parker of Ossipee, NH, and brother-in-law James Weidel of Yonkers, and several nieces and nephews.  He was predeceased by his parents and siblings and his father-in-law John Weidel.   

Byron was an avid reader and never left home without a book in his hand.  He was a history buff and patriotic, enjoying celebrating his birthday on the 4th of July with fireworks every year.   He never knew a stranger and, in his memory, take the time to say “hi” to someone you don’t know and maybe even bring up a random topic of your choosing. 

His family is grateful and proud that he made his wishes known in advance to be an organ donor, and to have his body donated to The Albany Medical College for medical education and research.

John J. Pohli

1946 - 2021

OTEGO – John J. Pohli, a lifelong area resident, passed away Thursday afternoon, October 7, 2021, at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown. He was 75.

Born June 26, 1946, at the A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital in Oneonta, John was a son of John J. and Margaret (Sorocco) Pohli. After graduating from high school, he attended Mohawk Valley Community College where he earned an associate’s degree in electrical technology. For 30 years he was employed with NYSEG, and retired as an electrical supervisor in 1990.

On September 2, 1966, John married Lillian J. Pearce in Oneonta. They enjoyed living in their log cabin in the countryside of Otego. 

At one time, John, who was known to his friends as Jake, was an avid hockey player and enjoyed playing in games throughout the area. Most of all, he loved his family, his country and his home. 

John is survived by his wife of 55 years, Lillian, of Otego; their two sons, Michael Pohli and Aaron Pohli and wife, Linda, all of Sidney; and three grandchildren whom he adored, Marley, Killian and Liam. He is further survived by their beloved dog, Gus. 

He was predeceased by his parents. 

With respect for John’s wishes, there will be no services. Instead, remember your times spent with John, smile, and know that he is at peace.

Arrangements are with 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.

Harry G. Brannigan

1948 - 2021

MILFORD – Harry George Brannigan, age 73, passed away early Thursday morning, October 7, 2021, at his son’s home in Mount Vision following a valiant battle with cancer.

He was born August 3, 1948, in College Point, Queens, a son of the late Harry and Margaret Brannigan. 

A veteran of the Vietnam War, Harry enlisted with the United States Army on January 8, 1968, and served in Vietnam with Company B, 9th Engineer Battalion. On January 2, 1971, he received his Honorable Discharge from the military and returned home to Queens. 

He met Carol Ann Spunt of Long Island while on a blind date arranged by mutual friends. The two hit it off, and were married May 5, 1973, in her hometown of Huntington on Long Island. 

For many years, Harry was employed as a sheet metal worker and machinist for the Stella Corporation in Plainview. 

In 1988, Harry and Carol Ann moved upstate to the Town of Milford and Harry became an organic farmer. He truly enjoyed growing vegetables, and sold them for a time at his farm stand, Mountain Top Farm, in Emmons. In his leisure, he enjoyed watching movies, especially National Lampoon’s Vacation and, no matter the time of year, Christmas Vacation.

Harry will be greatly missed by his son, Harry Michael Brannigan and his companion, Julie Smith, of Mt. Vision; one granddaughter, Shannon Brannigan and her fiancĂ©, Edwin Rivera, of Johnstown; a great granddaughter, Ariyunah Jade Rivera; a brother, Patrick Brannigan of Cape Coral, Florida; a sister, Sharon Brannigan of College Point, Queens; and several nieces and nephews. 

He was predeceased by his wife of 43 years, Carol Ann Brannigan, who died April 3, 2016; his father, Harry Brannigan, who died April 22, 1987; his mother, Margaret E. Brannigan who died April 28, 2021; and a brother, Fred Brannigan.  

Harry will be laid to rest with Military Honors in the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in Schuylerville. 

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.