Sammy Dallas Bayes

1939 - 2022

COOPERSTOWN, NY – Sammy Dallas Bayes, a Tony Award nominee whose career as a director, choreographer and writer in musical theater, television and movies passed away unexpectedly early Thursday morning, May 12, 2022, at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown. He was 82. 

Born July 9, 1939, in Wasco, California, Sammy was the son of Sam Tony Bayes and Zana Marie Frost Bayes. Raised in Pueblo, Colorado, he attended Centennial High School where he was part of his first ever musical, playing Tommy Albright in “Brigadoon.” After graduating in 1957 he attended college locally, and then from 1958 to 1964, Sammy proudly served his country in the United States Army both as active duty and the reserves.

An experience at Perry Mansfield Theatre Camp in Steamboat Springs, CO got Sammy hooked on the idea of dancing professionally and he was offered a two year dance scholarship at Stephens College in Columbia, MO. By 1963 he had arrived in New York City, ready to begin his career. A year later, Broadway legend Jerome Robbins provided that opportunity with his new production, “Fiddler on the Roof,” in which Sammy earned a role. It opened on Broadway September 22, 1964, with Sammy playing Yitzuk, then later as The Fiddler as well as Dance Captain. From then on Robbins had a big influence on him and became his mentor. 

In 1966 Robbins tapped Sammy to open a touring company of “Fiddler” in Japan. This was the first of numerous international productions overseen by Sammy including London’s West End, Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, numerous National Tours, and a Broadway Revival in 1990 which won the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical all featuring Robbins’ original choreography. In 1989, Sammy assisted Jerome Robbins on his last Broadway show “Jerome Robbins Broadway” which was a compilation of Robbins’ body of work in the musical theatre. Additionally, Sammy completed a book, at Robbins’ request, that contains every step of the original “Fiddler” choreography. To this day it continues to be sent out with every production, whether it’s being performed by a first class production, community theater or school.

In 1969 composer Frank Loesser hired Sammy as a choreographer for his Broadway production of “Canterbury Tales,” which earned Sammy a Tony Award nomination for Best Choreographer. Following that he added to his success as choreographer for “Heathen!” in 1972, did musical staging for “Shelter” in 1973 and “Rainbow Jones” in 1974, as well as working on numerous other national and international productions.  He also was the associate choreographer for the film version of “Fiddler On The Roof” and appears in the film as a Russian dancer. Sammy choreographed the film version of “Godspell” starring Victor Garber in 1973 and was choreographer for several television commercials, including the infamous “Who Wears Short Shorts” ad for Nair. Sammy worked on the television show “Reading Rainbow” with LeVar Burton on an episode about teamwork which is used as an example in schools each October for Fire Prevention Month. Other productions include the one-act play “One Man’s War” that Sammy wrote and directed about the experiences of his best friend growing up in 1960’s street gangs and his subsequent deployment as one of the first Marines to see combat in the Vietnam War.

On September 22, 1990, Sammy married the love of his life, Barbara Van Hook - herself a dancer, singer and actress - in a ceremony at Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan. Through the years they continued to enjoy membership at Marble, and were fortunate to be in worship there when the Rev. Norman Vincent Peale preached one of his last sermons from their pulpit. In 1993, their daughter Alexa was born followed by the birth of their second daughter, Taylor in 1995 upon which they settled in Cooperstown. While maintaining their membership at Marble Collegiate, they actively attended the First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown. In 2012 and 2014 Sammy directed, produced and choreographed condensed versions of “Godspell” at First Presbyterian as the highlight of Palm 
Sunday worship services in which church members and local students and adults took part. 

Since the 1990s, Sammy brought his expertise and experience to Orpheus Theatre in Oneonta, NY and the Leatherstocking Theatre Company in Milford, NY and was director for many of their productions including “West Side Story”, “Oliver”, “Chicago”, “Funny Girl”, “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “Footloose”, “I Hate Hamlet”, “Lend Me A Tenor” and many more.

Sammy and Barbara teamed up to co-direct six musicals at Cooperstown Central School: “Grease”(2008), “West Side Story” (2009), “Cats” (2010), “Fiddler on the Roof” (2011) and “Footloose” (2012). Their sixth and final musical in 2013 at CCS was a production of “Les MisĂ©rables,” a challenging show to put on which involved moving sets designed by Sammy and a cast of over 70 students.

Regardless of professional caliber, Sammy ran each production with the same fierce passion, igniting something special in every soul he worked with. He held all to the same standard, inspiring confidence among those who felt invisible and balance to those who had three left feet. As he ignited a light in this world so now his light shines brightly in the heavens - eyes still winking that mischievous twinkle to all of us.

Sammy is survived by his wife of 31 years, Barbara Bayes of Cooperstown; their two daughters, Alexa and Taylor of Dryden; a brother, Clifford Roberson, Jr. of Blue Springs, MO; and numerous, cousins, nieces, nephews and a multitude of friends.

He was preceded in death by his father, Sam Tony Bayes, his mother, Zana Marie (Frost) Bayes Roberson, his stepfather, Clifford Roberson, and his sister, Patricia Dawn (Roberson) Ricks.

All are invited to call and pay their respects from 4 – 7 p.m. Monday, May 23, 2022, at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown. 

A service to celebrate the life of Sammy Dallas Bayes will be offered at 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 24, 2022, at the First Presbyterian Church in Cooperstown, with the Rev. Dr. Jason N. Cashing, pastor, officiating. Face masks will be required for the church memorial service which will be live-streamed via Facebook or Zoom on these links:


Zoom Invitation
Meeting ID: 861 5711 1480
Passcode: 278448

Reception to immediately follow the service directly across the street at Templeton Hall.

For those who wish to honor the life of Sammy Dallas Bayes, his family would appreciate memorial donations to the Entertainment Community Fund (formerly the Actor’s Fund) which provides support to those in need in the entertainment industry. www.entertainmentcommunity.org

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.

Gerald D. Monroe

1945 - 2022

COOPERSTOWN – Gerald Douglas “Jerry” “Jiggs” Monroe, 76, of Cooperstown, passed away Sunday morning, May 8, 2022, at the Samuel S. Stratton V.A. Medical Center in Albany following a valiant battle with cancer. 

Jerry, or Jiggs, as many people knew him, was born September 13, 1945, in Cooperstown, a son of Walter J. and Ernestine (Tabor) Monroe. He was raised in Hartwick and attended Hartwick High School.

On November 22, 1965, Jerry was inducted into the United States Army. He proudly served his country during the Vietnam War as part of Company E, 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry, 4th Infantry Division, and received a Purple Heart for injuries received in the line of duty. On November 12, 1967, he received his honorable discharge from the military. 

Following his military service he was employed for 37 years as a gunsmith for Remington Arms in Ilion.

Throughout his life he was an avid hunter and fisherman and loved spending time outdoors. Most importantly, he was always devoted to his family, and was known for his big heart and generosity.  

He is survived by a daughter, Alicia Ray and husband, Jamie of Sauquoit; two sons, Lance Monroe of Oneonta and Scott Smith and wife, Shelly of Albany; three grandsons, Alexander, Logan and Aspen Ray; a brother, Ronald W. “Red” Monroe and wife Bonnie, and a sister, Shirley M. Monroe, all of Hartwick, and several nieces and nephews. 

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his long-time faithful companion, Joann M. O’Brien, who died February 4, 2018. He loved her children and grandchildren as if they were his own: Michelle Reckeweg and children Emily, Kristin and Brenden; Janet O’Brien and children Isabella and Alexis; and Joseph O’Brien and children Matthew and Mila.

Family and friends may call and pay their respects beginning at 10 a.m. Monday, May 16, 2022, at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home, 82 Chestnut Street, Cooperstown. A Funeral Service will be offered at 11 a.m. Monday at the Funeral Home with the Rev. Betsy Jay officiating. Interment will follow in Lakewood Cemetery, Cooperstown, with Military Honors rendered by members of the Cooperstown Veterans Club and the New York State Military Forces Honor Guard.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be directed to New York State Parks Kids Connect Campership Fund. https://www.naturalheritagetrust.org/campership-donations

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.

Lionel Andrew Rauscher, M.D.

1943 - 2022

COOPERSTOWN – In the morning hours of Tuesday, May 3, 2022, Lionel “Andrew” Rauscher, M.D., beloved husband, father and grandfather passed away after a long battle with illness at his home with family by his side. He was 79.

A native of England, he was born February 14, 1943, in London, son of the late Hana and Peter Rauscher. Educated in the United Kingdom, he was a Medical Doctor practicing in both England and the United States. 

On April 3, 1971, he married Jocelyn Alice Rauscher in a private ceremony in East Sheen, Surrey, UK.

Andrew graduated from the prestigious Dulwich College and then received his M.D. from University College Hospital, London.

Andrew came to the United States to complete his Pediatric Cardiac Anesthesiology Fellowship, where he also co-founded the first Paramedic program. He co-authored several studies published in medical journals and was a Fellow of the Faculty of Anesthetists of the Royal College of Surgeons. Upon joining the staff of the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, a teaching institution affiliated with Columbia University, Dr. Rauscher acted as Chief of Anesthesiology for several decades, until accepting the position as Medical Director. Throughout his career, he helped mentor students and medical residents, and was a trusted colleague and friend to hundreds of professional medical staff that he interacted with during his long illustrious career. 

Andrew is survived by his five children, Daniel and Jeanne Rauscher of Haddam, Connecticut, Rebecca Nichols and fiancĂ© Andre Mills of Westford, Massachusetts, Pilarin Nichols of North Andover, Massachusetts, Jemma Rauscher and John Dinneen of Cooperstown and Annabel Vallance of Chelmsford, Massachusetts; eight grandchildren, Matthew, Alex, Laura, Liam, Maeve, Emily, Brendan and Finnigan; a sister, Marya Parker of England; and a long list of lifelong friends. 

He was preceded in death by his wife of 48 years, Jocelyn, who died April 16, 2020. 

A service of remembrance will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 7, 2022, at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be directed to the Delaware Valley Humane Society, PO Box 182, Sidney, NY  13838; 607-563-7780. www.dvhsny.org.

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.

Ann Lois Edwards

1942 - 2022

COOPERSTOWN – At Noon on April 29, 2022, Ann Lois Edwards passed away unexpectedly but peacefully, of natural causes, at home, with her husband at her side. She was in her eighty-first year. 

Born February 22, 1942, in Little Falls, New York, she was the daughter of the late Francis J. Ashe and Elizabeth Dudik Ashe. Her paternal ancestry descended from Germans who had made the Great Swabian Trek down the Danube, and on her maternal side from Slovaks who made Little Falls “the second Myjava”. All her grandparents were immigrants.

Lois graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in Little Falls in 1960 and the State University College at Oswego in1964 with a degree in Elementary Education. She received her Masters degree from Marywood College in Pennsylvania.

She met her future husband in kindergarten, tolerated him until well into high school when they became close friends and were married on June 25, 1966, at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church (now Holy Family Parish) in Little Falls.

Lois taught briefly in Dolgeville and Cooperstown before moving to Pennsylvania and spending the rest of her career with the Montoursville Area School District. She and her husband retired back to Cooperstown in the year 2000, building the home that she had envisioned in the Town of Middlefield.

The consummate mother, she supported all her boys’ activities as they grew up. A Cub Scout Den leader, swimming official and Montoursville’s original soccer Mom, she did whatever had to be done without need for recognition. 

She was an excellent cook who could do wonders with a pound of hamburger or a chicken breast, and no holiday was complete without her Slovak pastry. Pinena paprika, Kapustnica, Sovenske Palacinky, and Kolache were all within her repertoire.

She was a very talented seamstress, making her own clothes from age 12 until she was about 40 years old, then choosing to purchase clothes, deconstruct them at home, and reconstruct them “properly”. She was active for many years in the Fenimore Quilt Club and many family and friends were the recipients of her handiwork. On occasion friends and family called on her for “emergency” clothing repair. She usually accommodated them, but she did not encourage it.

Lois was a Life Member of the American Wine Society, a member of the Williamsport, Pennsylvania Chapter, and, along with her husband, was the founding Co-Chair of the Glimmerglass Chapter of the American Wine Society in Cooperstown. She was a member of the Town of Middlefield Historical Association.

Lois’ career long focus on teaching reading led to her favorite retirement activity, volunteering at the Cooperstown Village Library which gave her the opportunity to meet many new friends as well as interesting people. 

She is survived by her husband of 56 years David D. Edwards; their son Brian, his wife Erika and grandson Benjamin in Essex Junction, Vermont; their son Mark, his wife Lisa and granddaughters Lauren and Claudia in Portland, Oregon; her brother Ronald and his wife Patricia in Arden, North Carolina; and her aunt Dorothy Frederick in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as well as numerous cousins and their offspring. 

She was a communicant of St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” Roman Catholic Church in Cooperstown.

The Edwards family will receive family and friends from 5-7 p.m. Monday, May 9, 2022, at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Tuesday, May 10, 2022, at St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” Roman Catholic Church in Cooperstown with Fr. David Wm. Mickiewicz officiating. A reception will follow. 

In lieu of flowers the family suggests a donation to your local Food Bank, before sharing a bottle of wine with friends.

Funeral 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.