Karen Burgess

1957 - 2022

HARTWICK – Karen Burgess (née Stefanachi) departed our world on July 19th, 2022, due to complications from heart surgery while surrounded by loved ones. She was 64.

Karen was born October 18th, 1957, in Rockville Centre to Eugene and Barbara Stefanachi. She grew up in Uniondale and attended Uniondale High School where she excelled in art and being that effortlessly cool chick. During a summer visit to Cooperstown, she met Mike Burgess on Main St., who she instantly recognized as ‘that cool guy she had seen around town.’ They married in 1977 and moved to Hartwick in 1983 with their three young daughters.

She started in the nursing profession as a young mom and found a natural talent for care-giving and the art and science of medicine. As a working mom in the 90’s, she valiantly went back to college and furthered her nursing degree. During her nursing career of 40+ years, she received awards and recognitions too numerous to list here. More importantly, she healed countless sick patients with her expert care and soothed hearts with her wisdom and kindness.

She saw beauty everywhere, honored nature, and was a daily inspiration to create art. Whether it be with her painting, jewelry making, or any medium that called to her, she was always making something gorgeous and giving it away to the delight of the lucky recipient. She was also generous with her thoughts and time. She loved to travel and some of her fondest memories were of epic trips with her super-friends, La and Amy. Yet, she always came back to Otsego Lake as one of her favorite meditative places on Earth (and Canadarago as the fun party lake). She found bliss when paddling in her kayak, drinking in an ocean view, or doting on her dogs. 

She loved being an ‘Oma’ to her three grandchildren; she never stopped being the cool chick, while also being a magical mom to yet another generation. While she was a mother figure to many, she was also the quintessential warrior woman, heroically fighting off cancer twice.

Karen was preceded in death by her father Eugene in 2020. She is survived by Mike, her husband of 45 years, her mother Barbara, her sister Debra and brother-in-law Stephen; her nieces and nephews: Stephen, Jackie, Erica, Gene and Joey; her daughters and their spouses: Heather and Justin; Rebecca and John; and Kari and Jeff. And of course, her grandchildren, Noah, Jasiah and Amelia who will continue to honor her legacy by making the world a kinder, more beautiful place, as she did.

Calling hours will be held Sunday July 31st, 2022, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Connell, Dow and Deysenroth, 82 Chestnut Street, Cooperstown. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Susquehanna SPCA or a charity of your choice. A Celebration of Life gathering will be planned for September. 

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.

James E. Dow

1947- 2022

COOPERSTOWN – James E. Dow, whose dedication and service to the Cooperstown area as a licensed funeral director spanned a period of over 40 years, and service to Otsego County as a coroner spanned a period of 30 years, passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of Thursday, July 14, 2022, at his home in the Village of Cooperstown with his beloved wife, Debbie, at his side.  He was 74.

Jim was born on November 10, 1947, in Oneonta, the son of George E. Dow, Jr. and Helen (Sturges) Dow.  When Jim was 10 his father's position with New York Telephone brought about a move to Stamford.  In 1961, another transfer brought the family to the Village of Cooperstown, and deep roots were planted.  Throughout those formative years, Jim enjoyed spending his free time with his grandparents on their farm at Sturges Corners in North Kortright.  Valuable life lessons and skills were learned from Grandma Frances and Grandpa Ray, and he enjoyed sharing tales of his escapades and adventures there.

Jim graduated from Cooperstown Central School with the Class of 1965.  The day after graduation he began working at the Ingalls Funeral Home in Cooperstown and began to fulfill the mandatory year-long apprenticeship required prior to attending the Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science in Syracuse.  Upon his graduation in 1967, he immediately returned to the Ingalls Funeral Home which was owned by Chet and Millie Ingalls and managed by George Connell.  George and Jim assumed full ownership and operation of the funeral home in 1970 and the name was changed to the Ingalls, Connell & Dow Funeral Home.  George retired in 1986 and Jim became the sole owner and operator of the funeral home until 1994 when Peter Deysenroth joined him and the funeral home became known as the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home.  In 2005 Jim retired and full ownership passed to Peter.  Throughout those 40 years, Jim remained committed to providing compassionate service, going above and beyond to meet the needs of each and every family he served.  He became an Otsego County Coroner in 1988, a position where he continued his commitment to compassionate service to local families and communities until 2018.  

Never one to be idle, Jim pursued other business interests and jobs throughout the years.  In the early 70's he took over the operation of Bassett Hospital's patient transport service with his friend, David Butler. The business was named Cooperstown Medical Transport and was later sold to Mark Zeek and Margaret McGown.  He and Dave also owned and operated the Pathfinder Trucking Company for a period of time, and later entered into a joint venture of building two spec houses.  A life-long baseball fan, former player, "ball boy" at a Hall of Fame game and coach for Little League and Pony League teams, Jim later became a certified umpire and enjoyed using his skills at area high schools and Damaschke Field.

Throughout his life Jim delved into any new hobby or interest with 100% focus and energy.  He created a one-of-a-kind narrow gauge model railroad layout; each and every part of which he created, carved by hand and built from scratch, including intricate mountain passes, trestle bridges, streams and scenery.  He taught himself how to sail with a borrowed book and mastered the banjo with a few lessons. In later years he returned to his love of camping and enjoyed travelling to new places with all the comforts of home along for the ride, including his beloved pets. For a period of 10 years, Jim and Deb spent the winter months at the Briarcliffe RV Resort in Myrtle Beach where he was an active member on the Board of Directors.  He was an avid golfer for many years and especially enjoyed the Wednesday golf group and tournaments at the Leatherstocking Golf Course.  

He was a current member of the Sons of the American Legion Post No. 579, a past president and current vice-president of the Lakewood Cemetery Association, a long-time member and past president of the Cooperstown Lions Club, a former member of both the NYS Funeral Directors Association and the former Ninth District Funeral Directors Association, a former member of the Rat Patrol, and a former member of the Cooperstown Fire Department. 

Jim is survived by his loving companion of 40 years and wife of 39 years, Debra (Oles) Dow; his two sons Neil (Jaime) Dow of Middletown and Brian Dow of Kansas; his grandchildren Mitchell, Baylie, Alivia, Brianna, Kendra and Cooper Dow; his brother Ransom "Randy" Dow of Cooperstown; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Above all else, Jim was known and appreciated for his quick wit, broad smile, and contagious laughter.  To best honor those qualities, a Celebration of Life service will be offered at 2 PM Saturday, July 30, 2022, at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown with the Rev. Betsy Jay officiating.  Immediately following the service there will be a time for greeting Jim's family, a sharing of stories, and light refreshments.

Those wishing to do so may direct memorial donations to the Susquehanna SPCA, 5082-5088 State Highway 28, Cooperstown, NY 13326, or Helios Care, 297 River Street Service Road, Suite 1, Oneonta, NY  13820.

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.

Geoffrey H. Goodwin

1971 - 2022

FLY CREEK – Geoffrey Harrison Goodwin, 50, passed away on June 15, 2022, at home in Fly Creek. He was born December 30, 1971, at New York Hospital to Gary and Sally Goodwin. The family moved to Cooperstown in 1972 and then to Fly Creek in 1988.

After graduating from Cooperstown Central School with the Class of 1990, Geoff attended Syracuse University where he received a B.A. degree. He worked as a Laboratory Technician at Bassett Medical Center for four years before moving to Boulder, Colorado, where he earned an M.F.A. degree from Naropa University. 

Geoff was a writer. His freelance publications were wide ranging but he took the greatest pleasure in his poetry and short stories. He loved and collected books and also ran an independent bookstore where people delighted in stopping by to visit and joke with him. He was fascinated by words and their meanings and got into trouble in high school for reading the dictionary instead of whatever he should have been doing. Based in Natick and Framingham Massachusetts, Geoff really enjoyed living in the Boston area. He had a lifelong passion for the Boston Celtics.

Geoff’s enthusiasm and infectious energy made life interesting. The entire family remembers how he orchestrated the search for his grandmother’s lost rings after her memorial service. He motivated the group to turn an initially frustrating hunt into a fun and satisfying experience. Geoff was intelligent and sensitive. He was appreciated for his sense of humor and quick wit as well as for his kindness. He stayed in touch with many people and he treasured his community of friends near and far.

In 2014 Geoffrey’s back was injured in an auto accident caused by a drunk driver. He faced chronic pain and health complications for the rest of his life. He returned to Otsego County in 2019. He never lost hope but the COVID-19 pandemic hampered his rehabilitation efforts. His unexpected death was due to cardiac failure.

Geoffrey is survived by his parents, Gary and Sally (Marks) Goodwin, his brother, Thomas Goodwin, his beloved aunts and uncles, Sharon Cresci of Auburn, Maine, Elizabeth Gunn and Don Kash of Norman, Oklahoma, and Harrison and Suzie Marks of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and his cherished cousins, Kathryn Marks (Jim Nelson) of Alexandria, Virginia, Andrew (Lindsay) Gunn of Norman, Oklahoma, and Benjamin (Tracey) Marks of Isle of Palms, South Carolina. 

When you think of Geoff hug a friend, offer encouragement or share a cup of coffee. 

A gathering to celebrate his life will be held at a later date. 

Memorial contributions may be made to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. 

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.