Raymond Martin (Hansen) Aasen, 89, of Lansing NY, passed away at home on November 1, 2020. Raymond was born in Brooklyn, NY on April 6, 1931 to his parents, Esther (Krogh) Hansen and Martin Hansen. Raymond and his siblings, Jean and Arthur, traveled with their mother back to her homeland of Norway when he was two years old. Raymond grew up in Oslo, Norway, returning to New York when he was 18 years old. He married Gerd H. Syversen (of Follebu, Norway) in 1954. After Raymond’s graduation from Cornell University in 1956, Raymond and Gerd moved to Lansing, New York where they purchased and managed a successful dairy farm and raised four children. Raymond was active in the community and a member of the Lansing United Methodist Church. During part of his retirement, he lived in Lake Placid, taking advantage of winter sports.
It is with great sadness that the family of Mary Burke announces her passing on Sunday, October 25, 2020, at the age of 84. She will be lovingly remembered by her children, Bonny (Nick) Boles and Tom (Robin) Burke, and her brother, Benny (Mary) Macera. “Nanny” will also be fondly remembered and greatly missed by her grandchildren, Kelli, Tommy, Billie, Jesse, Adam, Lucas, and Desiree, and great-grandchildren, Kiana, Tyriq, Logan, Gavin, Dakota, Dyson, Declan, Ezekial, Lincoln, and Poppy. A special thanks to Verla Gabriel and Patti Burke for their loving care. She will be reunited with her parents, Rodney and Helen Macera, her sister, Rose Sweazey, son, Rod Burke, and her loving husband of 62 years, Stanley Burke.
Before Stanley’s passing two years ago, Mary spent most of her time side by side with him. They would have been found together spending time with their children and grandchildren, watching black and white films, Syracuse basketball, the Patriots and the Yankees, eating breakfast at a local diner, finding ‘treasures’ at garage sales, or hitting the casinos.
LANSING – Wallace “Butch” Hammond, Jr., 71, of Lansing, NY, passed away at home on November 3, 2020, with his family by his side. Born in Ithaca, he was the son of the late Wallace and Dorothy (Milne) Hammond. Butch graduated from Lansing High School and was retired from GENEX in Ithaca.
Butch was a Jeff Gordon NASCAR fan and NY Giants Football fan. In his free time, he enjoyed fishing, hunting, camping, and horseshoes. He had a passion for his toys and loved to eat shrimp. Nothing, however, was more important, than his family and the time they spent together.
Stephen L. Farkas, 78, of Lansing, NY, passed away peacefully at home on August 11, 2020, after a long fight with kidney disease and dementia. Born on April 16, 1942, Steve was the son of the late Stephen and Nellie (DiGiacomo) Farkas.
After graduating from Lansing High School, Steve earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from Ithaca College and a Master in Social Work from Syracuse University.
He began his career at Walton High School as a teacher and coach before embarking on a 35 year career with the Division for Youth, first at Camp MacCormick and then throughout the state at various facilities. He also developed and was the director of two youth programs, Adirondack Residential Center and the Adirondack Wilderness Challenge. Steve retired from the Division for Youth in Lansing and went on to serve on the Lansing Town Board and then as Supervisor for eight years. Continuing Steve’s service to others, he was a Eucharistic Minister at St. Alexander’s Church and a member of the Knights of Columbus, Elks Lodge, Loyal Order of Moose, and Lions Club.
Roselyn M. Clark, 89, of Lansing, NY was called to the Lord on July 18, 2020. She attended Ithaca schools and graduated in 1948. In later years she worked at Cornell University in the Space Sciences Department and traveled many times with the team to the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.
She is predeceased by her sons, Michael D. and Kevin W. Arsenault; daughter-in-law, Pat T. Arsenault; sister, Barbara Besemer; and brother, Patrick Vredenburg.
Wilton, CT – Vivian Cora Lockerby Farkas, 87, of Wilton, CT, formerly of Lansing, NY, passed away peacefully at Wilton Meadows Health Care Center in Wilton, CT on Tuesday, October 23, 2019, following an extended illness with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Vivian, the eldest of three girls, was born on January 21, 1932 in Cortland, NY to Jay B. and Gladys (née Devlen) Lockerby. She was raised on her parents’ farm on Lockerby Hill Road in Lansing. Vivian loved helping her dad milk the cows, feed the chickens, and best of all, she enjoyed driving the tractor through the fields. A tomboy through and through, Vivian always preferred being outdoors, working the farm rather than staying inside, cooking or baking in the kitchen! She did, nonetheless, appreciate all of the delicious meals and treats her mother made for the family to enjoy.
Richard ”Rich, Dickie” Lee Hollister, age 76, of Lansing, NY passed away Friday, June 19, 2020 with his family by his side at the Misty Glen Rehabilitation Center in Cortland, NY following a 6 month battle since having heart surgery in January. Richard was born on December 12, 1943 in New Brighton/Beaver Falls, PA to Robert E. Hollister and Matilda “Tillie” F. (Nytra) Hollister. At a young age, Richard and his family moved to Ithaca, NY where he became a “Fall Creeker”.
Richard graduated from Ithaca High School in 1961. Upon graduation he joined the US Army Reserves where he honorably served his country. A lifetime worker in the restaurant industry, he was a cook at Manos Diner for nearly 30 years before his retirement.
Donald James Sheldon, Lt. Col, US Air Force Ret., passed away on June 11, 2020, after singing songs and reciting military hymns with staff at the NY State Veterans Home at Oxford. He went to join his soulmate of 62 years, Jane Phoenix Sheldon (died 6/27/2014). Don was a family man who will be missed by his 5 surviving children: Diane Sheldon Wilson, OK City, OK, Donald Sheldon Jr. (Kathleen), Arlington, TX, Linda Sheldon Petak, Lansing, NY, Mary Sheldon (Mark Randall), Lansing, and Peter Sheldon, Honolulu, HI. He adored his 4 grandsons, Brian (Annette) Petak, Lansing, Jeremy Petak, Chandler, AZ, Zachary Sheldon, Gunnison, CO and Alec Sheldon (Maddie), Omaha, NE, and being “Pop-Pop” to his 2 great-grandchildren, Mikaela (“Mickie”) and Bryson Petak and his grand-boxer, Blanca. In addition, he is survived by his sister, Patricia McIntyre, Middleton, PA, and a multitude of nieces and nephews all over the USA. Don will also be missed by his long-term caregiver, Leanne Swan and the staff in Pine Neighborhood, NYSVH, who he called “his girls.” He is preceded in death by his daughter, Kathleen, his parents, William D. and Mary, and siblings, William, Margaret, and Michael.
Lynn M. Eastman, Jr., 52, of Lansing, NY, passed away at home on April 20, 2020, while surrounded by family. Born in Ithaca on May 24, 1967, he was the son of the late Lynn M. Sr. and Alberta McLean Eastman. He was employed as a welder and fabricator at Stonewell Bodies and Machine, Inc. in Genoa, NY. Lynn had a passion for hunting, fishing, wrestling and horseshoes. He was a member of the Tri County Horseshoe Club in Groton, NY.
He is survived by his loving wife of 25 years, Rebecca M. (Barber) Eastman; daughter, Amber Barber; sister, Bonnie (Reggie) LeBlanc; brother, Jim (Tina) Eastman; half-sister, Lynnette (John) Smith; mother-in-law, Pearl Barber; sisters-in-law, Heidi (Dale) Reynolds and Melissa (David) Moppin; brother-in-law, Billy (Mary) Barber; several nieces, nephews; and his fur baby, Buddy. He was preceded in death by his son, Lynn M. Eastman III, and daughter, Heather Lynn Eastman.
Norman Earl Wheeler, Sr., 85, of Lansing, NY, went to be with the Lord on Sunday, April 19, 2020. Born in Worcester, MA, Norman was one of thirteen children born to William A. and Naomi M. Wheeler of Worcester, MA. He spent many years as a member and employee of the Lincoln Square Boys’ Club of Worcester. He attended classes at the American Red Cross to become an instructor of First Aid and Water Safety.
Norman enlisted in the U.S. Navy in April of 1954 and served overseas. He received an honorable discharge in January of 1958. In 1964, he received a B.S. in Education and taught school at the Charlton Junior Senior High School. He continued his education and received a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education and was employed by the Massachusetts State Department of Education as a Supervisor of Education. In 1969, he was employed by the Vermont State Department of Education as a Coordinator of Emergency Services. On May 19, 1969, he was commissioned in the US Army Reserve as a Captain, Medical Service Corp. In 1972, he was employed at Cornell University as an Associate Professor in Cooperative Extension (Community Emergency Planning Program).
Gerd Helene (Syversen) Aasen, 85, of Lansing, passed away on March 18, 2020, while surrounded by family. Gerd Helene was born on November 8, 1934 in Follebu, Norway, to her mother, Gunvor (Syversen) Gudbranson of Follebu and to her father, Nils Larsen of Lillehammer, Norway. Gerd was raised primarily by her grandparents, Hans Syversen and Nilla Kampesveen Syversen of Follebu. In 1952, she moved from Follebu to Ithaca, New York and in 1953 was married to Raymond Martin Aasen (formerly of Oslo, Norway ). After Raymond’s graduation from Cornell University in 1956, Raymond and Gerd moved to Lansing, New York where they purchased and managed a successful dairy farm and raised four children. In 1983, after the children were grown, Gerd earned a B.S. in Sociology from Wells College; thereafter working as a Social Worker at Tompkins County Mental Health until her retirement.
Lawrence “Larry” John Creighton, 57, of Lansing, NY, lost his battle with cancer on Thursday, March 18, 2020. Lawrence was born in Harvey, Illinois on November 28, 1962 to Stephen and Rose (Wachdorf) Creighton. He was a generous and thoughtful man, who would do anything to help others.
Lawrence worked for Ithaca City School District for over 34 years before retiring in January 2018. He was proud of his role as Union President, and fought hard for his fellow co-workers. He bravely served as a Volunteer Fireman with the Lansing Fire Department for 25 years. His 16 years as Fire Commissioner were, to him, an honor. He was a selfless servant to the community.
Sheryl Anne (Niemi) Howell, 71, formerly of Lansing, NY passed away on March 17, 2020. She was a graduate of Lansing High School in 1966 and worked for over 34 years as an office manager at Cornell University in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Sherri truly lived life to its fullest through simple pleasures: visiting with friends and family, yard work and projects, cruising with her beloved husband, and being the most incredible grandmother. She loved mornings at her cottage on the lake, a good cup of coffee, and a raucous tipsy-da! Sherri touched many lives with her generosity, and she will be deeply missed by her family, friends, and all who knew her.
Mrs. Joyce Heck passed away peacefully on Friday February 14, 2020, surrounded by loving family in Lansing, NY. Born May 7, 1932, in Endicott, NY, she was the daughter of the late Robert T. and Blanche Carman. She attended St. Ambrose Parochial School through the eighth grade, and then went on to graduate from Union-Endicott High School in 1950. She enjoyed her 15 years working at IBM Endicott, at the same time as her father. She was an avid bowler at the IBM Country Club, as well as traveling with her friends various times to the Caribbean.
In the early 1960’s, Joyce met the love of her life, David Heck, Sr. They were married November 13, 1965, and together they had two sons, David Jr. and Robert. Raising her two boys was her life’s most precious gift and love. She had a real knack with children and was loved by her numerous nieces and nephews. All through her life, she would light up at the sight of a child. She became very active and involved in helping others who were struggling with addiction problems, and always lent an ear to those who needed helpful advice. In 1962, at the suggestion of her father, she purchased a lot on Cayuga Lake next to her parents’ place, which eventually turned into the Heck family summer cottage. In 2003, the cottage was converted to her and Dave Sr.’s permanent home. She loved the lake, and entertaining those who visited. Her sense of humor and smile were infectious.
Laura Greene Boehlecke, 79, of Lansing, NY, passed away at her home while surrounded by family on Thursday, February 6, 2020. Born in Mount Kisco, NY, on October 3, 1940, she was the daughter of the late Francis and Laura (Abbott) Greene. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in 1962 from Elmira College, and continued to complete her Master’s in education. Laura was a sixth grade reading teacher at Lansing Central School District, retiring in 2001 after 38 years in the district.
Laura was a member of the PEO Sisterhood and formerly active in Rotary International. She loved to read and spend time at her home on Cape Cod.
Anna R. Watson of Montgomery, NY, passed away peacefully Saturday, February 1, 2020, at Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown, NY. She was 94.
A daughter of the late Vincent Hradisky & Cecelia Burin Hradisky, she was born Sunday, April 5, 1925 in Myers, New York. Anna lived most of her life in Myers and on Beach Road in Lansing, NY. She worked at NCR in Ithaca for over 20 years. In retirement, Anna enjoyed watching Westerns and spending time with her family and her dogs- the late Buster, and Spotty. Anna will forever be remembered for her sense of humor, feisty personality and generous heart. She was the widow of the late Guido Garcia of Panama City, Panama.
Frank H.T. Rhodes, Cornell University's ninth president, a national figure in higher education and an esteemed paleontologist, died Feb. 3 in Bonita Springs, Florida. He was 93.
During Rhodes' tenure as president from 1977 to 1995, Cornell saw significant growth in research and academic programs that continue to shape the university. Research funding more than tripled, from $88 million to more than $300 million; major initiatives in astronomy, supercomputing, biotechnology, nanofabrication and Asian studies were established; a successful $1.5 billion capital campaign was launched and completed; diversity at the university among students and faculty significantly increased; and the university's international presence was strengthened.
Russell Dean Sprague of Lansing died on January 20, 2020, at the age of 92. He was born in Rochester, NY, to William Delos and Mary Axelby Sprague. The family moved to Little Valley in southwestern New York in 1937. Russ graduated from Little Valley High School in 1945. Two days after graduation, he started basic training at Sampson Navy Base on Seneca Lake. He served on the light cruiser USS Philadelphia. After the war, he entered Cornell University College of Agriculture, receiving an associate degree in 1948.
In 1951, Russ married Mary Doyle of Salamanca. Together they had four daughters. His first job was as a salesman of Ford Tractor products. In 1953, he left the farm machinery business to work for the Equitable Life Assurance Society of Utica. Eight years later he became the general agent for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company in Binghamton. In 1982, he became an independent agent representing many companies offering life, health and disability insurance.
E. Lavonne “Vonnie” McKane, 85, of North Lansing, passed away following a brief illness on Sunday, December 29, 2019, at her home. Born in Elmira, NY, she was the daughter of the late Samuel and Lillian (Coon) McDermott. After graduating from Genoa High School, Vonnie went on to retire from NYSEG in Ithaca.
Vonnie was a past matron of the Order of the Eastern Star, Lansing, and member of the North Lansing Fire Department Auxiliary. In her free time, she enjoyed gardening, crafts, and trips to the casinos with her friends.
Isaac Kramnick, the Richard J. Schwartz Professor of Government Emeritus, a renowned scholar of English and American political thought and history, and a longtime champion of undergraduate education, died Dec. 21 in New York City. Kramnick was 81.
Cornell President Martha E. Pollack said Kramnick was “a beloved Cornellian; a teacher and leader who, in his time at Cornell, touched the lives of generations of students, faculty and staff.”
“Professor Kramnick leaves behind a distinguished legacy of insightful scholarship, passionate teaching and forward-thinking leadership,” Pollack said. “His memory will live on for those who knew him and felt firsthand his warmth, his intelligence and his generous spirit. The university has lost a great Cornellian.”