Monday, November 29, 2021

Robert P. Thurner, 98

Tenafly, NY - Robert P. Thurner of Tenafly, NJ, formerly a resident of Wellsville, NY for over 60 years, a civic leader, man of unquestioned Catholic faith, loving, caring husband, father and uncle, passed into the arms of the Lord on September 30, 2021, after a brief illness. He was born on January 22, 1923 in Middletown, NY, the son of Joseph John and Mary Theresa (McHugh) Thurner, who predeceased him.

Bob is a 1942 graduate of Middletown, NY High School and a 1950 graduate of St. Bonaventure University, with a B.S. in Mathematics, and minors in Chemistry, Philosophy and Sociology. While attending St. Bona’s, he was also a member of ROTC.  Bob served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from 1943 to 1946 and again in the U.S. Army Field Artillery in Korea as a First Lieutenant in 1951 and 1952.

Bob moved to Wellsville in 1952 working as an engineer for the Air Preheater Company, 33 years later retiring as Manager of International Relations. Bob also met the love of his life that year at the Knights of Columbus. On June 20, 1953, he married the late Gean Crichton and they shared 43 years of love, laughter, faith and service. Bob deeply loved and played a significant role in the lives of his large extended family. His many acts of kindness - like regularly taking a truck bed full of nieces and nephews out for ice cream, teaching many of them how to drive, sharing his love of sweets and butter with all - are the stuff of family lore.

Bob was also very dedicated to the Wellsville community. He was a two-term member of the Village Board of Trustees, and served as Deputy Mayor for 4 of those 6 years. Later, Bob served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Jones Memorial Hospital including the time of the 1972 flood when a wing of the hospital collapsed into the Genesee River.

Bob was a member of Immaculate Conception Parish and served in many roles including Finance Committee Chair, Trustee, Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, lector, fundraiser and even altar server when needed. He initiated a program of adult religious education / lectures at the Parish, calling upon his considerable network of priests and religious to present sessions. His own quiet, intense faith was an example and inspiration.

In retirement, Bob pursued his love of golf and the camaraderie of his many friends, travelled in the US, Ireland and Italy, and maintained a winter residence in Florida for a number of years. Times with friends and family members were the highlight - from coffee and danish at the Modern Diner with his posse of daily mass attendees – to too many to count lunches and dinners at the Coffee Mill (the PIE!) and “The Big House” – to the many big and small occasions where he made us all feel special.

In keeping with Bob’s spirit, he would ask that you reach out to family, friends, or a lost connection to say hello. In this time, when so many could use some hope, joy and peace, a call, letter or email may be exactly what they need.

Bob is survived by his children: Christopher of Tenafly, NJ and Susan (Brian) of Arlington, VA, sister-in-law Helen (Lawrence) Crichton-Monroe and brother-in-law Richard (Maureen) Lynch, as well as by his beloved 27 nieces and nephews, 47 ‘greats’ and 39 ‘great-greats’. He was predeceased by: sisters, Marie Frances Thurner Kane and Eileen Thurner Hall; brother Joseph Thurner; sisters-in-law, Patricia Crichton Walsh, Maureen Crichton Lynch; and brother-in-law John Crichton. Bob’s ‘granddog’ Baxter was his buddy and brought him joy, as Blackie, Schultz, and Bridget did before him.

Bob was very appreciative, as are Chris and Susan, of the compassionate and patient care provided to Bob in his final years by Olivia, Chris, Roseman and Bernice.

In lieu of flowers, Bob and his family would ask that donations be made to Immaculate Conception School, or to the Fr. Bill Brown, OFM Mission Club to support his over 50-year mission in Peru, both of Wellsville, NY.

A mass of Christian Burial was held on October 9th at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Tenafly, NJ. A memorial mass for Bob will be held at Immaculate Conception Church in Wellsville on Saturday June 4, 2022. Bob will also be laid to rest with his beloved Gean at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Wellsville at that time. To leave online condolences, please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com. 

Saturday, November 20, 2021

Martin “Marty” W. Smith, 76

Elm Valley, NY - Martin “Marty” W. Smith, 76, of Elm Valley Road, passed away on Friday, November 19, 2021 at Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville. He was born in Wellsville on November 11, 1945 the son of the late Virgil and Marian (Bartoo) Smith. On November 26, 1966 he married his wife of fifty-four years, Sharlotte Robinson, who survives . 

Marty was a lifelong resident  of this area, graduating from Whitesville Central High School in 1964. His first passion was farming having grown up on a farm in West Union. He worked for Dresser-Rand from 1965 until his retirement from the Navy Group in 2008. After retirement, he returned to his farming roots and helped many neighbors and friends in Elm Valley. He enjoyed golfing, splitting wood, watching NASCAR, and Tuesday morning breakfast with fellow Dresser-Retirees . He'll be remembered as a friend to many, who was always willing to help anyone; with Marty, action spoke louder than words. 

In addition to Sharlotte, he is survived by: a daughter, Stacey Smith-Roberts of Wellsville; three grandchildren, Paige (James) Baldwin of Lockport, James McNeill and Morgan McNeill of Lockport; three great-grandchildren, Reid, Finn, and Quinn Baldwin; a brother, Gordon “Mike” Smith of Whitesville; a sister, Gloria Young of Columbus , GA; and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by: a son, Gregory who passed in 1987.

Friends are invited to call on Tuesday, November 23, 2021 from 4 – 6 PM at the J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home in Wellsville (34 West State Street). The funeral service will follow at 6 PM in the funeral home with Reverend Ann Jenkins presiding. Burial will take place in Whitesville Rural Cemetery. Please consider memorial donations to the SPCA serving Allegany County. To leave online condolences please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com. 


Monday, November 8, 2021

Gregory John Hollod, 69

 
Boca Raton, FL – formerly of Wellsvile, NY  

Gregory John Hollod, 69, passed away on Friday, October 22, 2021 in his home in Boca Raton, Florida. Although his 11-month battle with brain cancer was unrelenting, Greg passed away pain-free and surrounded by love. Even in his final hour, unable to speak, he continued to showcase his beautiful smile that warmed the hearts of all those around him.

Greg is survived by his two sons, Christopher and Andrew; two daughter-in-laws, Bianca and Laura; and two grandchildren, Rivers and Luke.

Greg was born on April 18, 1952 in Wellsville, New York to John “Yonk” Hollod and Margaret Shear Hollod. It was a simple and disciplined upbringing alongside his older brother Buster and younger sister Kim.

From a very young age, Greg found deep inspiration and solace in nature, and he fueled his more introverted tendencies through meandering hikes in the woods.

He fell in love with his high school sweetheart, Katie McEnroe, during their first date at his senior prom, and consistent with his love of nature, Greg ultimately proposed to Katie during one of their favorite hikes.

Greg’s father, Yonk, a World War II veteran, was a first generation American whose parents immigrated from the Ukraine. Yonk taught Greg the value of hard work, determination, and most importantly, the value of education. “An education is something that no one can take away from you,” is a defining quote that still rings through the minds of Greg’s sons, Chris and Andrew.

After graduating college from Binghamton University, with Katie supportively by his side, Greg moved to Minnesota to earn his PhD in Environmental Engineering, which was still a relatively nascent field. Today, environmental issues have become quite salient in almost every large corporation, but during his PhD work, Greg was one of the initial pioneers and trailblazers in the industry. He dedicated his profession to honoring and protecting the sacred beauty of our natural world.

Greg started his career with a 13-year stint at DuPont and eventually worked for several other large manufacturing companies including Graphic Packaging, Kimberly Clark, Dresser-Rand, and Mueller Water Products. Although the companies differed in their products and services, Greg’s mission was always precisely clear and consistent: protect the health and safety of the employees and the environment. 

As children, we all aspire to find a professional calling that coincides with our personal interests, and Greg was a shimmering example of someone who brought this childhood dream to fruition.

Greg’s love of nature permeated all facets of his life and was deeply instilled into his two sons, who were raised equally in the suburbs of Atlanta and the rugged mountains of Blue Ridge, a quaint town in North Georgia at the Southern starting point of the world-famous Appalachian Trail. 

Throughout Chris and Andrew’s adolescence, Katie would drop-off her “three boys” at a trailhead with enough food and supplies to last at least five nights in the woods. After each full day of hiking, Greg would assemble the tent and sleep in the middle, flanked on both sides by his sons. Chris and Andrew, now 38 and 37, respectively, still fondly cherish the memories of their countless outdoor adventures with their father. And Andrew is now eagerly teaching his two sons, Rivers (4) and Luke (1) the captivating beauty of nature.

In hindsight, life seemed relatively idyllic for decades, until Katie was diagnosed with late-stage cancer during the summer of 2005. After a heroic and courageous 2-year battle with the disease, Katie passed away on July 4, 2007, leaving Greg as a widower.

Instead of being perpetually debilitated by utter sadness, which Katie would have disapproved of, Greg channeled his deep sense of loss into an inspirationally positive outlet: he became a grief counselor and funeral volunteer in order to help those in need.

During this chapter of Greg’s life, his guiding principle was, “love drives out fear,” in reference to the empowering Bible verse 1 John 4:18. After much focused repetition, the verse was ultimately codified into the Hollod family motto. No matter the fear, whether of death or illness, Greg beseeched everyone to focus exclusively on love. Greg truly became a beacon of love, inspiring all those around him, including his dearest Katie, who continued to watch over him from above.

In 2018, after retiring from his profession to dedicate more time to his volunteer work, Greg immediately commenced a new chapter of his life as “Far Far,” which translates to “grandfather” in Swedish. This seemingly obscure term, which he encountered during a vacation in Sweden with Katie in the ‘90s, became Greg’s new moniker as he relished his time with his grandchildren Rivers and Luke. In the last three years of his life, Greg’s friends, family, and even his two sons began referring to him lovingly as “Far Far” or even “Farf” for short. 

Throughout his entire life, Greg possessed an exceedingly rare ability to enjoy life’s simplest of pleasures. When asked about his priorities and secrets to being happy, Greg was always quick to respond with, “Love, Nature, and the Divine.” The aforementioned code acted as Greg’s compass, and his impassioned adherence to this code navigated him through a life well-lived. 

Greg will be missed and remembered by so many, but it gives his family profound peace to know that Greg has been reunited with his wife Katie through heaven’s everlasting embrace.

Greg will be honored in a Catholic Mass Christian Burial at Immaculate Conception in Wellsville, NY (36 Maple Ave.) at 11am on Saturday, November 13th. Memorial contributions may be made to the David A. Howe library in Wellsville, NY (155 North Main St.). To leave online condolences please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com. 


Friday, November 5, 2021

Edward D. Linnecke, 69

Scio, NY - Edward D. Linnecke, 69, of Riverside Dive, passed away unexpectedly at home on November 3, 2021 after a brief illness. He was born in Wellsville on February 3, 1952 the son of Frank Sr. and Cathleen (Hennessy) Linnecke. In 1979 in Texas he married his wife of forty-two years, Hortensia Rodriquez, who survives. Later that same year they celebrated their marriage with a Mass at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Scio. 

Ed was a long time resident of Allegany County. He graduated from Scio Central School, and then continued his education at Edinboro College of Pennsylvania. After completing his education, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, for whom he served for four years. He would eventually retire from the Allegany County Office of the Aging in 2007. He was very proud of his Catholic faith, he was devout, a member of Holy Family in Belmont, and enjoyed teaching others . Outside of work, he was an avid spectator of Formula One racing, who enjoyed trips to Watkins Glenn. He especially enjoyed working at home with pottery in his own studio. He will be remembered as being well read in philosophy, theology, and as an introspective man. 

In addition to his wife and parents (all of Scio) he is survived by: a son, Edward Daniel Linnecke Jr of Scio; a daughter, Mary Lou (Larry) Linnecke-Blocho of Belfast; four grandchildren, Larry Blocho, Reiley (Brooke) Blocho, Ethan Blocho, and Andrew Blocho; three sisters, Mary (Ken) Huber of Webster, Theresa (Greg) Hardy of Boston, MA, and Cathleen (Bill) Whitfield of Scio; three brothers, Robert (Sheila) Linnecke of Scio, Gerry (Beth) Linnecke of Mayville, and Frank (Carol) Linnecke of Florida; as well as several nieces, nephews, and cousins. 

Friends are invited to call on Tuesday, November 9, 2021 from 4 PM – 6PM at the J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home in Wellsville (34 W. State St.). A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, November 10, 2021 at 11 AM at St. Joseph's Catholic Church of Scio (3912 Cottage Bridge Rd). Burial will follow the service in St. Joseph's Cemetery. Please consider memorial donations to the SPCA Serving Allegany County or to Holy Family Catholic Church of Belmont (5 Milton). To leave online condolences please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Mary M. Fagan, 69

Wellsville, NY - With love and profound sadness, the family of Mary M. Fagan, 69, of 41 Elm Street, announces her passing on Monday, November 1st at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY after a brief illness. 

Mary was born on July 5, 1952, to Francis “Frank” Fagan and Madeline (Padden) Fagan of Wellsville, NY. Mary grew up on Hanover Street with her six siblings and a close-knit group of family, cousins, and lifelong friends. The family then moved to East State Street where new neighborhood memories grew including those with the Hart cousins up the road.

After graduating from Immaculate Conception School in 1967 and Wellsville High School in 1970, Mary received an Associate Degree from Alfred State College. Mary started her career at Alfred State College Alfred campus in 1976 and retired 32 years later in 2008 as administrative assistant to the dean at the Wellsville campus. Mary would tell stories with fondness of her co-workers and friends at Alfred. But Mary’s greatest joy was working with the students. She loved and mentored several students over her years there. During her time at Alfred, Mary also became involved in the State union representing and advocating for her fellow employees. After her retirement in 2008, she stayed connected to Alfred by working closely with the Alfred Ed Foundation for years.

In addition to her Alfred career, she was a member of the American Legion and Elks Clubs; she was a lifelong communicant at Immaculate Conception Church and volunteered at ICS (including the infamous lunch lady which gave her lots of laughs).

Mary was a caregiver and her family and friends meant everything to her. She loved spending time with her goddaughters, Maureen Gardner Marsh, and Lauren Staba. The cookie baking marathons will never be the same. She boasted about her nieces and nephews and loved spending time with each of them. She loved spoiling them with treats they typically did not have, getting their nails done, playing games and just being with them. She wanted to make sure they were happy, and she was a great mentor. Mary always had solid advice, from skincare routines, tips on school, writing resumes, or great shopping deals – Mary had it!

Mary was the always the first person you would receive a card from on your special occasion. She loved travel and adventure. She hated COVID!! Her favorite things were playing cards (her partner Bob and her weekly group Jude, Maureen, and Dawn), her “Sistas” celebrations and travels, the Alfred culinary group get togethers, visiting her BFF Betsy, reading, she loved chocolate and her walks with Deb to ensure she got her steps in.

Mary’s life was disrupted a couple of months ago with an auto-immune illness that took her life quickly and we are heartbroken and blindsided. Mary has a wonderful group of friends and family that are going to miss her dearly. 

Mary is survived by three sisters:  Helen (Lorne) LeBere of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, Frances Baham of Fairport, NY and Suzanne "Suzie" Fagan of Wellsville, NY, a brother David Fagan of Scio, NY, and a sister-in-law, Sandy Fagan of Concord, NC, as well as many beloved nieces, nephews, godchildren, and friends.

In addition to her parents, Mary was predeceased by her beloved brother John Fagan, sister Brenda Fagan and brother-in-law Clifford “Cliff” Baham.

Friends are invited to call on Monday, November 8, 2021, from 4pm – 6pm at the J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home (34 Wet State Street) in Wellsville and 10am - 11am on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, at the Immaculate Conception Church (6 Maple Avenue) Wellsville. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in the church on Tuesday following the calling hour. She will be buried in Sacred Heart Cemetery next to her parents. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following: The Hart Comfort House, 141 East State St. Wellsville, NY 14895; The SPCA of Allegany County, 5440 NY-19, Belmont, NY 14813; Breast Cancer Research; Auto-Immune Disease Research.

Quote:  

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; love leaves a memory no one can steal…. An Irish Proverb


“Rick” Merritt D. Wigent, 68

Belmont, NY - “Rick” Merritt D. Wigent, 68, of North Street, passed away on Monday, November 1, 2021 at Highland Park Center in Wellsville, after a long illness. He was born in Wellsville on March 24, 1953 the son of the late Lawrence Eugene and Patricia (Williams) Wigent. On October 10, 1987 in Belmont he married his wife of thirty-four years, Kristen Vossler - who survives.

Rick was a lifelong resident of Belmont, he was a 1971 graduate from Belmont Central High School. He was remembered as a stand-out baseball player for Belmont, a“Rick” Merritt D. Wigent, 68nd was invited to try out for the Orioles and the Red Sox. In 1973 he enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina in the 82nd Airborne. He achieved the rank of sergeant before being honorably discharged in 1977. After his military career he worked for Current Controls in Wellsville, from where he retired in 2018. Outside of work he enjoyed hunting, fishing, and arrowhead collecting. He was a bassist for many bands such as: Reunion from 1980-1990, B.A.N.D.I.T.S (Bands against Nuclear Dumps in This State) from 1989-1991, and the Allegany Blues Co. in the mid-nineties. He also loved to cook, especially using recipes that include venison and leeks.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by: three children, Jarrod (Krista Humbert) Wigent of Olean, Kayleigh (Nikolai Sansone) Wigent of Belmont and Gabriel (Shyenne Grooms) Wigent of Friendship; thirteen grandchildren, Jarrod Wigent Jr., Abigail Wigent, Thayne Barnes, Iliad Barnes, Elowen Barnes, Hendrix Wigent, Phoenix Humbert, Griffin Humbert, Quinton Humbert, Justin Barnes, Aria Barnes, Dorian Barnes, and Gideon Barnes; a sister, Sandra Wigent of Scio; a brother, Mack (Lisa D’Antonio) Wigent of Alma; five nieces; and several grand-nieces, grand-nephews, and cousins.

A private celebration of life is being planned by the family. To leave online condolences please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com



Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Linda K. Orpet, 76

Wellsville - Linda K. Orpet, 76, of Fulmer Valley Road, passed away on Monday October 25, 2021 at Jones Memorial Hospital following a brief illness. She was born in Wellsville on July 2, 1945 the daughter of the late Ralph and Doris (Lewis) Fanton. On August 9, 1975 in Hallsport she married her husband of twenty nine years, Reginald E. Orpet, who predeceased her on January 10, 2005. 

Linda was a 1963 graduate of Wellsville High School, she continued her education at SUNY Geneseo and SUNY Alfred – graduating from both institutions. Linda entered the workforce first at Air Preheater and Buffalo Photo Studios before beginning her career in education. She worked for both Alfred State College and Wellsville Central Schools were she was a Teacher's Assistant until her retirement. Outside of work, Linda enjoyed gardening, reading, bird watching, cooking and canning, and loved spending time with her grandson. She was an active member of the Hallsport Christian Church.

She is survived by: two sons, Jess (Sarah) Orpet of Indianapolis, IN and Adam Orpet of Wellsville; one grandson, Cooper Orpet; two brothers, Dwight (Linda) Fanton of Wellsville, and Darwin (Melody) Fanton of Wellsville; as well as several nieces and nephews. 

Friends are invited to call on Friday, October 29, 2021 from 4 – 6 PM at the J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home in Wellsville (34 West State Street) and from 12 Noon – 1 PM on Saturday, October 30, 2021 at the Hallsport Christian Church (2182 Stout Rd). The funeral will follow Saturday at 1 PM with Reverend Mike Brady presiding. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery. Please consider memorial donations to Hallsport Christian Church. To leave online condolences please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com.