Saturday, May 23, 2015

James “Jim” Holbrook

Wellsville, NY - James “Jim” Holbrook, age 86, of South Highland Avenue passed away on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at the Cortland Park Nursing Home in Cortland. He was born on September 27, 1928 in Marysville, Ohio to Norman J. and Ruth Moore Holbrook. On August 20, 1955 he married Joyce McClurg who predeceased him on March 30, 2005.

Jim was a long time resident of the Wellsville who graduated from Wellsville Central High School in 1947. He worked for his father at McGinnis and Holbrook Oldsmobile on South Main Street and joined the US Army in 1950 and served until 1952 in the 82 Airborne Division. Jim worked at Sinclair Refinery in Wellsville and later began a career in retail sales on Main Street. He worked for Ludden Shoe Store, Hamilton Shoe Store and with Dick O’Brien they bought Harkness Clothing. In 1980 Jim sold the business and retired. He was an avid golfer who enjoyed snow skiing in the winter, and traveling on cruise ships. Jim was a sports fan who enjoyed watching the New York Yankees and the Buffalo Bills. He was a member of the Wellsville Country Club and the American Legion.

Survivors include his son, James (Sheryl) Holbrook of Cortland and his daughter Christine Holbrook of Wellsville; 5 grandchildren, Brett, Kayli, Chad, Matthew and Andrew; 5 great grand children, Ostin, Brayden, Parker, Rory and Amaya; several nieces and nephews.

Jim was predeceased by his parents and his wife Joyce.

Friends are invited to call on Thursday, May 28, 2015, from 11 am to 1 pm at the J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home in Wellsville with the funeral service to be held at 1 pm. Burial will take place in Woodlawn Cemetery and memorials in Jim’s name maybe made the charity of the donor’s choice. To leave online condolences please visit

Wilma L. Taggart

Wellsville, NY - Wilma L. Taggart, age 93, of Rauber Hill Road passed away on Friday May 22, 2015 in the Jones Memorial Hospital. She was born on May 8, 1922 the daughter of William and Ola Bucknam Moag. She was married to Gordon Taggart in 1940 who predeceased her on August 6, 1988.

Wilma was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother whowas an accomplished tap dancer and artist. In the late 1930’s Wilma enjoyed dancing at the Temple Theater to local bands including the Yale Jacobs Band and to Terry Cook and his band. She loved animals and was a long time generous supporter of the SPCA and a lover of wildlife. Even though her home was on Rauber Hill she and her family appreciated the loving care she received the two years she resided at Wellsville Manor Care Center. Wilma was an avid Buffalo Bills fan and a member of the Christian Temple/First Congregational Church of Wellsville.

Survivors include her daughter Janice (Jim) Moreland of Wellsville; her 2 grandsons Curt (Jean) Moreland of Roanoke, Virginia and Brett (Lisa) Moreland of Wellsville; 3 great grandsons, Brendan, Zander and Christopher Moreland; several nieces and nephews

Wilma was predeceased by her parents and her husband, Gordon, of 48 years; 2 brothers, Kenneth (Vicky) Moag and Alton (Dorothy) Moag.

Friends are invited to call on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, from 11 am to 1 pm in J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home. Wilma’s funeral service will start at 1 pm with Reverend Ralph Eastlack presiding. In lieu of flowers memorials in Wilma’s name may be made to the SPCA or to the Christian Temple Church/First Congregational Church or the charity of the donor’s choice. To leave online condolences please visit

Friday, May 22, 2015

Richard E. Walker

Richard E. Walker (Rick) of 25 Coats Street passed away on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 with his sons at his side.  He was born on May 16, 1933 in Wellsville to Robert and Thelma Walker.  On August 31, 1957 he married Ella (Ellie) Hyslip who predeceased him.

Rick was a graduate of Wellsville Central High School in 1951.  He then attended Alfred State College, and from 1953-1955 served in the Army during the Korean War.  When he completed his tour of duty he was employed at Air Preheater for fourteen years.  He then decided to enter the world of family owned business working for Hyslip and Hyslip Insurance agency which was later purchased by Reidman Agency.  It was after working for Reidman Agency he decided to purchase the Fillmore Insurance Agency which is known now as Walker Insurance Agency where he retired in 1992.   
Rick is a life member of the Elks Club, Wellsville American Legion and Past President of the Wellsville Lions Club in Wellsville.  He also served on the Wellsville Town Board for nine years..

Although Wellsville was his home he and Ellie spent every summer at Rushford Lake and fulfilled their dream of owning that trailer park and naming it Rick and Ellie’s Summer Park.  They spent many years traveling in their motor home across the United States and living in it during the winter months in Florida. Rick will fondly be remembered by the court kids as the last man standing.

Anyone who knew Rick knew his love of hunting and his camp on Helmhold Road that he and his sons built from the ground up. The camp location was chosen by Ellie. He would retreat there every afternoon to feed the fish and enjoy the peace and quiet.

It was the mornings at the Texas Hot with his friends in the back booth that he cherished, which included lots of laughing and telling of many stories and tales.  He was also the driver in the fall to the home Alfred University Football games with these same friends who were some of Alfred’s biggest fans.

Surviving are his sons, Robert “Bob” [Voni] Walker of Wellsville; Richard (Tracy) Walker of Wellsville, four grandchildren Jimmy Fanton, Tricia (Bill) Smith, Ashley (CJ) Loper, and Chelsea (Drew Tony), Walker and two great grandsons, Miles Loper and Ethan Smith, and his very special friend and companion Carolyn Hess of Pittsburgh, PA.

In addition to his wife Ellie, he was predeceased by his sister Marilyn Ruger and his parents.

Friends are invited to call on Thursday, May 28, 2015, from 2-4 and 7-9 in the J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home Located at 34 West State Street in Wellsville. Rick’s funeral will be held on Friday at 11 am in the funeral home.  In lieu of flowers memorials in Rick’s name may be made to the Hart Comfort House or the David A Howe Library.  Burial will take place in Woodlawn Cemetery and to leave online condolences please visit

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Clara Lehman Murphy

Wellsville, NY - Clara Lehman Murphy, age 95, of 86 Howard Street passed away on Tuesday, May 19, 2015, at Roswell Park in Buffalo. She was born on September 13, 1919 in Wellsville to Frederick George and Florence Hadsell Lehman. On May 9, 1942 in the Immaculate Conception Church Rectory she married George Connell Murphy who predeceased her on July 4, 1990.

Clara graduated from Wellsville High School in 1937 and had lived in Geneva and in Lansing, Michigan. She began her banking career with Citizens Nation Bank in Wellsville and retired from Key Bank as the Assistant Cashier/ Bookkeeping Supervisor after 34 years of service. While working at the bank she earned an Associate Degree from Bryant and Stratton. Clara was a member of the Brookside Wesleyan Church who enjoyed crafts, flower gardening, traveling, and especially her grand children and great grand children.

Survivors include her son Frederick E. (Kathleen) Murphy of Salamanca and her 3 daughters Delores M. (Jerry) Knapp of Wellsville, Leilani M. (Roger) Bentley of Scio and Sheryl J. (William Clay) Murphy of Aurora Colorado; 13 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren; a brother in law Michael (Sally) Murphy of Presho as well as several nieces and nephews.

Clara was predeceased by her parents and her husband.

Friends are invited to call today, Thursday May 21, 2015, from 3-5 pm and 7-9 pm at the J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home in Wellsville. Clara’s funeral service will be held on Friday in the funeral home at 11 am with Reverend Robin George presiding. Burial will take place in Woodlawn Cemetery and memorials in Clara’s name may be made to the David A. Howe Library, or to the Brookside Wesleyan Church, or to the MS Society. To leave online condolences please visit

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Emery W. Morris

Wellsville, NY - Emery W. Morris, 77, of 1303 County Road 18, passed away on Saturday, May 16, 2015 at home with his loving wife at his side. He was born on September 26, 1937 in Sharon Township, PA the son of the late Gilbert and Lillian (Babcock) Morris. On September 26, 1959 in Hemley, England he married Ann Sterry who survives.

He was raised in Sharon and Wellsville area. He enlisted and served in the U. S. Air Force 1956 to 1976 and was a veteran of both the Korean and Viet Nam Wars. He achieved the rank of Tech Sergeant E-6 as a Jet Specialist. In 1959 while stationed at Bentwaters, England he met his future wife, with whom he has celebrated 56 years of marriage.

He was formerly employed as an auto mechanic for Augustine’s Garage in Olean, Bachman Foods of Rochester and retired from Argentieri Brothers Laundry, Inc. of Wellsville. Emery was a devoted father, grandfather and great grandfather who had a great sense of humor and enjoyed fishing, camping, bowling, and reading westerns.  He was a member of the NRA and a former member of the VFW.

Surviving in addition to his wife are three children, Stephen (Teresa) Morris of Wellsville, David (Amy) Morris of Georgia and Kimberly “Kim” (Tim) Hemphill of Genesee, PA, seven grandchildren, Dakota Morris, Cheyenne (Randy) Miller, Trever (Polly) Morris, Jonathon Morris, Heather (Tom) Dickerson, Autumn Hemphill and Trey Hemphill, 11 great grandchildren, one sister, Viola (Monte) Hathaway of Shinglehouse, PA, a brother-in-law, David (Liz) Sterry of Hemley, England, several nieces & nephews and his beloved dog, Macy and cat, Minnie. He was predeceased by a brother, Thomas Morris and a sister, Pearl Morris.

Friends are invited to call on Wednesday, from 5-7 pm and Thursday, from 12 noon to 1:00 pm at the J. W. Embser Sons Funeral home Inc. in Wellsville. The funeral will follow the visitation at 1:00 pm Thursday in the funeral home with Pastor Skeet Keaton presiding. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery. The family suggest memorial donations be made to the SPCA Serving Allegany County, the Wellsville Volunteer Ambulance Corps or the Allentown Volunteer Fire Department. To leave online condolences, please visit  

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Patricia A. Jason

Wellsville, NY - Patricia A. Jason, 74, of 483 County Road 18 passed away on Monday, May 11, 2015 at home with her family at her side. She was born March 17, 1941 in Gouverneur, the daughter of the late George and Marion (Katura) Ward. On January 26, 1995 in Rochester she married Frank Jason Jr. who survives.


Pat was a former resident of Rochester before moving to the Wellsville area in 1992. She enjoyed fishing and loved her many animals.


Surviving in addition to her husband is one son, Russell E. Crump of Rochester, four daughters, Barbara A. (Delmont) Bailey of Wellsville, Tracy M. Rogers and her fiancé James S. Watson of Wellsville, Debra Stewart of South Carolina and Susan Pratt of Watertown, six stepchildren, Mary Roose, Tricia Jason, and Jackie Jason all of Rochester, Frank Jason of Colorado, Ronald Jason of Olean, and Daniel Bailey of Greece, eight grandchildren, Christina M. Crump, Jessica L. MaRose, Anthony M. Crump, Leodore F. LaBarge IV, Amanda M. Wise, Cassey L. LaBarge, Neil T. LaBarge, and Ashlynn N. LaBarge, four great grandchildren, Coronna LaBarge, Nolan M. Wise, Mason M. Wise and Jayden T. LaBarge, as well as several nieces & nephews. She was predeceased by her first husband, Sherman E. Crump in 1994, a stepson, Frank Jason II and a grandson, Robert E. Crump.


Friends are invited to a Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, May 15, 2015 at 11:00 am in the Immaculate Conception Church, 36 Maple Avenue in Wellsville. The family suggest memorial donations be made to the Allegany County Cancer Services, Inc. To leave online condolences, please visit

Monday, May 11, 2015

William O. Stives

Wellsville, NY - William O. Stives, 75, of 80 Johnson Street, passed away on Thursday, May 7, 2015 at the University of Rochester Medical Center, following a long struggle with heart disease and diabetes. He was born July 15, 1939 in Bolivar the son of the late Harold and Catherine (Clark) Stives.

Bill was formerly employed by Hann & Schaffner in Bolivar and was a truck driver for the Town of Alma and Alfred Atlas. He also worked in the oil fields on Alma Hill. He enjoyed NASCAR and was a avid Mark Martin and 49ers fan.

He is survived by a daughter, Roberta (Lee) Fayes of Smethport, PA, a granddaughter, Christina (David) Deyarmin, two great grandchildren, one brother, Roger (Debbie) Stives of Bolivar, four sisters, Beverly Murray, Susan Stives, Valerie “Lynn” (Fred) Galbreath all of Bolivar and Darlene Militello of Rochester, several nieces & nephews and a very close friend, Jane Price of Wellsville. He was predeceased in addition to his parents by a sister, Cecelia Dawn Stives and five brothers, Harold Jr., Gerald, Donald, Larry and Stuart Stives.  

A graveside service and burial in Yorks Corners Cemetery will be planned for a later date. Memorial donations may be made to the American Heart Association, The American Diabetes Association or the Wellsville Volunteer Ambulance Corps.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Wilma Withey Taggart

Wellsville, NY - Wilma Withey Taggart, age 91, formerly of 12 Washington Street passed away on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at the Wellsville ManorHills Assisted Living Facility. She was born on August 14, 1923 in Allentown to Ward A. and Rachael Swarthout Withey. On August 4 1945 in Olean she married Bruce V. Taggart who predeceased her on July 14, 2008.

Wilma was a lifelong resident of this area who graduated from Allentown Central High School at the age of 16. She then studied music and graduated from the Chicago School of Music. She frequently sang with local big band ensembles, and orchestras. Wilma served her country during WWII as a draftswoman at Air Preheater and as an airplane spotter in the hills around Allentown. She was a gifted musician who taught piano lessons while she was living in Allentown. Her love of music stayed with her all of her life as she insisted that all of her children learn to play musical instruments. Wilma was a member of the Christian Temple Church in Wellsville where she taught Sunday school and played the piano for the students. Wilma was the assistant to the librarian at the Wellsville Elementary School, and was in both the Washington Elementary School as well as the Early Learning Center.

Wilma and Bruce raised five children in the Wellsville area and were great supporters of music and arts in the school system.

Survivor include her 3 daughters, Cheryl (Joseph) Greenfield of Delhi, Cherese (Hank) Gould of Wellsville and Cherlayne (Frank) Short of Wellsville; a son Bruce V. (Laura) Taggart Jr. of Delmar;9 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; a sister in law Wilma M. Taggart and a brother in law Earl Jandrew of Allentown.

Wilma was predeceased by her parents, her husband, her daughter Cherie Taggart and her sister Aurelia Jandrew and her brother in law Gordon Taggart.

Friends are invited to attend a service of remembrance on Saturday May 23 at 3 pm in the J. W. Embser Sons Funeral Home in Wellsville with a reception to follow in Island Park. Memorials in Wilma’s name may be made to either the Manor Hills Activity Department or to the Wellsville Central Schools Music Department. To leave online condolences please visit 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Joan L. Sortore

Angelica, NY - Joan L. Sortore, age 80, of the Lamont Road passed away on Tuesday, May 5, 2015, at the Hart Comfort House in Wellsville. She was born on November 22, 1934 in Wellsville to Paul and Florence Flanagan Ludden. On November 5, 1965 in Angelica she married Richard Sortore who survives.

Joan was a graduate of Wellsville Central High School in 1952 and later graduated from Jamestown Community College in 1994 with an AAS Degree. She was employed as a telephone operator in both Hornell and Wellsville until 1966 when she went to work for Allegany County Department of Social Services from where she retired in 1996.

Joan was a member of the former Sacred Heart Catholic Church Church in Angelica and currently she is a member of the now Holy Family Catholic Church in Belmont. She enjoyed knitting, traveling and having coffee with her friends.

Surviving besides her husband are 2 daughters, Kathryn Sortore of Maryland and LuAnn Sortore [Greg] Kaye of Wellsville; 2 grandchildren Lydia and Fletcher; a sister Jane [Donald] Aiken of Wellsville as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Joan was predeceased in death by 2 sisters, Jean Ludden and Lucille Lynch and a brother, Earl Ludden.

Friends are invited to call on Thursday, May 7, 2015, from 4 to 7 pm in the J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home located at 34 West State Street in Wellsville. The Rosary will be offered at 3:30 pm on Thursday prior to calling hours. On Friday a Prayer Service will be held at 10:30 am in the Funeral Home followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 am in the Immaculate Conception Church in Wellsville. Burial will take place in the Until the Day Dawn Cemetery in Angelica. In lieu of flowers memorials in Joan’s name may be given to either the Hart Comfort House or to the Immaculate Conception School. To leave online condolences please visit

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Marcus Edward Hoshal

Belmont, NY - Marcus Edward Hoshal, 28, of 4 Martin Street passed away on Thursday, April 30, 2015 at Buffalo General Hospital following a valiant battle with leukemia. He honorably took on every challenge he faced thought-out his life.  He was born March 17, 1987 in Wellsville, the son of Richard J. Hoshal and Cynthia (Flint) Griswold.

Marcus was raised in Belmont and was a 2005 graduate of Genesee Valley High School. He attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Erie Community College, Alfred State College, Niagara County Community College and took several online programming courseware through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was formerly employed in the summers by the Allegany County DPW, and later for Blockbuster Video, Belmont Hardware, G. D. Fuller Roofing, and was the Office Manager for Bill Brunt Company in Hamburg.

He enjoyed music, video games, movies, hunting, fishing, the Bills and the Sabres. He loved computer programming, his cars, and his dogs, Double A, Chuck, Dazey, Winston and he especially loved his family and friends.

He is survived by his father of Belmont, his mother of Wellsville, his paternal grandmother, Merry Seeley of Wellsville, his paternal grandfather, Charles Hoshal Sr. of Allegany, his maternal grandfather, Russell Flint of Olean, three uncles, Roger and Jonathon Hoshal and Jeffery Flint, four aunts, Laura Gabler, Lynn Wagoner, Kathy Smith and Venus Nickerson as well as several cousins. He was predeceased by his maternal grandmothers, Bonnietta Flint and Katherine Flint.

Friends are invited to call on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at the J. W. Embser Sons Funeral Home Inc., 17 Schuyler Street in Belmont. A gathering will follow visitation at 7:00 pm at the Belmont American Legion. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Allegany County Cancer Services or the Allegany County Area Foundation. To leave online condolences, please visit