Monday, May 29, 2017

Martin R. “Marty” Pisano

Wellsville, NY - Martin R. “Marty” Pisano, 74, of 250 School Street, passed away on Sunday, May 28, 2017, at Jones Memorial Hospital. He was born on December 10, 1942 in Olean the son of the late Martin G. and Mary E. (Rosetti) Pisano. On June 3, 1962 in Olean he married Alta “Jeane” Laxton who survives.

Marty was raised in Olean and was a graduate of Olean High School. He was a veteran of the United States Air Force from 1960 to 1966 and earned the Viet Nam Service Medal and the Air Force Commendation Medal. His military education included several leadership and management courses and Computer Programming at IBM Headquarters in Hartford, Connecticut. He later continued his education at Alfred State College. 

He was employed as the manager of Century Housewares in Olean for 11 years and was Vice President of Operations at Giant Food Mart in Wellsville from 1977 till 2001. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Wellsville Revitalization and Development Committee, the Chautauqua Consortium Private Industry Council, the Allegany County Private Industry Council, the Immaculate Conception School Board and the Wellsville Downtown Merchants Bureau. As an active member of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Wellsville, he served as President of the Parish Council, Co-chairman of the Catholic Charities Appeal, Co-chairman of the Monte Carlo Night, a member of the Finance Committee and its Choir.  

Surviving in addition to his wife Jean, are two children, Michele Staple of Elmira and Mark Pisano of Rochester, 4 grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased in addition to his parents by a son, Martin M. Pisano, a sister, Marlene Goss and a brother, Ralph Pisano. 

The Rosary will be recited on Wednesday, May 31, at 3:15 pm followed by visitation from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at the J. W. Embser Sons Funeral Home Inc., 34 W. State Street in Wellsville. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, June 1, at 11 am in Saint Mary of Angels in Olean with Rev. Vincent Becker as celebrant. Burial will be in St. Bonaventure Cemetery in Allegany. Please consider memorial donations to the American Cancer Society. To leave online condolences, please visit

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Eugene “Gene” J. Platts

Cuba, NY - Eugene “Gene” J. Platts, age 91, passed away on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, at the Cuba Memorial Hospital. He was born in Brookville, Pennsylvania to Joseph and C. and Mary Miller Platts.

Gene graduated from Corning Free Academy and had attended both Syracuse University and Elmira College. Gene worked for Corning Glass and later for Xerox and Bausch and Lomb in Rochester. He was a veteran of WWII serving in the Navy from 1943 until honorably discharged in 1946. Gene enjoyed listening to and collecting big band music, writing poetry and making home movies.

Survivors include his sisters, Carol (Donald) Donovan of Cuba and Joyce Kane from California as well as 34 nieces and nephews.

Gene was predeceased by his parents, a sister Mary Kay Bolam and his brother Dennis Platts.

Friends are invited to attend a graveside service in Sacred Heart Cemetery, on South Main Street, in Wellsville on Friday May 26 at 11 am where he will be buried next to his parents. Memorials in Gene’s name may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice, to leave online condolences please visit

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Constantine James “Gus” Rigas

Wellsville, NY - Constantine James “Gus” Rigas, 87, passed away on May 19, 2017 surrounded by family at Jones Memorial Hospital, in Wellsville, NY. He was born in Wellsville on November 11, 1929, the son of James John and Helen (Brazas) Rigas.

On November 23, 1951, Gus married Rheba Lamar Vincent in Wellsville and together they raised five children. Gus attended Greek School in Wellsville with his siblings and the other Greek children from the community.  He graduated from Wellsville High School in 1947, attended Alfred University, and graduated from the University of Buffalo in 1951 with a B.A. in Biology.

Gus ran the Texas Hot Restaurant in Wellsville with his partner James Raptis which they inherited from their fathers in 1951, until they transferred ownership to their sons. Gus, his brother John Rigas, and friend Dave Scoville, built housing complexes in Wellsville in the late 1960’s. Gus and John started the Wellsville T.V. Cable Company and built additional cable systems and franchises throughout New York and Pennsylvania. Together with his brother, Gus (Vice President), and John, (CEO), formed Adelphia Communications Corporation which grew to be one of the largest cable companies in the country.

In 1981 Gus left the cable business and moved to Bonita Beach, Florida where he opened the Green Onion Restaurant in Naples in 1983. While in Florida, Gus purchased real estate throughout the area and opened Tovar Farms with Eddie Hedlund and Chris Tovar. With the help of Steve Adams, Gus, Eddie, and Chris farmed strawberries, tomatoes, squash and peppers.

Gus was an avid golfer and belonged to the Wellsville, Imperial, Quail Creek, and Naples Country Clubs. He was also a member of the Naples Elks Club and Chairman of the Alleghany County Democratic Committee.

Gus loved music, movies, travel, and sports, especially attending St. Bonaventure University basketball and Alfred University football games with his many friends and family.  Gus enjoyed the social aspects of hunting and fishing, and loved the outdoors, especially tending to the property at “The Farm” in Andover, NY.  Gus spent countless hours feeding the fish in the ponds, and overseeing the mowing, planting and caring for the many acres surrounding the property. Gus and Rheba loved entertaining their countless family and friends, and their doors were always open.

Gus remembered everyone he met; his favorite pastime was reminiscing with old friends and getting to know new ones, and his smile would light up the room. Gus loved everyone; the entire Wellsville community, his friends and family, and the Texas Hot.  He could be seen in his favorite booth every morning having breakfast and was quick to greet and entertain generations of families with his sharp wit and wonderful stories. Above all else, Gus loved people.  His legacy will be preserved by the lives of so many that he touched.

Gus is pre-deceased by his parents, his sister, Mary Hastas, his brothers-in-law, James Hastas and Bill Pallas, and his sister-in-law Doris Rigas.

Gus is survived by his wife Rheba of 65 years, his brother John J. Rigas, sister Katherine R. Pallas, and children, son James R. (Aileen) Rigas, daughter Diana R. (Steven) Pease, son John C. (Cheryl) Rigas, daughter Katherine C. (Philip) Chin, and son Christopher C. (Elizabeth) Rigas,  grandsons Andrew, James, Timothy, Alexander, William, Jamie, Paul, and Nial, granddaughters Jennifer, Liz, Kerry, Sara, Erica, Katie, Anne, Eleni, and Dina, and fourteen great-grandchildren Travis, Andrew, Kelsey, Mia, Shirlyn, Felicity, Lexi, Hendrick, Shiree, Natalie, Adam, Angela, Luke, and Ellington. 

A funeral service will be held at 11:00 am on Tuesday (May 23, 2017) at the Immaculate Conception Church in Wellsville.  There will be a private burial service at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Scio.  The family invites you to share stories and celebrate the life of Gus at a reception from 6:30 to 8:30pm on Tuesday (May 23, 2017) at L’Italia in Wellsville.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a Wellsville Central School Scholarship Fund established in Gus’s memory to be presented each year to a Wellsville graduate by one of Gus’s grandchildren or great-grandchildren. Donations can be made out to: Wellsville Central School Scholarship Fund (in memory of Gus Rigas) and mailed to: 126 West State Street Wellsville, NY, 14895. To leave online condolences please visit

Friday, May 19, 2017

Daniel J. Teach

Belmont, NY - Daniel J. Teach, 59, a former resident of Almond, NY, passed on January 3, 2017, at Jones Memorial Hospital in Wellsville after a long and diligent battle with cancer.  Daniel had currently resided in Wylie, Texas during the previous four and half years.  

     Daniel was born on February 2, 1957, he was predeceased by his parents, Lawrence and Rosella (Priesel) Teach and his brother, Larry of Phoenix, AZ.  He is survived by his wife of 22 years, Sherry (Tronetti) of  Belmont, NY,  four sons,  Jeremy Teach (Beca) of Russelville,  AK, Nathan Teach (Keisha) of Fayetteville, NC, Michael Metsch (Melissa) of Chandler,  AZ, and  Joseph Metsch (Heidi) of Layton, Utah, nine grandchildren, a sister, Janeen Graham of Prescott, AZ, and his Tronetti family in-laws. 

     Upon Daniel’s H.S. graduation from Washington High in Phoenix, AZ, he enlisted in the US Air Force in 1975 and served seven honorable years as a tactical aircraft maintenance technician having reached the rank of Staff Sergeant.  During his time of duty, Dan received several awards, including the Air Force Commendation Medal for Outstanding Achievement.   After his military discharge and as a father of two young sons, Daniel studied as an undergraduate at the Arizona State University at Flagstaff, AZ., after which time he, his former wife (Sandra) and their sons relocated to the Southern Tier of Western NY. Daniel was employed by Morrison Knudson, Hornell, NY and High Tech Ceramics during the late 80’s and early 90’s prior to establishing himself as an independent contractor in the transit industry as a field service technician for Luminator Technology Group and Twin Vision, NA.  In 2001, Daniel accepted a full time field service/trainer position with Twin Vision, NA located in the Research Triangle in Raleigh/Durham, NC, where he and Sherry relocated to and resided for eleven years. In 2012, Twin Vision was acquired by Luminator Technology Group headquartered in Plano, Texas, with whom Dan was offered and accepted a transfer position.  

     Daniel met each professional and personal challenge with great enthusiasm and positive energy and was grateful for the many opportunities he was offered along his way in life professionally and personally, and he gave his all in return.   He lived his life fully and having traveled extensively these United States, whether for work or pleasure, he always put his right foot forward to enjoy the ride.  What he enjoyed most was being a husband, father, teacher, fixer, and the love and laughter in spending time with family and friends.  Dan enjoyed nature and was an enthusiastic sportsman, most particularly the sport and game of golf, in this his greatest accomplishment was beating his brother-in-law, Dana, and it didn’t matter it was only once. 

     Daniel’s last goal in his life was to settle his wife at home in Belmont, NY, which he did accomplish with great determination, love, grace  and integrity as well as with profound  gratitude to  his employer,  Luminator USA, and his colleagues  for their ongoing  professional and personal support. 
     Daniel’s final weeks will remain in the hearts and minds of all who knew him as a true testament of what is most important in life, love.  He is and will continue to be missed immensely.   

Friends are invited to a graveside service on Saturday, May 27, 2017 at 2:00 pm in St Mary’s Cemetery in Belmont.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Dawn D. Williams

Belmont, NY - Dawn D. Williams, 80, of 6034 Baker Road passed away on Thursday, May 18, 2017, at home surrounded by her family. She was born February 20, 1937 in Endicott the daughter of the late Clifford and Rosemary (VanSusan) Dombert. She was the companion of Chester “Don” Baker for over 50 year, who predeceased her on December 30, 2015.

She was formerly employed at Friendship Dairies and Radloph’s Restaurant in Belmont. She loved spending time with her family and enjoyed camping, fishing, playing cards, crocheting, and knitting. She and Don wintered in Florida for many years.   

She is survived by three sons, Richard (Alice) Powell of Jacksonville, Florida, Stanley (Kim) Green of Peru, Indiana, and Nicholas Williams of Olean, five step children, Dianna Craig of Binghamton, Brian (Barb) Baker, Donald (Beth) Baker, and David (Ellen) Baker all of Belmont, and Judy (Mike) Ward of Cuba, a son-in-law, Alan Brewer of Belfast, 50 grandchildren and great grandchildren, a brother, Rick (Christelle) Sauer of Wellsville, as well as several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased in addition to her parents and Don by a stepdaughter, Joyce Brewer, a granddaughter, Dana Williams and a son-in-law, James Craig.

Friends are invited to call on Sunday, May 21, 2017 from noon to 3:00 pm at the J. W. Embser Sons Funeral Home Inc., 17 Schuyler Street in Belmont. The funeral will follow visitation on Sunday at 3:00 pm in the funeral home with Pastor David Ford presiding. Burial will be in Forest Hills Cemetery. Please consider memorial donations to the Amity Rescue Squad or the Hart Comfort House. To leave online condolences, please visit

Monday, May 15, 2017

Dorothy A. Schmelzer

          TO BE THE HAPPY ONE.
                                          - DOROTHY A. SCHMELZER

Belmont, NY - Dorothy A. Schmelzer, age 89, formerly of McNinch Lane, passed away peacefully at Wellsville Manor Care Center on Sunday, May 14, 2017. She was born on March 24, 1928, in Pittsburg, PA., she was the oldest child of Leo and Catherine Perry Strittmather. She attended school in Pittsburgh and moved with her family after World War II to Belmont to join family there. She later met and married Edward Schmelzer, her husband for over 40 years, before his death in 1990.    

In the mid 50’s the family operated “Dot’s Place” a successful restaurant in Belmont.  Following the sale of the restaurant she worked for over fifteen years for the Allegany County Jail as a cook and Matron. She later worked as a teacher’s aide at BOCES and then enjoyed several years babysitting her 2 grandsons and other preschoolers in Belmont. Dorothy enjoyed traveling, including trips to Ireland, England, Italy, and France. She hosted several local bus trips but her favorite trips were junkets to Las Vegas.

Dorothy is survived by her son, Terry (Pat) Schmelzer of Belmont; grandsons, Blair (Meghan) Schmelzer of Rochester and Major Bryan (Gopy) Schmelzer serving in the Air Force. In addition she is survived by 3 step-granddaughters, Alycia Tracy of Olean, Amanda (Ian) Burt of Clayton, and Abby (Josh) Grump of Jupiter, FL.; her 2 younger brothers, Albert (Peg) Strittmather of Belmont and Leo (Donna) Strittmather of Vermilion, OH. Dorothy is also survived by 2 great grandchildren, Lena and Rohan Schmelzer, 3 step-great grandchildren, Olivia and Owen Burt, and Jackson Grump; as well as several nieces and nephews.

Dorothy was predeceased by her husband Edward in 1990 and her son Timothy in 2005.

Friends are invited to call on Friday, May 19, 2017, from 2 to 6 pm at the J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home in Belmont. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday at 11 am at the Holy Family Catholic Church of Belmont with burial in St. Mary’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Holy Family Alter Society or to the Belmont Fire Department Building Fund. To leave online condolences please visit

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Ruth Ann “Ruthie” McCarthy

Wellsville, NY - Ruth Ann “Ruthie” McCarthy, age 66, of East Pearl Street passed away on Tuesday, May 9, 2017, at the Highland Park Rehabilitation Center. She was born on February 3, 1951 in Philadelphia, PA. She was the daughter of Dale and Ruth Anna Eichman Linza. 

Ruthie graduated from Olean High School in 1969 and had worked for Rockwell’s Department Store in Wellsville. She later worked for Tracie’s Flowers in Wellsville and then for the Wetmore Funeral Home and Flower Shop in Ulysses, PA. Ruthie had later purchased Tracie’s Flowers where she changed the name to The Village Flower Shop and operated it until her retirement in 2009. Ruthie was an active board member of the Allegany ARC for over 22 years and enjoyed hunting. She enjoyed to sew and while in high school she earned spending money by making clothes for her teacher.

Survivors include her mother, Ruth Anna Maynard of Olean; her daughter, Daryl Fanton of Wellsville; a son Brett Fanton of Wellsville; a grandson, Griffin Bussard of Wellsville; her brothers, Dale, Perry, and Terry Linza; her constant companion, William Hendershot of Wellsville; several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Friends are invited to a celebration of Ruthie’s life on Monday, May 15, 2017 from 3 to 6 pm at the J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home in Wellsville. In lieu of flowers memorials in Ruthie’s name may be made to the Allegany ARC, 240 O’Conner Street, Wellsville, NY.  14895.

To leave online condolences please visit

Monday, May 8, 2017

Shirley A. (Colligan) Gostley

Wellsville, NY - Shirley A. (Colligan) Gostley, 81, passed away peacefully on May 6, 2017, at Fellowship Manor in Lehigh Valley, PA from complications due to Alzheimer’s disease.  Although her mind faded in recent years, Shirley’s heart remained strong and in it she held a lifetime of beautiful memories.

Shirley was born December 17, 1935 in the “Irish Patch” on Farnum Street in Wellsville, and treasured her childhood as the fourth of five children born to Charles and Marie (Dahill) Colligan. She attended Immaculate Conception School, and was grateful for the Catholic foundation she received there. She moved on to Wellsville High School where she continued her education with the same enthusiasm and spirit that defined her.

A certain stock car driver from the other side of the tracks caught her attention, and she married John Gostley in 1956. Their friendship and marriage was enviable, and their love and amusement for each other and their six children was compelling.  Shirley worked at the New York Telephone Company, and later she and John managed the Sears Roebuck store in Wellsville. She then worked at Air Preheater, and her last career was as a proud school bus driver for Wellsville Schools.  She was passionate about getting to know the children and families, and felt blessed to be a part of so many lives.

Shirley had a beautiful and faith-filled life in Wellsville, loved her Irish roots and upbringing, was devoted to her husband and family, and always had a suitcase packed in case anyone was available for a quick trip to Florida or Ireland.  Her kind heart, quick wit, gregarious style, and affable personality will never be forgotten.

Shirley adored her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and created unique memories with each of them.  She and John never fully recovered from losing their oldest daughter Teri in 1995, but they relied on their love for each other and their family and friends to help them. Because of her disease, Shirley was shielded from the unexpected passing of their son Patrick in 2016, but is rejoicing that they all are now together.

Shirley is survived by her children: Pam Reed of Wellsville, Greg Gostley of Wellsville, Laurie Hackett of Bethlehem, PA, and Holly Massengale and her husband Bruce of Kansas City;  her grandchildren Beth and Tim (Grace) Haaf, Christina (Brad) Ostrander, Laura (Ryan) Aylor, Danny Reed, Kaitlin and Jon Kyle Gostley, Cara and Grady Hackett,  and John and Brian Massengale,  great-grandchildren, Quinn, Ava, Zia, Sloane, and Hannah; her brother, Don (Brenda) Colligan, Brother-in-law, Jim (Carole) Gostley, several nieces and nephews and their families, Tim, Suzy and Erin Colligan, Ken, Mike and Ron Kensek, Heather, Mark, Tracie, and Kelly Colligan, and Leslie Gostley; and family friends, Jake Haaf, Tama Gray Morgan and Doug Reed.

She was predeceased by her husband John, children Teresa and Patrick; siblings Ken Colligan, Norma (Chet) Kensek, and Jack Colligan, a niece, Denise Ricci and great nephew, Shane Colligan.

Friends are invited to call on Friday, May 12, 2017 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at the J. W. Embser Sons Funeral Home Inc. in Wellsville. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 11:00 am at Immaculate Conception Church in Wellsville.  Burial will in Stannards Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial donations to the Immaculate Conception School, 24 Maple Ave, Wellsville NY 14895, or any charity of the donor’s choice. Another way to honor Shirley is to wake up every day determined to make a happy difference in someone’s life, just as she did. 

To leave online condolences, please visit 

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Milford C. “Skip” Whitesell

Wellsville, NY - Milford C. “Skip” Whitesell, 67, of 90 Howard Street passed away on Wednesday, May 3, 2017 at Jones Memorial Hospital surrounded by his family. He was born on April 23, 1950 in Wellsville, the son of the late Irving and Edith (Latten) Whitesell. 

 Skip was raised on Davis Hill in the Town of Andover and was a graduate of Wellsville High School. He was a farmer for many years and also cut, split and delivered firewood with his brother Dick. He was later employed at PWI in Wellsville. He loved watching wrestling on TV, practical jokes, telling stories, taking rides in the county and was a friend to all. 

He is survived by four children, Amanda Whitesell of Wellsville, Racheal Whitesell, Timothy Whitesell and Sarah Whitesell all of Andover, four grandchildren, Jayden Reed, Dawson Reed, Miakoda Reed and Abby Stoneham, four brothers, Richard (Shirley) Whitesell of Wellsville, Ronald (Linda) Whitesell of Independence, David Whitesell of Almond, and Joe “Donny” Whitesell of Genesee, two sisters, Betty Patrick and Darla Williams both of Wellsville, his former wife Kathleen Whitesell of Andover, his beloved companion, Mary Bunt of Wellsville, as well as several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased in addition to his parents, by a stepdaughter, Elizabeth Reed. 

Friends are invited to call on Sunday, May 7, 2017 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 3:00 to 5:00 pm at the J. W. Embser Sons Funeral Home Inc. in Wellsville. The funeral will follow visitation at 5:00 pm Sunday, in the funeral home. Burial will be in Ulysses Cemetery. Please consider memorial donations to Allegany County Cancer Services. To leave online condolences, please visit

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

James M Burrous

Ocean Springs, Mississippi - James M Burrous, 53, of Ocean Springs, Mississippi passed away on Saturday, April 29, 2017, surrounded by his family. He was born April 9, 1964 in Olean, NY. He was raised in Wellsville and was a 1982 graduate of Wellsville High School. He attended Walsh College in Canton, Ohio and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1986. 

He pursued a career in sales and management at Burrous Furniture in Wellsville. He then moved to Fairport, NY in 2000 and joined the sales team at Hoselton Nissan. In 2004 he and his family relocated to Ocean Springs, Mississippi to pursue his career. 

 He is survived by a daughter Alexandra Lynn (Allan) Pearson of San Diego, California, a son Nicolas Mathew Burrous of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, a grandson, Carter Allan Pearson. His parents Richard and Concetta (Wood) Burrous of Sun City Center, FL, a brother Thomas (Trina) Burrous of Boston, MA, a sister Karen (Joseph) Cronin of Fairport, NY, three nieces Sarah Burrous, Katherine Cronin and Nicole Cronin, an aunt Nancy Quackenbush of Geneseo, NY, his girlfriend Rebecca Lynchard of Ocean Springs, Mississippi and several cousins, and close friends. He was predeceased by his wife Rhonda Burrous in 2007. 

Friends are invited to call on Friday, May 5, 2017 from 2-4 and 7-9 pm at the J. W. Embser Sons Funeral Home Inc. in Wellsville. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Saturday, May 6th at 1:00 pm in the Immaculate Conception Church in Wellsville. Burial will be in Woodlawn Cemetery. 

Please consider memorial donations to the Father Bill Brown Mission Club or the Immaculate Conception Church. A college fund has been set up for Nicolas, please send those donations % Joseph Cronin, 209 High Point Drive, Suite 100, Victor, NY 14564.

To leave online condolonces, please visit