Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Anna Rose Thomas, 96

Leesburg, Florida –- Anna Rose Thomas, 96, passed away February 15, 2022, at Lake Vista ALF in Leesburg, Florida. She was born March 31,1925, in Buffalo, the daughter of the late John and Eleanor (Albert) Langerman. On December 27, 1958, at the Immaculate Conception Church in Wellsville, she married William R Thomas who predeceased her on May 4, 2020.

Ann and Bill resided in Wellsville for over 30 years, before retiring to Leesburg, Florida in 1987. Ann taught at Alfred State College for many years and was a member of the Immaculate Conception Church.

She is survived by a son, Peter Thomas and his wife Lauri of Huffman, Texas, as well as several nieces and nephews. She was predeceased, in addition to her parents, by a son, Paul Thomas, a brother, John Langerman and a sister, Eleanor Zurick.

The burial was in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Wellsville. Please consider memorial donations to the Hart Comfort House. To leave online condolences, please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com.

William Ruellan Thomas, 93

Humble, Texas - William Ruellan Thomas, 93, passed away peacefully on May 4, 2020 in Humble Texas. He was born August 30, 1926 in Wellsville the son of William and Mary (Fink) ThomasOn December 27, 1958 at the Immaculate Conception Church in Wellsville he married the former Ann R. Langerman who passed away February 15, 2022.

Bill was a veteran of WW II serving in the US Navy from December 1944 to July 1946, where he became the ships barber. He continued working as a barber until age 85. Bill loved being outdoors, and enjoyed hunting, sport shooting, square dancing, western Novels, and family picnics. At his barbershop in Wellsville you would find his paintings and small pieces of furniture he refinished for sale. He was very talented at all three.  

He was a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 919, and the American Legion Post 702.  He was devoted to his church and family, and was truly a kind and gentle soul. In 1987, Bill and Ann moved to Leesburg, Florida where they resided for 31 years. 

He is survived by a son, Peter and his wife Lauri of Huffman, Texas, a brother, Noel Thomas of Charlotte, NC; as well as several nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a son, Paul Thomas, a brother Basil Thomas, and sister Helen T.  Egner. It is with much love and gratitude to his loving niece Shelly Burns for all her help.

The burial was in Sacred Heart Cemetery in Wellsville. Please consider memorial donations to the Hart Comfort House. To leave online condolences, please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com.

Monday, July 24, 2023

Laurier James “Larry” Lessard Sr, 86

Laurier James “Larry” Lessard Sr, 86, a lifelong resident of Scio, NY, passed away on July 20, 2023. His family was blessed to be able to share with him over his last hours how very loved he truly was.

Larry was born in Plattsburgh, NY on October 13, 1936 and spent his childhood in Scio, NY, where he enjoyed spending his time hunting, fishing, playing sports, and causing general mischief alongside his brother. After serving four years as a Hospital Corpsman in the US Navy, stationed primarily at Camp Lejeune and the Philippines (a place to which he vowed never to return), Larry returned home to Scio to begin his career. He ultimately spent the vast majority of his career working as an Industrial Engineer with Dresser Rand in Wellsville, NY, retiring after more than 30 years in 1999.

Larry married the love of his life, Juel Carter, on May 20,1961. He knew he struck gold with his “Bubba”, as she was the only woman who could not only put up with him, but also bring out his best. They spent 40 happy years together, raising and delighting in their four children. The loss of his wife was a grief he carried with him every day of his remaining years and there is no doubt he is overjoyed at beingreunited with her after 20 years apart.

Larry was very active in the community over the years, having served as a volunteer fireman, a founding member of the Scio chapter of the Lion’s Club, and a longtime congregant of St Joseph’s Church. He also served as Scio Town Justice and as a member of the Scio Central School Board. His final act as a school board member was handing a diploma to his youngest daughter Julie, a special moment for them both.

Larry was a Buffalo Bills fan and an active collector and hobbyist. Over the years he accumulated vast collections of innumerable items including coins, antique furniture, beer steins, Occupied Japan figurines, antique piggy banks, and most especially antique wall clocks, which he delighted in fixing and displaying. His grandson Zach once counted well over 100 wall clocks running throughout his house. Once a topic of great teasing by his family, his children and grandchildren are fortunate to each have at least one of those clocks proudly displayed and keeping time in their own homes. He also planted more varieties of hostas in his backyard than one could reasonably count. He was a candy enthusiast, having jars of the stuff within reach throughout his home. He detested getting lost while driving, sitcoms, mayonnaise, wobbly wooden handled forks (which Juel later admitted to intentionally setting by his plate regularly just to see his reaction), meat that tasted like rubber, and having two jars of mustard open at once in the refrigerator. There was no rationalizing with him about any of these things. He loved his family, Scio, his friends, peppermint stick ice cream, sardines, Genesee Cream Ale, cats, eBay, and nature shows.

Above all else, Larry was a family man. He was old school, with his gruff exterior but soft heart. He will be remembered by his family as a devoted husband, a strong and generous father figure, and he has left us with countless funny memories to comfort us in our grief. In addition, Larry was a friend to many and will be missed by all who knew him. 

He is survived by his children Jeff (Kelly) Lessard of Georgetown, TX, Michelle (Mark) Forbes of Rochester, NY, Jim (Valerie) Lessard of Rochester, NY, and Julie (Brett) Anderson of Austin, TX, his sister Bev (Maurice) Gilman of Weatherford, TX, sister-in-law Edna Lessard, grandchildren Danielle (Mike) Joannides, Alex Lessard, Amanda Lessard, Zachary Lessard, and Sam Lessard, and great-grandchild Hope Joannides. Larry was predeceased by his beloved wife of 40 years, Juel Lessard, his parents Laurier S. & Ida Lessard, and his brother Paul Lessard. 

Visitation will be held on Saturday, August 12, 2023, from 10 am to 12 pm at the J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home of Wellsville, 34 West State Street. A memorial service will immediately follow at 12 noon in the funeral home. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception, held at the American Legion of Wellsville, 23 Jefferson Street. In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial donations to the American Parkinson Disease Association, PO Box 61420, Staten Island, NY 10306. To leave online condolences please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com.

Friday, July 14, 2023

Christopher Morrison, Service Announcement

The friends of Christopher Morrison are invited to a Celebration of Life on Saturday, July 22, 2023, at 11 am in the J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home of Wellsville, 34 West State Street.  Chris passed on December 21, 2022. To read the complete obituary, or to leave online condolences, please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Bonnie L. Johnson, 78

Wellsville, NY – Bonnie L. Johnson, 78, of 103 North Brooklyn Avenue, passed away quietly on the morning of Saturday, July 8, 2023, at Highland Hospital in Rochester, NY with her family by her side. She was born on March 15, 1945, in Jamestown, the daughter of the late Alton and Christina (Jones) Anderson. 

She attended Southwestern Central Schools in Chautauqua County. After moving to Wellsville, she worked for the Village Court, and eventually the Wellsville Central School District, where she retired as a computer educator. While working at the Wellsville Schools, she had the opportunity to coach numerous Odyssey of the Mind (OM) teams over the years, going to the state finals several times. She loved cooking and was an avid baker, and while working and during her retirement, she would create all types of cakes, from birthday to wedding, for family and friends and organizations all over Allegany County. 

She is survived by her husband Gary Johnson, and her son, Ashley Johnson. 

There will be a private family service followed by burial at Sunset Hill Cemetery in Lakewood, NY. In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial donations to the SPCA Serving Allegany County, 5440 NY-19, Belmont, NY 14813. To leave online condolences please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com.

Alan Hanchett, Service Announcement

Wellsville, NY – The friends of Alan Hanchett are invited to a memorial service on Saturday, July 15, 2023, at 11:00 am in the Wellsville Bible Church, 2908 Andover Road in Wellsville. 

Alan passed away on June 11, 2023, to read the complete obituary, or to leave online condolences, please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com.

Monday, July 3, 2023

John R. “Jack” Winterhalter, 87

Belmont, NY – John R. “Jack” Winterhalter87, of Milton Street, passed away on Sunday, July 02, 2023. He was born March 13, 1936, in Belmont, the son of the late Frederick and Pearl (Rogers) Winterhalter. On October 12, 1957, in St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Belmont, he married Helen Whitney, who predeceased him January 19, 2021. 

Jack was raised in Belmont and was a 1954 graduate of Belmont High School. He enlisted it the United States Army, served his tour and was honorably discharged. He owned and operated William Laidlaw, Inc. and a beef cattle farm in Belmont. He served as a Village Trustee and was the Mayor of Belmont for many years. He was a life member and past chief of the Belmont Volunteer Fire Department, a member of the Herbert DeLong American Legion Post 808, the Belmont Conservation Club, and was a longtime member of St. Mary’s Church. He was an avid sportsman who enjoyed hunting and scouting wildlife. 

He is survived by a daughter, Mary Jo (Mike Trivisondol) Healy of Angelica; a son, Jeff (Christa ZenoskiWinterhalter of Belmont; 11 grandchildren, David Graves III, Amber Waasdorp, Megan (Stephen) Anderson, Devan (Jonas Wilson) Healy, Chandel, Derek (Rachel) Winterhalter, Dylan Winterhalter, Alex Winterhalter, Joshua Winterhalter, Josh Graham, and Jacob Winterhalter; many great-grandchildren; Greg’s life partner, Ellen Graham of Belmont; a sister, Enid Sweet of West Seneca; and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents and wife of 63 years, he was predeceased by: a son, Greg Winterhalterfour brothers, Frederick, Clifford, Ernest, and Leon Winterhalter; and two sisters, Estell Saunders, and Doris Dunbar. 

Friends are invited to call on Thursday, July 6, 2023, from 10 am to 12 noon at the J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home, 17 Schuyler Street in Belmont. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 1:00 pm at the Holy Family Catholic Church, 5 Milton Street in Belmont. Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery. Please consider memorial donations to the Allegany County Area Foundation to Support Nursing Scholarships, 6087 State Route 19, Belmont, NY 14813. To leave online condolences please visit www.embserfuneralhome.com.