Monday, January 29, 2024

Ronald William Hall, 74

Independence, NY -- Ronald William Hall, 74, passed away Saturday, January 27, 2024, at homewith family at his side. He was born on September 4, 1949, in Wellsville, the son of the lateArchie Hall and Helen (Rogers) Hall. In 1976 he married Arlene Lewis, who predeceased him in 2006.

Ron graduated from Whitesville Central School in 1968, he then went to work for Joyce Pipeline Company. When that job came to an end, he started working for the Town of West Union plowing snow and doing road work. In 1971 he was offered a job one night when he was at the “Cow Palace” to become a “worm” for a drilling company that was drilling near home in Arkport, NY. This country boy took the leap, not knowing it would take him to multiple states, and often several hours from home. This decision was the beginning of an almost 50-year career in the oil and gas industry. Working for multiple companies, such as Delta Drilling, Fairman Drilling, Nabors, Lang Brothers, Union Drilling, East Resources, JKLM, and the Hall Group. He started as a worm and worked every position on the drilling rig. He hired many guys from his hometown area, several made a career out of it, and Ron always prided himself on opening doorsand helping others get their foot in the door.

In 1983 he purchased a farm in Whitesville. This was a prideful moment for Ron. He was a farmer at heart and valued his upbringing on a farm. He wanted his kids to have the same experience as he did. His parents and a couple of his beloved nephews spent a lot of time helping to build this dream Ronald had. He had a huge heart when it came to animals and was an excellent herdsman. He loved that his son continues to farm on the property and is raising his children there. Three generations of Hall’s on this farm felt like a huge accomplishment for Ron.

In 2019, Ronald retired as a consultant for the Hall Group and spent his days farming, hunting, driving around the countryside, often hauling the Amish, and spending time with family and friends, helping as many people as he could. Ronald spent most of his retirement playing a large role as a grandpa. He was “Bop Bop” to Vanessa, Gage, and Laura and “Big Papa” to Sulivan. Jake just called him “Ronnie.”. He was a devoted son, husband, dad, uncle, and grandfather. Ronald and Arlene opened their home to many people over the years, sometimes these stays added up to years and sometimes months, however long their home was needed or wanted there was a place to stay. Two of these long-term stayers are his relative Bruce Stevens and his granddaughter Christy Lee. Bruce and Christy and therefore their families, have had a special relationship with Ronald.

An avid hunter, throughout his childhood and adult years, he loved to hunt small and big game, but white tail deer and coyotes were his favorite. He loved watching college and professional football on tv and was a die-hard Bills fan. Known for his own basketball skills, when his playing days were over, he loved watching basketball. He instilled this love for basketball in both of his kids and for years watching college basketball on TV has been a bond they share. He was so proud to watch his granddaughter Vanessa in her first year of college basketball. He was an incredibly giving person, truly the type of guy that would give the shirt off his back to anyone. He loved adventure, spending time with people, had a great love for music, was a huge jokester who was always up for a fun time, and he always wanted to make life better for others.

He is survived by: two children, William (Jane) Hall and Hollie (Todd Nelson) Hall; four step-daughters, Diane (Kellogg) Bledsoe, Shirley (Kellogg) Cramer, Patricia (Kellogg) Johnson, and Nancy (Kellogg) WhatleyHe had 13 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren; four great-great grandchildren; sister, Donna (Wayne) Stebbins; brother, Garry (Lynn) Hall; sister-in-law, Cindy Hall; as well as several close loved ones. In addition to his parents and wifehe was predeceased by: his brother Roger Hall, his sister Nancy (Hall) Coleman, brother-in-law Hugh Coleman, nephew Thomas Tommy Coleman, and great nephew David Stoddard.

The family will hold a celebration of life for Ronald at a later date. There is no doubt that the world lost a great man, and his family wants to take time to grieve before celebrating his life and who he was for so many people. Please consider memorial donations to Allegany County Cancer Services, P.O. Box 534, Wellsville, NY 14895and/or The Greenwood American Legion2642 Main Street, Greenwood, NY 14839. To leave online condolences please visit

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Robert L. Layman, 64

Scio, NY  Robert L. Layman, 64, of 5035 Snowball Hollow Road passed away on Friday, January 26, 2024, at home with his family at his side. He was born July 16, 1959, in Wellsville, the son of Thomas and Donna (Ward) Layman. On July 13, 2002, in Wellsville, he married Dawn Michella Hall who predeceased him October 27, 2012.

Robert was a 1978 graduate of Scio Central School. He began his career as a pipeline employee for Dan Deming of Andoverhe later was a logger for Mike Ward Logging of Andover, and a carpenter for Bill Lynch Andover Wood Products, until his medical retirementHe enjoyed tinkering in his garage and spending time with his siblings and extended family.

He is survived by his mother, Donna Layman of Scio, three daughters, Renee (Jeremiah Pizarro) Layman of Wellsville, Amelia Johnson and Crystal Johnson both of Andover, a son, John (Cara) Johnson of Wellsville, 10 grandchildren, Destiny, Naudia, Zander, Mylah, Aliza, Trinity, Adalynn, HoldenJasper. and Eliana, who will be arriving in June, a brother, Jeff (Tonya ArmstrongLayman ofScio, two sisters, Darlene (Gary) Gilliand of Bolivar and Judy (Gordon Hadsell) Layman of Belmont. as well as several nieces, nephews, and friends. He was predeceased by his father, Thomas Layman, and two brothers, Thomas, and Douglas Layman.

A celebration of life is being planned for a later date. The burial will be in Knights Creek Cemetery. Please consider memorial donations to Allegany County Cancer Services, PO Box 534, Wellsville, NY 14895. To leave online condolences, please visit

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Mary E. Benz, 93

Wellsville, NY – Mary E. Benz, 93, of 2608 County Road 18 passed away on Thursday, January 18, 2024, at home with family at her side. She was born March 28, 1930, in Wellsville, the daughter of the late Arthur W. and Lillian (McHale) Walsh. On May 4, 1968, at the Immaculate Conception Church in Wellsville she married Clarence H. “Clancy” Benz who predeceased her on December 18, 2010.

Mary was raised in Wellsville, and graduated from the Immaculate Conception School, Wellsville High School in 1947, and Geneseo State Teachers College in 1951. She began her teaching career in Endicott, and moved on to Corning, Wellsville, and retired from Scio Central School. She was an active member of the Immaculate Conception Parish, a member of the Immaculate Conception Altar and Rosary Society, Co-founder, and long-time committee member of the Immaculate Conception Community Fun Fair. She was also a member of the Red Hat Club, Monday Club, and Garden Club. She delivered Meals on Wheels and enjoyed playing Bridge.

She is survived by four sons, William (Annie) Benz of Wellsville, Joseph (Roxanne) Benz of Durham, NC, Robert (Kimberly) Benz of Corning and Martin (Cristin) Benz of Springville, nine grandchildren, Haley, Gianna, Lilian, Terrence, Nathan, Emma, Alexander, and William Benz and Thomas Rogers, two sisters-in-law, Margaret Benz of Lancaster, and Shirley Benz of Hamburg, a brother-in-law, Richard Graffeo of West Seneca, as well as several nieces, nephews, cousins, and close friends. In addition to her parents and husband she was predeceased by two brothers, James (Patricia) Walsh and Robert (Jane) Walsh and several brothers and sisters-in-law. 

Friends are invited to call on Friday, January 26, 2024, from 2:00 to 4:00 and 7:00 to 9:00 pm and Saturday, January 27, from 10:00 to 10:30 am at the J. W. Embser Sons Funeral Home Inc. in Wellsville. The Rosary will be recited Friday at 3:45 pm in the funeral home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, January 27, at 11:00 am at the Immaculate Conception Church in Wellsville. The burial will be in Sacred Heart Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial donations to Sacred Heart Cemetery ℅ Immaculate Conception Church, 17 Maple Ave., Wellsville, NY 14895, or Preborn! (

To leave online condolences, please visit

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Dale R. Kemp, 77

Belmont, NY – Dale R. Kemp, 77, of Park Circle, passed away on Saturday, December 23, 2023, at Jones Memorial Hospital after a short illness. He was born on December 30, 1945, in Wellsville, the son of the late Jay B. and Ruby (VanCuren) Kemp. 

Dale was raised in Belmont and attended Belmont Central School. He enlisted with the United State Navy and served in 1964. After his time in the service, he returned to Belmont and was employed in a myriad of places, including Worthington, the Village of Belmont, and owning & operating his own Lawn Care business. Outside of work, he enjoyed working on small engines and lawn mower repairs and loved to fish. He was a member of the American Legion Post 808 of Belmont. 

He is survived by six children, Trisha Kemp and Lori Henning, both of Lewis Run, PA and Steven D. Kemp of Rockhill, SC; siblings, Beverly (Curtis) Burnell, Richard (Marylou) Kemp, Lois Eck, Wayne (Sandra) Kemp, Rosalie Taylor, and Carl (Linda) Kemp. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a sister, Barbara Kemp. 

There will be a Memorial Service held on Saturday, February 3, 2024 at 11 am at Knight’s Creek, 2987 County Road 9, Scio, NY 14880. Burial will be in Bath National Cemetery. Please consider memorial donations to the Herbert DeLong American Legion Post 808, 23 Schuyler Street, Belmont, NY 14813. To leave online condolences please visit

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Ann C. ‘Maude’ Margeson, 86

Wellsville, NY - Ann C. ‘Maude’ Margeson, born on February 24, 1937, to Leo V. and Lillian (Trahey)
 Ludden, peacefully passed away on January 15, 2024. She was the cherished wife of Terry Margeson, and together they shared a life filled with love and companionship.

Ann Margeson was a proud alumna of Immaculate Conception School and the class of 1954 Wellsville High School. She dedicated numerous years to volunteering at Immaculate Conception School during her children and grandchildren’s time there. Ann also worked at the family-owned Ludden’s Shoe Store for many years. Her spirit was felt (and heard) in various organizations, including the Lioness Club, where she found great joy in preparation for the annual Minstrel Shows. Her passion for service extended to BPOE 1495, and Gamma Phi Sorority, where she formed lasting connections as a life member. Maude may be best remembered by her notorious laugh.

Ann leaves behind a legacy of family and her memory will forever be cherished by her devoted children: Stephen (Deb) Margeson, Linda Guido, Robert (Laura) Margeson, Susan (Kim) Margeson, and Mary (Dean) Piscitelli. Her grandchildren, Katy Ferguson, Kyle (Ashley) Margeson, Timothy (Jess) Margeson, Michael (Jenny) Guido, Robby (Chandra) Margeson, Sam (Hastee) Margeson, Kailey Flanders, Nathaniel (Grace) Piscitelli, and Jonathan Piscitelli, also a beloved great-grandmother to Leah, Carter, Camryn, Corbin, Adrian, Terrance, Micah, Rhiannon, and Jahnaan. Many special nieces and nephews whose lives were brightened by her warmth, wisdom, and affection.

Ann is also survived by her loving sister Regina McGinnis, Bob and Shirley Margeson and many special nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by Brother Donald Ludden, Helen Andrews, Lois (Jerome) Sullivan, Margorie (Leo) Finn.

Friends are invited to call from 5-7pm on Friday January 19, 2024, at J.W. Embser FuneralHome, 34 W State St. Wellsville, NY 14895. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held onSaturday, January 20, 2024, at 11 am in the Immaculate Conception Church in Wellsville. Burialwill take place in Sacred Heart Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations be made to Wellsville BPOE 1495 Scholarship 77, E Pearl St. Wellsville, NY or Friends of the David A. Howe Library, reflecting Anns lifelong dedication to the Wellsville community. To leave online condolences please visit

May Maude rest in eternal peace, and may her family find solace in the beautiful memories and enduring love and laughter she shared with them.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Barbara H. Miesner, 88

Syracuse, NY – Barbara H. Miesner, 88, of 7174 Obrien Road passed away Sunday, January 7, 2024, with family by her side. She was born March 29, 1935, in Sand Brook, NJ, the daughter of the late John and Barbara (Burkert) Herrman. On November 26, 1955, she married Wolfgang H. “Bill” Miesner, who predeceased her on January 29, 1984.

Barb was raised in Sand Brook, NJ. She and Bill raised their family in Whitehouse Station, NJ in a house built by Bill. Barb was proud of her church secretarial career, great short hand skills, and was employed by the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Flemington, NJ. The family moved to Wellsville just after the Flood of 72 and lived at the end of Mapes Road in Willing, where Bill loved to hunt and fish. She enjoyed hosting big dinners for the New Jersey relatives, who came up regularly for the opening day of deer season. Many deer were processed on the kitchen table.Barb made frequent trips to North Rose to visit the Thomas family apple farm and loved sitting on the cottage porch overlooking Sodus Bay with a good book. She continued her church secretary career with the First United Methodist Church and the Full Gospel Church in Wellsville, and the Hallsport Christian Church. She was a member of the Hallsport Christian Church and enjoyed reading, gardening, and canning. She was famous for her special potato salad everyone enjoyed at family picnics. Barb was a woman of strong faith and loved the Lord. In 2016 she moved to Syracuse to be near Heidi who cared for her until her passing. She enjoyed the comradery and good times with her many good friends at the Obrien apartments.

She is survived by two daughters, Marie (Jim) Thomas of North Rose, NY and Heidi Noce (companion, Charlie Rusyniak) of Cato, NY, a son, Henry Miesner of Hawthorne, FL, a grandson, Cameron Noce of Camillus, NY, two brothers, Joseph (Carol) Herrman, and Wolfgang (Susan) Herrmann and a sister, Mary Ann Vogt (companion, Mike), many nieces and nephews, and a special cousin, Jack (Deb) Herrmann of Phoenix, NY. In addition to her parents, and husband, she was predeceased by a sister, Caroline Lucas, and a brother, John Herman.

A memorial service will be held at a future date at the Hallsport Christian Church, 2182 Stout Road, in Hallsport. Burial will be in Yorks Corners Cemetery next to Bill. Those who wish may make a memorial donation to their church or the charity of one’s choice. To leave online condolences please visit

Monday, January 8, 2024

Michael F. Bessette, 62

Belmont, NY – Michael F. Bessette, 62 of State Route 244, passed away on Friday, January 5, 2024, at Wellsville Manor Care Center, due to Glioblastoma. He was born on June 30, 1961, in Cuba, the son of Howard R. and Barbara A. (Stark) Bessette. 

Mike was raised in Belmont, graduating from Belmont High School in 1980. After graduating, he spent a few years in Connecticut working as a Grinder for Electric Boat, before moving back to Belmont. After his return he worked a myriad of jobs, including as a mechanic for Central Service and Ron Preston. He found his career as a Handyman, doing anything from electrical to plumbing, until his health prevented working. He prioritized doing affordable maintenance for the elderly population so that they could remain in their homesOutside of work, he enjoyed watching sportsman gun events, including slug shoots and sportsman riffles. He was a smart-alec who enjoyed spending time with his friends, was an avid lottery participant, and outdoorsman - spending as much time at the family cabin as he could. Throughout his illness, he remained positive, never complaining

He is survived by: his mother, Barbara Cronk of Belmont; siblings, Beverly (Howard) Costley of Voluntown, CT, James (Adenia) Bessette of Rochester, Charles (Valerie) Bessette of Bolivar, and Joseph (Lisa) Bessette of Mountain Top, PA; step-siblings Michael (Jodi) Cronk of Hilton, NY, Melissa (Michael) Belden of Connecticut, Julie (Kevin) Borden of Belfast, and Karen (Brett) Comstock of North Carolina; several nieces and nephews; and Cat-children, Trouble, Bingo, and Bumper. He was predeceased by, his father Howard, and brother Greg Bessette. 

A Celebration of Life is being planned for a later date. Please consider memorial donations to: Allegany County Cancer Services, PO Box 534, Wellsville, NY 14895; or to the SPCA Serving Allegany County, 5440 NY-19, Belmont, NY 14813. To leave online condolences please visit


*** Trump 2024 ***

Anna Marie Lakatosh, 85

Wellsville, NY -- Anna Marie Lakatosh, 85, passed away peacefully on Tuesday,January 2, 2024. She was born on April 22, 1938, in Taylor, Pennsylvania, the daughter of the late Louis and Anna Scavo.

Growing up in the small town of Taylor in a community of Italian and Slovak immigrants, Ann’ (as she was known to friends and family) learned early on to value a strong work ethic, faith, and family bonds. She was married in Taylor in 1959, where she began her journey with her husband Nick’. They were well-known local business owners. They opened a chain of three bowling alleys, bars, and restaurants in Western New York, including Nick’s Lanes in Wellsville.Following the sale of Nick’s Lanes, her entrepreneurial spirit led her to open The Sports Center, a sporting goods store located on Main Street in Wellsville.

Her legacy continues through her loving family: her daughter Tamara McLaughlin, son Nicholas Lakatosh, and grandsons Justin McLaughlin, Alexander McLaughlin, and Nicholas Lakatosh. Ann was predeceased by her beloved husband, Nicholas Lakatosh, sister, Lorraine Mucisko, brother, Louis Scavo, and son-in-law, Daniel McLaughlin. 

Following Ann’s wishes, there are no services being planned at this time. Please consider memorial donations to a charity of the donor's choice. To leave online condolences please visit

Rest in peace. You will forever be in our hearts and memories.

Nancy L. Keib, 83

Wellsville, NY – Nancy L. Keib, 83, of Williams Avenue, passed away on Sunday, December 31, 2023, at Manor Hills Care Center. She was born September 9, 1940, in Rochester, the daughter of the late Merritt and Dolores (Kane) Williams. On February 8, 1986, in Belfast, she married Richard E. “Luke” Keib, who predeceased her January 19, 2020. 

Nancy was raised in Rochester. She moved to Wellsville in 1967. She was formerly employed as a seamstress at Davis Department Store. 

She is survived by three children, Keith Hunt of Rochester, Terri (Bill) Richardson of Livonia, and Gregory Hunt of Hornell; two stepchildren, Daniel (Sharon) Keib of Wellsville, and Kandra (Kevin) Garwood of Placerville, CA, three grandchildren, three great-grandchildren; five siblings, Jeannie (Bob) Lawrence, Merrett C. Williams Jr., Cheyrl (Derrick) Shuttleworth, Yvonne Starkj√≥hannand Mike Williams, as well as several nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents and husband she was predeceased by a stepson, Joseph Keib on October 30, 2015. 

A graveside service is being planned and will be announced at a later date. The burial will be in Heritage Hill Cemetery in Arkport. Please consider memorial donations to SPCA Serving Allegany County, 5440 NY-19, Belmont, NY 14813. To leave online condolences please visit

Monday, January 1, 2024

Linda L. Prior, 79

Allentown, NY – Linda L. Prior, 79, of State Route 417, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, December 30, 2023, at home. She was born on February 12, 1944, in Olean, the daughter of the late Elmer Francis and Evelyn Jane (Payne) Gerringer. 

Linda was raised in Allegany and was a 1962 graduate of Allegany High School. She was a homemaker who was formerly employed as a housekeeper by St. Francis Hospital of Olean. She was held in dearest regard by the Allentown Volunteer Fire Department and enjoyed crafts and quilting. 

She is survived by three children, Kevin (Shawn) Rex of Phoenix, AZ, Michelle (Todd) Taylor of Hinsdale, and Leisa (Tom) Foley of Olean; six grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; siblings, Eugene Gerringer of Chenango Forks, NY and Jayne Meyers of Olean; as well as several nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband, Bob Prior, and a sister, Jacqueline Ramsey. 

Friends are invited to call on Friday, January 5, 2024, from 12 noon to 2:00 pm at the J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home in Wellsville, 34 West State Street. A Time of Sharing will follow at 2:00 pm in the funeral home. Please consider memorial donations to the Allentown Volunteer Fire Department, PO Box 82, Allentown, NY 14707. To leave online condolences please visit