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Obituaries

posticon Joyce Heck

Obituaries | Saturday, February 15, 2020 | By Lansing Funeral Home Print
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Joyce HeckMrs. Joyce Heck passed away peacefully on Friday February 14, 2020, surrounded by loving family in Lansing, NY. Born May 7, 1932, in Endicott, NY, she was the daughter of the late Robert T. and Blanche Carman. She attended St. Ambrose Parochial School through the eighth grade, and then went on to graduate from Union-Endicott High School in 1950. She enjoyed her 15 years working at IBM Endicott, at the same time as her father. She was an avid bowler at the IBM Country Club, as well as traveling with her friends various times to the Caribbean.

In the early 1960’s, Joyce met the love of her life, David Heck, Sr. They were married November 13, 1965, and together they had two sons, David Jr. and Robert. Raising her two boys was her life’s most precious gift and love. She had a real knack with children and was loved by her numerous nieces and nephews. All through her life, she would light up at the sight of a child. She became very active and involved in helping others who were struggling with addiction problems, and always lent an ear to those who needed helpful advice. In 1962, at the suggestion of her father, she purchased a lot on Cayuga Lake next to her parents’ place, which eventually turned into the Heck family summer cottage. In 2003, the cottage was converted to her and Dave Sr.’s permanent home. She loved the lake, and entertaining those who visited. Her sense of humor and smile were infectious.

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posticon Laura Greene Boehlecke

Obituaries | Saturday, February 08, 2020 | By Lansing Funeral Home Print
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Laura Greene Boehlecke, 79, of Lansing, NY, passed away at her home while surrounded by family on Thursday, February 6, 2020. Born in Mount Kisco, NY, on October 3, 1940, she was the daughter of the late Francis and Laura (Abbott) Greene. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in 1962 from Elmira College, and continued to complete her Master’s in education. Laura was a sixth grade reading teacher at Lansing Central School District, retiring in 2001 after 38 years in the district.

Laura was a member of the PEO Sisterhood and formerly active in Rotary International. She loved to read and spend time at her home on Cape Cod.

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posticon Anna R. Watson

Obituaries | Friday, February 07, 2020 | By Millspaugh Funeral Directors Print
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Anna WatsonAnna R. Watson of Montgomery, NY, passed away peacefully Saturday, February 1, 2020, at Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown, NY. She was 94.

A daughter of the late Vincent Hradisky & Cecelia Burin Hradisky, she was born Sunday, April 5, 1925 in Myers, New York. Anna lived most of her life in Myers and on Beach Road in Lansing, NY. She worked at NCR in Ithaca for over 20 years. In retirement, Anna enjoyed watching Westerns and spending time with her family and her dogs- the late Buster, and Spotty. Anna will forever be remembered for her sense of humor, feisty personality and generous heart. She was the widow of the late Guido Garcia of Panama City, Panama.

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posticon Frank H.T. Rhodes

Obituaries | Wednesday, February 05, 2020 | By Cornell University Print
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Frank H.T. Rhodes, Cornell University's ninth president, a national figure in higher education and an esteemed paleontologist, died Feb. 3 in Bonita Springs, Florida. He was 93.

During Rhodes' tenure as president from 1977 to 1995, Cornell saw significant growth in research and academic programs that continue to shape the university. Research funding more than tripled, from $88 million to more than $300 million; major initiatives in astronomy, supercomputing, biotechnology, nanofabrication and Asian studies were established; a successful $1.5 billion capital campaign was launched and completed; diversity at the university among students and faculty significantly increased; and the university's international presence was strengthened.

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posticon Russell Dean Sprague

Obituaries | Wednesday, January 22, 2020 | By - Print
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RussellSpragueRussell Dean Sprague of Lansing died on January 20, 2020, at the age of 92. He was born in Rochester, NY, to William Delos and Mary Axelby Sprague. The family moved to Little Valley in southwestern New York in 1937. Russ graduated from Little Valley High School in 1945. Two days after graduation, he started basic training at Sampson Navy Base on Seneca Lake. He served on the light cruiser USS Philadelphia. After the war, he entered Cornell University College of Agriculture, receiving an associate degree in 1948.

In 1951, Russ married Mary Doyle of Salamanca. Together they had four daughters. His first job was as a salesman of Ford Tractor products. In 1953, he left the farm machinery business to work for the Equitable Life Assurance Society of Utica. Eight years later he became the general agent for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company in Binghamton. In 1982, he became an independent agent representing many companies offering life, health and disability insurance.

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posticon E. Lavonne “Vonnie” McKane

Obituaries | Monday, December 30, 2019 | By Lansing Funeral Home Print
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Eleanor McKaneE. Lavonne “Vonnie” McKane, 85, of North Lansing, passed away following a brief illness on Sunday, December 29, 2019, at her home. Born in Elmira, NY, she was the daughter of the late Samuel and Lillian (Coon) McDermott.  After graduating from Genoa High School, Vonnie went on to retire from NYSEG in Ithaca.

Vonnie was a past matron of the Order of the Eastern Star, Lansing, and member of the North Lansing Fire Department Auxiliary.  In her free time, she enjoyed gardening, crafts, and trips to the casinos with her friends.

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posticon Isaac Kramnick

Obituaries | Monday, December 23, 2019 | By - Print
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Isaac Kramnick, the Richard J. Schwartz Professor of Government Emeritus, a renowned scholar of English and American political thought and history, and a longtime champion of undergraduate education, died Dec. 21 in New York City. Kramnick was 81.

Cornell President Martha E. Pollack said Kramnick was “a beloved Cornellian; a teacher and leader who, in his time at Cornell, touched the lives of generations of students, faculty and staff.”

“Professor Kramnick leaves behind a distinguished legacy of insightful scholarship, passionate teaching and forward-thinking leadership,” Pollack said. “His memory will live on for those who knew him and felt firsthand his warmth, his intelligence and his generous spirit. The university has lost a great Cornellian.”

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posticon Patricia Gail Putnam

Obituaries | Friday, December 20, 2019 | By Lansing Funeral Home Print
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Patricia PutnamPatricia Gail Putnam, 73, of Lansing passed away while surrounded by those she loved on Thursday, December 19, 2019, at Cayuga Medical Center, Ithaca.  Born on August 5, 1946, she was the daughter of the late Walter and Olga “Ollie” (Geiger) Holden.  Pat was employed as an aide at Lansing High School and went on to retire from the Lansing Residential Center, where she worked as a corrections officer and made an impact on many people with whom she worked.  She proudly gave up some of her dreams to be a stay at home mother and raise four beautiful children.

In her free time, Pat enjoyed sewing and painting.  She also had a love of animals, especially cats and dogs.

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posticon Marvin Ostrander

Obituaries | Saturday, December 14, 2019 | By - Print
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Marvin OstranderMarvin Ostrander, 87, of Lansing, passed away on Saturday, December 7, 2019, at Crown Park Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in Cortland.  Born in Varna, NY, on October 26, 1932, he was the son of the late Orry and Ada Johnson Ostrander.  After working for Smith Corona for several years, Marvin went on to retire from the Town of Lansing Highway Department.

Marvin was a lifetime member of the Lansing Fire Department and charter member of the North Lansing Fire Department.  During his service, he was active in the fire police.  In his free time, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and NASCAR.

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posticon C. Charles “Chuck” Benson

Obituaries | Friday, December 06, 2019 | By - Print
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Clarence BensonLANSING - Chuck Benson of Lansing passed away unexpectedly at home on the morning of December 2nd due to complications from his lifelong battle with a spinal tumor. Chuck was a Lansing native and graduated high school in 1965. He completed a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture at Cornell University in 1969 and married the prettiest coed in Alpha Phi, Andra Weidenhamer, after a less than impressive first date. The two of them spent the next two years in the mountains of Colombia with the Peace Corps teaching animal husbandry and nutrition.

Chuck and Andra returned home to take over Bensvue Farms, which was started by Chuck’s parents Clarence and Mary (Munson) Benson. The milk price was often low, but Chuck’s spirit was always high. One day Andra was telling the children that the most important part of a relationship was communication. She asked Chuck, who wasn’t listening, what the most important part of a relationship was, to which he answered, “always saying ‘yes dear.’” Andra declared that no, the most important part of a relationship was communication. To which Chuck replied, “Yes Dear.”

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posticon Fred Voss

Obituaries | Friday, August 30, 2019 | By the Voss Family Print
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Fred VossUSArmy March 1944 tnFred Voss, 99, a Holocaust survivor and World War II veteran who spent years talking at high schools, churches, and other gatherings to keep alive the memory of the horrors of the 1930s and 1940s, died on August 30, 2019. Voss’s speeches had a consistent message: Don’t hate.

Born on April 12, 1920, in Aachen, Germany, Voss and his family fled the Nazis and came to the United States in 1940. He returned to Europe in the U.S. Army, serving in France and Germany in the months after D-Day. (He became an American citizen on the troop ship to England. His citizenship papers were signed by Commander Jack Dempsey, the famous prizefighter, who was the highest ranking officer on the ship.) In 2012, in honor of his work speaking to schools and his military service, the Lansing, NY, High School arranged for him at age 92 to receive the high school diploma denied to him by the Nazis.

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posticon H. Duane Smith

Obituaries | Thursday, August 22, 2019 | By Lansing Funeral Home Print
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Hubert Duane SmithH. Duane Smith, 83, of Lansing passed away on August 20, 2019. Duane was born in Mount Pleasant, PA, and moved to a farm on Storm Road in Lansing as a young child. He was retired from a utility company where he worked as a welder.

Duane is survived by his loving wife of 65 years, Gwendolyn; daughters, Konnie (David) and Karlene (Craig); son, Duane; brothers, Jim, Tom and Fred; many nieces and nephews, and a special child, Ileen, who was a granddaughter to him. He was predeceased by his brother, Bob, and parents, Elsie and Ronald.

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posticon Mary E. Searles

Obituaries | Monday, August 05, 2019 | By - Print
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Mary E. Searles (nee Pforter) received her wings and flew home into the loving arms of God on Sunday, August 4, 2019. She was born September 26, 1932, to Martin O. and Nellie A. Pforter. She married the love of her life, William "Bill" Searles on January 26, 1952. They were married for over 30 years until his death.

At the age of 50, Mary went back to school and received her Associate's Degree and was a home health aide for Family and Children's Services for over 20 years. She played many roles, not only as a farmer's wife, mother, and home health aide, but she was involved with 4-H, North Lansing Fireman's Women Auxiliary, Clown persona for the Lansing United Methodist Church youth, Director of the Lansing Food Pantry in 1994, and Activity Leader for the Oak Hill Nursing Home. In 2007, Mary received the Distinguished Community Service Award from the Ithaca Cayuga Rotary Club. She was a caring and loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

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posticon Zahra Exantus

Obituaries | Monday, July 08, 2019 | By - Print
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Zahra Exantus, 28, formerly of Ithaca, NY, beloved daughter of Joe and Cathy Exantus, died unexpectedly at her residence in Shanghai China on Wednesday, June 26, 2019. A celebration of Zahra’s life will be held on Saturday, July 13, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. at the Lansing United Methodist Church, 32 Brickyard Rd., Lansing, NY with a reception immediately following. The family will receive friends at the church on Friday, July 12, 2019 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Private interment will be held at Green Hills Cemetery, Dryden, NY. In lieu of flowers, a charity will be announced in a more complete obituary.
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posticon Sarah A. Case

Obituaries | Tuesday, May 28, 2019 | By - Print
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Sarah CaseSarah A. Case, 101, of Lansing, passed away at her daughter’s home in Ovid on Sunday, May 26, 2019. She was predeceased by her husband, Milton Case, and son, John Case, Sr.

Sarah is survived by her daughter, Mary Lou Dodson (Ron); grandchildren, Tammie Dodson, Wendy Seewald (Dan), Michelle Allan (Lenny) and Ron Dodson, Jr. (Jen Christianson); and great-grandchildren, Casey Underdown, Evan Underdown, Christopher Seewald and Ryan Dodson.

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posticon Jacoba Munson Baker

Obituaries | Wednesday, May 15, 2019 | By Lansing Funeral Home Print
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Jacoba BakerJacoba Munson Baker passed away peacefully at her longtime home on Auburn Road in North Lansing, NY, on May 11, 2019, just a couple months shy of her 99th birthday.

Jacoba was born in Lansing, NY, on July 6, 1920. She graduated from Groton High School and continued her education, earning a bachelor’s degree in home economics from Michigan State University in 1943. She returned home after graduation and got a job with Cornell Cooperative Extension, where she met a young extension agent, Robert C. Baker. They were married in 1944 in Groton.

Jackie and Bob moved to State College, PA, shortly afterward for Bob to work on his master’s degree at Penn State, and to Purdue University in 1956 for Bob to earn his PhD in poultry science. In between, in 1950, Jacoba and Bob started Baker’s Chicken Coop at the New York State Fair, which is still operated by her children and grandchildren. The two also started Baker’s Acres, a plant nursery in North Lansing. Jacoba had a lifelong passion for gardening, and Baker’s Acres allowed her to pursue her love of horticulture as well as financially support the operation of their 75-acre farm during retirement. Baker’s Acres is still operated by her daughter Reenie.

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posticon Daniel John Ravas

Obituaries | Monday, May 13, 2019 | By Plis Funeral Home, Inc. Print
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DanielRavasDaniel John Ravas, 28, of Camillus formerly of Lansing passed away unexpectedly on May 7, 2019. Born in Ithaca, NY to Cathy Mehlenbacher and Paul Ravas. Daniel was most recently employed at Auntie Anne’s at Destiny USA, and as a security officer for Westcott Security and Events. Dan was to continue working with Hammi’s Bacon Bomb of the NY State Fair this summer. He was also formerly employed at Iroquois Nursing Home and the Dunkin Donuts in Fairmount. He was an accomplished high school swimmer for Lansing and Baldwinsville Central School Districts, going to the State level competitions twice. Dan also played soccer and competed in Track and Field for Lansing CSD. Daniel loved summer camp at Camp Aldersgate, attending CCYM events at both Camp Casowasco and Aldersgate. He loved hiking, camping and the outdoors. He was making plans to hike the Appalachian Trail in the future. He had a wandering soul and a deep love for and knowledge of music.

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posticon Marguerite Hardy

Obituaries | Tuesday, May 07, 2019 | By Lansing Funeral Home Print
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Marguerite Hardy, 74, of Lansing, passed away on Monday, May 6, 2019, at Cayuga Medical Center, Ithaca, while surrounded by her loving family.  Born in New Hartford, CT, she was the daughter of the late Walter and Marguerite Hoffman Wightwood.  Marguerite married Lorin “Lefty” Hardy on October 26, 1963, and lost him just months ago on September 12, 2018, after 54 years of marriage.  She began her career in the mailroom at Connecticut Mutual Life Insurance Company in New Hartford, CT, and went on to retire from TST BOCES in Ithaca as a secretary in the GED Program.

The most important thing in Marguerite’s life was her family and spending time with them.  She also enjoyed fishing, horseback riding, bowling, puzzles, exercising at Planet Fitness, tending to her flower gardens, camping and picnicking on Cayuga Lake, and planting trees to help our planet.

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posticon Margaret Ferretti Dill

Obituaries | Saturday, March 30, 2019 | By Lansing Funeral Home Print
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MargaretDillMargaret Ferretti Dill, 72, of Lansing, NY passed away at home with her husband by her side on March 27, 2019. Margie was the loving wife of James Dill for 48 years and leaves behind her daughter, Emily, son in-law Matt, and her beloved grandchildren, Elise and Griffin of Needham, MA.

Born in Boston, MA, Margie is the daughter of the late Rita (Woods) and Leonard Ferretti. She graduated from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in 1964, Boston State College in 1968, and earned her Master’s in Education from Elmira College in 1979.

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posticon Anna S. Beckwith

Obituaries | Tuesday, March 05, 2019 | By Lansing Funeral Home Print
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AnnaBeckwithAnna S. Beckwith of Lansing died Saturday, March 2, 2019, at age 98. After a long, fruitful life in Lansing, she recently moved to live with her daughter in Manlius and enjoyed a round of weekend parties as many of her children, grandchildren, great-children and friends were able to come see her.

A lifelong communicant of All Saints Church in Lansing, Anna served on its parish council and, for a number of years, led a small prayer and Bible-study group. She worked for many years with young people in the 4-H programs of Cornell Cooperative Extension, teaching plant science, animal science, nutrition, and recreation, and serving as day-camp director and director of summer programs. She had returned to school in mid-life, earning at age 50 an associate’s degree from Tompkins Cortland Community College. She also attended clown school, and entertained children and adults as the clown “Miss Annie.”

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