New York State Funeral Directors Association

We pause and reflect on the family and friends of NYSFDA who have passed away. May our cherished memories fill some of the void left by their departure, and may they rest in eternal peace as they live on in our hearts.

In Remembrance 2018

Reginald F. Clark, 89, of Lake Placid, passed away on July 30, 2018. Reg graduated from Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science in in 1949. He then apprenticed under his father, eventually taking ownership of M. B. Clark, Inc., Funeral Home, located in Lake Placid.

Ronald J. Coolican, 74, of Oneida, passed away on June 26, 2018. He was a graduate of Simmons School of Mortuary Science. Ron was a caring and proud funeral director and owned Coolican-McSweeney Funeral Home in Oneida for 48 years. Prior to that, he worked alongside his father and uncle at Coolican Hearse Service in Syracuse.

Vincent R. Jendrzejczak, 69, of Williamsburg, VA, passed away on August 1, 2018. He was a licensed funeral director since 1974 assisting at the family business, Jendrzejczak Funeral Home in Amsterdam, NY, until retiring.

Irene D. Farenga passed away on August 4, 2018. The beloved wife of the late Felix “Phil” Farenga, MFDA Past President. Mother of Sal Farenga, MFDA Past President and grandmother of Sal Anthony, MFDA Secretary/Treasurer and Nicholas Farenga, proprietors of Farenga Bros. Inc. and Hodder Farenga Funeral Homes.

Paul A. Kloc, 77, passed away on July 29, 2018 after his vehicle was struck by a drunk driver. Paul was the owner of Paul A. Kloc Blossom Chapels in West Seneca.

Bernard F. Dowd, owner of Bernard F. Dowd, Inc. Funeral Home in Jamaica, NY, passed away in July 2018. 

Mildred Chopyak Scheider, 89, of Endwell, passed away on July 12, 2018. Mildred graduated from the American Academy of Mortuary Science in 1950. Mildred joined her mother in operating the Chopyak Funeral Home and later the Chopyak-Scheider Funeral Home, Inc. with her son, Bill until she retired in 1984.

Peter E. Tuyn passed away on July 12, 2018. Peter was the former owner of Beach-Tuyn Funeral Home, Inc. in Williamsville.

C. Edward Hindle, 81, well known area funeral director and former Mayor of the Village of Dansville passed away on July 3, 2018. Ed operated the Hindle Funeral Home for many years until his retirement in 1995 when his son, Carl and his wife Lisa, assumed operation of the business.

Harry Van Vliet III, 81, of Ulster Park, passed away peacefully on July 1, 2018. Harry assisted his son, Harry VanVliet IV, at the family-owned funeral home, Gilpatric-VanVliet Funeral Home in Ulster Park.

Larry A. Model, 74, of New City, NY, passed away on June 15, 2018. Larry worked as a funeral director at Hellman Memorial Chapels in Spring Valley until his retirement just a few years ago.

Alan J. Reitter, 79, of Ridgewood and Centerport, passed away on June 9, 2018. Alan was the former owner of Ridgewood Chapels Inc., in Ridgewood.

Mary Joanne Rudnicki, of Lake View, passed away on June 10, 2018. Joanne was a compassionate employee of Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home, Inc. for over 17 years.

Donald L. Barber, 75, of Homer, died on May 26, 2018 from injuries sustained in an ATV accident. Don was a 1962 graduate of Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science. In 1968, he opened the Donald L. Barber Funeral Home.

Ronald P. Konieczny, 70, of Akron and Batavia, passed away on Friday, May 25, 2018. Ronald was a 1967 graduate of Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science and owner of J. Leonard McAndrew Funeral Home.

Robert A. White Sr., 86, passed away on May 26, 2018.  Robert was the owner of Arthur F. White Funeral Home in Farmingdale and Bethpage.

Stanley C. Wolanin, 91, passed away on May 17, 2018.  In 1958 Stan opened up the Wolanin Funeral Home, Inc. in Yorkville. In 1963, he moved his funeral business to the newly constructed building on Main Street in New York Mills. As Chairman of the Memorial Day Committee he was responsible for placing over one thousand flags at veteran’s graves at five cemeteries in the towns of Whitestown and New Hartford.

D’deen L. Bezio, 57, passed away on May 11, 2018. D'deen was the mother of Kari A. Bezio-Wenskoski of Northville Funeral Service Inc. and Gloversville Funeral Service.

Albert J. "Al" Baris, 64, passed away on May 3, 2018. Al graduated from American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service in 1974. After receiving his Funeral Directors License in 1975, he worked at Schuyler Hill Funeral Home in The Bronx before moving to Clyde in 1981 where he owned and operated the Baris Funeral Home.

Michael A. Ruggiero, Jr., 33, a lifelong resident of Yonkers passed away suddenly on April 29, 2018, after a long battle with addiction. Michael is survived by his wife, Nicola; his devoted parents, Michael & Eileen (of F. Ruggiero & Sons, Inc. Funeral Home in Yonkers); his loving siblings, Andrew & Andrea and his adoring grandmother, Peggy Mahedy.

Doris Bolden, a long time resident of New Rochelle, departed this life after a lengthy illness, April 17, 2018. Doris was the office manager/secretary for Barney T. McClanahan Funeral Home, Inc., and wife of Ernest B. Bolden, LFD.

Kevin P. McManus, 68, of Binghamton died on February 16, 2018 after a courageous battle with cancer. Upon graduation from Simmons School of Mortuary Science in 1970, he was employed by McDevitt Brothers Funeral Home in Binghamton for 38 years. In 2008, he became the owner of McDevitt & McManus Funeral Home.

Douglas M. Coleman, 70, passed away on February 23, 2018. Doug was former owner of Coleman & Daniels Funeral Home, Inc., in Endicott, and was a member of NYSFDA's Disaster Committee for many years.

Janice W. Bowen, of Newtonville, passed away on February 11, 2018. Janice was the wife of 54 years to Arthur E. Bowen of Bowen Funeral Home. She served as office manager and chief obituary writer for their funeral home, retiring in 2007.

Emma Stiles Walkup, 102, passed away on January 25, 2018. Emma was the mother of Sally W. Baxter, wife of NYSFDA past president, Wayne C. Baxter of Fox Funeral Home in Forest Hills.

Donald Frederick Virkler, 87, died on January 7, 2018.  Donald  worked for the Virkler Funeral Home in Lowville until 1977 when he and his wife, Sylvia, opened the Donald F. Virkler Funeral Home in Lowville. They continued the business until selling it in 1988.

Franklin O.L. Steinberg, 83, passed away on January 12, 2018. Franklin was president and owner of Sunset Chapels in Manhasset and was a past State Director for NYSFDA and a board member of the Metropolitan Funeral Directors Association.

Lewis “Lew” G. Putnam, 85, of Palm Bay, FL, formerly of Scotia, passed away on January 7, 2018. Lew was the father of Richard Putnam of Mereness-Putnam Funeral Home in Cobleskill.

In Remembrance 2017

Ambrose Charles Babella, 91, of Spring Hill, FL, passed away on December 30, 2017. Ambrose was the father of NYSFDA staff member, Linda Babella.

Thomas R. Myslinski, 77, died peacefully on November 26, 2017. Tom became a licensed funeral director on his 21st birthday, a profession he dedicated his life to for over 50 years. Tom and his wife, Barbara, purchased Swiatek Funeral Home in 1963, which later became Myslinski Funeral Home in Utica.

Alfred E. “Fred” Fergerson, 69, of North Syracuse, passed away on November 17, 2017. Fred graduated from  Simmons School of Mortuary Science and was the owner of Fergerson Funeral Home in North Syracuse. He belonged to CNYFDA, NYSFDA and NFDA. 

Stanley R. Adydan, 63, of E. Syracuse died peacefully on November 15, 2017. Stan was a graduate of Simmons School of Mortuary Science. He was employed by and operated Delaney Greabell Adydan Funeral Home for many years. Stan was the chairperson of the E. Syracuse Board of Ethics and a member of both CNYFDA and NYSFDA.

Peter P. Pritchard, 69, passed away on November 9, 2017. A funeral professional for over 40 years, Peter worked in all facets of the death care industry. In 2005 he joined the family of directors at Betz, Rossi, Bellinger and Stewart Family Funeral Homes in Amsterdam, retiring in December of 2013.

Gordon C. Tappan, 87, of Phoenix, passed away on October 28, 2017. Gordon was a past president of the Central New York Funeral Directors Association and owner of Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Homes, Inc., in Phoenix. He was active in NYSFDA and NFDA.

Richard Zacharias, of Deposit, passed away on October 16, 2017. Rick graduated from Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science in 1973. In 1974, Rick purchased the Zacharias Funeral Home in Deposit and served the residents of the area faithfully until the day he died. He was a member of the Broome County Funeral Directors Association, Leatherstocking Funeral Directors Association and NYS Funeral Directors Association.

John (Jack) Strom Friedel Jr., 84, of New Hartford, father of James Friedel and father-in-law of Donald Edmunds of Friedel, Williams and Edmunds Funeral and Cremation Services, died on October 3, 2017. Over the years John was involved in many professional organizations including, NYSFDA; Tri-County FDA; the Preferred Funeral Director’s Association and Selected Independent Funeral Homes.

Shirley F. Mills Crocetti, 83, passed away on September 17, 2017 in Boonville after a long illness. Shirley was the mother of Greg T. Mills of Mills Funeral Home in Boonville and Ackley-Mills Funeral Home in Remsen.

Sylvia E. (Camerota) Simonette, 84, of Ilion, mother of Geri Hendrix, and mother-in-law of Tri-County FDA President Scott Hendrix, passed away on August 24, 2017.

Edward C. McCullough, 85, of Albany, passed away on August 27, 2017. Ed was the father of Colleen M. Connelly, former Director of Preneed Trust Services at NYSFDA.

Merle B. Ross, of The Bronx, formerly of Grenada, passed away on August 12, 2017. Merle is the mother of Francine "Frankie" Ross-Roden, Funeral Director of Ross-Roden Funeral Service in The Bronx, NY.

Rose F. Dunn, of St. Saviour/Park Slope, passed away on June 25, 2017. Rose was the mother of Meg Dunn, President/CEO at American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service in New York.

Loretta M. Gadani, 86, of Albany, passed away on July 23, 2017. Loretta was the mother of Ann Marie Schreiber, a sales representative with Batesville and previously of NYSFDA.

Selden Chase, of Honeoye Falls, passed away on July 11, 2017. Selden was the father of Cindy Martin, wife of NYSFDA past president Francis "Joe" Martin, Jr.

James F. (Jeff) Corbet, II, passed away on July 3, 2017. Jeff was a sales representative for Abigal Press.

Arthur T. Sullivan, 95, passed away surrounded by his loving family on June 27, 2017. Arthur was a licensed funeral director for 68 years and retired after 25 years as Partner of William F. Hogan Funeral Home, Inc. in Highland Falls, NY.

Sheila Butler McVeigh entered Eternal Life on June 19, 2017. Sheila was the wife of NYSFDA Government Affairs Committee Chairman and NYSFDA Past President, William "Bill" E. McVeigh.

John J. "Jack" Harland, 85, of Port Henry passed away on June 12, 2017. Jack graduated from Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science. He worked with his father at the Harland Funeral Home, serving the community as a funeral director for over 65 years.

Mary Cutini, 99, passed away on June 2, 2017. Mary was the grandmother of NYSFDA member and past Region 1 Director,  Charles A. Castiglia, CFSP of Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home in Hamburg.

Irmgard E. Miller, affectionately known as "Yummy" by all who knew her, passed away on May 25, 2017. She was the mother of Gary Miller from O.B. Davis Funeral Homes in Port Jefferson Station.

Dorothy C. "Dot" Macken, of Rockville Centre, passed away on May 11, 2017. Dot was the mother of John Macken of Macken Mortuary.

Ronald Savaria, 77, of Pompano Beach, FL and formerly of Tarrytown, died on April 29, 2017. Ron was a funeral director with Coffey Funeral Home in Tarrytown. He remained with the funeral home until 2002 when he retired after 40 years. He was a graduate of Simmons School of Mortuary Science and Embalming, class of 1959.

Stephan N. Steinberg has passed away. Stephan was the brother of Past President of the Metropolitan Funeral Directors Association and current Board member Franklin O.L. Steinberg. Stephan was co-owner of Sunset Chapels of Manhassett, New York.

Peter Michael Connell, of M.A. Connell Funeral Home, in Huntington Station, passed away on April 20, 2017. Peter was long-time NYSFDA member and a pillar of his community as recognized in the Long-Islander News last year.

Doris D. Bell, 95, passed away on January 29, 2017. Doris was the co-founder of Frank R. Bell Funeral Home, Inc. in Brooklyn.

Frederick Kellogg Gifford III, 57, died suddenly on February 28, 2017. Fred was a licensed funeral director and a Sales Representative with The Dodge Company.

Joseph (Joe) Price, 87, went home to the Lord peacefully on February 23, 2017. He was the father of Nora Nolan and father-in-law of FDSS Board Member, Mark J. Nolan, of Nolan & Taylor-Howe Funeral Home in Northport.

John P. "Jack" Moloney, 81, passed away on February 12, 2017. Jack was a funeral director for over 60 years, proudly serving Central Islip at Moloney Family Funeral Homes.

Stephen G. Murphy, 74, passed away on January 30, 2017. Steve was a graduate of the Simmons School of Mortuary Science and the former owner of Murphy Funeral & Cremation Chapel in Ontario, NY.

Janet M. Jillson, 59, passed away on January 27, 2017 after a long battle with cancer. Janet was the wife of Jay T. Jillson of Jillson Funeral Home in Whitehall.

Mike Dodge, (legally named George B. Dodge, Jr.), died on Sunday, January 29, 2017 after declining health for the last few years. He happily spent most of his life as the Vice President and Treasurer of The Dodge Company.

Kathleen E. McVeigh Redpath, 78, passed away on Saturday, January 7, 2017. Kathy was the beloved sister of NYSFDA Past President and Government Affairs Committee Chairman William E. McVeigh of McVeigh Funeral Home in Albany, NY.