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

John Boyd Caveny, 78, passed away on October 10, 2018. John was well-known in the funeral service community working as a salesman for Marsellus Casket Company.

Judith “Judy” Ann Hughes, 71, of Hagaman, passed away on September 24, 2018.  Judy was the mother of NYSFDA Board member Martin J. “Marty” Hughes of Betz, Rossi & Bellinger Family Funeral Homes.

Ralph Francisco, 74, passed away on September 15, 2018. Ralph was a past president of the MetFDA and owner of Francisco Funeral Home, Inc., in Ozone Park.

Joseph Hubik, 74, of Binghamton passed away on August 31, 2018. Joe graduated from Simmons School of Mortuary Science and was a funeral director for over 50 years with more than 30 years of service at J.F. Rice Funeral Home in Johnson City.

Gordon C. Light, 81, passed away on August 30, 2018. A graduate of Simmons School of Embalming, he was the owner and president of Light's Funeral Home Inc. in Schenectady, NY. During his career, Mr. Light also served families at Harvey's Funeral Home in Yonkers, NY and Loucks Funeral Home in Ellenville, NY.

Elaine F. Krtil, passed away on August 24, 2018. Elaine, of John Krtil Funeral Home; Yorkville Funeral Service, Inc., in New York, NY,  was a licensed funeral director since 1973.

Reginald F. Clark, 89, of Lake Placid, passed away on July 30, 2018. Reg graduated from Simmons School of Embalming and Mortuary Science 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.