All posts by Nicole Reitz


Mary Southard, retired from Birdseye

Mary L. Southard, 87, of Fulton, died Friday, July 27, 2012 at Michaud Residential Health Services in Fulton.

She retired from Birdseye Division of General Foods and had worked at K.B.C. and Fishman Co., all in Fulton.

Sje was a former member of women’s bowling leagues in Fulton and the W.I.B.C.

She was predeceased by her husband, Royal Southard; brothers, Sam, Ross, Ike Story and Thomas Story Wolever; sisters, Mabel Powers, Luetta Clark, Rebecca Guiffrida and Idabell Bunn.

Surviving are her daughter, Sharon Sherman of Fulton; a brother, H. Daniel Story of Yorktown, Va.; and many nieces and nephews.

Calling hours and services were held Tuesday at Foster Funeral Home, Fulton. Burial was in Pine Plains Cemetery in Clay.

Contributions may be made to the Humane Society, 265 West First Street, Oswego, NY 13126.


Sharon France, retired from Alcan

Sharon R. France, 67, of Fulton and formerly of Hannibal, died Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012.

She worked at Alcan in Scriba for over 25 years, retiring in 2010. She enjoyed going to antique and craft shows.

She was predeceased by her parents, Julia and William LaBeef.

She is survived by her husband of 26 years, Robert France of Fulton; four children, Walt (Lenore) Patalina of Nevada, Patrick Ward of Florida, Sharlene (Ronald) Scott of Hannibal and Stephenie (John) Peters of New Hampshire; three step-daughters, Jacqueline (Mark) Koster, Kimberly France and Rebecca (Robert) Wilmott, all of Oswego; six siblings, Michael LaBeef of Fulton, Barbara Seymour of Florida, Daniel (Katherine) LaBeef of Hannibal, Richard LaBeef of Florida, Robert LaBeef of Fulton and Yvonne LaBeef of North Carolina; nine grandchildren, two great grandchildren; as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Funeral services were held Monday at Foster Funeral Home, Hannibal. Burial was in Springbrook Cemetery.

Calling hours were held Sunday at the funeral home.

Contributions may be made to St. Jude Tribute Program, c/o St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148-0142.

Ritchie ranks 26th in Senate spending

by Carol Thompson

New York State Senator Patty Ritchie ranks 26th in spending, according to the most recent senate expenditure report covering the time period April 1, 2011 through Sept. 30, 2011.

Ritchie’s expenses totaled $322,211, according to her expense report, with Senator Roy McDonald taking the 25th spot with total expenses of $322,403.

There are 62 state senators, with each entitled to a generous expense account. The top spender is listed as Senator John Sampson with expenses totaling $403,576.

Ritchie’s member travel expenses for the six month period include payments for May, June and July 2011 in the amounts of $1,375.60, $1,637.20, $1,540.80, $326.20, $648.60, $813.60, $487.40, $648.60, $933.60 and $937.40 for a total of $9,349.

The freshman lawmaker had 17 employees, who in a six month period earned a total of $255,374. The staff salary expenses include Graham Wise, Chief of Staff, who earned $30,575; Stephanie Andrews, legislative aide/constituent special, who earned $7,668.50; Holly Carpenter, Director of Community Relations for the Oswego office earned $21,198.76; Jennifer Dindl-Neff who serves as special projects coordinator, earned $6,727.00; Diane M. Doyle, office manager/constituent representative, earned $14,312.47; Bonnie J. Fikes, legislative aide, earned $7,112; Patricia Holst, constituent liaison, earned $7,112.00; Theodore Kusnierz, director of agriculture committee, who earned $29,134.70; Patricia McMurray, executive assistant, who earned $20,446.16 and Sheila O’Sullivan, counsel, who earned $20,446.16.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397


Archery program held annually in Oswego

by Rob Tetro

The Deerslayer Bowman’s Association in Oswego holds an annual Summer Archery Program for people of all ages. The program, taught by Brenda  Arnesen and Eric Broekhuizen, consists of two hour classes that are held once a week from June to August.

Arnesen and Broekhuizen are 4-H Certified and instruct 4-H Archery every Spring. There are 23 people taking part in their program this summer. These participants range in age from six to 42.

Instructor Brenda Arnesen feels that their program is insightful for younger people because they have a chance to learn how to succeed as a group while in a social setting. Though the participants are from different backgrounds, they are able to help each other learn and recall safety rules and equipment parts, while giving each other assistance if someone has a hard time shooting an arrow.

Arnesen hopes that participants come away from their summer program with a stronger interest in archery while remembering that safety is the biggest priority.

To read the rest of the story, subscribe to The Valley News by calling 315-598-6397


Michael James LeVea, worked with Painters Local 31

Michael James LeVea, 38, of Baldwinsville died Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012 in Pennsylvania. Born in Oswego, he has lived in the Baldwinsville area for more than six years.

He had worked with Painters Local 31, Syracuse.  Mr. LeVea enjoyed music, camping and spending time with his children.

He was predeceased by his father, David LeVea, who died in 1998.  He is survived by his daughter, Kierston Llera-LeVea; son, Armani Llera-LeVea; parents, Bonnie (Gilbert) Trout; four brothers; nieces and nephews.

Calling hours will be today, Aug. 8 from 5 to 7  p.m. with a funeral service to immediately follow at at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton.

Ruth L. Cooper, worked at SYROCO

Ruth L. Cooper, 88 of Fulton died Saturday, Aug. 4, 2012.  Born in Fulton, she had lived between Fulton and Florida for many years.

Mrs. Cooper had worked at G.E., Birdseye, Comstock and SYROCO.  She was a member of Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church. She was also a member of the Moose Club, enjoyed bowling, sewing and collecting teddy-bears.

She was predeceased by her husband, Edward E. Cooper, who died in 1995 and a son, Douglas J. Cooper and grandson, Michael Cooper.

She is survived by her children, Jeannette (Danny) Gober of Granby, Darrell (Dolores) Cooper of Fulton, Nelson (Christa) Cooper of Fla., Larry (Sheila) Cooper of Fla.; seven grandchildren; several great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews.

Calling hours are today, Aug. 8 from 10 a.m. to noon, with a service immediately following at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton.

Contributions may be made to Fulton V.F.W. Post 569, 216 Cayuga St., Fulton, 13069.

Michael Wardhaugh, worked for the Recreation Dept.

Michael Wardhaugh, 60 of Fulton, died Tuesday, July 31.

A native of Fulton, he had worked for the City of Fulton Recreation Department for several years.He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends.

Mr. Wardhaugh was predeceased by his parents, William and Dorothy Martin Wardhaugh and brother, David Wardhaugh Sr.

He is survived by his children, Cindy and Jeremy; brother, James; sister, Lisa (Anson) Reed; grandson, Zachary; nieces and nephews.

Calling hours were held Monday at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton. There were no services.

Poetry Corner: More Than A Fair Haven

by Jim Farfaglia


Into the trunk of the old Ford

went lounge chairs, charcoal and the ice chest.

Into the back seat went the four of us,

sweaty and squeezed tight –

all jockeying for a window seat


to better scan the windy roads,

and check off the landmarks along the way:

The stoplight where 104 and 3 meet.

The old laundromat in Hannibal.

The steep curve through the valley of Sterling.

And finally, rising like a promised land,

the water tower of its village.


We tried to keep still

as Dad drove that long road into the park,

but as soon as we’d stopped at the ticket booth

necks would start straining,

wanting to be the first to claim

I see it! –


that Great Lake,

with its sandy expanse to lie back on and dream,

its bone-chilling channel to dive into

and the long arm of its pier to venture out on.

All of it – that endless day of fun –


a million miles from the humdrum of life.