Marie E. Oeinck Myers, volunteered at Oswego County Humane Society

Marie E. Oeinck Myers, 49, of Hannibal, passed away Sunday April 13.

Born in Syracuse, she had lived in the Hannibal area for many years.

Marie enjoyed the time she volunteered for the Oswego County Humane Society and listening to music.

She was predeceased by her mother, Ida Myers.

Marie’s memory will forever be cherished by her wife, Laurie F. Oeinck Myers; children, Jessica Myers and Kassie Myers; sisters, Theresa and Kim; brothers, Chuck and Johnny; aunt Gladys Harris; grandchildren Nathaniel and Zachary; several nieces, nephews and cousins.

A graveside service will be 2 p.m. Monday, April 21 Assumption Cemetery, Court Street, Syracuse.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Foster Funeral Home in Hannibal.

Frances P. Cowan, home schooled her children

Frances P. Cowan, age 63, of San Antonio, Texas, caught the 11:47 a.m. Heavenly Express, on April 11 following a heart attack, and arrived in the arms of her Blessed Savior, Jesus Christ.

She is survrived by her husband, Joseph Wayne Cowan and three children, sons Christopher Joel Cowan of Bay Shore, NY, Jonathan Aaron Cowan (and wife Dr. Vanessa ) of New York City, and daughter Sarah Angela Cowan of the San Antonio home.

Also surviving is her mother, Mabel Whelply, of Kingsport, Tenn. and four sisters, Arlene (Whelply) Lorimer and husband Charles of Millington, Tenn., Barbara (Whelply) Barbe and husband Kenneth of Englewood, Colo., Nancy L. (Whelply) Shelton and husband Ronald of Kingsport, Tenn., Kathy (Whelply) Weller and husband Steve of Phoenix, NY.

She is preceded in death by her father, Robert E. Whelply, and one older sister, Carolyn M. (Whelply) McConnell.

Fran was a dedicated stay at home mother and especially being a home school mother for her three children which now have all been graduated from various colleges and being proud citizens for God and country.

She often said she learned more while home schooling than when she was in school herself. Fran was also an accomplished seamstress and quilt maker.

Visitation was Tuesday, April 15 at the Hillscest Funeral Home Chapel in San Antonio, Texas. A graveside service was held April 16 at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

The family wishes to thank The Cristus Santa Rose Hospital in Westover Hills for the care they afforded Frances.in the ICU.

Randy Lewis Wallace, racing fan, roofer

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Randy Lewis Wallace, 64, longtime West Phoenix, and Phoenix, NY resident, passed away Thursday April 10, 2014 at the V. A. Medical Center, Syracuse, NY.

He was born in Fulton, NY Sept. 10, 1949. He was a U.S. Army veteran serving from 1966-1968.

Randy was a roofer. He was an avid fan and participant in auto racing and was known for his famous Q-2 car, as well as the Car 99 NY with the Wallace and Waldron Racing Team.

Randy was a fisherman and enjoyed camping and spending time with his family and friends.

He was predeceased by his mother, Virginia Alice (Egan) Wallace on Feb. 5, 1965; his father, Lewis Wallace on Jan. 9, 1993; his step-mother, Evelyn Grace (Delaney) Wallace on July 4, 2000; his sister-in-law, L. Julie Wallace on April 24, 2003; and  a grandnephew Mitchell Wallace, II on Dec. 16, 1989.

Surviving are his life long partner, Nora J. Wallace of Gouverneur; his daughters, Virginia I. Wallace of Alexandria Bay, Regina L. (Christopher) Murphy of Martville; his three grandchildren, Jacob Alan, Mariah Wallace; and Christopher Murphy, Jr.; his brother, Roland J. “Ronnie” Wallace; his two nephews, Mitch Wallace, and Mark Wallace; his one niece, Michelle Wallace; grandnieces and nephews, his many friends; and a special friend Tommy Considine.

Calling hours were Monday April 14 at the Allanson-Glanville-Tappan Funeral Home, 431 Main St., Phoenix. The American flag was presented to the family.

Raymond “Skip” Abrams, NASCAR fan, construction foreman

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Raymond “Skip” Abrams, Sr., 63, of Sterling, passed away Tuesday, April 15 at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse.

He was a life resident of the Sterling-Martville area. Skip worked as a construction foreman for Fastrak Services, Inc. in Liverpool for many years and previously for Truax & Hovey in Liverpool.

He was an avid NASCAR race fan attending the races at Dover and Bristol. Skip was a devoted family man who held annual pool parties at his home.

Surviving are his three children, Raymond (Laurie) Abrams, Jr. of Sterling, George Abrams of Lyons and Lisa (Michael) Granieri of Fayetteville; longtime companion, Paula Seymour of Sterling; 10 grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; siblings Linda Parrow, Lorrie Welsh, Trudy Abrams and Murray Abrams all of Martville, Dottie Sage of Volney, Terry Catchpaw of Palermo, Rusty Abrams of Sterling and Debbie Dishaw of Penn.; and many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by a sister, Elizabeth “Punk” Parsons.

Calling hours were Friday April 18 at Foster Funeral Home, 837 Cayuga St.,  Hannibal with services immediately following with Rev. Dean Flemming officiating.

Burial will be at a later date in Martville Cemetery.

Phoenix school board adopts budget; residents vote May 20

By Debra J. Groom

The Phoenix school board has adopted a $42,559,049 budget for the 2014-15 school year.

Residents will vote on the budget May 20. They also will elect three members to the board of education. Petitions to run for the school board must be turned in by Monday.

The proposed budget for 2014-15 is up 1.99 percent – or $550,122 – over the budget for the current school year. It does not cut any academic programs, athletics or extracurricular activities.

The OASIS summer reading program is being cut for the summer of 2014, but Superintendent Judith Belfield said it could be revisited for the summer of 2015.

Spending is up only 1.33 percent.   Mos of the increase comes from increased pension costs associated with the fiscal downturn of 2008.

Belfield the district received more state aid in the final state budget than originally was proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. This additional aid – about $300,000 – and the retirement of 10 teachers and five teacher assistants this year helped the district put together a budget that did not include staff and/or teacher layoffs.

The proposed budget includes money to replace some of the teachers who are retiring.

“We are replacing two K-6 teachers, a chemistry teacher, an instructional specialist and a special education teacher,” Belfield said. The budget also includes two new positions – a special education teacher and an elementary reading teacher.

Also, two part-time teaching positions are being increased from half time to full time – a high school social studies teacher and a high school Spanish teacher.

Belfield said the budget increases the tax levy – which is the amount to be raised by taxes – by 1.99 percent or $326,858. The estimated tax rate for most towns in the school district would be about $28.26 per $1,000 of assessed value, an increase of 55 cents per $1,000 from the current rate of $27.71 per $1,000.

Since the tax levy increase is less than the state-mandated cap placed on municipalities and school districts, residents will qualify for a refund of the tax increase from the state due to a proposal in the new state budget.

In addition to the budget and school board members, residents also will decide on whether to spend $429,200 to buy three 60-passenger school buses, one special needs bus and a camera system.

The public hearing on the budget will be at 7 p.m.May 6 at John C. Birdlebough High School. The vote is noon to 9 p.m. May 20 at Emerson J. Dillon Middle School.

Jerry’s Journal

Blame it on old-age, forgetfulness, or whatever, that I forgot to list in my last column, along with the other neighborhood school of our past, Walradt Street School, St. Mary’s School and Holy Family School.

Walradt Street School

Tony Leotta emailed me almost immediately to say it was sad that his alma mater hadn’t been included and to remind me that “Some of the best students of the First Ward and Granby attended and graduated from Walradt Street School.”

The building, constructed in 1922, is still standing.

“The first- and second-grade teacher in 1939-1941 was Ms. Sullivan,” he wrote, “and the third-grade teacher in 1941-42 was Ms. Hunt (both wonderful ladies). Ms. Sullivan was old and strict. Ms. Hunt was young and a sweetheart. We learned arithmetic and spelling very well.

“Walradt Street School only taught first through third grades. Kindergarten was not available in 1939 for us farm kids from the suburbs of Granby. Furthermore, farm kids were expected to be more mature and better disciplined before entering first grade,” he continued.

“Upon leaving Walradt, we joined Ms. Bracy’s fourth-grade class at Phillips Street School in 1942 with the kids from Oak Street School. The following year we advanced to Ms. Black’s fifth-grade class.

“Ms. Black was a wonderful teacher and a sweetheart. We began “passing classes” in the sixth grade at Phillips Street. Ms. Elsie Schneider (from Oswego) was our homeroom teacher. Ms. Schneider was a very nice and compassionate social studies and English teacher.

“Ms. Ellen Frawley was our outstanding arithmetic teacher and very knowledgeable in her teaching methods. Mental arithmetic was taught and emphasized. Jane Rasmussen, Barbara Edison, Marianne Nucifora, and Margie Campbell were all extra special star students at Phillips Street.

“And then in 1947, we advanced to Good Old Fulton High School along with eastside students from Fairgrieve and St. Mary’s School. . . I cherish all the elementary and high school memories. .  . Now I am 80 and on the on the verge of retirement next month.”

Tony Leotta graduated Fulton High School in 1951 and attended Syracuse University. I wish him well upon his retirement from his long-time position as Oswego city engineer and I thank him so much for sharing his precious memories with us.

(PS: There’s a big plaque on a mound of earth between two of the new houses on Phillips Street where the school once stood. It reads: High School, Union Free School, Dist. #2, AD, 1900.)

St. Mary’s School and Holy Family School 

It was Jim “Hunky” McNamara who  informed me one night at dinner with him and his wife Marlene and Ed and me, that I had forgotten not one but two other old schools, St. Mary’s and Holy Family.

“Holy Family,” I said, “wasn’t like the other schools, it wasn’t here that long.”

Located just off Hart Street on the west side, near the church it was named after and closed like the church the past few years, it was nice and new just about the time my own kids started school in the late 1950s and 60s.

Although they didn’t go there, we did enjoy the dances and wedding receptions and other special events in the basement banquet hall, and I just bet the children who did attend class there must have many cherished memories, too, just like the students at Walradt Street and St. Mary’s do.

Hunky went to St. Mary’s — first through eighth grade, as did his siblings, Pat, Joe, John, Norma, Mike and Tom — until he entered Fulton High School, like Tony Leotta did, as a freshman in 1947 to became part of our graduating Class of 1951.

His children, Tim, Tom, Terry, Michele and Donna, also attended St. Mary’s, in the 1960s and 70s.

Truth be known, though, I probably didn’t even know St. Mary’s existed until my high school days.

The funny thing about it is that it was on Buffalo Street just around the corner from the old Fairgrieve School on South Fourth Street where I went to junior high.

We 1930s kids pretty much stuck to our own schools, friends, and neighborhoods — until high school, that is, when our small worlds met and grew a little in knowledge and friendship.

Hunky’s recollections of St. Mary’s include second-grade teacher Sister Rita Veronica, “a beautiful young nun;” a fifth-grade teacher, Sister Etia” (he wasn’t sure how to spell her name); and Sister John Dominick who was the school principal.

“Most of the guys were afraid of her,” Hunky declared. Did she rap their knuckles with a ruler? I wondered. “Maybe if they were bad,” was the reply.

“I remember the sandbox in first grade,” he laughed. “It was a table sandbox with about 12 inches of sand and we played with toy cars and trucks and there were little houses and trees in it.”

“We had to help Mr. Guilfoyle take out the trash,” he also remembered. “When you were little?” I inquired. “No! In seventh grade,” he said, as he recalled that it was expected of the boys to do this chore.

Bill and Dick Frawley, twin brothers who lived on Buffalo Street across from the high school, were among Hunky’s school buddies, he said, though a year ahead of him, while Mary Catherine O’Brien, Mary Ann Monforte, John Vogt, Joe Fox and Joe Muscolino he named as some of his classmates.

Asked if he was aware of the nearby Fairgrieve School, he said, “Yes, of course… I played softball with the guys… there were three softball fields in the park,” he recalled,

“The East Side Park, that’s what they used to call it, and I played basketball with them in the high school gym — I hung out with them in the park!” he said.

I thanked Hunky for his recollections and said I’d see him and Marlene at Mimi’s for dinner on Wednesday night at usual.

Now here’s my caveat: Readers beware! I write for fun. I am not a historian, nor a reporter. I write from memory and from what others want to share.

Sometimes I look things up; sometimes I mess things up. I hope you have fun reading my stuff.

Your comments, additions and corrections are always welcome.

You may contact me at 133 Tannery Lane, Fulton, phone 592-7580 or email JHogan808@aol.com. Please put Jerry’s Journal in the subject line. Thanks!

Beverly Deacons Owens, Fulton High grad, retired from Oswego County Employment and Training

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Beverly Deacons Owens, 74, of State College, Penn., died Sunday, April 13, 2014, at The Hearthside Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, State College.

Born Sept. 6, 1939, in Fulton, NY, she was the daughter of the late Harold and Dora Arlene Tilton Wells.

On March 2, 1996, she married Danny Owens, who preceded her in death on Jan. 10, 2014.

She is survived by one son, Clarence J. Deacons and his wife, Jan, of Fulton, NY and one daughter, Wendy Deacons Steele and her husband, Richard, of Millsboro, Del.; three grandchildren, Tabor Deacons, Dean Miller and Hailey Steele; three great-grandchildren.

Beverly was a 1957 graduate of Fulton High School in New York.

She retired in 1995 from the Oswego County Employment and Training Office.

Services will be private at the convenience of the family.

Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome.com.

Hannibal girls’ softball ready to tackle tough season

By Rob Tetro

David Meeker inherited a relatively inexperienced team when he was named interim Hannibal girls’ varsity softball coach.

Fully grasping the state of his team, Meeker feels it’s important for his team to have simple goals for the upcoming season.

A key goal the Lady Warriors have this season is to become more of a fundamentally sound team, especially when it comes to base running. It’s also important to Meeker and his team to learn how to play together.

Perhaps most importantly, Hannibal hopes to be a team that benefits from a strong work ethic in 2014.

The Lady Warriors are a young team this season, with only a few players returning from last season’s team. However, Meeker said the younger players on his team have a lot of potential.

Hannibal’s softball team features numerous multi-sport athletes. Given how active his team has been throughout the school year, Meeker feels that his team was in decent physical condition when practices began in early March.

He wanted to dedicate a lot of time developing softball related skills in preparation for the season. Meeker was pleased his players were physically able to handle all the developmental work that was expected of them.

Meeker said his team did a nice job of handling some of the adjustments that come with being an athlete who competes in winter and spring sports. Developing softball fundamentals often involves the development of arm strength and hand-eye coordination for hitting.

Though his team needed to work on each area at the beginning of practices, Meeker credits his team for being able to handle the adjustments that come with going from a sport such as basketball to softball.

Currently, most of the players are physically prepared to begin the season. Meeker does point out that a few of his younger players aren’t as physically prepared for the season as his more experienced players.

Seniors Samantha Bowers, Malana Scott and sophomore Megan Norris will serve as the Lady Warriors team captains this season.

Hannibal softball will have a challenging time of it this season, playing in a league with powerhouse teams from like Westhill and Solvay. Also, Meeker expects to see many weeks throughout the season where his team plays three or four games a week.

The Lady Warriors return an impressive pitcher in junior Hailey Dunsmoor, but Meeker suggests she won’t be able to do it all alone. It will be key for Hannibal to build depth behind Dunsmoor in order to handle such a challenging workload.

It is possible the Lady Warriors could take a few lumps this season, but Meeker feels the experiences they have in 2014 will be good for them in the long run.

Meeker expects to have a team that will have many strengths to build off of. First and foremost, his team is dedicated to developing its fundamental skills. Led by Dunsmoor, Meeker feels his teams’ pitchers and catchers have a lot of potential.

He also said he expects the top of the lineup to do a decent job at getting on base and into scoring position this season.

Your hometown. Your news.