Raymond “Pete” Carswell, loved hunting, fishing and riding his motorcycle

Raymond “Pete” Carswell, 70, of Hannibal, passed away on Thursday, Jan. 30 at Oswego Hospital following a long illness.

A native of Syracuse, he lived in Hannibal for the past 42 years. Pete was a retired heavy equipment operating engineer through Local #545 in Syracuse for 50 years.

He had attended the Oswego Alliance Church and was a former member of the Moyers Corners Volunteer Fire Department.

Pete enjoyed riding his motorcycle and was a member of the Retreads motorcycle riding club. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing.

Surviving are his wife of 42 years, Lynn Crowner Carswell of Hannibal; three children, Kimberly (Jim) Foster of Victoria, VA, Scott (Monica) Pease of Barco, NC and Daniel Carswell of Hannibal; 10 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Calling hours were Feb. 1 at Foster Funeral Home, 837 Cayuga St., Hannibal. Services were Feb. 2 at the Oswego Alliance Church, 371 Thompson Road in Oswego.

A spring graveside service will be at Greenlawn Memorial Cemetery in Warners.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hannibal Volunteer Fire Department, Hannibal, NY.

Frank Patterson Gauntt, World War II Army veteran

Frank Patterson Gauntt, 95, of Fulton, passed away Wednesday Jan. 29 after a brief illness.

He was born in Bridgeton, New Jersey, a son to the late William and Annabelle Gauntt.

Frank was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II. He worked at Owens Illinios in Bridgeton for 41 years.

Frank was a member of the Imperial Council of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.

In addition to his parents, Frank was predeceased by his wife, Estella Spencer Thompson Gauntt, who died Aug. 26, 1981; two sons, Frank Edwin Gauntt in 1942 and Gary Gauntt in 2005.

He is survived by his daughter, Renee L. (Raymond) Arnold of Fulton; three grandchildren, Stephanie M. Arnold of Fulton, Emily Brandriff of N.J. and Debbie Ballurio of N.J., as well as several great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

There are no calling hours. Graveside services will be private at Fernwood Cemetery, Bridgeton, N.J.

Contributions in memory of Mr. Gauntt may be made to a charity of one’s choice.

Foster Funeral Home, Fulton has care of arrangements.

William Burr Mason, Black-Clawson retiree

William Burr Mason, 100, died Friday Jan. 31 at St. Luke Health Services in Oswego.

Born Feb. 6, 1913, in Syracuse to Dr. Burr T. and Caroline (Dopffel) Mason, he lived his entire life in Fulton, NY.

Bill was married to the late Victorine Lewis for 57 years. He was a U.S. Navy veteran, serving from 1942 to 1945.

In 1979, Bill retired from Black-Clawson Co. after working many years as purchasing agent.

He is survived by daughters, Janet Molter of MA and Ginger Mason (Peter Ferick) of VT; grandchildren, Brian (Kelly) Molter, Steven Molter, Alexandra Ferick, and Mason Ferick; two great-grandchildren; a niece and a nephew.

Ever thinking of others, he donated his body to the medical school at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse.

Further arrangements are private and are in the care of Foster Funeral Home, Fulton.

Memorial contributions may be made to Beaver Lake Nature Center, 8477 E. Mud Lake Rd., Baldwinsville, NY 13027 or to a charity of one’s choice.

The family is especially thankful for the care “Willie” received at Bishop’s Commons and St. Luke Health Services.

Two Maroun Elementary students perform in “Les Miz” in Baldwinsville

Two students at Michael A. Maroun Elementary School have roles in Baldwinsville Theatre Guild’s musical production of Les Misérables.

Larissa and Lily MacDonald, fourth and second grade students at MAM, were cast during auditions in June. They sang a song from the musical during the audition and both scored a place in the production, despite having never been in a musical before.

Their mother, Kristen MacDonald, heard about the show from Special Education Teacher Justin McArthur, who was also auditioning. MacDonald auditioned as well, and joins the cast as a factory worker.

She hadn’t been on stage since her children were born. The MacDonalds live in Pennellville.

Auditions for the production were elite. Out of the 120 plus who auditioned, only 35 were selected for the cast. The cast also include Phoenix alumni Henry Wilson, Jason Bean and Paul Thompson.

The story chronicles the struggles of Jean Valjean, a French peasant who searches for redemption after serving a prison sentence for stealing bread to feed his family. The musical is entirely sung.

Larissa plays Young Eponine, while Lily is a part of the youth ensemble. The cast is made up of mostly adults — the MacDonald sisters are the youngest of the children.

Singing in all of the chorus parts, Larissa is looking forward to joining chorus as a fifth-grader. She is also involved in gymnastics, Battle of the Books, and the school science fair.

Lily plays piano.

The girls have broken some of the MacDonald’s house rules in order to a part of the production. Play practices close to show time ran up until 11 p.m. some week nights, ending a few hours past their normal bedtimes.

The hard work and long rehearsals have paid off. Each show has sold out, and a Thursday night performance (Feb. 6) has been added.

After the curtain closes, Larissa and her sister hope to continue performing. Larissa recently sang the national anthem at the Winterguard’s first home show at the high school.

Hannibal church celebrates 175 years

The Hannibal United Methodist Church is celebrating the 175th Anniversary.

Under the leadership of David Peckham, the Methodist Church of Hannibal was organized Feb. 26, 1839.

The Certificate of Organization was filed in the Oswego County Clerk’s office March 13, 1839 with 25 charter members.

In 1841 a brick church edifice was erected, which today is the back of the current church building. In 1864, to accommodate the increase in membership,  one third of the church building was removed and a new building was added to the front of the original building.

Over the years, there have been many, many changes and improvements.

An anniversary committee consisting of Wendell Blanchard, Barbara Gifford, Louise Kellogg, Gloria Kempston, Liz George, Judy Tyler, Gloria Simmons and Richard Palen has been formed to work on future activities.

The first event will be a Birthday/Anniversary Celebration to be held March 2 following the 11 a.m. worship service.  All are welcome.

Fulton Memorial Day Salute May 24

Plans are underway for the 33rd Annual Memorial Day Salute event to be held Saturday, May 24 at the Fulton Community Center.

The theme for the celebration will be “Showing Gratitude to Our Veterans.” Jim Weinhold, Veteran of the Year, will serve as Grand Marshal of the Saturday parade. Entertainment for Saturday night will be announced soon. The Saturday entertainment will be followed by fireworks.

The Memorial Day Salute Committee is made up of representatives from the Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary and Sunrise Rotary Service Clubs, along with the Veterans Council of Fulton. Chairman of this year’s planning committee is Larry Macner.

United Way honors “Leadership Givers”

The United Way of Greater Oswego County recognized its many leadership givers during a special reception in their honor at Under the Moon in Fulton.  he event was attended by more than 60 Leadership Givers, those who pledge $500 or more annually.

“We truly appreciate our Leadership Givers,” said Melanie Trexler, executive director of the United Way.

“From our corporate sponsors to our small business owners and our individual leaders, their exceptional level of giving and their care and concern for our community is inspirational. The generosity of our Leadership Givers plays an important role in the success of our Annual Campaign as it set the pace and gets the campaign off to a strong start,” Trexler said.

Community Bank, one of the United Way’s newest supporters, sponsored the event. Community Bank operates more than 185 branche across Upstate and Central New York, including those in Fulton and Oswego, as well as throughout northeastern Pennsylvania.

“We are happy to partner with the United Way of Greater Oswego County on this event and are proud to count ourselves among the many  area businesses and organization that lend their support to such a worthy cause as United Way,” said Mark Tryniski, Community Bank president.

The United Way’s annual campaign serves as the organization’s primary fundraiser as the campaign looks to raise money in support of the many human servics program that the United Way and its member agencies provide for those who live in Oswego County.

For more information about the United Way and the 2014 campaign, call the United Way at 593-1900 or visit www.oswegounitedway.org

Light In the Darkness

“I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”           Psalm 91:2”  

A number of years ago, I found myself asking whether life was essentially a pleasant journey with the occasional painful trial along the way,  or whether it was more of one long, arduous test with occasional moments of peace. 

I have since come to think that for the young, it often appears more like the former and for those of us who have seen the passing of more years, it seems more the latter.

This was and is in the context of a culture that still knows the remnants of blessing that came with the faith and faithfulness of so many who had gone before us.

In other cultures the perception might be much different.  But in every culture life has its trials; its tests to be endured. The way we approach them either leaves us in a weakened condition or stronger than ever.

One thing is certain, sooner or later everyone who trusts in Christ, will have that trust tested in a significant (and often painful) way. Each of us is a little different in this respect and something thing that severely tests one person is but a hiccup for another.

Even in areas where the test would be severe for any believer, such as the loss of a child, a spouse, a serious accident with permanent consequences, one whose faith is strong may seem to be tested for only a short time while the for another, whose faith is not as strong, may struggle for a long time before coming out the other side.

But one thing of which we can be certain is that our faith will be tested.

Our Lord told His people in Ezekiel  21,  “Testing will surely come.”

There is purpose behind the testing of our faith, of course. God is not a precocious, whimsical God who delights his fancy at our expense and James explains that purpose.

He writes, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (Chapter one)

We all know that in the raising of children, the ultimate goal is for them to reach adulthood as mature individuals prepared to face life’s trials and demands.

It is much the same in our spiritual lives. When we are born again, we are born into a spiritual world to which we had been dead. At that point Paul says, we are babes in Christ.

The Lord’s purpose for that new life is that we grow into mature, right-thinking adults; full of faith and able to trust Him in all areas of thought and life.

It is to this end, James says, that He allows us to be tested, that our endurance may be fully developed, so that we become perfect and complete in Him… needing nothing else.”

Can you say with the psalmist, “I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.”

 

Pastor David M. Grey

Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church

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