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If you would like the obituary for an alumnus, family member, to be included on the alumni site, please send the information via the Submit News form. Please include the URL of the originating obituary if it is available, and the Class year of the alumnus. (January 31, 2016)


Werner Kleemann, physical education teacher and coach, passed away peacefully surrounded by loved ones on April 4, 2018 at the age of 76. He is predeceased by his parents Alex and Louise, In-laws Richard and Florence Baker, Brothers-in-law Paul Skinner and David Murphy. He is survived by his wife Cheryl of 48 years, three children, Amy (Kevin) Wilson, Kristen (John) LaBombard, Brian (Linda) Kleemann, Grandchildren Ally & Robbie Wilson, Jenna, Alex, & Ryan LaBombard, Cole & Jack Kleemann. Sister Peggy (Ross) Ahntholz, Brother-in-law Terry (Judy) Baker, Sisters-in-law Kathy Murphy and Patricia Skinner, nieces and nephews, Elisabeth (Art) Scheffer, Nancy Zimmerman, Lyndi Baker, Jason Baker, Karen Romeo, Kim (Paul) Passionino, Katie Murphy (fiancé, Gary Dellacerra), Krissy Murphy, Matt Skinner, Jackie (Matt) Nentarz and Dan Skinner (Brooke Hecker) and many great nieces, nephews and family friends. Werner was a graduate of Hastings-on-the Hudson High School. He attended Springfield College where he played and coached football. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps Reserve in 1960. Werner was a true leader who set the example for all. He started his career in education in Ilion, New York. He then became the University of Buffalo defensive line coach. In 1971 he started in Rush Henrietta Central School District, which has been his home ever since. He had such pride and love of the R-H School District, sports programs, and his community. He had a special place in his heart for all RH athletes, especially anyone who was part of the RH Football Family. Werner loved his role in Section V. He served on the football committee and was the league liaison for the hockey officials. He was so proud to be inducted into the inaugural Section V Football Hall of Fame. He was later inducted into the NYSAAA Hall of Fame. Werner was a master storyteller who could recall events from the past with vivid detail. He passed along his wisdom and passion for life through the stories he told and inspirational speeches he gave. He was a loving husband and a true gentleman. He and his wife Cheryl lived a charmed life with his pride and joy being his children and grandchildren. He instilled the love of family and the true meaning of happiness. He was one of the most selfless people you would ever meet. Werner had a way of making everyone feel special. He believed in family traditions. Summers at camp, Spring Break in Myrtle Beach and Indy in May just to name a few. He was a true outdoorsman who loved to hunt, fish and spend time in the woods. He passed this love of the outdoors on to his children and grandchildren and could often be found at Martin Road Park Pond with his grandkids. He was a one of a kind and has left his legacy in all that knew him. He will be greatly missed but always remembered. The family would like to extend our deepest appreciation to the Wilmot Cancer Center and to the 6th floor staff for their loving care. Friends and family are invited to call Monday, April 9, 2018 from 3-7 at Miller Funeral and Cremation Services, Inc., 3325 Winton Rd. S. Funeral Service at Rush United Methodist Church will be held on Tuesday, April 10, 2018 at 10 am. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Wilmot Cancer Center or Werner Kleemann Scholarship Fund, C/O Kristen LaBombard, 21 Covered Wagon Trail, West Henrietta, NY 14586. (April 7, 2018)

Paul C. Earl, Jr., IHS 1952, age 83, a life-long Ilion resident passed away peacefully on Monday, March 12, 2018 at home with his loving family by his side. Born on March 22, 1934 he was the son of the late Paul C. Sr. and Jeannette (DesRosiers) Earl. He was educated locally graduating from Annunciation School and Ilion High School, Class of 1952. On December 26, 1953, Paul was united in marriage to the love of his life, Joyce M. Loomis at Annunciation Church in Ilion and together the couple shared almost 65 years of marriage. Paul proudly served in the US Navy from 1952 to 1956 as an Airman First Class at Cabanas Field, Corpus Christi, Texas and as a Petty Officer aboard the USS Yorktown Aircraft Carrier during the Korean Conflict. Upon discharge from military service, he operated his own business and was known for his workmanship refinishing hardwood floors, wallpaper and painting. For over 28 years, he was employed at Remington Arms as a First Line Supervisor retiring in 1992. At home, Paul was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He was devout in his Catholic faith and was a lifelong parishioner of Annunciation Church. He was active in the community as a Life Member of the Ilion Midget League, having served as Coach, then Manager of the Yankee Team. He also served as President, Coach and Manager of the Ilion Post 920 American Legion Baseball Team from 1967 to 1982. He was a member of the American Legion Post 920, the Ilion Lodge 1444 B.P.O.E., and the Ilion Knights of Columbus. Paul was an avid golfer and bowler; he loved all sports and gardening. He is survived by his wife, Joyce and their cherished children Kevin (Mary) Earl, Patricia (John) Wolber, Paul III (Gail) Earl, James (Linda) Earl, Sally (Kenneth) Infarinato, MaryBeth (Craig) Hartmann. He is lovingly remembered by his 22 grandchildren, Timothy (Tarrah) Earl, Lauren (Andrew) Earl Strack, Barret (Kelly) Wolber, Kathryn (Doug) Wolber Dionne, Patrick Wolber, Molly Wolber, Brandon (Hallie-Ruth) Earl, Neil (Rachael) Farnum, Leah (Ian) MacDonald, Patrick (Lisa) Farnum, Jake Earl, Katrina (Luke) Allen, Micala Earl, Jessica Stuckman, Laura Stuckman, Nicole (Ryan) Infarinato Platt, Kelly (Andrew) Infarinato Barbano, Matthew Infarinato, Sophie Infarinato, Kyle (Kait) Earl, Steven (Lindsay) Hartmann, and Lucas Hartmann. He was blessed with 10 great grandchildren, Ginny, Brody, Charles, Railynn, Cole, Joseph, Olivia, Jonathon, Alexandra, and Seumas. He leaves 3 sisters, JoAnne (Robert) Pierson, Nancy (Angelo) Semeraro and Marilyn (Alex) Rakowski and two sisters-in-law, Jo-Anne (Jack) Manley, Lynda (Martin) Merchant. He was predeceased by his parents, infant sister Jacquelyn and his brother and sister-in-law, Charles and Linda Earl. He leaves many loved nieces and nephews. Calling hours will be held on Friday, March 16, at the Whiter-Hendrix Funeral Home, Inc. 100 Otsego St. Ilion from 4-7 PM. The Elks will conduct their service rites at 4:30 p.m. and the American Legion will conduct services at 4:45 pm during calling hours. Relatives and friends are invited to attend funeral service on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at 10:30 AM at Annunciation Church in Ilion, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be offered by Fr. Paul Catena. Spring internment will take place at Armory Hill Cemetery where Paul will be laid to rest. Joyce and her children would like to thank Dr. James Vanderhoof, MD for his excellent care and compassion as Paul's physician. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation in memory of Paul to Ilion Ambulance Fund, 1 Central Ave. Ilion; Hospice & Palliative Care, Inc. 4277 Middle Settlement Road, New Hartford, NY 13413 or you may donate online: or Annunciation Church 109 West Street, Ilion, NY. To leave an online condolence, please visit (March 30, 2018)

Lisa Ann (Plunkett) Harris, IHS 1989, passed away on Sunday, February 25, 2018, at the young age of 46, with her loving wife, family and friends by her side. Lisa fought brain cancer with unimaginable grace, beauty and strength. Born to Ann and Everett Fical on July 5, 1971 in Ilion, NY, Lisa attended Ilion High School and graduated from St. Elizabeth's School of Radiology. Lisa was the Assistant Director of Radiology at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, where she worked for 25 years. Lisa loved radiology and the co-workers she shared her days with. Lisa was a fun-loving, loyal woman with a passion for music, the New York Yankees, dancing and time spent laughing with friends. Lisa is survived by her loving wife and soulmate, Melanie; along with Lisa's two children, Rileigh Plunkett and Jaxson Denny, both whom she adored. Lisa also leaves behind her brothers and sisters: Rob and Stephanie Tyoe, of Dolgville, Kim Fical and significant other, Ngoc Vu, of Utica, Keith Fical, of Ilion, Robin Hilts, of Little Falls, Tammy and Ed Mosher, of Ilion and Eric Fical, of Ilion. She is also survived by her mother-in-law, Diane Harris, of Port Orange, FL; her brother-in-law, Ray Harris and significant other, Marty Ripley, of Winslow, ME; and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. Lisa had an amazing circle of friends, too many to mention, but were all very near and dear in her heart and there by her side from beginning to end. A special "thank you" to Wilmot Cancer Center, Strong Memorial Hospital and Hope Lodge of Rochester, especially Dr. Chinazom Ibegbu, Dr. Namish Mohile and Beth Ann Sayer, RN. Lisa fought an amazing battle and will be forever missed by so many. She wanted to leave you all of with this quote, written by Maya Angelou: "You may not control the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them". At Lisa's request, there will be no calling hours. A Celebration of Life will be at a later date for family and those closest to her. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations, in Lisa's honor, to American Cancer Society, Hope Lodge, 1120 S. Goodman Street, Rochester, NY 14620. Arrangements have been entrusted to Burgess & Tedesco Funeral Home. To send a condolence and sign the Book of Memories online, go to (March 12, 2018)

Helen May (Burdick) Gardner, IHS Alumnus, age 93, passed away Friday, February 23, 2018. Helen was born in Ilion on May 10, 1924 the daughter of the late Authur and Lila Burdick and attended Ilion Schools. On September 22, 1963 she was united in marriage with Donald C. Gardner in Sherburne NY with Rev. Carlton VanOrnum officiating. Don passed away on November 9, 1980. Helen was employed with Loblaw's as a cashier for many years and also with Duo fold at one time. She was an Election Inspector for fifteen years retiring in 2009. Helen was a member of the Morning Star Methodist Church, a life member of the DAVA Aux., DAVA member at large, a member of the Violet Rebekah Lodge since Jan. 16, 1945 and was also a life member, a member of the E. Winfield VFW 2338, a Life Member the American Legion 920 Aux. Helen is survived by her longtime friend and caregiver Linda and Frank Kopczenski, nephews and a nieces, William (Chip) and Robin Gardner of FL, Mr. and Mrs. Jeffery Gardner , Mr. And Mrs. Christopher Gardner, Melinda Gardner and her sister in law Elizabeth Gardner, all of Pa. She also leaves her many friends whom she considered family, Charlotte Durse of Frankfort, Charles and Tara Durse, Ilion, Ryan Durse, George Durse, Debbie Durse and her boyfriend Jeff Farley all of Frankfort. Helen leaves other beloved friend and neighbors, Patricia Gillon of Frankfort and her son Joseph. They were very caring and loving to Helen over the years. Patti and Joe loved Helen and she loved them. Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Engle and sons for their Christian love over the years, Don and Lisa Pederson, Jim Crossway who considered her his second grandmother, Jack and Kelly Bono and Jack Jr. for their love and cookies, Bob and Ellen Culver, for their cards and candy. Nick Pianella, Mr and Mrs Corey Chrisman and family and Michael Latell Jr.She also leaves her church family that meant so much to her over the years, Brad and Harriett Haynes, Barb Horwald, Verla Hill, her friend Beverly Mallet, Morris, NY, Sherry Tucker and her family, especially Arthur, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Bellino and family of Ilion. Helen also wanted to send a special thank you to the Knight Spot, Frankfort; the Village Market, Mohawk, the Medicine Shop, lion, Warren and Bill Lennox, Ilion, Nick Parella, Frankfort and a special thanks to Michael Latella of Cassville for her Sidewalk. Helen was a true friend and a gift from God. She loved and cared for all her friends in this life. Helen was a great lady and true Christian woman, who will be greatly missed by many people. Linda would like to the Helen's Dr. Constaline and all his staff for all their love and caring over the long years. And to Hospice for their love, hope and caring. Especially Lori, Carrie, Alania and Michelle. God bless them all. A Celebration of Helen's Life will be held 4:00 PM Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at the Whiter-Hendrix Funeral Home, Inc., 100 Otsego St., Ilion with her friends, Pastors Gail and Michael Jay officiating. Friends may call Tuesday from 2:00 PM until the time of the service. Friends are asked to consider memorials to Hospice and Palliative Care or the Herkimer County Humane Society. To leave an online condolence please go to (March 12, 2018)

Steven Brown, IHS 1983, 53, passed away February 14, 2017. He was born February 22, 1965 in Peterborough, NH, the son of the late Robert and Gail Faunce Brown, and was a graduate of Ilion High School, he received his AS degree in Forestry from Morrisville Ag. And Tech. Steve was an accomplished self-employed carpenter and loved the outdoors including camping, hunting and cross country skiing. Steve is survived by his sister and brother in law, Allyson and Robert Hutson of Selma, NC and his nephews and nieces Charlie Barnes, Benjamin Barnes, Stacey Griffith and Ashley Hutson. A Celebration of Steve's life will be Friday February 23, 2018 at 6:00 PM from Whiter-Hendrix Funeral Home, Inc., 100 Otsego St. Ilion with Rev. Robert Willable officiating. Friends may call Friday from 5-6 PM. In lieu of flowers friends are asked to consider memorials to Ilion Catholic Charities. To leave an online condolence please go to (March 12, 2018)

Mr. Earl M. Polley, Jr., IHS Alumnus, of Ilion, NY, passed away on Sunday February 11, 2018 at Faxton-St. Luke's Healthcare, town of New Hartford, NY. Earl was 77 years of age. He was born on February 28, 1940 in Ilion, NY, a son of the late Earl M., Sr. and Frances (Maneen) Polley. He was a graduate of Ilion High School and a lifelong area resident. Earl worked for many years with P & C as a meat cutter. He retired in 1999. He was a member of the District Union Local One UFCW and at one time the Ilion Moose Lodge. Being outdoors was the most ideal time for Earl. He loved camping, fishing and the serenity of the lakes. He was also fond of the state of Florida and traveling there by car was something he thoroughly enjoyed. Earl was formerly married to Theresa J. (Schilingo) Polley who passed away on July 3, 2016. He is survived by his beloved family: his son Earl J. Polley and his wife Janie and their children Brittany and Jonathon of Ilion, his daughters, Linda Zellwager and her daughter Amber of Ilion, and Cynthia Maneen and her husband Thomas and their children Tommy and Nicky of Frankfort, his sister and brother-in-law, Frances and Larry Retzloff of Ilion, his sisters-in-law and brother-in-law, Josephine Fetterly and her husband Howard of Ilion, and Vicky Schilingo of Frankfort, and his very special friends, Marilyn Willems and Sam Jess, and several nieces, nephews and cousins. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday evening February 14, 2018 at 7:00 PM at The Enea & Ciaccia Family Funeral Home, 4309 Acme Road in Ilion, NY (Town of Frankfort), with Father Paul Catena officiating. Spring interment will take place at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Frankfort. Calling hours at the funeral home are on Wednesday prior to the funeral service from 4 until 7 PM. Those wishing to remember Earl in a special way are asked to consider a donation to the National Kidney Foundation of Central New York, 731 James Street Ste 408, Syracuse, NY 13203. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home for this purpose. The family would like to extend thanks to Earl's many caregivers. A memorial tribute has been established at on the Internet. (March 12, 2018)

Owen R. Roberts, Jr., IHS 1965, age 71, of Jordanville, passed away on Thursday, February 8, 2018. He was born on January 10, 1947, in Herkimer to the late Owen R. Roberts Sr. and Marion Kane. He is survived by his wife, Linda (Abeling) Roberts; their son Eric Roberts and his wife Desiree and granddaughter Nyssa of Plano, TX; daughter Violet Wolfe, and her spouse, Ehren, of Edwardsville, IL; and his in-laws, Ralph and Louise Abeling of Essex Jct., VT, and Pam and Dale Abeling of Fletcher, NC, Diane and Russell Bouck of Raleigh, NC, Dave and Sheila Abeling of Fairport, NY Owen graduated from Ilion High School in 1965. He served honorably in the United States Navy upon graduation. He married Linda on December 27, 1969. Owen worked as Maintenance Supervisor for Remington Arms Company, at the Ilion Firearms Plant, before retiring. He continued to work after retirement, most recently as Asset Protection for Walmart at the Distribution Center in Sharon Springs. Owen was a hard-working man, determined to give everything he had to those that he loved or to lend a helping hand to those in need. He enjoyed tinkering around the house on small projects and spending time with his wife and the dogs at camp in the summers. He will be truly missed by all who knew him. Services will be held privately at the convenience of the family in keeping with Owen's last wishes. Arrangements are with the Whiter-Hendrix Funeral Home, 100 Otsego St., Ilion. In lieu of flowers friends are asked to consider Memorial donations in Owen's name to To leave an online condolence and light a candle, please go to (March 12, 2018)

Kenneth James Gonyea, IHS Alumnus, age 80, formerly of Herkimer, passed away peacefully on Tuesday morning, January 9, 2018 at New Rock Nursing Home and Rehabilitation in Rochester. He was born on April 14, 1937, in Brandon, a son of the late Cecil and Erma Marshall Gonyea. He was educated in Ilion High School and at one time worked as a machinist with Remington Arms in Ilion. He moved to Rochester in 1980. Surviving are his sister Joyce Maytan and her husband Walter of Herkimer a brother Richard Gonyea and his wife Vita of Frankfort, a half-brother David Clookey and his wife Donna of Rochester, several nieces, nephews and cousins. Besides his parents he was preceded in death by a brother, Lloyd Gonyea and a sister Elizabeth Buchinski. A graveside service at Mt. View Memorial Gardens will take place in the spring at a time to be announced. Funeral arrangements are with Fenner Funeral Home Inc., Herkimer. (January 20, 2018)

Jean (Goldin) George, IHS 1967,68 of Ilion, passed away peacefully at home, on Friday January 5, 2018. Jean was born on January 26, 1949 in Ilion, she was the daughter of the late Maurice and Martina (Warner) Goldin, and she was a 1967 graduate of Ilion Schools and attended Utica Computer and Business Machines. She had various jobs, in the area, throughout her life. Jean was an active member of the Ilion First United Methodist Church and the church choir as well as the UMW. She is survived by her son Thomas of Liverpool NY; two brothers Maurice and his wife LeVeta Goldin of Battlefield MO, and Thomas and his wife Diane Goldin of Ilion; a sister Janet Palmer and her companion Fred Liddle of Otego. She also leaves several nieces and nephews. Funeral services for Jean will be held on Tuesday January 9, 2018 at 5 pm, Rev. Robert Wollaber will officiate. Friends may call on Tuesday from 3 pm until the time of the funeral, at the Whiter-Hendrix Funeral Home Inc. 100 Otsego St. in Ilion. Interment will be in the spring at Armory Hill Cemetery in Ilion. In lieu of flowers Jean's family ask the memorial donations be made to Morning Star Ministries 36 Second St. Ilion. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home. To send an online condolence please go to (January 20, 2018)

If you would like to make a contribution, in memory of a deceased alumnus, please consider The Central Valley Central School District/Ilion School Foundation.

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