Rushford central school alumni association

2009 News letter




Greetings from your newsletter editor, Jim Pomeroy (’60).  If there is something about yourself or your class that you’d like to include in next year’s newsletter, send a note to the Rushford Alumni Association (Box 1, Rushford, NY 14777 – Attn: Newsletter Editor), or send me an email at’t be shy particularly if you have never submitted anything before.  For emails, please include the words “Rushford Alumni” in the subject box.  If you move and change your address, try to remember to keep us updated.  Also, if an alumnus was removed from the Association’s active contact list in 2008 and wants to be restored to the list, all that person need do is notify me and confirm his or her mailing address.  


I intend to remain as your newsletter editor and keeper of the alumni database for the coming year but am thinking it may be my last.  I’m sure I will have more to say about this in next year’s newsletter.  In the meantime, if there is one of you who would like to take on one or both of these tasks in the future, please contact me.  Don’t think that you have to be someone who lives in the immediate Rushford area.  The truth is that it gets harder and harder to find alumni living in the Rushford area who are willing and able to take on these responsibilities.  If they satisfy the “able” part, then the “willing” part is the hang-up---it’s very likely they have been collared by one or two other organizations that already take up their free time.


If you received this newsletter by postal mail and you previously provided me with an email address, it means that my email messages to you may have been blocked or otherwise maybe not seen or read by you for one reason or another.   Getting the newsletter to you is the most important thing so maybe postal mail is best for you anyway.  Corresponding by email does save the Association postage but efforts spent to confirm that an email was received have used up more time in the last few years than I care to calculate.   Another consideration for me is that I can not get high-speed internet at reasonable cost where I live.  Doing anything involving the internet with just dial-up service can take me considerable time. Starting with this newsletter I will not try to confirm that it was received by those of you on the email list.  If you are not on our email list but you really want to be on it and you use email regularly yourself, then send me an email at  Do NOT give me your email address by postal mail or on the banquet reservation form.   


This newsletter can be viewed on the Cuba-Rushford Central School website.  Go to  --- click on “Community”  in the Menu bar that runs across the top of the page, next click on  Alumni and Yearbooks”” in the drop-down box that appears and then on “Rushford Alumni” at the far left on the page that next appears.  When the Rushford Alumni page downloads, go to the bottom of that page and click on “Related Documents – Newsletter”.   To view the newsletter, your computer will need to be able to download Microsoft WORD documents.  While on the website, feel free to click on “Yearbooks” and view the RCS yearbooks for 1952 to 1991.


Those receiving this newsletter by email or viewing it on the CRCS website should still use postal mail to make banquet reservations and/or to send donations (Rushford Alumni Association, Box 1, Rushford, NY  14777). 


Thanks to Susan Clark Holmes, Bernice Owens Armison and her daughter Grace Armison, and to Sue Corbett Clark for helping me to stuff and stamp envelopes for the mailing that was done in 2008.   Further thanks to Susan Clark Holmes for doing the photocopying. 


Approximately 230 people attended the 2008 banquet, the highest number, I believe, since the Association was started in the late 1800’s. The auditorium was decorated earlier in the day by Wendy Cook and Beverly Thomas, daughters of alumnus (’51) Karene Falsion Green.  Bernice Owens Armison and her three children helped to decorate and organize items on the tables too.  Much appreciation must be given to school janitor David Hatch (Class of 1984) who had moved all the tables and chairs into the auditorium and then set them up and who did it all in reverse sometime after the banquet was over!  (Dave, you’re an absolute life-saver!!!)  Rev. Robert Childs gave the banquet Invocation.  A buffet dinner was served under the supervision of Kevin (’74) and Dawn Pascell (’77) Taylor.  Your newsletter editor was glad to fill in for President Peggy Metcalf Armstrong who was in South Carolina so she could be with some of her family, in particular a grandson who underwent a serious ear operation.  Vice President Susan Clark Holmes felt less than one hundred percent from recent hip replacement surgery and also deferred to me to fill in too.  The 2008 slate of officers was approved to serve in their current positions at least until the next banquet.  Of the classes honored (those whose graduation years ended with an “8” or a “3”), the Class of 1963 had the most members present (10).  Next was the Class of 1968 with six present.  Although it was not the year to honor the Class of 1972, they were recognized for getting several members together—some came from Colorado and California.  The oldest alumni in age present at the banquet were Wilson Gilbert and Art Clark, members of the Class of 1941. The youngest alumnus was Melinda Pomeroy (Class of 2007). (Incidentally, for the record, the oldest alumnus on our mailing list is Ernestine Austin Whybrew of Sierra Vista, AZ and Class of 1931.)   Susie Mathews Milgate of Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina was officially made a member of the Association, Class of 1956.  Attendees recognized for coming long distances were as follows:  from the furthest corners of New York State—Sharon Flynn Wilson (’59) and Barb Johnson (’64)▌ from Pennsylvania—Art Fuller (’53), Pat Albro Owens (’56), Nina Kirkby Rhodes (’57), and Sandra Taylor Babbitt (’75) from New Jersey—Sandy Albro Munson (’59)▌ from Ohio—Tom Morris (’59) and Jen Weaver Cyphers (’68)▌ from New Hampshire—David Fuller (’68)▌ from Maine—Connie Albro Knuppell (’63)▌ from Virginia—Barbara Priday Wilson (’49), Patty Flynn Engh (’63) and her brother Mick Flynn (’65)▌ from North Carolina—Susie Mathews Milgate (’56) and Bob Gilbert (’65)▌ from Tennessee—Dennis Haskins (’64)▌ from Illinois—Gail Williams (’69)▌ from Georgia—Nancy Davies Dunham (’56) and her sister Dorothy Davies Colfer (’69)▌ from Florida—Delores Swain Thurber (’48),  Carol Sweet Thompson (’53), Marana Davies Thomas (’63), Dan Gilbert (’74),  Bernard McElheny (’70), and Rick Davies (’78)▌ from Texas—Al Lee (’53), Karen Farwell Forsyth (’60), Jane Davies Marrone (’64), and Larry Thompson (’64)▌ from Minnesota—Bill (’72) and Cindy Russell (’73) Gilbert▌ from Colorado—Dale and Sarah Riley Taylor (’72) along with Jeanne Thorington Basenez(’75)▌ from Arizona—Sandy Russell Matara (’63), Jim Martin (’63), and Sue Russell Breazeale (’64)▌ and from California—Donna Alderman McKeown (’71), Steve Luce (’72), and Harry Weaver (’74).  Amanda Mountain, granddaughter of Barbara Lee Mountain (’59) and David Mountain Sr. and a 2008 Cuba-Rushford Central School graduate enrolled at Buffalo State University, was present to receive the Association’s Albro Scholarship in the amount of $1000. This was the eighth consecutive year the Association has awarded scholarship monies—a total of almost $6,500 since 2001. Musical entertainment was provided by Patti Vincent Waldron (’77) and her husband Dan, by Melinda Pomeroy (’08), by Darlene Clark Mason (’75), by Becky Furniss Cole (’76) and Esther White Clark (’91), and by Gail Williams (’69).  At the very end, Wilda Williams used a desk top in place of a drum to accompany her daughter’s rendition of “Sweet Georgia Brown” on French horn.  And finally, with Wilda at the piano, the singing of the RCS alma mater concluded the banquet.  A few weeks later I asked Treasurer Bernice Owens Armison to give me an update on Association finances.  On October 20, 2008 the Association had $6,165.00 in the Albro Scholarship Fund and $3,608.32 in the General Fund.

We notice that some people who are eligible for a free dinner pay for it anyway.  For those who do that, we assume that this is your way of making a donation beyond dues to our general expenses.  While it is not necessary for you to do this, we certainly appreciate it. 

The future the school building at Rushford continues to be a concern to area residents as well as to many alumni.  Although the Cuba-Rushford Central School Board of Education voted 5-2 in January of 2008 to keep the Rushford building open, they indicated later in the year that if enrollment at the building (grades K through 5) drops below a certain figure, the building would be closed.  Enrollment for the 2008-2009 school years has averaged in the 80’s.  The building remains open for the 2009-2010 school year.    

News From or About Individual Alumni and Classes:

’36 -- John Babbitt of Exton, PA sent this note in 2008:  “Sorry I will not be at the Alumni dinner.  It is a case of ‘can’t get around

          anymore.’  Enjoy the newsletter…Will be thinking of you all.  Have another great year.”


’36 -- Harriet Balcom Davis of Tempe, Arizona composed and sent us the following poem entitled How the Years Fly By:  

         “How fast the years fly by-----like birds winging through the sky.-----What have we done with all of our days?-----We take out our memories and see the ways-----our lives have changed from when we were young.-----We think of the things we have done,-----   the places we’ve been,-----the people we’ve seen.-----Memories—they’re precious.-----But as we look back, let us also look

         ahead,-----striving each day to do our best,----looking to God for comfort and rest.-----To give someone a cheery word, or even a

         smile-----will ease the travel of many a weary mile.-----May our days be filled with peace.-----May we never cease-----to remember

         that God loves us,-----and his promises we can always trust.”


’39 -- Florence Davis Clark of Rushford died in August, 2008.


’42 -- Jean Lutes Lynn died in December, 2008.  Her last address in our files was Frewsburg, NY.


’42 -- Mrs. Arthur (Pauline) Sampson of Arcade, NY was not a graduate of RCS but her husband Art was.  Pauline wrote the following

         to us in 2008:  “I appreciated receiving a copy of the Alumni news so much.  While Art was still alive, I always tried to get him to

         write a letter,  but he never got around to it.  So much happened through the years.  We had 10 children and we kept busy

         between Art’s two jobs and setting up land for the camp.  To date our granddaughter and her husband are directors and are doing

         great work.  The Lord has blessed.  After Art passed away (Christmas 2001) I moved off the big farm to a mobile home in the

         Aristo Terrace.  I still have my 40 year-old Down’s Syndrome son Nathan with me.  He is a joy and lots of company for me.  Give

         my regards to those who knew Art.”  


’42 – Mary Sprague Williams of Leesburg, FL sent this note in 2008:  “Many thanks for all you continue to do to keep us informed of our

         classmates.  Our church thrift shop continues to keep me busy as manager. I also luncheon with our singles group. “

’44 – Don Alderman of Olean, NY has published two books of poetry: “Sunshine and Shadows: Feel Good Poems” and “The Girls

        They Left Behind (The War Years)” .  If interested in obtaining either or both of these books, you can get the best deal by

         directly contacting Don or his wife Marvelyn  at 716-373-4382.   Don also penned this ditty for the newsletter:  “If I don’t say

         something,-----the year 1944 will be blank.----A most important year,----if I might be frank.-----So many I knew-----are no

         longer around.-----But I’m still kicking,-----doing nothing profound.-----I give credit to the cranberry juice,-----pain pills somewhat,

         exercise a bit,-----when I’m able to get out.”


’44 – Ernest Kellogg of Canton, Georgia sent greetings in 2008 via wife Celia.  Celia graduated from Cuba Central School

         in 1949 with Betsy Hubbard, our “adopted” alumnus who taught several years at RCS.  The Kelloggs lived in

         Cuba when Ernest worked at the Acme plant.  They are thankful that they are still in pretty good health.  Son Kevin is executive      

         administrator for a nearby large medical clinic and keeps his parents “behaving themselves”.  Daughter Vicki works at Western

         Carolina University. 


’44 -- Dorothy Dickens Meyerink of Webster, NY wrote us in 2008:  “I became a grandmother in 2006 and again in 2007.  I was

         commissioned as a “Preaching Elder” in my church (Reformed Church of America)---am able to lead worship, preach, and lead

         and serve communion but not allowed to marry or baptize anyone.  Larry Dickens, my older brother, is well in California.  He

         enjoys picking oranges and avocadoes from the trees in his backyard in Westminster, CA.”


’48 – Alma Foss of Baldwinsville, NY told us that her youngest sister, Judy, retired in 1999 after teaching 33 years at Pioneer Central

         School (Arcade, NY area) and was living with her.  The two of them have enjoyed several trips in recent years including sight-

         seeing on the West Coast, railroading through the Canadian Rockies, and visiting the Canadian maritime provinces.  In October,

         2008 they travelled to Scotland with a seniors’ group.  Alma has 20 grand-nieces and nephews. and is active in her sister

         Pauline’s Red Hat Chapter. 


’50 – Class of 1950 met in July, 2008, at the home of Norm and Irene Francis in Rushford.  Also in attendance were Pauline James

         King and husband Don, Ted and Marj Crowell, Duane Luce, Alton Westfall, Eldyn and Pat Davies, Art and Marilyn Kellogg, Keith

         and Arletta Smith Slocum, June Blakeslee Clark, David Vincent, and Hattie Clark.


’51 – Karene Falsion Mower Green told us that she hates to write letters but she wants to say “hi”, in particular to classmate Ethel

         Drummond Morse.  In her note Karene mentioned she had lost a son in 1999 but so far the rest of her family is fine.  She has 10+



’52 -- Sally Durkee Hall of Nunda, NY sent us a note in 2008:  “Always enjoy the newsletter…  Congratulations Rushford on reaching 

         your bicentennial.  We here in Nunda are celebrating 2008 also… Hope you can keep Rushford school open…”


’53 – Tom Mountain of Cuba, NY died in July, 2008.


’55 -- Pauline Foss Buck of Baldwinsville, NY told us that she enjoys retirement and is busy all the time.  


’58 – Class of 1958 celebrated their 50th year since graduation at Chanderson’s Restaurant  at Yorkshire, NY on August 9, 2008.  In

         attendance were classmates Sandy Wende Crowley, Art McElheny, Paul Sanders, Ron Wende, Dorothy Henry Howland, Paul

         Pettit, and Dale Slocum.  On another date, when classmate Dan Kopp of Sandia, Texas was in the area, a picnic was held at the

         home of Paul Sanders in Arcade.  Jim Wilmot and Joe Rogacki, in addition to the others, were present at this event.  The Class

         collected and donated a total of $395 to the Albro Scholarship Fund in memory of deceased class members Larry Baker, Bob

         Vickman, and Faye Webster Bliss.  (This is the second time the class has made a donation in memory of one or more of their

         deceased classmates---thanks much, Class of 1958!)


’58 -- Dorothy Henry Howland of Pultneyville, NY, now retired from school teaching, has become a lay minister in her church.


’59 – Donalee Rice Baker of Torrance, CA told us in 2008 that she was “a short timer” since she planned to retire from employment with

        The Salvation Army in January of 2009.  She is looking forward to the next chapter of her life.


‘59 – Ernie Owens and his wife Lynette Covert Owens (‘65) received the “Dairy of Distinction” award for their farm in 2008.  They have

         about 250 milking cows plus younger stock.  They have also expanded the number of their barns.  All their children and

         grandchildren help out on the farm.  Ernie and Lynette are the parents of our Treasurer, Bernice Owens Armison.


’60 -- David Walden of Rushford died in November, 2008.


’63 – Bill Bailey of Deland, FL told us that he was sorry that he couldn’t make the 2008 banquet and noted that it would have been

         special considering his class would be celebrating its 45th year since graduation.  Bill said he was still working for Covidian Health

         Care and was thinking about retirement.  Like many of you, Bill expressed appreciation for the newsletter and included a very nice

         donation toward our general operating expenses.


’64 – Jody MacCall Brown has sold her cottage at Rushford Lake and her home in Tonawanda, NY and is now living on Lake Tansi

         near Crossville, Tennessee.   


’65 -- Tyrone Davis of Rushford died in December, 2008.


’65 – Dorothy Davies Colfer reports that she is back in Landstuhl, Germany for one year.  “Even though I was retired from the Army,

         they asked if I would do one more year for them. …I am really glad to be here, and am back to working in the Army hospital.  Most

         of our patients are now coming from Afghanistan rather than Iraq, so we stay busy.  It is very rewarding work.”


’65 – Michael (Mick) Flynn of Richmond, Virginia is obviously putting his psychology degree to good use.  He says that he’s having

         great fun hanging around with his two grandchildren.  The “Happy Hibernian” added this about them in his note:  “Of course

         genetics would dictate that they are very smart and also good looking.”


’65 – Bob Mountain has resisted my request for an update—I’ve concluded that he’s a very modest guy.  Here’s a little that I’ve gleaned

         about Bob.  I don’t know where he went to college but he taught school for a number of years--- in the Wellsville school system for

         one.  He obviously took courses in school administration along the way since he eventually became Superintendent at Bolivar

         Central School.  During his tenure there he shepherded the merger of the Bolivar and Richburg school districts.  Bob retired a few

         years ago.  The principal of the high school, Charles Bostwick, another Rushford graduate (Class of 1964), soon followed him into

         retirement.  Anybody I’ve met who taught under Bob at Bolivar-Richburg has nothing but good things to say about him, soooo—

         here’s a belated “job very well done, Bob.”   He and his wife still reside in Bolivar.  Son Jeff is a winning baseball coach at

         Washington and Jefferson College in PA.


’65 – Audean Haskins of Rushford received a kidney transplant in February of 2009 after being on dialysis for nine years for a

         hereditary kidney problem.  As this newsletter was “going to press”, Audean was hospitalized in Buffalo for some problems with

         the transplant.  We wish her the best.  Audean reports that her brother Fred (’78) of Bradford, PA received a kidney transplant  in

         2008 and has been doing well with it.  Brother Merle (’71) continues to teach English at St. Johnsbury Academy in Vermont. 

         Brother Dennis (’64) initially followed a military career.  Somewhere along the line he obtained a doctoral degree and is currently a

         program administrator at Martin Methodist College at Pulaski, Tennessee.  Don Haskins, the father of the Haskins “kids”, was a

         bus driver at old RCS for many years.


 ’66 – David Fuller, formerly of Batavia, NY and now of Laconia, New Hampshire, provided us with an update in 2008:  “My late wife of

         22 years, Mary Ellen, died in April of 2007 after fighting cancer for over two years.  Our son Joel spent two years active duty in the

         US Marine Corps, including six months in Iraq in 2006.  In September of 2007 he married his childhood sweetheart.  I met a lady

         on the internet from New Hampshire.  I moved there and we married.  It truly is a ‘hers, mine and ours and hers again’---14

         children and stepchildren, with 27 grandchildren and four more grandchildren coming between October ’08 and March ’09.  They

         live from the State of  Washington, to Oklahoma, to Pennsylvania, New York, and now New Hampshire.”


’69 – Gail Williams of Evanston Illinois was spotlighted this spring when she returned to the area to appear with the Southern Tier

         Symphony Orchestra.  Gail, a graduate of Ithaca College, spent more than 20 years in the French horn section of the Chicago

         Symphony and currently teaches at Northwestern University.  Her husband, Larry, retired last year from the Chicago Symphony

         where he was first chair in the clarinet section.  The young girl who proudly showed her dad’s prize Holsteins in 4-H was obviously

         destined to do other things---this is no surprise given that she has such a musical mom (Wilda). 


’70 – Bernard McElheny has said “bye” NYS and “hello” Florida.  He is living in Ocoee, FL.  (Will the last person leaving WNY please

        remember to turn out the lights when you go?  J)


’71 – Theodore Fairbanks of Centerville, NY died in June, 2009.  Ted was a career veteran of the US Air Force.


’72 – Shirley Randolph Saulter of Rushford reports that her class held a reunion on August 28, 2008 at Moonwinks Restaurant at Cuba,

         NY.  Thirteen class members attended—exactly half the class.  Also present were class advisors Donald Fegley and Eva Heaney.

          “We all had a wonderful time reminiscing about our past and catching up on the present….Thanks to all who came and

          contributed (a $100 contribution was made to the Belva Waite Scholarship Fund).”


’73 -- Charles Barr of Sebastian, Florida died in August, 2008.


’74 – Harrison Weaver is employed as Controller for the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary at Mill Valley, CA.


’76 – Jody Barber Burns of Hilton, NY reports that Steve Crandall passed away earlier this year. He was a member of the Class of 1976

         until his senior year when he moved to Florida.


’81 -- Donalyn Davis Rybicki of Olean, NY keeps close tabs on her classmates and tells us that Beth Worthington Ertsgaard, has three

         children and is living in State College, PA where she works at her church.


’81 – Evelyn Owens Alessi of Belfast and an English teacher at Belfast Central, provided us with a further update on her family. In 2008  

         she and husband Mark had been married for 23 years.  Their three boys are in various stages of their college education and their

         daughter is graduating from high school in 2009.  Evelyn says she fondly remembers her dad, Robert Owens (Class of 1957),

         sitting at the kitchen table and filling us in on everyone's whereabouts when he would receive the newsletter.  Her three sisters,

         also graduates of RCS, live in Belfast as well.  Robin Owens (‘83) works in the business office at Belfast Central, Natalie

         Owens Ace (‘88) provides childcare in her home, and Karen Owens Slack (‘91) is a nurse at the Absolut Nursing Home in

         Houghton.   Evelyn has kept close contact with classmate Marie Randall Woodard, who lives in Houghton and teaches at Scio

         Central.  Evelyn’s family still attends church in Rushford.


’83 – Candy VanHousen of Rushford reports that she graduated from college in June, 2008 with an Associates Degree and now has

         her Teacher's Assistant Certificate.  She has been subbing at the Rushford Campus of CRCS for the past two years and really

         enjoys working with the children.   Brother Randy is still working for the Allegany County Department of Public Works and has

         become an equipment operator.  (Thanks to Candy and Randy for being active members of Rushford Volunteer Fire  

         Department.  Let me also say the same to the Hatch family—Gail, Wayne, Dave, Chris and spouses.  I apologize for not

         naming and recognizing all our alumni who are active members of the Fire Department.  Thanks to all of you for sticking by

         old Rushford.)


’87 – Traci Kozak Krist of Chaffee, NY became a living donor on December 8, 2008.  She donated a kidney to her seven year-old son,

         Tanner, who had been on dialysis for four months.  She encourages everyone to register with the national organ donor registry. 

         More information about the registry can be obtained at


’88 – Teresa Hober Sherrill is part of a military family and as such she has had to move with some frequency.  Her current home is at

         512 Greymont  Lane in Chester, Virginia  23826.  (OK Class of 1988, not many of you chose to remain on the contact list---for  

         those who did and to others who know her, how about surprising Teresa with a note!?)


’88 – Lee Pomeroy, like so many, got married and started a family soon after graduating from high school.  After well over ten years

        during which he helped support his family by driving a semi some of the time, he decided it was time for a change.  In 2007 he  

        graduated from the nursing program at  Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.  He is now a registered nurse working

        in the emergency room at a hospital near Harrisburg, PA.  He and his wife Linda and their two sons live in Duncannon, PA.


’04 – Here’s an update on our 2004 scholarship recipient, Amanda Preston.  Amanda, the daughter of Dale and Debbie Clark (’75)

         Preston stuck exactly to the plan that she had when she graduated from CRCS.  She went on to major in accounting at

         St. Bonaventure University from which she graduated this spring with a master’s degree.  She is now working for the

         accounting firm of Buffamante, Whipple, and Buttafaro in Olean.   “Good job, Amanda!”    Oh, yes---she’s now also married--- to

         Mike Sears.    Mike is the son of Randie and Lynda Furniss Sears, both graduates of old RCS.


(As this is going to press so to speak, I learned that Shirley Thorington passed away.  Although she was not an RCS alumnus, she  served on the RCS school board for a number of years.  Shirley and Doc’s children all graduated from RCS.)




Let me end this on a lighter note.  Here are some business signs that have been observed somewhere sometime:

        In the front yard of a funeral home--- “Drive carefully.  We’ll wait.”     In an optometrist’s office--- “If you don’t know

        what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.”            In a non-smoking area--- “If we see smoke,

        we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action.”              In a veterinarian’s waiting room---

        “Be back soon.  Sit!  STAY!!!”    


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