Local Matters

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Olean- S. Anthony Sanzo, of 202 York Street, passed away peacefully, Friday (July 10, 2020). Born November 11, 1933 in Olean, he was the son of Ralph Anthony “Bud” and Mary Storrs Sanzo.  On May 12, 1962, at St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church in Fredonia, Tony married the former, Carol Arcoraci, who survives.

Tony attended Olean High School, where he was very active in sports playing baseball, basketball, and football.  He graduated from Cheshire Academy in 1952 and graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1956, with a degree in Metallurgical Engineering. 

He was employed by Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation in Dunkirk from 1956 until 1965. During two years of that time, he served in the United States Army, stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany. While in the service, he was on the baseball team for his unit, traveling throughout Germany and competing against other service teams.

In 1965, Tony moved to Olean to help his father with Sanzo Beverage Company and later became the owner and CEO, until his retirement.  In 1995, Tony expanded the company and purchased R.R. Gamble Distributors in Batavia, and renamed it Sanzo & Sons. It is still part of Sanzo Beverage today. 
He was instrumental in establishing sporting events that would benefit local charities, including the Butchello Golf Tournament that benefited the Olean General Hospital and the Russell Houghton Pro-Am Tournament that benefited the Center for Family Unity, in Salamanca.

Tony was a member of St. Mary of the Angels Parish, the Bartlett Country Club, and a former member of the Exchange Club of Olean. He was on the advisory board representing small beer distributors for Anheuser Busch and also served as an advisory board member at First Tier Bank & Trust, now Five Star Bank.
Tony was an avid golfer who had two hole-in-one during the time he played the game. 

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three sons; Ralph A. (Amy) Sanzo of Olean, Richard C. (Lisa) Sanzo of Batavia, and Christopher A. (Stephanie) Sanzo of Allegany; six grandchildren, Samantha, Tonia, Brandon, Cameron, Gabriella, and Talia; one great-grandchild, Natalia; his sister, Sandra (Dennis) Arcara Rush; a nephew, David J. Arcara; and a special cousin, Anthony “A.J.” Calbi. He was predeceased by his parents.

Private services will be held at the convenience of the family. Memorials, if desired may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association of WNY, PO Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090-6011.
Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Guenther Funeral Home, Inc., Olean. Online condolences can be made at www.guentherfh.com.

Grace Orcutt Spiers passed away peacefully in her sleep on July 10, 2020 in Batavia, New York.

Grace was born on May 5, 1931 in Utica, to Raymond and Ellen Powell Orcutt.

After graduating from SUNY Plattsburgh in 1954, Grace moved to Batavia to teach at the NY State School for the Blind. She began attending Batavia United Methodist Church and the McNabb Sunday School class where she met her future husband, Graham Spiers. They were married on July 21, 1956.

Grace is survived by her husband of almost 64 years, Graham A. Spiers, her 4 children: Margaret E. (Peggy) Spiers, Robert B. (Debra Hyde) Spiers, Steven A. (Ann Trankina) Spiers and Sarah J. (Tony) Reuter and her 4 grandchildren: Samantha J. (Sammy Jo) Spiers (Keith) Stevenson, Daniel R. (Danno) Spiers, Christopher R. Spiers, and Meghan M. Reuter.

Grace was well loved by friends in Batavia, Gainesville, FL and international students from Brazil and Korea.

There are no prior visiting hours. Private services will be held at the convenience of the family. She will be laid to rest in Grand View Cemetery, Batavia. Donations may be made to the UMW at the Batavia United Methodist Church, 8221 Lewiston Road, Batavia, New York 14020 or All Babies Cherished, 445 Ellicott Avenue, Batavia, New York 14020. To leave a condolence, share a story or light a candle in Grace’s name, please visit www.bataviafuneralhomes.com.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home, Batavia.

r._nicometo.jpgROSEMARIE NICOMETO ~ Age 83, of Oakfield, NY, died unexpectedly Thursday morning July 9, 2020. Her life began on Garibaldi Street in Oakfield. She was born on November 8, 1936 to the late Antonio and Lena (LaBue) Nicometo. Early on the family moved to Main Street where Rose grew up, excelling during high school in both English and Latin. She was awarded a scholarship to earn an English degree from Cortland State Teacher’s College, though chose to marry and start a family. She achieved her dream to become a teacher in recent years by working with the Oakfield-Alabama School District as both a teacher’s aide and bus aide, endearing herself to staff as “Miss Rose” and to students as “Grandma Rose.” Prior to this she also worked at Genesee Community College.

A faithful member of St. Padre Pio Parish in Oakfield, she is preceded in death by siblings, John J. Nicometo and Frances Matla.

Surviving are her loving children, John A. Lechner of IA, Steven E. (Jennifer) Lechner of NC and Tammy A. Lechner (Adrienne Helitzer) of CA; cherished grandchildren, Bridget Ann Lechner-Scholl, Jenna Rose Lechner-Maules, Brett Dylan Lechner, Montana Kimberly Lechner, Breann Elizabeth Lechner, Grace Lora Rose Lechner & Abera James Lechner; brother, Sam (Sharon) Nicometo of SC along with several nieces and nephews.

Please join the Nicometo family in Celebrating Rose’s Mass of Christian Burial 10a.m. Thursday July 16 at St. Padre Pio Parish (Oakfield Site). She will be laid to rest in the church cemetery with her parents and memorials are suggested to a charity of the donor’s choice.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Epidemic all social distancing guidelines will always be in place and masks worn while in church.

Please share words of comfort with the Nicometo family at www.tomaszewskifh.com and for more information please call Michael at (585)343-7500.


Batavia - Thomas Alan Gavenda, age 66, of Batavia, longtime farmer for Big O Farms in Elba, passed away on Friday, July 10, 2020, at United Memorial Medical Center.

Tom was born May 10, 1954, in Batavia, a son of Donald Gavenda Sr. and Ann Warboys Gavenda of Elba.

He will be remembered by his family as a simple man who enjoyed a good cup of coffee, his favorite television shows on The Discovery Channel, putting together Mosiac Art puzzles and his camp in Wellsville where he could "unplug" from the world. Tom loved watching sports on television especially NASCAR where he would cheer on Kasey Khane and baseball where he would root for the New York Yankees. 

Surviving along with his parents are his wife Beatrice Gavenda of Batavia; his siblings; Peggy Jayme of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Donald (Renee) Gavenda, Jr. of Batavia, Paul (Tammy) Gavenda of Batavia and Gary (Sue Heath) Gavenda of Pavilion. Tom is also survived by nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.

There will be no visitation. Private services will be held at the convenience of the family. He will be laid to rest in Maple Lawn Cemetery, Elba. A public celebration of life will be held in August. Flowers are gratefully declined. The family requests memorials in Tom's name to the Rochester General Hospital Foundation, 100 Kings Highway South, Rochester, New York 14617 or to Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284-9168. To leave a condolence, share a story or light a candle in Tom's memory, please visit www.burdettandsanford.com.

Arrangements were entrusted to the Burdett & Sanford Funeral Home, Oakfield.

CORFU - On Thursday, July 9th, Tom Kleps, loving husband and father of six children, passed away at the age of 82.

Tom was born on March 21, 1938 in Batavia, NY to Albert and Katherine Kleps. He entered the Marine Corps after high school and was stationed in Kanaloa Bay, Hawaii. Upon discharge he became a fireman for the city of Batavia and then eventually retired after a long tenure on the railroad with Conrail. On July 11, 1959 he married his high school sweetheart, Karen Kasmarek. They raised 2 sons, Tommy and Timmy, and 4 daughters, Katherine, Tammy, Colleen and Karyn.

He had a passion for fishing and golf and was an avid supporter of all sports at his alma mater Notre Dame High School. He was especially fond of watching his grandchildren excel in sports and academics. For those that knew him best, he was one of a kind. He was also very fond of bragging about his children and grandchildren to anyone that would listen. He was a very proud man.

Tom was preceded in death by his father, Albert, his mother, Katherine as well as his brother Jerry. He is survived by his wife Karen, his six children, Katherine, Tammy, Tommy, Timmy, Colleen and Karyn, 3 brothers and 4 sisters. He was especially proud of his 16 amazing grandchildren.

Due to current Covid concerns, a celebration of Tom’s life will be held at a time/date TBD. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to his beloved Notre Dame High School, 73 Union St, Batavia, NY 14020.

Please leave a condolence, share a story, or light a candle at www.bataviafuneralhomes.com. Arrangements for Tom were entrusted to Bohm-Calarco-Smith Funeral Home, 308 E. Main Street, Batavia.

BASOM - Myrna Magnus, 80, of Basom, passed away suddenly Thursday, (July 9, 2020), at Premier Genesee Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation.

Mrs. Magnus was born June 27, 1940, in Batavia, the daughter of the late Leo and Onalee (Burdett) Daniels.

Myrna was a member of the American Legion Post 626 in Basom.  She enjoyed knitting and cross stitch along with spending time with her family.  She sold Avon for many years and was well known to have a joke for any occasion.

She is survived by her husband, John Magnus, Sr.; sons, Bret (Denise Colby) Easterbrook of Batavia, and Tim (Shelly) Easterbrook of Siren, Wisconsin; step-children, Barbara (Ricky) Endman, Deanna (Peter) Keenan, Kirk (Rachel) Magnus, and John (Diane) Magnus, Jr.  3 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren also survive.

Friends may call from 6 to 7 p.m. on Monday (July 13, 2020) at the Burdett & Sanford Funeral Home, 11 Maple Avenue in Oakfield where Myrna's Funeral Service will immediately follow at 7 p.m.  Burial will be private in Alabama Cemetery, Alabama. (Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the funeral home will be restricted to 33% occupancy.  Face masks and social distancing will be required.  We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.).  In lieu of flowers, contributions in Myrna's memory may be made to American Legion Post 626, 6554 Alleghany Road, Basom, NY 14013.

Please leave a condolence, share a story, or light a candle at www.burdettandsanford.com.

p_gallo.jpgPATSY S. GALLO ~ Age 93, of Batavia, who passed away peacefully on Wednesday April 15, 2020 at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

Patsy’s family invites all to attend his Mass of Christian Burial at 12Noon Saturday July 18, 2020 at Resurrection Parish (St. Joseph’s Site). He will be laid to rest in Grand View Cemetery and memorial contributions are suggested to Crossroads House PO Box 403 Batavia, New York 14021.


Please share your words of comfort with Patsy’s family at www.tomaszewskifh.com



Peter Arnot Mumford, of Batavia NY, died on 7/5/2020. Peter was born to the late John & Virginia Mumford on 6/12/1947 in Batavia.

He is survived by siblings; John Michael Mumford (Sheila), Pittsford NY, Constance Ferenc (Robert), Longmont CO, William A. Mumford (Debbie), Vancouver WA.

Peter graduated from Batavia High School, and Michigan State University (Phi Kappa Tau fraternity), before spending two years in Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) for the Peace Corps.  He worked for the Measuregraph Company, in Minnesota, as well as Offshore Devices, Inc. in Lynn Massachusetts, a marine engineering firm where he created barriers to contain oil spills.  Subsequently, he returned to Batavia to work for the C. L. Carr Co., started by his grandfather in 1915.

He will be remembered for his generosity and creativity, as well as acts of service and kindness toward others.

Memorial donations may be directed to Volunteers for Animals, P.O. Box 1621, Batavia, NY 14021 or a charity of your choice. Private burial will be in Grand View Cemetery, Batavia. To leave a condolence, share a story or light a candle in his name, please visit www.bataviafuneralhomes.com.

Arrangements entrusted to the H. E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home, 403 East Main Street, Batavia.

LeRoy ~ After a brief illness, Myrtle E. Burrell died peacefully on July 5, 2020 at the age of 92.

     Myrtle was born on December 18, 1927 in Rochester, NY.  She graduated from Madison High School and worked at Sylvania until her retirement.

     Myrtle was predeceased by her parents, Arthur and Marie Alligood, and her siblings, Louis, Dorothy, Ida, and James. She was also predeceased by her husband of nearly 70 years, James Roy Burrell, II.  Together, they made their home in LeRoy, NY and were surrounded by an outstanding community of neighbors and friends. It was only after her retirement from Sylvania that she found her calling in a job with the Leroy Police Department in September 1984 as the crossing guard for Wolcott Street School. She loved her job and wasn’t afraid to use her whistle as many community members will remember fondly about her.

     Myrtle loved her family immensely and is survived by her son, James (Lillian) Burrell, III, her grandchildren, Matthew (Corlin) Burrell, Gregory (Jennifer) Burrell, Danielle (Gregory) Grzymala, Brendan Burrell, eleven great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandson and several nieces and nephews.

     The family will hold a private ceremony in her honor.

     In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Myrtle are suggested to the LeRoy Village Green Nursing Home, 10 Munson St., LeRoy, NY 14482.

    Your memories and condolences may be shared with Myrtle's family at www.falconefuneralhome.com.

     Mrs. Burrell and her family are being cared for by the Falcone Family Funeral & Cremation Service Inc. in LeRoy.  585-768-2400

Batavia - Kenneth J. Kensek, 70, of Batavia, passed away on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, at his home under the care of his loving wife and HomeCare and Hospice.

Kenneth was born in Buffalo, a son of the late Chester and the late Norma (Colligan) Kensek.

Kenneth loved watching movies, reading and his cat.  He enjoyed mowing his lawn and was a long time retail manager.

Survivors include his wife, Shirley (Groves) Kensek of Batavia; brothers, Ron Kensek of Albuquerque, NM and Michael (Maryann) Kensek of Rochester and nephews, Matthew Kensek and David Kensek.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Kenneth's memory may be made to Mercy Flight, 4781 East Saile Drive, Batavia, NY 14020, https://www.mercyflight.org/support/

Please leave a condolence, share a story or light a candle at www.bataviafuneralhomes.com.

Arrangements for Kenneth were entrusted to the Bohm-Calarco-Smith Funeral Home, Batavia, (585) 343-5673.




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