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bettynfreeman.jpgBetty N. Freeman, 87 of Darien Center, passed away peacefully on May 2, 2020 peacefully at her home. She was born in Stafford on January 3, 1933 to the late Murray Deuel and Helen (Tesch) Deuel. She is preceded in death by her husband Gerald Freeman; siblings Alice Stone, Lorraine Palmer, Bernard Deuel, Mary Lou Swabb and James Deuel.

Mrs. Freeman was a ray sunshine to everyone around her. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.  

Mrs. Freeman is survived by her children Holly (Toni) Linderman of Ischua, NY; Gerry (Cathy) Freeman of Attica; grandson Craig (Sarah) Freeman of Richmond, TX; step-grandchildren Kris (Rachel) Linderman of Olean; Jessica Weeden of Dayton; Stephen (Rachel) Sovocool of Attica; Phillip (Jackie) Sovocool of Waynesville, MO; 13 great-grandchildren, siblings Herman (Gertie) Deuel of Wyoming; Ruth (Jim) Meyers of Honeoye Falls; Elaine Radford of Florida; Linda (Bill) Thompson of Pavilion; Dorothy (Roy) Spoily of Alden. Her good friends Jeff (Beth) Powell and Dianne Boatfield; sisters-in-law Maybel Deuel and Suzanne Freeman.

There will be no prior calling hours and services will be held privately.  

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to The Salvation Army of Batavia, 529 E. Main Street, Batavia, New York 14020 or to Genesee County Aging Services, 2 Bank Street, Batavia, New York 14020. For more information please call (585) 591-1212 or to leave a message of condolence visit www.marleyfuneralhome.com. Arrangements completed by Marley Funeral Home, LLC, 135 Main Street, Attica, New York 14011.    

Former Vice President of Operations at Batavia Downs, James P. Samberg, passed away on Wednesday (Apr. 29) at the age of 85.  

Mr. Samberg;was born in 1935 in Detroit, Mich., where he attended Precious Blood Catholic School and Catholic Central High School. He went on to graduate from St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto with a degree in Theology and Writing. He taught English and history for a year at his alma mater, Catholic Central HS and then at Aquinas Institute. 

In 1983 Mr. Samberg transitioned careers and came to Batavia Downs as their Director of Publicity. His leadership in the organization eventually moved him to overseeing the entire plant as vice-president of operations, a position he held until the tracks initial closure in 1997. In 1998 Mr. Samberg reached out to Western Regional Off Track Betting (WROTB) with a proposal to sell the track to them and was eventually able to consummate a deal that year. The track reopened under its new ownership in 2002.

It was the efforts of Mr. Samberg to move Batavia Downs forward that gave the shuttered track a new life under the guidance of the WROTB and that interaction eventually turned out to be financially beneficial to the residents of 15 Western New York counties (that include the cities of Buffalo and Rochester) by returning more than $220 million in revenues generated by the now modern and thriving racing and gaming venue to the taxpayers of those municipalities over the last 18 years.

Mr. Samberg was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend who loved life and everyone he knew. He was well respected by all the horsemen who raced at Batavia Downs during his tenure and will be missed by everyone who knew him.

Mr. Samberg was predeceased by his parents, Louis and Martha Samberg; loving wife, Barbara P. Samberg; son, Michael P. McDonald. He is survived by his children, Martha Smith, Mark (Jacqueline) McDonald, Margo McDonald and Meghan McDonald (Scott Boone); 11 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; brother, Carl L. Samberg; sister, Suzanne (Ronald) Marmol; sister-in-law, Donna Warner; several nieces and nephews; and special friend of the family, Bonnie Jones.

A Memorial Mass at St. Ann's Home will be scheduled at a later date due to the current situation. Interment at Holy Sepulchre was held privately. Memorials may be made to the American Kidney Foundation or to the Sisters of Mercy. To share a memory of James please visit www.giltnerfuneralhomes.com.

-- By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

BERGEN - RobRoy “Chark” Charcholla passed away on May 1, 2020.  He is survived by his loving bride of 68 years, Nancy; children:  Daniel (Susan); Robin (Monica); Scott(Vanessa); daughter-in-law Desiree Demanincor; grandchildren: Denielle  (Charlie), Maya, Rory (Jillian), Ryan, Jorden (Kristen),Alex (Crystal), Jennifer (Jon), and Nick; great-grandchildren:  Alyvia, Blake, Easton, Will, Henry, and Livy; nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

In the town of Bergen where everyone knew his name, Papa Chark was a legend. Known for his happy-go-lucky style and irreverent sense of humor, Chark connected easily with others because of his love for life.  Throughout his lifetime, he wore many different hats. He was a farmer, a milkman, a salesman, a state worker, a glass shop owner, a basketball coach, a father-figure to many, and the beloved patriarch of the Charcholla family.  He was an iconic softball pitcher, a softball umpire, and a soccer referee. His funny antics made him a fan-favorite. He instilled his strong work ethic and love for sports and athletics in his three sons who in turn passed it on to their families. He was ever-present at his grand-children’s sporting events, where once again, he became a fan-favorite.    He provided unconditional love, acceptance, understanding, and had a warm and welcoming heart.  His legacy and memories will always be cherished, and undoubtedly, he will always be remembered as the “life of the party”. 

The family is grateful to the staff of Leroy Village Greens for their outstanding care of our Papa Chark for the past two years.

There will be no visitation.  Services will be held privately for the family.  Burial will be in Mt. Rest Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions in RobRoy's memory may be made to Byron-Bergen Sports Boosters, 6917 West Bergen Road, Bergen, New York 14416.

Please leave a condolence, share a story, or light a candle at www.bataviafuneralhomes.com. Arrangements were entrusted to the H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home, 51 S. Lake St., Bergen.

hayesjr.jpg  Thomas E. Hayes Jr., 28, of Batavia passed away suddenly on Saturday May 2, 2020. He was born in Batavia on January 4, 1992 to the late Thomas E. Hayes Sr. and Brigid (Hunt) Hayes of Batavia.

Thomas will be remembered for his love of soccer, hiking, video games and especially music. He loved to spend time with family and friends and will be dearly missed.

In addition to his mother, Thomas is survived by his siblings; Alicia (Steven) Fitzsimmons of Oakfield; Christina (Jamon) Freak of New Zealand; Brandi Hayes Barnett of Collinsville, IL; Caitlin (Jacob) Fronczek of Tonawanda; special cousin Shelby (Brandon) Falker of Akron; 6 nieces and nephews Kaleb, Quinn, Collin, Tyler, Alex and Savannah.

There will be no prior calling hours. Funeral Services will be held at a later date. Thomas will be laid to rest in Grand View Cemetery in Batavia.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to Crossroads House, 11 Liberty St. Batavia, NY 14020. For more information please call 585-343-8260 or to leave a message of condolence please visit www.gilmartinfuneralhome.com. Arrangements completed by Gilmartin Funeral Home & Cremation Company, Inc. 329-333 West Main Street Batavia, New York 14020.

rivers.jpg  Darrell A. Rivers, 79, of Batavia passed away peacefully on Saturday May 2, 2020 under the care of Hospice Buffalo after a lengthy and courageous battle with cancer. Darrell was born on October 30, 1940 at his home in Canton, NY to the late Allen and Sally Rivers.

Surviving are his loving wife of nearly 60 years; Eleanor Ann (Barnhart) Rivers of Batavia; his five children Martin (Debra) Rivers of Churchville, Kathleen (Timothy) Evens of East Pembroke, Sherry (Christopher) Tacy of Oakfield, Jonathan (Katie) Rivers of Basom and Kimberly (Daniel) Cervone of Batavia; He also leaves behind seven grandchildren who he loved dearly, Brian (Richie) Rivers, Allyssa Kuchler, Taylor Rivers, Krystal Rivers, Danielle Cervone, Zachary Tacy and Mikaela Rivers; three sisters Beverly Corcoran, Cheryl Barber and Lori Forsyth, along with many nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, his is predeceased by four siblings; Arthur Rivers, Carl Rivers, Rita Sanfratello and Barbara Blackmer.

Darrell devoted his life to taking care of his family. He was the owner of Darrell’s Auto Service in West Batavia for over 21 years, which is now owned by his son Jon. He was a Certified Ford Technician and a Mopar Master Technician. He was highly regarded for his work at many local automotive dealerships throughout his career. Darrell enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping and spending time with his family. He loved working with his hands and had many different hobbies including photography, painting, gardening, woodworking, restoring and refurbishing furniture and sign making.

Services will be private. A Celebration of Life will be announced at a later date.

Donations may be made in his memory to Hospice Buffalo in care of Hospice Foundation PO Box 590 Buffalo, NY 14240.  For more information please call 585-343-8260 or to leave a message of condolence please visit www.gilmartinfuneralhome.com. Arrangements completed by Gilmartin Funeral Home & Cremation Company, Inc. 329-333 West Main Street Batavia, New York 14020.

Rose A. VanValkenburg, 92, died in her home in Batavia on Sunday, May 3, 2020 with her three children at her bedside.

She was born in Batavia on Oct. 5, 1927 and lived in the same home on East Main St. for the past 70 years. She was predeceased by her husband of 60 years, Russell G. VanValkenburg, who died in 2009. With her husband, Rose co-founded two successful businesses in the 1960s and 1970s, one selling and servicing televisions and another selling the city’s first waterbeds.

For many years, she was a member of the lady’s bowling league at Mancuso Lanes, and was a supporter of the Civil Air Patrol, of which her husband served as a local commander. She was a frequent caregiver to the elderly and supporter of local service clubs.

Rose was known in her neighborhood and around town as a hard worker, tending to her flowers and outside nearly everyday sweeping up the last leave or shoveling the last bit of snow. She continued her snow removal efforts up until this past winter.

In addition to her husband, she is predeceased by her parents Ignazio Mortellaro and Carmella (Dorsey), as well as sisters Mary Cassaro, Jenny Stehlar, both of California, and Millie McVay of East Pembroke, and by brothers Casper (Mort) Mortellaro, Frank Mortellaro, both of Batavia.

Survivors include her three children — Donna Nelson (Andy Rogers) of Vermont, Gary (Josie) VanValkenburg of Batavia, and Dennis Jay (Julia Newhouse) of Fernandina Beach, Fla.

Other survivors include eight grandchildren and many great grandchilden, and brothers Tony (Shirley) Mortellaro, Joe Mortellaro and Richard (Kathy) Mortellaro, all of East Pembroke.

A celebration of Rose’s life will take place in Batavia later this year.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Crossroads House, PO Box 403, Batavia, NY 14021, https://crossroadshouse.com/donate/

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

Arrangements for Rose were entrusted to the H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home, Batavia, (585) 343-8868.

fullmer_pic_3.jpgJOSHUA T. FULLMER, SR. ~ Age 27, of Batavia, passed away Monday afternoon at the Erie County Medical Center from injuries he sustained from a motorcycle accident. He was born in Batavia on December 3, 1992 to Joy A. (McCormack) DellaPenta of Akron and the late Robert C. Fullmer, Sr.

Josh was a wonderful young man who packed a lot of life in his 27 years, some would say he was an “Old Soul”, friends, he had too many to count but Josh always, always had and ear to listen or a hand to lend. He had an unusual love for snakes, his motorcycle and children, he was wonderful with them and they were drawn to him. Josh was employed at HP Hood in Batavia and was a wonderful husband, father, son and brother.

Joshua is survived by her his loving wife, Deserae (Hall) Fullmer of Batavia, whom he married on November 2, 2019. His cherished children, Joshua T. Fullmer, Jr. and EverlyAnn Fullmer both at home; his beloved mother, Joy (Joseph) DellaPenta, Jr. of Akron; siblings, Robert Fullmer, Mark Fullmer, Justin (Cassandra) McCormack, Jeremy (Kristen) Fullmer, Brittany Fullmer, Amy Shultz and David Shultz, II; maternal grandmother, Sandra Peters of Akron; mother-in-law, CarriAnn (Neil Musshafen) Whitney of Bergen; grandparents, Gary (Sandra) Whitney of Albion along with friends far and wide.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic a Celebration of Joshua’s life for family and friend will be announced at a time & place when it is deemed safe. Memorials in his memory are suggested to the family.

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


k_barnard.pngKATHLEEN M. BARNARD ~ Age 71, of Batavia, died peacefully on Saturday April 25, 2020 at the home of her daughter while under the care of Hospice and her loving family. Kathie was born on October 13, 1948 in Batavia, NY, a daughter of the late Melville and Marcelle (Richards) Bort, she was also preceded in death by a brother, David Bort.

Kathie was an LPN who worked for many her at the Genesee County Nursing Home and was a volunteer at the Genesee County Animal Shelter. She will be remembered as a loving mother, nana and sister.

Kathie is survived by her loving daughters, Lisa (Larry) Dodd of CA and their son, Logan, Jennifer Barnard of Buffalo and Serenity (Sean) Houlihan of Rochester and their children, Annabelle, Gwendolyn & Penelope; brother, Michael (Kathryn) Bort of PA and several dear friends.

Due to the on-going COVID-19 epidemic a Celebration of Kathleen’s Life will take place later. Memorial contributions in her memory may be made to a Hospice of the donor’s choice or Volunteers for Animals 3841 West Main Street Road Batavia, New York 14020.

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


Churchville - Gary G. Grastorf, 72, of Churchville, passed away on Friday, May 1, 2020, at Strong Memorial Hospital.

Gary was born March 19, 1948, in Rochester, a son of the late Clair and Millicent Grastorf.

Gary was the owner of Grastorf Collision in Bergen and a member of Stafford Country Club.  He loved to golf and being with his grandchildren and friends.  Gary was well known for his witty sense of humor.

Survivors include his wife, Cheryl (Ellison) Grastorf of Churchville, they were married April 12, 1969; a brother, Rick (Diane) Grastorf of Pavilion; a sister, Judy Grastorf of LeRoy; a sister-in-law,  Kathy (Tom) Laird of Stafford; daughter-in-law, Nicole Grastorf of Bergen; grandchildren, Brody and Scottie-Lynne Grastorf and nieces and nephews.

Gary is predeceased by his son, Daniel Grastorf. 

Private services will be held for Gary's family and he will be laid to rest in Mt. Rest Cemetery, Bergen.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Gary's memory may be made to a charity of the donor's choice or due to COVID 19, a donation to a local food pantry. 

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

Arrangements for Gary were entrusted to the H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home, Bergen, (585) 494-1210.



Lorraine F. Thompson, (nee Geitner), of Indian Falls, at the age of 88 passed away on April 27, 2020.
Wife of the late Richard "Dick" Thompson.  Mother of Robert (LaNora) and John (Lori) Thompson.  Sister of Thomas Geitner and the late Virginia "Jean" Meiser and the late James Geitner.  Grandmother of Daniel (Katie) Manges, Dianna (Phillip) Harrison and Bryan, Steven and Owen Thompson.  Great-Grandmother of Ryan and Alaina Manges, Kaelyn Oliver and Brennan Harrison.
She was a housewife, mother and helped on the family farm. She also worked as a housekeeper for the Pembroke Central School. Additionally she was a Town of Pembroke elections inspector for many years. Her hobbies and enjoyment: She and her late husband loved driving and traveling and during retirement Lorraine and Dick made 28 driving trips to California to visit relatives and tour the United States. She had great memories of the church trip she and Dick made to Israel. She enjoyed her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was an excellent cook and home maker and made sure her son’s were properly taken care of growing up. She enjoyed needle work and was an avid reader. She was very proud of the farmstead and worked with her husband to make sure it was in excellent condition. She enjoyed meeting and visiting with people.

Memorials to Alabama-Basom United Methodist Church and Indian Falls Fire Dept. Services will be announced by BERNHARDT FUNERAL HOME, LLC., 130 Main St.; Akron (716-542-9522).
Please visit www.BERNHARDTFUNERAL.com.



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