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March 19, 2023 - 8:35am
posted by Joanne Beck in news, City Schools, obituary, schools, education.

bradrogers.jpegWhen I saw that Bradley Rogers had died, I stopped for a minute. Then I decided that I wanted to write something about him.

Admittedly, I wasn’t sure that I had enough to write. After all, it has been — well, let’s just say considerable enough years since I knew him that I wasn’t sure I could fill a page.

Mr. Rogers was my sixth-grade teacher at Batavia Middle School. I can still see him, with a round-cheeked grin sitting at his desk with a chessboard all setup. Truth is, my memories of him are as much about the circumstances at the time as they are about that grin.

Up to that point, our neighborhood of girls went to John Kennedy Elementary School, often walking together and then playing after school. When it came time for middle school, the moms of the other girls decided to send them to parochial school, and I went to middle school alone.

That was when the sixth grade was still the starter grade at BMS, and I was assigned to Mr. Rogers’ class. He seemed to be a jovial sort of guy, kind of tough at times, with a grin and a penchant for chess.

I had been learning the game and liked it to the point that my mother had made a showpiece ceramic chess set with glossy cream and red pieces on a polished two-toned wood board. I never used it; I suppose I was afraid that I would break something.

I had a cheaper plastic set but not many partners that I could corral into a game. Well, here was my chance. Mr. Rogers would invite us to a match, and I think I felt honored to be challenged by not only an adult but a teacher.

Life was kind of lonely then, and, actually, throughout the rest of school. Even though it may not have seemed it at the time — those teachers that paid attention in small ways did make an impact. Anything more boisterous would have just pushed me away, and playing chess challenged me intellectually and fed my curiosity to learn more about the game. It's a practice of patience, strategy, foresight, purposeful sacrifice when needed, and -- as fans of "The Queen's Gambit" know -- forbidden premature celebration. 

 At the time, I had no idea how active Mr. Rogers was in the community. He was a JV and Varsity basketball coach at Notre Dame HS and Batavia HS.  He was also a BHS track and golf coach.  He coached summer basketball clinics, was president of the Batavia Teachers’ Association and taught migrant education.  He was a former Genesee County Legislator, General Manager of the former Batavia Clippers, and Director of the NY-Penn Professional Baseball League. 

Mr. Rogers was a member of the St. Joseph’s Holy Name Society, the Knights of Columbus, the Elks Club, Batavia Country Club, and Terry Hills Golf Course (where he shot a hole-in-one on #14). 

An avid sports fan, he loved following St. Bonaventure, Syracuse, and Notre Dame basketball, along with the Yankees and the Bills, plus golfing, fishing, painting, and solving puzzles. No wonder he liked chess; it requires a calm predictive manner to outmaneuver your opponent, perhaps the ultimate puzzle. 

Turns out, his wife, Miss Tehan, was my kindergarten teacher, another wonderful example of a teacher who positively affected me by indulging my creative, spontaneous streak as a youngster. Long story short: she changed her day’s plans and allowed me to put on a puppet show with the puppets my mother brought back for me from a trip to England.

That was another sad and confusing time, as my mom’s trip was when her father -- the grandpa I barely knew -- had died. The puppet show was a fantastic outlet for pain. Miss Tehan made learning fun, enjoyable and, obviously, memorable. She was a good match for Mr. Rogers.

And to add just one more layer to this family affair of educators, little did I know that years later, I would be covering the city school district as a reporter and interacting with Community Schools Coordinator Julia Rogers. It seems apparent that this family has a sincere passion for teaching, and I am thankful for the likes of Mr. Rogers to be in classrooms teaching lessons in math, English, and even chess.

January 20, 2022 - 11:52am
posted by Press Release in Batavia Downs, obituary, Kenneth Middleton.

Press Release:

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Kenneth L. Middleton age 77 of Mount Morris, New York, died Wednesday January 12, 2022 at Wyoming County Community Hospital in Warsaw, New York. He was born the son of Kenneth and Mary (Rapone) Middleton on September 4, 1944 in Caledonia, NY.

Mr. Middleton married Mary Ann Valentino on July 22, 1961 and the two then raised a family. Although he owned and operated his own restaurant for many years, Mr. Middleton also bred, owned and trained a stable of harness horses at his farm in Mount Morris, NY for decades. First licensed in 1966, Mr. Middleton competed dozens of horses during that time including Keystone O’Brien, Keystone Gallant, Wildwood Wayne, Hot Temper and R Brother Richard. 

Mr. Middleton loved spending time with his family and attended St. Patrick’s Church. He was a member of the Western New York Harness Horseman’s Association, an avid pool player and fan of the Buffalo Bills and New York Yankees.   

Mr. Middleton is survived by his loving wife of over 60 years Mary Ann, daughters Rosemary (Louis) Russo of Batavia, NY and Joanne Somers of Mt. Morris, NY, grandchildren Mike (Bobbi Jo) Bonefede and Joseph Layland both of Leicester, NY and Jerrett Laskett of Batavia, NY, great grandchildren Alexis, Parker, Lillian, Sophia, Faith, McKenna and Klayton, sister Pat (Carmen) Cappotelli of Caledonia, NY and many nieces, nephews and dear and loving friends. He was predeceased by his daughter Mary Kenny Layland and sister Georgianna Dellas.

Memorial services were held for Mr. Middleton on Monday (Jan. 17) followed by interment at St. Patrick’s Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the American Lung Association. 


January 20, 2022 - 11:50am
posted by Press Release in Batavia Downs, obituary, Elwood Clark.

Press Release:

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Elwood L. Clark, 87, passed away Sunday, January 9, 2022. Mr. Clark was born and raised in Lockport, New York, the son of the late James and Edna (Brown) Clark. He resided on his horse farm in Corfu, New York for 35 years and later in life retired in Naples, Florida.

Mr. Clark graduated from Alfred State College in 1957 before marrying the love of his life Barbara (who predeceased him in 2019) in 1958. The two raised five children and enjoyed more than 61 years of marriage.

Mr. Clark worked as a mechanical engineer at Graham Manufacturing in Batavia, New York for more than 30 years, but he was also a harness racing enthusiast that owned and trained a private stable starting in 1962. Over that time he conditioned a number of horses led by local favorites Mary Meadow, Aaron The Baron, Cecil Minbar and the ever popular St. Nick, who he bred, trained and raced until he retired at the age of 14.

Besides racing, Mr. Clark enjoyed social activities and being with family and friends. He was a competitive game player (especially cards) and loved watching the Buffalo Bills.

Mr. Clark is survived by children Christopher Clark, Matthew Clark (Linda), Gregory Clark (Michelle), Elizabeth Weydig (Steven) and Aaron Clark (Corey); 12 grandchildren; three great grandchildren; 32 nieces and nephews; and special friend, Sandra Truax Kinisky.

Calling hours are Tuesday (Jan. 18) from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the C. B. Beach & Son Mortuary located at 4 East Main Street, Corfu, NY. A celebratory mass of Mr. Clark's life will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday (Jan. 19) at St. Teresa Catholic Church, 5771 Buell Street, Akron, NY, with burial to follow at Cold Springs Cemetery in Lockport, NY. In lieu of flowers the family asks donations be made to Niagara Hospice in Mr. Clark’s memory.


September 23, 2011 - 3:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, obituary.

A Batavia man known for his love of waterfowl died Wednesday at the age of 62 at Strong Memorial Hospital after a lengthy illness.

Ronald P. “Grazo” Grazioplena, an Oak Street resident, was first featured on The Batavian in articles by Jim Nigro in the Spring of 2010 for his efforts on behalf of ducks and geese (Part 1, Part 2).

Later, Grazioplena would get caught up in a dispute with neighbors over the ducks he kept in his back yard and the general state of his property. The case would eventually go to court and in early 2011, Gazioplena was ordered to clean up his yard and make other changes to his property.

(Full Obituary)

September 13, 2011 - 2:17pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in obituary.

AMBER LYN DOBIESZ, 64, of Batavia, passed suddenly Thursday Sept. 1, 2011 at her home.

She was born May 2, 1947 to the late Edward & Amy (Butters) Dobiesz, also preceded in death by her brothers Robert and William. Amber was previously employed by Kodak and the US Postal Service.

A 1965 graduate of Attica High School, Amber left this world with no regret, a global traveler, soulful friend and selfless visionist. Her passing has fulfilled her efforts to emblazon the diversity of our existence on all she touched. Pioneering an understanding that we all are worthy investments, she stood as a pillar for the misunderstood. Amber is survived by her children, loving family and loving friends.

Family and friends are invited to a Celebration of Life Service for Amber 2PM Saturday September 24, 2011 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Parish Hall, Rt. 5 Stafford, NY 14143.

Memorials in Amber’s memory are suggested to a charity of the donor’s choice and to leave a message of condolence please visit Face book “In Loving memory of Amber Dobiesz” For more information please contact Michael at (585)343-7500.


December 30, 2010 - 8:13pm
posted by bud prevost in obituary.

Today, on the eve on a brand new year, we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were ......long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.
He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:
Knowing when to come in out of the rain.
Why the early bird gets the worm.
Life isn't always fair.
Maybe it was my fault.
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial principles:
Don't spend more than you can earn.
And reliable strategies:
Adults, not children, are in charge.
His health began to deteriorate when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Tylenol, sun lotion or a band-aid to a student, but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant.
Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses, and criminals received better treatment than their victims.
Common Sense took a beating when it became punishable for you to defend yourself from a burglar in your own home, but the burglar could sue you for assault.
He began to lose ground rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.
Common Sense finally gave up the will to live after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.
Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his Daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason.
He is survived by his 3 stepbrothers; I Know My Rights, Someone Else Is To Blame, and I'm A Victim.

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.

July 16, 2009 - 10:51am
posted by Bea McManis in obituary.

Larry J. Falkowski
Age: 88
Died: Thursday, July 9, 2009, at UMMC. He was a retired City of Batavia Policeman. He also had worked for the Veterans Administration Medical Center. He was a member of Ascension Parish. He was inducted into the Batavia Blue Devil Athletic Hall of Fame in 2004.


I will always remember Larry as the crossing guard at St. Anthony's School when I was a child; a friend of our family, and an all around good guy. 

May he rest in peace.

June 27, 2008 - 9:12am
posted by Philip Anselmo in obituary.

The Batavian will be out and about most of the day today. Right now, I'm working on a user guide to bring around to all of the funeral homes in Batavia. Once that's finished, I'll make the rounds so we can start to see regular obituary postings of area deaths right here on The Batavian.

That being said, I was hoping that our readers could help out if they see, hear, experience, think up or taste any news today. If you do — post it! Put up a photo, a blog post, a comment, a video, whatever you can. Otherwise, just be aware that I may not be posting as frequently today as usual. Though you can be sure to find the Daily News roundup on the site this afternoon.

Thank you for your understanding.

Your pal, Philip.

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