July 5, 1925 to August 5, 2013
West Leyden- Chester (“Chet”) S. Kwasniewski, 88, of West Leyden, husband of Beverly Kwasniewski, and decorated WWII Navy Veteran, passed away after heart surgery on Monday, August 5, 2013. At the time of his death he was with his wife and family members.
Chet was born on July 5, 1925 at the Kwasniewski homestead on the Kirk Road in West Leyden, NY, son of Ludwig and Anna Brezden Kwasniewski. He grew up on the family farm with his three half-brothers, half-sister, four brothers and three sisters. Although he grew up during the great depression during very hard times, he had fond memories of his childhood. He could tell many stories about his family and their struggles on their small dairy farm.
In December, 1943, Chet enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He attended the Sampson Naval Base, Waterloo, NY and graduated on February 2, 1944. He was assigned ship LCI (L)-981 and proceeded through the Panama Canal into the Pacific. He crossed the equator on June 25, 1944.
Chet spent two years on his ship in the South Pacific Theater of War. He received five battle stars for landing under enemy fire, including landings at Moratai, Leyte Gulf, Ormoc Bay, Mindoro, Nasugbu, Palawan Islands and Mindinao Islands. Chet participated in the battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in history. At one point his ship was tied up to a supply ship when the supply ship was hit with a kamikaze. Chet helped transport injured sailors from the supply vessel to a hospital ship.
He served in the greatest navy the world had ever seen that crushed two enemy fleets four months apart. During the war, Chet was the gunners mate assigned to the bow gun where he would strafe the beaches during his many amphibious landings. After the war he was offered a promotion to Chief Petty Officer. He was discharged from the navy on April 14, 1946.
When Chet got home from the navy, he went into the logging and lumber business. With the money he had saved for his service in the navy, Chet started J&C Lumber Company with his brother Joe. Later brother Hank joined Chet and Joe and they logged on Tug Hill and in the Adirondacks near McKeever and Lime Kiln.
On March 31, 1951, Chet married Beverly Still in St. Mary’s Church in West Leyden. This was a blessed union of 62 years. He was a logger at heart, but after a number of years he tried the hotel business. In 1960 he and his wife Beverly bought the West Leyden Hotel. They owned and operated the hotel until 1967. He later went into the snowmobile, mobile home and swimming pool business. In the mid 70’s he went back into the logging business with his son Wayne, CS Kwasniewski & Son Forest Products, and that is what he did for the rest of his life. He also served as Justice of the Peace for the Town of Lewis for over 20 years.
Chet loved the woods and was a mechanical genius. He had many skills. He was a great logger, woodsmen, mechanic and could build or fix anything. He loved to have family around, to tell stories, he loved laughter and was very proud of his Polish heritage. Chet liked to hunt and fish, but his real passion was flying his airplane. He loved to fly. He is a Tug Hill sage, a member of the Harland J. Hennessey, V.F.W. and the Charles J. Love Post, American Legion, Boonville.
He was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather, great-grand father and brother. He is survived by his wife, Beverly; his three sons and daughters-in-law, Gary Kwasniewski (Jeanette Viau) La Canada, CA., Wayne Kwasniewski (Kit), West Leyden and Dale Kwasniewski (Peggy), Brighton, Mi.; one daughter and son-in-law, Sandy (Dan) Gifford, Rome, NY; eight grandchildren, granddaughter, Crystal (Brian) Leichty, grandson Jason (Anne) Kwasniewski, granddaughters, Ashley and Megan Kwasniewski, Sydney, Sierra and grandson Hunter Gifford and grandson John Kwasniewski; two great-grandchildren, Brian and Brooke Leichty; two sisters ; two brother-in-law and three sisters-in-law, Eunice Kwasniewski, West Virginia, Lottie Janowski, Oneida and Mary(Robert) Dwyer, Florida, Tony Kwasniewski (Nina), Boonville, Bob and Connie Still, Ava and many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his close friends, Walt Kaido, Ted Egnaczyk and Warren Mathis. He was predeceased by brothers and sisters-in-law, Stanley (Vera), Walter (Bertha), Carl (Irene), Joe, Ted (Jesse) and Hank (Helen) Kwasniewski and sisters and brothers-in-law Stella (John) Defelice and Rose (Walter) Szczcerba and Ben Janowski.
A prayer service will be Saturday, August 10, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at the Mills Funeral Home, 301 Post Street, Boonville, NY and a funeral service to celebrate Chet’s life will commence at 11:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church in West Leyden officiated by his longtime friend and Deacon, Ronald Pominville. Calling hours will be on Friday, August 9, from 1:30 to 3:30 and 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. He will be interred at the St. Mary’s Cemetery in West Leyden. Memorial donations can be made to Wounded Warrior Project or to the American Heart Association.
For an online message of sympathy please go to www.millsfuneralhomes.com
August 30, 1933 to August 4, 2013
LOWVILLE – Roselba Jane Lehman Combs, 79, formerly of Brookside Circle, went home to be with the Lord on Sunday morning, August 4, 2013, at the Lewis County Residential Healthcare Facility, where she had resided since October 3, 2011.
The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, August 8, 2013 at First Mennonite Church, New Bremen, with her son-in-law, Pastor Bruce Lyndaker; and Pastor Paul Cornell, of Emmaus Bible Fellowship Church, Lowville, officiating. Burial will follow in First Mennonite Church Cemetery. Calling hours are from 2 - 4 and 6 - 8 p.m. on Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at the church. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Lewis County Residential Healthcare Facility, Rainbow Community, 7785 N. State St., Lowville, NY 13367.
She is survived by her husband of over 62 years, Donald; three children and their spouses, Pamela Jane Combs Lyndaker and her husband, Pastor Bruce Lyndaker of Castorland; Pastor Jeffrey Philip Combs and his wife, Pastor Joyce Yoder Combs of Watertown; Patricia Ann Combs Esford and her husband, Craig Esford of Cape Vincent; a sister, Pauline Ann Lyndaker of West Martinsburg; two brothers and a sister-in-law, Kermit Carl Lehman of Sarasota, FL; Richard Aubrey Hills and Nancy Butler Hills of Plattsburgh; a sister and brother-in-law, Beverly Ann Hills Kiernan and Robert Kiernan of Copenhagen; three sisters-in-law, Betty Moser Lehman, Imelda Widrick Hills, and Irene Repak Lehman, all of Lowville; 13 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. She is predeceased by her parents, and her step-mother, Helen Dobson Hills Lehman; four brothers, Meredith Dale Lehman, who died as an infant, Beryl Andrew Lehman, Ronald Clifford Hills, and Donald Ezra Lehman; two sisters, Betty LaJune Lehman and Charlotte Mae Clifton; a sister-in-law, Ann Lehman and two brothers-in-law, Richard Lyndaker and Carl Clifton.
Roselba was born on August 30, 1933 at home in the Town of Harrisburg, NY, a daughter of the late Ezra and Clara Roggie Lehman. Clara died when Roselba was nine, and Helen Hills graciously became her new mother. She attended country school in the Town of Harrisburg and graduated from Lowville Academy in 1950 at the age of 16. She was employed as a nurse’s aide at the House of the Good Samaritan in Watertown from 1950 until 1954. She was an outstanding employee, giving her all while working there. On May 26, 1951, she married Donald Edwin Combs at her parent’s home, with Rev. Sawin officiating. Mr. Combs had hitch hiked home from Germany so the couple could get married. The couple lived in the Watertown area for over 40 years, where they raised their family. She took care of two foster children, and hosted a foreign exchange student from Finland. Mrs. Combs operated the Split Rail Bed and Breakfast in her home while living in Watertown. In 1996, Mr. and Mrs. Combs moved to Brookside Senior Living Community.
Mrs. Combs was a charter member of the Watertown Mennonite Church. She volunteered for many years with the Christian Women’s Fellowship in Watertown, and was active in the start-up and operation of the Agape Shoppe in Watertown. She was a Vacation Bible School and Sunday School teacher at First Mennonite Church in New Bremen and at Watertown Mennonite Church, where she was active in other church ministries. Mrs. Combs sang in the choir at Emmaus Bible Fellowship. She was a Cub Scout leader in Watertown, when her son was young.
Mrs. Combs enjoyed entertaining company in her home, and was a wonderful cook. She was a meticulous knitter and crocheter, and enjoyed quilting and sewing clothing. She was the heart of her home. She never met an ice cream she didn’t like. Roselba enjoyed boating and traveling with her family, particularly in the Thousand Islands and the Rideau Canal in Canada. Together with her husband, the couple traveled to Germany in 1964, and again in 2004. In 1981, she traveled to Brazil to visit her son and daughter-in-law and their family, who were there with the Mennonite Central Committee.
Roselba’s family would like to express their gratitude to the staff of the Rainbow Community for their loving care of our wife and mother during her last days.
Condolences may be shared with the family at www.isenekerfuneralhome.com
September 10, 1934 to August 2, 2013
West Leyden- Nancy B. Yauger, 78, of the Mud Lake Road passed away on August 2, 2013 at St. Luke’s Hospital, New Hartford.
She was born on September 10, 1934 in Summerville, NY the daughter of Harley and Florence Rood Bennett. She graduated from Canton High School and Canton Tech, with a degree in dietary science. In April of 1955 she married Rolf Nebicker and settled in the West Leyden area. That marriage ended in divorce. For many years Nancy was employed at the West Leyden School in the cafeteria and as a bus driver. She retired in 1991 from the Adirondack School District. On February 17, 1973 she married Allen Yauger. In her retirement years she enjoyed spending time with her family, beloved pets, reading and riding in the log truck with her husband, Allen. She was a member of the Dutch Reform Church, West Leyden.
Nancy is survived by her husband, Allen; her children, Frederick and Susan Nebicker, Raeford, North Carolina, William and Karen Nebicker, Fredericksburg, Virginia, Susan Kessler, Rome, Mary Anne and James Brach, Boonville and Thomas Yauger, Bonville; grandchildren, Michael, Jennifer, Amanda, Nicole, Angela, Ian, Haley, Heidy and Brayden; several great grandchildren; a brother William Bennett of Canton and a sister Barbara Roberts of Remsen. Two brothers Richard and Dale died before her.
Funeral services will be on Monday, August 5, 2013 at 11 a.m. at the Mills Funeral Home, 301 Post Street, Boonville. Calling hours will be Sunday, from 4-6 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be in the West Leyden Cemetery. Memorial donations in Nancy’s memory can be made to the Stevens –Swans Humane Society, 5664 Horatio Drive, Utica, NY 13502.
September 7, 1939 to July 31, 2013
Boonville – Sara Lou Van Luven, 73, widow of Kenneth B., a longtime resident of Main St., passed away after an extended illness, on Wednesday, July 31, 2013 at Sunset Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Boonville.
She was born in Boonville, on September 7, 1939, the only child of Lewis E. and Catherine McPhilmey Hines. She grew up in Boonville, and graduated from Boonville High School with the Class of 1957. Thereafter she attended Utica School of Beauty Culture, graduating with the Class of 1959. In 1959, she established Sara Lou's Beauty Shop on Main St. in Boonville. Her career as a licensed beautician lasted for a total of 52 years, until she retired in 2011.
On September 27, 1979, Sara Lou was married to Kenneth B. Van Luven, at the First Baptist Church of Boonville. Mr. Van Luven, a veteran of WWII, and a retired trucker, died on September 4, 2009.
Sara Lou was a member of the First Baptist Church of Boonville and a member and past officer of Charles J. Love Post # 406 American Legion Ladies Auxiliary, Boonville.
She was a well known avid bowler who began her bowling career in the 10 Pin Bowling League and on the Victory Market Bowling Team, where she bowled with her mother. She also bowled for several years on the Hi-Lo Bowling League all at the Boonville Bowl. Sara Lou was a charter member of the National 600 Bowling Club. Later she enjoyed playing golf in the Wednesday Nite League at Country Side Golf Course of Boonville. She was an avid Pitch player who participated in several pitch leagues. She was also an avid N.Y. Yankee Fan, and fan of the Syracuse University Orangemen Basketball Team.
For forty five years Sara Lou served as a volunteer at the annual Woodsman's Field Days of Boonville, where she was chairperson of the Admissions Committee; for many years she served on the Woodsman's Field Days Board of Directors. She also was a ticket seller at the Boonville Oneida Co. Fair, and at the original Snow Festival. She and her husband, Ken, were longtime fans and supporters of the Charles J. Love Post American Legion Baseball Team, and of the BYAA Ball Park, in Boonville.
Sara Lou is survived by her two beloved sons, Craig R. (Bambi) Freeman, Steven T. (Michelle) Freeman, all of Boonville; six grandchildren, Jeremy M., Sharee L. Jake C.R. Freeman, David J. Humphries, Addison L. and Callie H. Freeman; step children, Roger Van Luven, Patricia Griffin, Pamela (Fred) Ricci, Kim Van Luven, Tracy (Neil) Austin, several step grandchildren and step great grandchildren, a close cousin Barbara Sykes and many friends.Her family wishes to extend a note of sincere thanks and appreciation to the staff of Sunset Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for the kind and compassionate care they gave to Sara Lou.
Her Funeral will be Monday at 10:00 A.M. at Trainor Funeral Home, Inc. 143 Schuyler St. Boonville, with interment to follow in Boonville Cemetery. Calling hours are Sunday 2-7 P.M. at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Charles J. Love Post American Legion #406 Baseball Fund C/O 124 East Schuyler St. Boonville, NY or to Boonville Youth Athletic Association (BYAA) C/O P.O. Box 412 Boonville, NY 13309.
For an online message of sympathy, or to share a memory of Sara Lou, please go to www.trainorfuneralhome.com
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Keeping up with the passing of people in Boonville, Lowville, Old Forge and surrounding areas is easy. Just check in with the obituary page of our website. We are updating obituaries as reported to us by funeral homes in Oneida, Lewis, Hamilton and Herkimer counties on a daily basis. So if there is a passing in your county, check our web page.
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