November 2, 2004
Joseph Wasser, 83
Former County Sheriff
Joseph Wasser of Monticello, the longest serving sheriff in the history of Sullivan County, with 20 years of service, and a former New York State Commissioner, Magistrate, town board member and public servant, died Thursday, October 28, 2004 at the Arden Hill Hospital in Goshen. He was 83 years of age.
Mr. Wasser began his career in public service nearly 50 years ago. After serving in the U.S. Army Adjutant General's Office during World War II, rising to the rank of 1st Lieutenant and later to Captain in the Reserves, he returned to Sullivan County and was elected Magistrate of the Town of Thompson, serving over 19 years, and a member of the Thompson Town Board. where he served for 12 years.
He dedicated himself to the citizens of his community, at the same time becoming a major leader statewide for progressive law enforcement and criminal justice issues. His professional achievements have brought honor and distinction to Sullivan County and to the Sheriff's Office.
First elected sheriff in 1971, his service in that office was interrupted by a call from Governor Hugh Carey who selected Joe to serve as Commissioner of the New York State Commission of Correction, a post he held for six years. During that tenure, he was a forceful advocate for improvements to the statewide correctional system, emphasizing police training and modern approaches to penal institutions. Returning to Sullivan County, he was once again elected to the sheriff's office.
Sheriff Wasser's impact on law enforcement has had wide ranking effects throughout the state and nation. As a member of the Executive Committee of New York State Sheriff's Association and as chairman of its Legislative Committee, he has authored and persuasively guided through the Legislature numerous laws which will impact the character of the criminal justice system for years to come.
A graduate of the FBI Executive School,he is a former chairman and present member of the New York State Municipal Police Training Council Division of Criminal Justice and a recipient of numerous awards in the field, including the Times Herald Police Honor Award in 1973-74 and 1974-75, the New York State Sheriff's Association "Friend of Law Enforcement Award" in 1982, and the Gorowitz Institute on Terrorism and Extremism Award in 1990. He was currently on the Advisory Board of the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and was a member of the Governor's Upstate Council.
Sheriff Wasser held various positions in charitable and civic organizations, almost too numerous to mention, including past president of the Sullivan County Magistrates Association, past president of the Monticello Kiwanis Club, past vice president of the Community General Hospital, membership in the Monticello Fire Department, Elk's Lodge, Masons, American Legion, Jewish War Veterans, Deborah Hospital, City of Hope, United Cerebral Palsy Association, Association for Retarded Children, the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society where he was a member of the Board of Directors.
During his long and distinguished career of public service and achievement, Joe Wasser always proceeded with an unselfish caring and devotion to the people around him and the public he served. His warmth and caring ultimately endeared him to so many friends. He has earned the respect and admiration of people throughout the community, the state and the nation and leaves a legacy of achievement not soon duplicated.
He is survived by a son, Martin Wasser of Manhattan; a daughter, Ellen Golnick of Monticello; a sister, Helen Kutsher of Monticello; a granddaughter, Laurie Guzzinati and her husband, Michele; and a great-granddaughter, Guilia; and several nieces and nephews. He was the widower of Ethel Apter to whom he was married for 45 years.
Services were held Sunday at the Landfield Avenue Synagogue in Monticello with Rabbi Ben Zion Chanowitz officiating.
Burial was made in the Landfield Avenue Cemetery in Monticello.
Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one's choice.
Mildred Schwartz, 83
Mildred Schwartz of Glen Spey, a lifelong area resident who lived many years with the Sullivan County Family Care, died Thursday, October 28, 2004, at the Bon Secours Hospital in Port Jervis. She was 83 years of age.
The daughter of the late Lewis and Sadie Morgan Besser Goldberg, she was born December 31, 1920, in New York City.
Mrs. Schwartz moved to Crystal Run Village, Inc. in April of 2004.
She is survived by her friends at the Adult Care Center and Crystal Run Village, Inc.
Services were held Saturday at the Colonial Memorial Funeral Home in Woodbourne with the Rev. Barbara Claypool officiating.
Interment was made in the Woodbourne Reformed Cemetery.
Dorothy M. Briggs
Ret. Businesswoman, 100
Dorothy Mead Briggs of Philadelphia, Pa., and Mt. Marion, the final owner/operator of the family business, Briggs Bungalow Colony in Mt Marion, until the mid-1970s, died Saturday, October 9, 2004. She was 100 years of age.
The daughter of the late Rev. Henry Clay and Mabel Foland Briggs, she was born June 14, 1904.
She lived most of her life in Mount Marion. A founding member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Catskills, she lived the remainder of her life at the Unitarian Universalist House in Philadelphia, Pa.
In a family statement, it was said, "Aunt Dot was a loving, hard-working woman with strong convictions. She was diligent in passing a rich family history along to her grand-nieces and nephews."
She is survived by five grand-nieces and grand-nephews, Roger John Lynker of Roscoe, Denise Lynker Hess of Valatie, Whitney Lynker Trifiletti of Schenectady, John P. Lynker Jr. of Seattle, Wash., and Laura Lynker Johnson of Paso Robles, Calif.; six great-grand-nieces and great-grand-nephews, and her U.U. House family, especially her longtime friends and guardians in Philadelphia, Robert and Doris Holtzman.
An internment service was held Monday at the Foland-Whitaker family plot in the Mount Marion Cemetery with the Rev. Linda Anderson of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills officiating.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Catskills, Kingston, N.Y. 12401.
Kathleen E. Dulaff
Ret. Nurse's Aide, 66
Kathleen E. "Kitty" Dulaff of Liberty, a retired nurse's aide, died Sunday, October 21, 2004, at the Seelig Division of the Catskill Regional Medical Center in Harris. She was 66 years of age.
The daughter of Chester and Margaret Toth Dulaff, she was born in Margaretville on October 17, 1938. She was the first granddaughter of Louis and Mary Pataki Toth and Archie and Audrey Sloat Dulaff.
Miss Dulaff grew up in Wappingers Falls and spent her summers in Margaretville. She graduated from Wappingers Central High School. In 1965, she moved with her family to Ventura, Calif., where she went back to school, studying nursing and psychiatric technician training while she worked at Camarillo State Hospital.
She was an active member of the American Legion and was an officer of the Ojai Valley Grange in Ojai, Calif. She moved back to Margaretville in 1978 and then to Liberty.
In a family statement, it was said, "We all loved her very much and she will be forever missed."
Miss Dulaff is survived by a sister, Victoria A. Dulaff Van Gundy of Simi Valley, Calif.; a niece, Vanessa Van Gundy of Gerber, Calif.; two nephews, Jason Silva of Ventura, Calif., and Troy Dulaff of Simi Valley, Calif.; four grand-nephews; two grand-nieces; and numerous cousins.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday at the Ramsay's Funeral Home, 275 South Main St., Liberty.
Burial of the cremains will be made in Calvary Cemetery in Poughkeepsie.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 95 Schwenk Dr., Kingston, N.Y. 12401.
Messages of condolence may be mailed to Victoria Van Gundy, Troy, Jason and Vanessa at 2574 Marilyn St., Simi Valley, Calif. 93065
Philip J. Yacino Sr.
Ret. Post Master, 88
Philip J. Yacino Sr. of Narrowsburg, a longtime area resident and a retired post master of the United States Post Office in Greenlawn, died Saturday, October 30, 2004, at the Moses Taylor Hospital Hospice Unit in Scranton, Pa.. He was 88 years of age.
The son of the late Francesco and Maria Pulice Yacino, he was born September 26, 1916, in the Bronx.
Mr. Yacino was a member of the APWU-American Postal Workers Union. He was a Class A machinist and was a member of St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church in Narrowsburg. He loved the outdoors and was an avid hunter.
In a family statement, it was said, "He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He will be greatly missed by his family."
He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Lillian Grolz-Namer Yacino, at home; a son, Philip J. Yacino Jr. of Narrowsburg; two daughters, Priscilla Andrewski of Narrowsburg and Phyllis Matechak of Hawley, Pa.; 11 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a sister, Rose, two brothers, Angelo and John, a daughter, Lillian, a granddaughter Lillian, and a son-in-law, Mark.
Services were private.
Interment will be made in St. Francis Cemetery in Narrowsburg.
Memorial contributions may be made to VNA Hospice and Palliative Care Center, 301 Delaware Ave., Olyphant, Pa. 18447.
Funeral arrangements were made by the Rasmussen Funeral Home in Narrowsburg.
Delbert E. VanEtten of Liberty, a lifelong area resident and the historian for both the Town of Liberty and the Village of Liberty for 27 years, died Sunday, October 31, 2004, at his home. He was 77 years of age.
The son of the late Elmer E. and Etta Hector VanEtten, he was born June 11, 1927, in Liberty.
Mr. VanEtten was a retired civil engineer with Onley Borden Engineering in Liberty. He was a World War II veteran of the U.S. Army and a life member of the Dennis Ackerly Memorial Post #8648, Veterans of Foreign Wars, in Neversink.
He was also a member of the Liberty Grange and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
Mr. VanEtten was the curator and historian of the Liberty Museum and Art Center. He was a member and former president of the Sullivan County Historical Society in Hurleyville and a past president of the Hudson Valley Historian's Association, covering 11 counties in the Hudson Valley. Mr. VanEtten was also active in various other civic and community organizations.
He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Rita Stewart VanEtten, at home; a son, John VanEtten of Liberty; a daughter and son-in-law, Sarah and Kelly Foster of Reynoldsburg, Ohio; two granddaughters, Rebecca and Rachel Foster; two nephews, Mark and James Van Etten; and a cousin, Howard Hector.
Friends may call at the Ramsay's Funeral Home, 275 South Main St., Liberty on Wednesday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday at the Liberty Presbyterian Church with the Rev. William Robertson officiating.
Burial willl be made in the Liberty Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Liberty Museum and Art Center, 46 S. Main St., Liberty, N.Y. 12754 or to the Sullivan County Historical Society, Loch Sheldrake Rd., Hurleyville, N.Y. 12747.