Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
March 1, 2013 Issue
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Jacob E. Gunther Sr.
March 30, 1922 - October 11, 2012

Jacob E. Gunther Sr., 90, died peacefully at home Thursday, October 11, 2012 at sunrise.
Born March 30, 1922 at Horton Memorial Hospital in Middletown, New York. “Jake,” as he was known by friends, graduated from Middletown High School in 1939. He attended St. Lawrence University where he graduated in 1943, putting off law school to enlist in the United States Army and fight for his nation in World War II.
Jake served in the 45th Infantry Division where he attained the rank of sergeant and was an “expert rifleman,” serving in Africa, France and Italy (where he witnessed the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius from a hospital bed). Jake also actively participated in the emancipation of concentration camps throughout Germany. He returned to the states to attend Albany Law School where he had the unique distinction of passing the NYS Bar exam prior to graduation. After meeting his true love, Elizabeth (Betty) Claire Cooke, he married in 1947, settling in Middletown, and began his lifelong career as an attorney, working at a local law office for $17.00 a week. He later formed the law offices of Fitzgerald, Gunther & Smith at 59 North Street, known as the old “Gunther Building” which housed his grandfather's tavern in the early 1900s.
In addition to his own firm, Jake worked as the attorney for the Enlarged School District of the City of Middletown, as well as a Middletown police commissioner for nearly 30 years. He also served several years as the Forestburgh Town Attorney and the Forestburgh Zoning Board of Appeals. Jake was active in politics and served as treasurer for the Orange County Republican Committee, and was a member of the Forestburgh Republican Club as well as the Forestburgh Civic & Taxpayers association where he was honored as “Citizen of the Year.”
He was a member of Middletown BPOE 1097 Elks, a volunteer fireman for the Excelsior Hook & Ladder Fire Company No. 1, a member of the Forestburgh Fire Company No. 1, Middletown American Legion Post 151, Grace Episcopal Church, the Orange County Bar Association, founder and past president of the Inter-Camp Council and Squirrels Corner Hunting Club, which was formed on his family property in Forestburgh, NY, where he spent every summer and weekend with his family. He moved there permanently in 1984.
Jake was predeceased by his parents, LeRoy C. and Paula D. Gunther; a daughter, Mary C.; and son, former State Assemblyman Jacob Gunther III; and daughter-in-law, Judith K. Gunther.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Betty C. Gunther; his two sons, William C. Gunther of Middletown, and LeRoy C. Gunther and wife, Gina, of Forestburgh; daughter-in-law, Aileen M. Gunther of Forestburgh; one “adopted” son, William Beakes of Lake Altamont, NY; a sister, Barbara Miller of Am­sterdam, NY; grandchildren, Elizabeth Sanderson and husband, James, of West Palm Beach, FL, Sarah Gunther, Adam Gunther of Middletown, NY, Mary Alice Gunther and husband, Ben Riemer of Dallas, TX, Jacob Gunther IV of Brooklyn, NY, Caitlin Gunther of Brooklyn, NY, Jonathan Gunther of Saratoga Springs, NY, and Andrew Gunther of Forestburgh; great-grandchildren, Alexandra, Maximillian, Scarlett, and Meadow; as well as several nieces and nephews; his personal chef, Carl Buckstad; and his faithful dog, Suzie.
Jake loved his family and always put family first. He loved the outdoors and when not lawyering spent a great deal of time mowing, cooking, golfing (past Champion of the “Diana Golf League”), cutting wood, puttering, hunting, rocking and nature watching, while sitting at the lake at “Birchwood” with his wife or one of his boys. He had a particular fondness of picking up the daily paper and having coffee at the Forestburgh Store, determining the fate of the world. His sense of humor was timeless.
The family would like to express their thanks to all those caregivers and friends who took care of and kept Jake's positive attitude and love of life flourishing. A special thanks to Hospice of Orange & Sullivan County.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions to Hospice.
Visitation and a memorial service to celebrate his life will be held Wednesday, October 17, 2012 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the VanInwegen-Kenny Inc. Funeral Home, 401 Broadway, Monticello.
Cremation will be at Cedar Hill Crematory, Newburgh, NY
For additional information or to send an online condolence, please visit

Shirley Leffer Coddington
Formerly of Monticello, 91

Shirley Leffer Coddington died on October 7, 2012, in Boynton Beach, FL. She was 91.
She was born on March 13, 1921, in Brooklyn, NY, to the late Mary Schneider Leffer and the late Nathan Leffer.
In 1925, she moved to Monticello, NY, where she graduated from its high school in 1938. In 1939, she married Chester Coddington and had two sons. The family lived in the Bronx, NY, for eight years where she was a writer for the Parkchester Press Review. She was active in the Girl Scouts and was presented with their Thanks Badge, the highest volunteer award. In 1952, the family moved to Rye, NY, where she was a member of The League of Women Voters, the Milton School PTA, and on the Board of the high school’s Mothers Guild. She was Social Editor of The Rye Chronicle for thirty years and worked for the Rye Free Reading Room for twenty-five years. An avid reader, she was a charter member of the Fezziwigs Chapter of the International Association of Dickens Fellowships. She had resided in Boynton Beach since 2001 and was a member of the Women’s Democratic Organization, the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Boca Raton and was a Friend of the Boyton Beach Library.
She was predeceased by her husband, Chester, and brothers Clem and Bob Leffer.
She is survived by her sons, Richard (Cynthia) of Chagrin Falls, OH, and Barton of Aptos, CA; grandchildren, Andrew Coddington (Danette) and Christina Raab (Gary); step-grandsons, David Williams (Megan) and Matthew Williams (Maggie); four great-grandchildren and six step-greatgrandchildren.
Contributions in Shirley’s name can be made to the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, Cambridge, MA 02139.

Susan Schenkler Nevins, 64

Susan (Schenkler) Nevins of Greenacres, FL, died on October 14, 2012, at the age of 64. Beloved wife of Sheldon Nevins. Dear daughter of the late David and Irene Schenkler. Devoted mother of Cary Nevins and his wife Deija of Sharon, MA; Brad Nevins of Stoneham, MA; and Marc Nevins of Greenacres, FL. Loving sister of Sheldon Schenkler and his wife, Lisa, of Buffalo, NY. Cherished grandmother of Justin, Tyler, Kimberly, and Jake. Adored aunt of Hayley Schenkler and Jillian Conway.
Funeral service at Stanetsky Memorial Chapel, 475 Washington Street, Canton, MA on Tuesday, October 16 at 11 a.m.
Interment will be in Sharon Memorial Park, Sharon, MA. Shiva observance will be private. Charitable contributions in Susan’s memory may be made to The Jimmy Fund at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284-9168
Arrangements by Stanetsky Memorial Chapel,

Margaret Frances Colo Edelman

Margaret Frances Colo Edelman, formerly of Fosterdale, went home to be with her Savior, Jesus Christ, on September 14, 2012, after a brief illness. She was 75.
She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Walter Edelman; five children; 13 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren, and two sisters, Lillian Coney and Mary Messinger.
A memorial service was held at a chapel, 7935 Ranch Road on Sunday, October 14, 2012.

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