Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
April 12, 2013 Issue
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Helen Kutsher
Owner of Kutsher’s Country Club

Helen Kutsher of Monticello, owner of the famous Catskill resort, Kutsher’s Country Club, died of natural causes Tuesday, March 19, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pa. Mrs. Kutsher was born on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and was introduced to the Catskills following her mother’s death, when she was 10 years old. Family friends took her and her brother, Joe Wasser, to Kutsher’s to get them out of the city for the summer. As Mrs. Kutsher would say, “Rebecca fell in love with me” and young Helen brought her widowed father, Sam, and Rebecca Kutsher together. Their marriage changed her life forever. She grew up at Kutsher’s, graduated from Monticello High School and, what is now SUNY Delhi, with a business degree.
Following World War II, she married Milton Kutsher, Rebecca’s nephew, and the couple joined her in running the family business. Milton had visions of a more modern resort and over the years they added more buildings, an indoor pool, an 18-hole golf course, a ski hill, and an ice skating rink. Their night club hosted comics ranging from Milton Berle, Red Buttons, Shecky Green, Joan Rivers, and Jackie Mason to young performers like Jerry Seinfeld, Billy Crystal and Andy Kaufman. Harry Belafonte, Tony Bennett, Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons all graced the Kutsher stage. But perhaps Kutsher’s was most well-known for its emphasis on sports, and one young ballplayer from Philadelphia, Wilt Chamberlain, who worked as a bellhop and became a lifelong friend. His basketball coach at Kutsher’s was Athletic Director, Red Auerbach, who went on to coach the Boston Celtics.
Mrs. Kutsher often referred to herself as a shy child who was given confidence by her husband to greet guests and become the “face” of their resort. She was known for her graciousness and hospitality and the attention to detail that made her famous with her staff and guests alike. Often her greeting to guests was “welcome home” and her admonition to staff to pick up stray papers was “it’s on your side.” Her staff and guests adored her for her kindness and sense of humor. But she was no mere figurehead. If you called the hotel, she was likely to be the person who answered the phone. She ran the reservations office and painstakingly assigned the rooms for her guests, many of whom wanted the same room facing the lake year after year.
Mrs. Kutsher was awarded honorary doctorates in Humane Letters from SUNY Delhi and St. Francis University (Maurice Stokes’ Alma Mater). In addition, she received the ADL Americanism Award, the Sullivan County Chamber of Commerce Businesswoman of the Year Award, B’nai B’rith Woman of the Year, and the City of Hope Woman of the Year. There were numerous awards for her support of the American Heart Association. Mrs. Kutsher’s husband, Milton, died in 1998. They were married for 52 years. Mrs. Kutsher is survived by her three children, Mark (Carla) Kutsher of Monticello and Lake Worth, FL, Mady (the late Don) Prowler of Philadelphia, Pa. and Karen (Jeffrey) Wilson of Bryn Mawr, Pa. Her seven grandchildren are Zach Kutsher (Livia), Jennifer Rosen (Lucas), Matthew Prowler (Reina), Rachel Prowler, Rebecca Lerario (Michael), Sara Searing (Scott) and Josh Wilson. Four great-grandchildren include Charlie Milton Kutsher, Eva Rose and Brett Ezekiel Rosen, and Samuel Mayer Searing.
Services were held Thursday, March 21st at the Landfield Avenue Synagogue in Monticello, NY.
Donations can be made to Landfield Ave. Synagogue, the American Heart Association and the Catskill Regional Medical Center.
Arrangements are by Joseph N. Garlick Funeral Home, Monticello;

Eleanor Reich
Retired Registered Nurse, 91

Eleanor Reich, 91, a longtime Monticello, NY resident, passed away in Baldwinsville, NY on March 12, 2013.
She was predeceased by her parents, Katherine and Mathias Jozaitis; her husband, Neil, in 1987; her son, Ed, in 2011 and her sisters, Ann, Rosetta, and Evelyn.
She is survived by her son, Robert, of Monticello; daughters, Jane Reich (Marc Stern), of Olympia, Washington, and Ellen Wolitarsky (Robert) of Baldwinsville; sister, Mary Rapisarda, of CA; daughter-in-law, Michele; four grandchildren, Chris, Carly, Travis, (Shannon) and Harrison; great-grandchild, Madelyn, all of CA; and special niece, Maryann DeLorenzo of FL.
She was a Registered Nurse for 45 years, graduating from Kings County Hospital, where she returned to teach others in the program. She also worked on staff at Hamilton Avenue & Monticello Hospitals and was an instructor in the Manpower Development Program. When she was in her 50s, she returned to college to earn her BS as school nurse teacher. She concluded her nursing career at Woodbourne Correctional Facility.
Funeral arrangements are private with burial in Pittston, PA at a later date. Donations may be made to the SPCA. Please express condolences to the family at cremationservicesofcny .com.

George O. Wagner Sr., 72
September 29, 1940 - March 12, 2013

George O. Wagner Sr. of Silver Springs, Florida died peacefully at home on March 12, 2013. He was 72.
He was born September 29, 1940.
He is survived by his wife, Cheryl Wagner; three sisters, Susan Little of Oneonta, NY; Janet Hanvey (Wayne) of Otego, NY; Linda Hosier (Robert Gifford) of Afton, NY; four sons: Floyd Wagner of Hortonville, NY; George O. Wagner Jr. ( Tony) of Hortonville; Christopher Wagner (Cindy) of Narrowsburg, NY, and Nick Davis of Batavia, NY; three daughters: Connie Cordner (Bill) of Parksville, NY; Sharon Wagner (Matt Healy) of Londonderry, VT; Teri Newland of Franklinville; 15 grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was predeceased by his parents, Otto and Frieda Streasser Wagner; one grandson, George O. Wagner III; and a daughter, Annette Prustsman.

Eugene Ganz
September 16, 1927 – March 20, 2013

Eugene Ganz of Divine Corners, NY, passed away at Catskill Regional Medical Center on March 20, 2013. He was 85.
He was the son of the late Sam and the late Anna Ganz. Gene is survived by his wife, Lorraine, at home; son Warren and his wife Martha of Miami, FL; son Jay of Divine Corners; granddaughter Melissa and grandson Sam; sister Lila Millstein of Boca Raton, FL; and several cousins, nieces, nephews, and lifelong friends.
He was in the U.S. Army until 1948 and a member of the 35th Station Hospital Alumni Association.
Gene graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University. He was a retired electronics instructor at Woodbourne Correctional Facility, small resort operator, and poultry farmer. Gene served on the Sullivan County BOCES Board representing the Tri-Valley district for 41 years. He was also a member of the Tri-Valley Lions since 1977, once serving as zone 2 region VI chairman.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Garlick Funeral Home on 388 Broadway in Monticello on Friday, March 22, at 11 a.m.

Wayne Henry Johnson
August 21, 1956 - March 15, 2013
“He did it his way”

Wayne Henry Johnson, 56, of Smallwood, NY died Friday, March 15, 2013 after a long battle with cancer.
Wayne was born in Monticello where he graduated from Monticello High School. He traveled, living in Florida and then California. He came home and started his own business, Johnson’s Home Improvement. He especially loved nature and was passionate about fishing. He taught his nephews the technique and enjoyment of the sport.
Survivors include his mother, Martha Sheeley Johnson, and he was predeceased by his father, the late Henry “Oly” Johnson of Monticello. He is also survived by two brothers: Craig (Stephanie) Johnson and Brian (Kathie) Johnson, all of Monticello; and a beloved sister, Peggy Johnson of Rock Hill. He also leaves behind his loving nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles. He lived with Gayle Zier, his companion in Smallwood. Also remembering Wayne are his Godparents, Robert and Patricia Buckles of Monticello.
His heart was full of gratitude to those who showed him kindness, especially Dr. Dinsmore and the Hospice members. The family would like to express their thanks. He would tell you he’s just “gone fishing”.
Family and friends were invited to gather on Monday, March 18th at the VanInwegen-Kenny Funeral Home, 401 Broadway, Monticello. His funeral service was held on Monday evening at the funeral home with the Rev. John Thomason officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Hospice of Orange & Sullivan Counties, 800 Stony Brook Court, Newburgh, NY 12550.
Arrangements are under the direction of the VanInwegen-Kenny, Inc. Funeral Home of Monticello; for additional information or to send an online condolence, please visit

Charles Curtis Bendle
Owner of Charlie’s Auto Works, 64

Charles Curtis Bendle of Jeffersonville, NY, the owner of Charlie’s Auto Works and a lifetime resident of the area, died Tuesday, March 19, 2013 after a brief illness in Florida. He was 64.
The son of Charles H. and Gladys Hessinger Bendle, he was born January 2, 1949 in Callicoon, NY. He was married to Teresa (Terri) Manzolillo Bendle.
Survivors include his wife, Teresa (Terri) Manzolillo Bendle, at home; two daughters, Karen Davis and her husband Michael of Jeffersonville; and Stacey Bendle and her companion Dave Wasikiewicz of Cochecton, NY; one brother, Robert Bendle and his wife Sheila of Iverness, FL; four very special grandsons, Tyler Davis, Jared Davis, Lukas Wasikiewicz, and Hayden Wasikiewicz; two brothers-in-law, Tom Manzolillo and his wife Linda of Liberty, NY, and Tim Manzolillo and his wife Nora of Cochecton, NY; several nieces and nephews, and his best pal, his dog Shadow.
Family and friends may call from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. on Sunday, March 24, 2013 at the Stewart-Murphy Funeral Home, Jeffersonville, NY.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, March 25, 2013 at the funeral home with Ginny Bossley officiating.
Burial will be made in Calvary Cemetery, Youngsville, NY.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Jeffersonville Fire Dept., or to Hospice of Orange and Sullivan Counties.

Carol Fehsal
July 1, 1923 - March 11, 2013

Carol Vera Fehsal, 89, went to see Jesus on March 11, 2013. She was at home with her grandchildren Karen and John, family, and friends by her side in Midway, KY.
She was born on July 1, 1923 in Pearl River, NY. She resided in Livingston Manor, NY and Brooksville, FL, both for a number of years. She loved horses and all her dogs.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Eugene; her son, John; her daughter-in-law, Marlene Fehsal; three sisters; and one brother.
She is survived by her sister, Lauri Millen of Chesapeake, VA; her son, James Fehsal of White Sulphur Springs, NY; six grandchildren; eleven great-grandchildren; two great-great-granchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Her ashes will be returned to the earth in the summer of 2013.
Clark Legacy Center, Versailles Road is assisting the family with the arrangements.

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