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Emaline Ellen Leek of Eldred, NY, a lifelong area resident, entered into rest on May 22, 2008 at Mercy Community Hospital in Scranton, PA. She was 80.

The daughter of the late Ernest Horton and Georgianna Rundle Horton, she was born March 25, 1928 in Eldred. She was the widow of Scott Russell Leek.

Surivors include four sons, Raymond Leek and wife Rosa-Leah of Burton, SC; Roy Leek and wife Brenda of Glen Spey, NY; Rodney Leek and wife Jane of Attleboro, MA; and Joseph Consiglio; three sisters, Madeline Weiss, Elizabeth Wingert and Betty Milk; nine grandchildren, Scott Leek, Kara Leek, Dakota Leek, Randi Leek, Douglas Leek, McKenzie Leek, Amanda Leek, Sierra Leek and Georgianna Mills; three great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by a son, Randy Leek; and siblings Gloria Schwartz, Ellsworth Horton, Kenneth Horton and Bonnie Decker.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, May 27 at 10:30 a.m. in the Eldred United Methodist Church, with Rev. Linda Bohs officiating. Burial was in Montoza Cemetery, Eldred, NY.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 419 E. Main St., Suite 307B, Middletown, NY 10940.


Nicholas “Joe” Muller III of Sparrowbush, NY, a lifelong area resident, died on Wednesday, May 21, 2008 at Castle Point VA Hospital, Castle Point, NY. He was 75.

The son of the late Nicholas Muller II and Marie Damberger Muller, he was born November 22, 1932 in Brooklyn. He was the widower of Barbara F. Muller Reiger.

A bricklayer for Rosencrance Masonry in Accord, NY, Joe was also a member of the Mahogany Ridge Hunting Club. He was an avid hunter and enjoyed summers mowing lawns. He was famous for saying, “I don’t know.”

Joe was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving with the 3rd Armored Division during the Korean War. He was a lifetime member of the Roosa-Fleming V.F.W. Post 161 in Port Jervis, NY.

Survivors include two sons, Joseph Muller and wife Lori of Sparrowbush and Thomas Muller and fiancée Heather Reil of Port Jervis, NY; four grandchildren, Kasi, Barbara, Allison and Dylan Muller; three brothers: Kenny, Harry and Michael Muller; a sister, Ellen Pentland; a sister-in-law, Charlotte Denn; and several nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by two sisters, Rosemarie Baker and Amelia Aumick.

The V.F.W. Post #161 conducted services on Tuesday evening, May 27 at 7:30 p.m. in the Knight-Auchmoody Funeral Home, Port Jervis. Funeral services were held on Wednesday, May 28 in the funeral home, with the Rev. George Hafemann officiating. Burial was in Pine Hill Cemetery, Sparrowbush.

Memorial contributions may be made to VA Hudson Valley Medical Center, Castle Point, NY 12511, Attn: Volunteer Services.


Edward Taylor Pierce of Cochecton Center, NY, a World War II veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, serving in the 69th Division, and a Purple Heart recipient, died Thursday, May 22, 2008. He was 82.

He was the elder son of Katheryne and Charles F. Pierce, born and died on the land where he lived his entire life. He was married 57 years to Katherine Nelson Pierce, who survives.

In addition to his wife at home, he is survived by a son, Edward K. Pierce of Cochecton Center; daughter-in-law Susan H. Pierce; grandchildren Danielle, Carrie, Amanda, Edward and James; daughter-in-law, Ginger Lee Pierce of Cochecton Center; granddaughters Ginger Irene and Roxanne; daughter Kathy J. Pierce of Mechanicsville, VA; sister and brother-in-law, Julia and Charles Palmer of Delmar, MD; sister-in-law Henrietta “Etta” Pierce; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was predeceased by his son, Kenneth S. Pierce; and his brother, Melvin Pierce.

Friends are invited to call on Wednesday, May 28, 2008 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., and on Thursday, May 29 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the Rasmussen Funeral Home, Narrowsburg, NY.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, May 29 in the funeral home. Burial will take place in Laurel Cemetery (Cochecton Center Cemetery), Cochecton Center.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Orange & Sullivan Counties, Inc., 800 Stony Brook Ct., Newburgh, NY 12550 or Cochecton Volunteer Ambulance Corps, PO Box 4, Lake Huntington, NY 12752.


Oscar E. Ropke Jr. of Homosassa, FL and Beach Lake, PA died Friday, May 23, 2008 in Homosassa, FL. He was 85.

The son of the late Oscar and Emily Metzger Ropke, he was born in Lava, NY on June 8, 1922. He was married for 60 years to Vivian A. Thomas Ropke, who survives.

Oscar was a retired farmer and part-time real estate agent and had worked for Davis R. Chant Realtors and Klimchok Real Estate. He was a WWII veteran, having served in the Navy as a Petty Officer second class. He attended Damascus Methodist Church, Damascus, PA.

A family statement reads, “Oscar was a loving and devoted husband and father. He lived through the Depression and WWII. He worked very hard in his lifetime to provide a good life for everyone. He was an avid hunter, and loved the land and outdoors. He will truly be missed and was a big part of our family, having had a very important influence on his children.”

Survivors include his wife Vivian and son Steven, both of Homosassa, FL, and his daughter Lynn Wachter of Roscoe, NY. He is also survived by two sisters, Lydia (Rena) Bashoor and Edna Speer; two brothers, Christian Ropke and Charles Ropke; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.

He is predeceased by a sister, Margaret, and a brother, Herman.

Friends are invited to call on Saturday, May 31, 2008 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the Rasmussen Funeral Home, Narrowshurg, NY.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, May 31 at 11:00 a.m. at the funeral home.

Burial will be in Glen Cove Cemetery, Narrowsburg, NY.

Donations in his memory may be made to Community Life Activity Fund, Diamond Ridge Health & Rehabilitation Center, 2730 West Marc Knighton Court, Lecanto, FL 34461 OR Hospice of Citrus County, PO Box 641270, Beverly Hills, FL 34464.


Guy C. “Dick” Teetsel, 83, of Narrowsburg, NY, formerly of Stony Point, NY, died Sunday, May 25, 2008.

He was born in Sayre, PA on November 16, 1924, the son of the late Guy C. Teetsel and Eulalie Robinson.

Dick was a retired physical education/driver’s education teacher for North Rockland School District. He was a proud veteran of World War II and the Korean Conflict. He served in the United States Navy as a Radio Operator First Class. He was a member of St. Francis Xavier R.C. Church, Narrowsburg. He was a member of the VFW, Catholic War Veterans, American Legion and the Elks BPOE 2041.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Margaret (nee McConville) and five children, Michael and wife Diane of Rochester, VT; Maureen Hunter of Mendham, NJ; Richard and wife Janet of Hummelstown, PA; Jeanne Ursini of Brewster, NY; and Margaret Scheinert and husband Richard of Wyckoff, NJ; grandchildren Jessica, Rebecca, Emily, Melissa, Alexander, Justin, Matthew, Timothy, Vinny and Matt; and sister Joy Parker and husband Dennis of Lake Lotawana, MO.

Dick is also survived by his track and field family, the hundreds of athletes, coaches and officials it was his privilege to work with for over 40 years. It was the honor of his life to have been inducted to the Rockland County Track & Field Hall of Fame on May 17, 2008.

Friends may call on Wednesday, May 28 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. and on Thursday, May 29, from 9:00 to 10:45 a.m. at the Michael J. Higgins Funeral Service, 736 N. Liberty Dr., Stony Point.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, May 29 at 11:00 a.m. at Immaculate Conception R.C. Church, Stony Point. Burial will follow at St. Anthony’s Cemetery, Nanuet, NY.

Donations may be made to St. Francis Xavier R.C. Church, 151 Bridge St., Narrowsburg, NY 12764 or the Tusten Historical Society c/o Tusten Cochecton Library, 202 Bridge St., Narrowsburg, NY 12764.


John J. “Poppy-Doe” Ward of Damascus passed away peacefully at home on May 14, 2008. He was 84.

John was born in Brooklyn to the late John J. and Irene Fielder Ward.

He was a WWII veteran, serving as an ammunition handler. After service, he worked for the Brooklyn Navy Yard for 20 years as a ship fitter, during the USS Constellations tragedy. He then worked for the New York City Transit Authority for 21 years, for which he received special commendation.

John had a love for building model airplanes and anything else he could think of. A family statement reads: “When a loved one becomes a memory, a memory becomes a treasure. Treasure the memories.”

He is survived by three sons, John and Tania Ward of California, Peter and Wendy Ward of Honesdale, PA and Joseph and Winnie Ward of Fontana, CA; three daughters, Irene Ward and Andy White of Cochecton, NY; Ann and Michael DeVrieze of Milanville, PA; and Joan and Alan Rake of Tyler Hill, PA; and his grandchildren, Theresa, Mikey and Lauren DeVrieze, Jessie and Wyatt Rake, April Bunny White, Shannon and Jonathon Ward, Megan Ward and Samatha Lord.

John was predeceased by his loving wife, Joan A. Ward; and by his granddaughter, Kerrie-Jo White.

A memorial service will be held at a later date at the convenience of the family.


Kathleen Bennett Wassi, formerly of Newburgh, NY and Eldred, NY, entered into rest on Monday, May 19, 2008 at Holmes Regional Medical Center, Melbourne, FL. She was 80.

A lifelong resident of the area until two years ago, when she moved to Barefoot Bay, FL, she was born July 1, 1927 in Roseton, NY to the late James Harold and Rose Meehan Bennett.

She was widowed on April 24, 2008 after the passing of her loving husband of 62 years, John M. Wassi.

Kathleen was a homemaker who found the time to volunteer for many organizations. She was a past member of the St. Luke’s Hospital Auxiliary, the Middlehope Fire Company Ladies Auxiliary and the Legion of Mary. She attended Our Lady of Mercy Church in Roseton, NY and St. Anthony’s Church in Yulan, NY, and was a parishioner of St. Luke’s Catholic Church, Micco, FL.

Survivors include son Frank Wassi and his wife Janice of Melbourne, FL; daughter Nancy LaColla of Eldred, NY; grandson, Frank Wassi Jr. and his wife Christina; granddaughters Jamie Laird and Lauren LaColla; one great-grandson, Frank Wassi III; two brothers, Lawrence Bennett and John Bennett; one sister, Alice Bowman; and several nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by one son, John R. Wassi; four sisters: Rosemary Curley, Helen Clark, Joan Hutlock and Margaret “Molly” Gucciardo; and two brothers, James Bennett and Robert Bennett.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Tuesday, May 27, 2008 at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Roseton. The Rev. Edward Bader was the celebrant. Interment followed in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Marlboro, NY.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Our Lady of Mercy Church, c/o St. Mary’s Church, 71 Grand St., PO Box 730, Marlboro, NY 12542.

Kathleen’s family asks that all correspondence be sent to Engel Funeral Home, Inc., 5319 Route 9W, Newburgh, NY 12550.