March Issue
March 10, 2015


Source: NYSUT United

Lillian Ballon | Dec. 31, 2013
United Federation of Teachers

Barbara Jean Barnes | Sept. 29
Medina Teachers' Association

Barbara "Barbie" Jean Barnes, 51, passed away suddenly on Sept. 29, 2014. Barbie was a dedicated and passionate special education teacher for 18 years at Clifford Wise Middle School in Medina, N.Y. She brought to school every day a big smile, a warm heart, and her immense creativity for both her students and fellow educators. Barbie was an active unionist, serving her members on the Medina Teachers’ Association Executive Board as the Retirement delegate for many years.

David G. Bournazian | Jan. 8
Mohonasen Teachers Association

Retired Mohonasen Teachers Association member David G. Bournazian died Jan. 8. David was a beloved music director at Mohonasen Central School District.

He is survived by his two sons, George, of Cary, N.C., and Jacob, of Washington, D.C., and four grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife Dorothy and daughter Nadine.

Contributions in David’s memory can be made to the Holy Cross Armenian Apostolic Church, 255 Spring Ave., Troy, or the David Bournazian Memorial Scholarship Fund, which provides support for two Mohonasen seniors to study music privately.

For more information, go to

Carol Byrnes-Troendle | Oct. 2
East Syracuse Minoa United Teachers

Carol Byrnes-Troendle of the East Syracuse Minoa United Teachers, died Oct. 2 2014. She was a former special education teacher for 30 years and taught grades K-6 for the East Syracuse Minoa School District in a Resource Room.

Carol was very active in the Syracuse Right to Life movement for many years. She served as the chairperson of the local March for Life for over 10 years. She also was the Education Director for Syracuse Right to Life and wrote a book entitled The Littlest Person.

She is survived by her husband of four years, Charles Troendle; daughter, Jennifer (Eric) Bittel; three step-daughters, Suzanne Wheeler, Rebecca Hewitt, and Theresa Schabes; grandchildren, Sarah, Andrew, Rachael, Ellie, Claudia, Gus, Margaret, Brynn, Mikayla, Evan, and Collin; brother, Richard Glass; sister, Roberta (Fred) Scheuerman; and several nieces and nephews.

Ethel Dell | Dec. 31
United Federation of Teachers

William DeMille | Sept. 13
Guilderland Central TA

William DeMille, a retired member of the Guilderland Central Teachers Association, died Sept. 13. Bill taught at the Farnsworth Middle School. 

passings Robert F. Doyle | Feb. 16, 2015 Retiree Council 7Robert F. Doyle | Feb. 16
Retiree Council 7

Retiree Council 7 member Robert F. Doyle died Feb. 16. He was 95.

Robert taught 5th grade at Lakeshore Road Elementary School until he retired. He was the founder of the Lakeshore School Flag Day. Always involved in education, Bob was the co-founder, past president, and newsletter editor for the NYSUT retirees of Central New York. He was a 50-year member of the Tom Dooley Choraliers and a member of Ancient Order of Hibernians. Robert was a parishioner of Holy Family Church and the Holy Name Society.

Robert was a very proud World War II Army veteran, and in 2013, had the opportunity to be part of the Honor Flight Syracuse Mission Two. Bob was often seen wearing his WWII Veteran's cap, which was a gift from his niece, Sister Rita Shawn. As  a proud veteran he visited local schools to tell stories of the WW II conflict to young students instilling in them patriotism and the same love of country he exhibited all this life.

Robert's worked with Assemblyman Willian Bush to create the Retiree Trustee position on the New York State Teachers Retiree System's Board of Directors. He served as a member of the RC 7 Board of Directors as Sunshine Chairperson until his death.  

Mr. Doyle is survived by his wife, Audrey Doyle; his sons, Robert Doyle and Dennis Doyle (Deb), and three daughters, Sally Wilson (Ken), Sharon Cariglio (Michael) and Shannon Burdick (Marcus). He was a proud grandfather of Barbie, Candido, Katie, Courtney, Robbie, Emily, Brittney, Brandon, Mikey, Kelly and Jennie and five great-grandchildren. In addition, he had four stepsons, and seven stepgrandchildren. He was predeceased by his loving wife, Barbara Mathison Doyle and his two sisters, Rita Gebhardt and Genevieve Turner.

Mindy Friedman | Sept. 13
United Federation of Teachers

Mindy Friedman, a New York City school secretary, died Sept. 13 at the age of 61 after a long illness. Mindy joined the Board of Education in 1990. She retired in 2008 from PS 256 at Beach Channel HS in Queens.

Sally Knauf | Jan. 4
Rochester Teachers Association

Estelle Matos | Dec. 15
United Federation of Teachers

Jessica A. Pereira | Jan. 12
Syracuse Teachers Association

Syracuse Teachers Association member Jessica A. Pereira died Jan. 12. She was 28.

Jessica moved from Chile to the United States when she was a child. She grew up in Central New York and taught English as a second language at Dr. Weeks Elementary School in Syracuse.

Jessica is survived by her son, Logan; her husband, Gary Pereira; sister, Vanessa Stark; brother, Claudio Przepiora; parents, Carolyn Stark and John Przepiora, and niece, Alexandrea. She is also survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and family in Chile.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made in memory of Jessica to the Refugee Resettlement Program at Catholic Charities. For more information, go to

Ida Sargoy | Dec. 17
United Federation of Teachers

Donald J. Sweeney | Passings | Oct. 1, 2014 Kingston Teachers FederationDonald J. Sweeney | Oct. 1
Kingston Teachers Federation

Donald J. Sweeney, 90, a retired member of the Kingston Teacher's Federation died Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014.

Don was a veteran of World War 2, having served as Lieutenant in the Army Air Force. He was a flight navigator on a B-17 bomber and flew thirty missions over Europe. After he returned to his base in Texas, Don was attached to the Army Transport Corps. until his honorable discharge from service in October of 1945. He graduated from Kingston High School, class of 1941, then began studies at Drew University in N.J. He left college to serve in the Army Air Force then returned to Drew after his discharge to continue his education. He received his Bachelor’s degree and moved back to Texas where he earned his Master’s Degree from the University of Houston. Don returned to Kingston to teach American history at MJM School then Bailey School. While teaching, Don served as president, chief negotiator, and grievance chairman of the Kingston Teacher’s Federation.

After retiring in 1985 he co-founded with Anna Tucker the Kingston Retired Teacher’s Federation. He served 25 years as the KRTF president and retired from the position in 2012 where he remained as Emeritus on the Board.

Don was known for helping others, especially his fellow teachers through the union. He was an avid golfer and enjoyed traveling. He loved reading mystery novels and National Geographic, which he received for the past seventy-five years! He was predeceased by his former wife Joyce, and two children, Sarah Benson and Keith Sweeney. He is survived by his daughter, Nancy Sweeney of Lake Katrine, N.Y., two grandchildren, Lucia Rodriquez-Sweeney of Boston and Steven Shane Benson and his wife Staci of Tampa. In addition, he is survived by two great-grandchildren, Ella and Evan Benson of Tampa, and his best friend for more than 40 years, Elaine Grega of Woodstock, N.Y.

Joanne Wojdylo | Dec. 14
Rockville Centre Teachers Association

It is with great sadness and regret that the Rockville Centre Teachers Association announces the sudden passing of retired RVCTA Middle School Vice President Joanne Wojdylo on Dec. 14, 2014.

As an art educator for 32 years in Rockville Centre, Joanne's kindness, intelligence, positive energy, creativity, coupled with her devotion to our union made her a role model for our community. Her giving nature and good humor were appreciated by all who knew her.

As a unionist, Joanne served in many roles. While she served as an assistant representative and a building representative in our district, most recently, Joanne worked confidently, capably and diligently as South Side Middle School's Vice President. She actively worked on our negotiations and APPR teams, providing voice for all members, particularly those in art, music, home and careers and technology. In retirement, she remained actively involved.

A trusted friend and true professional, her presence will continue to be felt in the halls of South Side Middle School and in the annals of the Rockville Centre Teachers Association's history.  Joanne's calm and inspirational presence left a lasting impression on our students as an educator, a coach, and a unionist.

Joanne Wojdylo is survived by her husband, Kenny, and her mother, Nina.

Full obituaries, if provided, are available at Submissions must include decedent's full name, union affiliation and date of death, and contact information for the person submitting the notice.

Fax notices to 518-213-6415; send to Andrew Watson, NYSUT United, 800 Troy-Schenectady Road, Latham, NY 12110-2455; or email