January 2017 Issue
December 20, 2016

Passings

Source: NYSUT United

Judith Bronfman | May 7, 2016
PSC/CUNY Retirees Chapter

Eugene T. Ferrio | July 16, 2016
Millbrook Teachers Association

Mary N. Goux | June 24, 2016
Utica Teachers Association

Mary N. Goux, 59, earned her angel wings and passed peacefully into God's hands with her loving family by her side. Mary fought a long courageous battle with metastatic breast cancer over the last four and a half years.

Born March 7, 1957, in Syracuse, NY, she is the daughter of Marie (Keeler) North and the late John Thomas North.

Mary grew up in North Syracuse and graduated from North Syracuse Central Schools. In 1978, she met her soulmate and love of her life, Kevin W. Goux, and were married on September 12, 1981.

Mary had a never-ending thirst for knowledge as she earned an Associate's Degree from Onondaga Community College in Liberal Arts and Mohawk Valley Community College, high honors, majoring in science. She was accepted into the Le Moyne College Physician's Assistant program but later withdrew due to health issues. Having to change careers, Mary decided to become an educator in the field of Science where she graduated from Utica College in 2000, cum laude, with a degree in 9th-12th grade science. In finishing her education, she earned her Master's Degree in Special Education from the New York State Touro College, summa cum laude in 2005. For the last eleven years, she was employed with the Utica City School District at Proctor High School where she recently retired this school year.

In her spare time, Mary was an avid gardener which was reflected in her landscaping choices at her home. You could brighten up her day by surprising her with a bouquet of lilies which were her favorite. She also loved to sew and recently was learning the art of embroidery.

Mary is survived by her husband, Kevin W. Goux; son and daughter-in-law, Ryan and Christine Goux, New Hartford, who gave her two beloved grandsons, Jackson William and Brantley Thomas; two sisters and a brother-in-law, Theresa and Paul Brzuszkiewicz, Syracuse, and Tricia North, Brewerton; and nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her twin son, Jason William, in 1982, at one month old.

The family would like to extend their sincere thanks to Dr. Razia and staff at Slocum Dickson Medical Oncology Group for Mary's care this past year. They made her feel like family. In addition, a special heartfelt thanks to her dear friends and colleagues, Gen Talerino and Tammy Hughes, who made it possible for Mary to continue teaching while fighting her illness.

Flowers and or remembrances in Mary's name may be made to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, at www.danafarber.org.

Marianne (DePerno) Jakubowski Oct. 2, 2016
Utica Teachers Association

Mrs. Marianne (DePerno) Jakubowski, age 66, passed away in the comfort of her home with her loved ones by her side. It was through her courage that her family could maintain a smile on their faces, because they were so proud of her.

Born in Utica on Oct. 29, 1949, Marianne was the daughter of John "Captain John" and Mafalda "Mitzi" (DePastina) DePerno. She was a graduate of T.R. Proctor High School/Class of 1967 and went on to graduate from Utica College of Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Studies, as well as her Masters Degree in Education. This was all accomplished while she was working and raising her family. On August 4, 1973 she married Joseph A. Jakubowski with whom she has shared 43 years. But their relationship was blessed from their first date 49 years ago when Joe fell in love with her. It was true love for each of them and the spark has never dimmed. As a couple, they integrated their independence, family life, and support for each other and their children.

Raising their family was the most important thing on their minds, and love was the most important thing in their hearts. They knew they would always be there for each other.

Marianne was hired as a Social Studies teacher in the Utica City School District in 1971 at her alma mater, T. R. Proctor High School. During her 35 year tenure, she became the Social Studies Department Chair. She was passionate in teaching her students and she took the time to care about and reach each of them. She was a motherly image and she understood and mentored many of them through the challenges of their lives. She also taught night school for those who needed to attend. She was unassuming, humble, and was graced with an unforgettable smile upon her face. She took a genuine interest in a person's life and became an endeared friend. She was never forgotten throughout the years.

Marianne was blessed to have parents whose values and hard work ethic molded her into the precious person she became. She continued to embrace people with grace and sincerity which afforded her so many true friends throughout her life. Her father had a vision for a business venture and he loved Sylvan Beach, and so… Captain John's Restaurant on Main Street sprung to life. Marianne's responsibilities were vast and her prowess for work was put to the test as she stepped into a new vocation as waitress and bartender. Her summers were spent working at the beach; she loved the operation and her co-workers who were extended family. In the autumn, she returned to teaching. Marianne was kind-hearted, passionate, loving, caring, and generous, always putting others before herself. Joe was involved with her in all her endeavors -every moment of every day.

During what little spare time she had, she enjoyed romance novels, movies, and vacationing with family. At get-togethers, Marianne made things happen. She cooked and baked with the kids, along with her mom, and these were special moments. Her theory was that if you enjoyed something, just do it, because life is too short. Autumn was her favorite season and she adorned her home with decorations denoting not only fall, but the upcoming holidays as well. Her grandchildren called her "MiMi" and what she felt for them was a different kind of indescribable love, and she spoiled each of them individually.

Marianne and Joe took care of each other and still found precious time to care for her parents. She never had them far from her heart and mind, even as she managed her own medical struggles. It seems amazing that all of these tasks that were important to this family got done, with incredible ease and teamwork. Marianne was a communicant of St. Anthony and St. Agnes Church. She was a true believer and had a close connection to those who went before her. Sunday Mass and the Sacraments were important when raising her children.
Although the years of her life were not as long as we would have wished, she was adventurous, spontaneous, and she captured the moment. Marianne was a dreamer… and most of her dreams came true.

Marianne is survived by her husband, Joe; her daughter and son-in-law, Sheri A. and Fidele P. Fanelli; her son and daughter-in-law, Joseph M. and Katie Jakubowski; her parents, John and Mafalda; her precious granddaughters, Zoe Lynn, and Kenzie Marie Jakubowski; and her sisters and brothers-in-law, Elaine DePerno-Brown and her husband Andy, Dorthea Casey and Mark Casey, and Joni DePerno-Zahas and her husband Scott. She also leaves her nieces and nephews, Dr. Kristy and Dr. Greg McBride; Tara and Mike Skidd, Dr. Justin and Lauren Casey; Scot Zahas; her great-nieces and great-nephews, Brantley McBride, and Alessandra Casey; many cousins, and in-laws, Dolores Werczynski, and Leon and Doreen Jakubowski. She was fortunate to have had so many wonderful and loyal friends and co-workers. She was predeceased by many members of the DePerno family; and her in-laws, Michael and Stephanie "Sadie" Jakubowski.

The family is grateful to the amazing team of physicians, nurses, and staff at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for their professional expertise and compassion.

Margaret D. Jones | July 19, 2016
Utica Teachers Association

Margaret D. Jones, 61, of Marcy, passed away at Faxton-St. Luke's Healthcare, surrounded by her loving family.

Margaret was born in Utica on Jan. 14, 1955, a daughter of the late John and Victoria (Collea) Devins. She was raised and educated locally and was a graduate of Utica Catholic Academy, Mohawk Valley Community College and SUNY Cortland. Margaret was united in marriage to Richard E. Jones at St. Agnes Church, Utica, on Aug. 17, 1991. For thirty four years, until her retirement, she was a teacher in the Utica School System. Margaret was a parishioner of St. Paul's Church, Whitesboro. She enjoyed traveling and casino trips with her sister. Most of all, Margaret enjoyed just sitting outside by the pool with her kids. Margaret was instrumental in forming the Whitesboro High School Bowling Boosters Club and was their number one fan.

Margaret is survived by her beloved husband, Dick; her two children, Megan Jones, of Marcy, and Robert Jones, of Marcy; and her brothers and sister, John Devins and wife, Stephanie, of Skaneateles, NY, Mary Devins and partner, Valerie Yager, of Whitesboro, and James Devins, of Boston, MA. She is also survived by three nieces, a nephew, an uncle and many cousins.

Those so wishing may make donations to the American Cancer Society in Margaret's memory.

Sylvia Kuller | Aug. 8, 2016
United Federation of Teachers

Sylvia Kuller taught English at IS 246 in Flatbush, Brooklyn, and later became a guidance counselor at the school.

Sylvia was born and raised in Brooklyn, the daughter of immigrants, Esther and Sam Serota.

During her time at IS 246, she aided in its transition from elementary to middle school in 1965, and later helped make the bilingual and ESL programs successful. She helped develop "Project Basics," a program that the Board of Education and the Urban League had instituted to improve curriculum throughout the New York City schools. Her career includes teaching special needs children, humanities/ancient history, drama and first grade.

Throughout her life, she was an advocate for women and children. Her 25 retirement years were spent in Monroe Township, N.J. Mrs. Kuller was a tireless worker for National Council of Jewish Women in Brooklyn and Monroe Township. Her worldly brilliance, leadership and enthusiastic motivational techniques shine forever in those lives she changed.  She is survived by her daughter, Irene, in Seaford Harbor, N.Y. and son and daughter-in-law, Robert and Lori, in Audubon, Penn. Her husband, Alvin, and brother, U.S. Patent Judge Saul Serota, Esq., predeceased her.

Thelma Lanier | Oct. 29, 2016
Buffalo Teachers Federation

Silva Mary Marnes | Aug. 27, 2016
Rensselaer Teachers Association

Silva Mary Marnes taught kindergarten in the Rensselaer City School District for 33 years, retiring in 1998. She began her career in the Fort Crailo Elementary School and concluded it in the Van Rensselaer Elementary School.

She was active in PTA. Additionally, she served four terms as president of the Rensselaer Teachers' Association, as well as participating in several negotiation and grievance committees.

A native of Rouse's Point, NY, Silva returned there and had a very active retirement serving on the local school board, as well as being its president, being an officer for the local senior housing organization, and taking an active role in her church, and traveling.

Gayla Moody | Oct. 26, 2016
Buffalo Teachers Federation

Mary Phillips | Oct. 7, 2016
Buffalo Teachers Federation

Estelle (Scarano) Plescia March 14, 2016
Utica Teachers Association

Mrs. Estelle (Scarano) Plescia, age 91, of Deerfield, passed away in the comfort of her home with her family by her side.

Born in Utica on February 1, 1925, Estelle was the daughter of the late Philip and Antoinette (Iuorno) Scarano. She was a graduate of T.R. Proctor High School/Class of 1941. She continued her education at Elmira College where she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in 1946. On September 23, 1950, she married Romeo J. Plescia who passed away on January 30, 1995.

Estelle began her working career at the Oneida County Department of Welfare serving the Utica/Rome area. She subsequently accepted a teaching position in the Utica City School District at Christopher Columbus Elementary School where she taught 3rd grade for 19 years. Estelle provided her students with individualized instruction based on their particular needs. She was a very effective teacher in the classroom and an advocate and mentor to many children during her teaching career. Estelle was a refined, well-versed, independent woman. She was forthright in her opinions and had the power of speech to converse elegantly and expressively. She was an avid reader, bingo player, and traveler. Her memorable trips were to the Virgin Islands in 1960, and to England, Switzerland, and California in 1972. She also enjoyed fishing at the St. Lawrence, and dining out at the former Sons of Italy. She cultivated vegetable gardens and was an excellent cook and baker, but always favored baking. She was a communicant of St. Mary of Mt. Carmel/Blessed Sacrament Parish and participated in all the church festivities.

Estelle is survived by her daughter, Marguerite F. Plescia of Utica; her son and daughter-in-law, Anthony and Janet Plescia of White Lake; and her grandchildren, Stewart Philip McFadden, Chelsea Noelle Plescia and Jonathan Reid Plescia. Her extended family includes her nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins, including Grace, Mariangela, Roseanne, Dr. Frank, Rocco (with whom she shared the affection of a brother), Manuale, and Damiana; her brother-in-law, George Bottoni; and her friend, Marytheresa Balutis who she loved like a daughter and valued the time she spent with her. She was predeceased by her in-laws, Christine and Anthony Scalzo, and Eve Bottoni.

The family extends thanks to Dr. Fred Talarico and N.P. Pat Rosati for their years of care and kindness; Dr. Dominick Aiello with whom she shared her admiration and a personal relationship; the personnel of the Deerfield Volunteer Fire Department who were very professional; and her neighbor and extended family member, Michele Boulanger, who provided care and companionship to Estelle.

In lieu of floral offerings, please consider a donation to the American Diabetes Association.

Ursula Schifferle | Oct. 20, 2016
Buffalo Teachers Federation

Loretta J. Servodidio Nov. 27, 2016
Retiree Council 15

Loretta J. Servodidio passed away at age 88. Loretta was a retired guidance counselor at John Jay Middle School and had also worked as an English teacher during her long, 30-year career in education. Loretta helped literally hundreds of students find their way to college or other post-secondary education. She also counseled many students as they acclimated to the adolescent world of high school. Loretta was a graduate of Good Counsel College and completed all course work for her Master's Degree in education from Fordham University. Loretta taught and counseled at several schools, including John Jay High School, Westlake Middle School, and Sts. Peter and Paul School. Loretta worked her way through college holding several positions in various businesses. After her retirement, she began a second career as an administrative assistant, working in her brother's law office, dealing with clients and working at word processing. Loretta enjoyed attending seminars that related to her work and that related to helping children and adolescents. She was so well-liked by her former students that they invited her to class reunions for many years after she retired. Her stern "teacher's look" was tempered by a genuine and compassionate interest in her students.

She was a caregiver for several family members who predeceased her, including her parents, Pasquale and Caterina, and her brothers John and Pasquale. She always liked to give unusual Christmas gifts to family members. Loretta had been active in her church as a teenager, taking part in religious processions and representing various religious figures and her church involvement continued throughout her life as a member of Church of the Assumption in Tuckahoe. Loretta is survived by her remaining brothers and sisters and many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews and she was sincerely interested in the lives of her younger relatives.

Please donate to the charity of your choice in Loretta's name.

Edward Anthony Stephens Nov. 9, 2016
Buffalo Teachers Federation

George Wybenga | Oct. 27, 2016
United College Employees –Fashion Institute of Technology

Full obituaries, if provided, are available at www.nysut.org. 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 awatson@nysutmail.org.

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