We Remember Faculty and Staff


Ruth E. Kohman

1910 ~ June 27, 2006


Frank Cady

April 30, 1934 ~ February 13, 2017





John Edward Darr Jr.

January 10, 1931 ~ November 21, 2020


John Edward Darr Jr., of Wellsville, New York; passed away on November 21, 2020 in Orlando, Florida. He will be buried at McKean County Memorial Park, Lafayette, Pennsylvania. A service will be determined by the family at a later date.  John (or Jack, as many friends called him) was born in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania to John and Thelma Darr on January 10, 1931 where he spent his childhood until graduating Stroudsburg High School. He attended undergraduate school at Mansfield State University where he received an M.S. in music education. He obtained his master’s in Science in Education from Alfred University and later completed graduate work at Syracuse University. Mr. Darr taught at several educational institutions. He taught for three years at Otto-Eldred Central School in Duke Center, Pennsylvania; one year at Olean High School in Olean, New York; thirty-two years at Wellsville High School in Wellsville, New York, and five years as an adjunct professor at Jamestown Community College in Olean, New York.  Mr. Darr was a veteran in the Army from 1952-1953 and played clarinet in the 326th Army Band. He enjoyed music his entire life and directed church choirs, Genesee Valley Chorus and was involved in several musical theater productions in Wellsville, New York. He enjoyed his winters living in Florida in the warmer weather where he enjoyed being closer to his children. He was a member of the Loyal Order of the Masons and a past member of the Lion’s Club.  John is preceded in death by two loving wives, Janet Highfield Darr with which he has four surviving children. His second wife was Lois Sterneman Boyer Darr with whom he was married for fourteen years.  John Edward Darr Jr. is survived by his sister Jeanne Whitmarsh and husband Ernie Whitmarsh. He is also survived by his children Jay Edward Darr and wife Brenda, Jeffrey Alan Darr and wife Sharon, Joel Andrew Darr and wife Helena and Julie Ann Darr Jenkins and husband Earl Jenkins. Mr. Darr was blessed with seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Later in life, John’s companion for several years was Sue Williams of Stannards, New York.  The family wishes to extend our sincere thanks for all the kind words and support we have received from family and friends as well as all the students from Mr. Darr’s long and loving years of teaching.




Margaret B. Block-Ball

December 21, 1923 ~ January 25, 2020


Margaret B. Ball, 96, of Riverside Drive, Wellsville, NY, died Sunday, January 26, 2020 in Hart Comfort House, Wellsville.  Born December 21, 1923, in Chittenango, she was the daughter of Benton S. and Edith Nichols Block.  On July 3, 1953, in Irondequoit, she married Donald J. Ball, who predeceased her on March 9, 1998.  A 1940 graduate of Avon High School, she earned a Master of Library Science degree from SUNY Geneseo.  She was employed as school librarian at Dundee High School and Wellsville Central School, retiring in 1979.  She was a volunteer librarian in the Christian school for many years.  She will be remembered fondly by many Wellsville graduates and for her love of all children, reading books, and playing Scrabble with Mel.  Margaret was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Wellsville for over 65 years.  Surviving are:  two children, James B. (Kitty) Ball of Wellsville and Linda B. (Alan) Coats of Geneseo;  four grandchildren, Jason (Jamie) Ball, Melissa (Billy Brant) Ball, Andrew (Carol) Coats, and Teresa (Matthew) Pastizzo;  seven great-grandchildren, Grady Ball, Lily Ball, Colten Brant, Benton Brant, Eliana Pastizzo, Mirabella Pastizzo, and Sylvia Pastizzo;  two sisters, Joan (Preston) Wiley of Chittenango and Dorothy (Bud) Sehl of Cicero;  and nieces and nephews.  In addition to her husband, she was predeceased by a sister, Ruth Chavoustie;  and a nephew, Seth Chavoustie.  Friends may call Friday, January 31, 2020 from 2:00 – 4:00 and 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at Mulholland-Crowell Funeral Home, Wellsville, NY.  Funeral services will be held 12:00 noon, Saturday, February 1, 2020 in the First United Methodist Church, Wellsville, with the Rev. Ronald Isaman officiating.  Burial will be in Maple Lawn Cemetery, Bolivar.  Memorials may be made to Gil’s Hills, the First United Methodist Church, 79 Madison St., Wellsville, NY 14895, or the Comfort House of Allegany County.




Jo A. Mulvey-Hlavaty

October 8, 1942 ~ June 24, 2018

Jo A. Hlavaty, 75, of 3435 Center Drive, passed away Sunday (June 24, 2018), at home.  She was born Oct. 8, 1942, in Wellsville, the daughter of the late Robert “Bob” S. and Ruth L. (Hackett) Mulvey. On July 23, 1966, in Genesee, Pa., she married George E. Hlavaty, who predeceased her May 28, 2003.  Jo started her primary education at the Martin Street School in Wellsville, and was a 1961 graduate of the Coudersport (Pa.) Area Schools. She graduated from Mansfield University in 1965.   She taught for the Wellsville Central School District for 32 years, summer-school for Bolivar-Richburg Central School District and Sunday School for the Stannards United Methodist Church.  She was named the Wellsville PTA “Teacher of the Year.” She was a member of the Wellsville Teachers Association, the Catherine Schuyler Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the American Association of University Women and the Stannards Methodist Church. She enjoyed both American and Irish history, and genealogy.  She is survived by one daughter, Jennifer M. (Sean) McNally of Alexandria, Va.; and one grandson, Patrick McNally.   In addition to her parents and husband, she was predeceased by five uncles, Robert, Harry, Clair, Gerald and Carlus Hackett; and two aunts, Marjorie (Therold) Furman and Mayfred (Reuben) Russell.  Friends are invited to call from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday (June 30, 2018) at the J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home Inc. in Wellsville. The funeral will follow visitation at 2 p.m. in the funeral home. Burial will be in Sacred Hearts Cemetery.   Please consider memorial donations to the Wellsville Volunteer Ambulance Corps, the David A. Howe Public Library or the Willing Volunteer Fire Department.




Rebea Corwin-Dare

1927 ~ January 5, 2006






Nellie A. Woodruff

November 4, 1910 ~ November 14, 2009





Mary Lou Snyder

October 13, 1925 ~ March 20, 2010





Margaret A. Harris

1920 ~ October 18, 2008







Margaret Williams-Bunnell

October 17, 1911 ~ March 28, 2006





Ernest D. Richmond

September 14, 1918 ~ March 25, 2006






Nora Colmers-Zinner

May 1, 1914 ~ February 18, 2015


Nora Colmers Zinner passed away peacefully in her home on February 18 with her daughter and grandson at her side. Born May 1, 1914, in Vienna, Austria, the daughter of Franz Colmers and Marie Leiner Colmers, Nora whose full name was Eleanora Frederica Clara Elizabeth Gertrude Marie was the goddaughter of the exiled Queen (Tsaritsa) Eleonora of Bulgaria.  Nora spent the first eight years of her life in Coburg, Germany, where her father, lovingly known as “Vali,” who had been awarded medals by Tsar Nicholas for his service in the German Red Cross during the Russo-Japanese war, was chief surgeon of the county hospital. She was home schooled with one year spent on the shores of Lake Tegernsee in the Bavarian Alps. By the time she was nine, her family moved to Munich, Germany, where she was enrolled in a private school and then later attended Gymnasium, receiving an accelerated post-secondary education. In 1933, after graduating, she went to England as an exchange student, perfecting her English and learning shorthand. In the fall of 1934, Nora moved to Geneva, Switzerland, where she again was a university exchange student. She once wrote, “I flunked the final, but got 3rd prize in a slalom ski race!” Nora learned steno typing in Geneva enabling her to secure a part time job working for journalists affiliated with the League of Nations who needed her translations for articles intended for newspapers in the Balkans and Scandinavia. IBM’s CEO, Thomas J. Watson, learning about her work, approached her and asked if she could use the stenotype machine to write German. Without hesitation, she assured him she could and was hired on the spot. While in Geneva, Nora did independent writing and interviewing when not kayaking down the Rhine or skiing at Megève with friends, including Émile Allais, later known as the daring French Olympic champion credited for modern day skiing with skis parallel.  Nora returned to Munich in the fall of 1936 and worked at the Austrian Consulate while waiting for her emigration visa to the United States. She traveled to New York City by boat in May 1937 and with her shorthand and translating skills was hired by an export and import company. In 1938, she married Kurt Zinner, a cardiologist, bought a Buick for $65 and drove West. The car broke down in Wellsville, New York, where the couple not only found a mechanic but a need for a physician.  Nora gave birth to two children, Peter, born in 1940 and Barbi, born in 1942. When the children were young, Nora’s focus was inside the home, but she nevertheless managed to earn her pilot’s license on a single engine Cessna, started the Wing Scouts as part of the National Girl Scouts for young woman interested in flying, and began a life time as an active member of the Hemlock Twig for Jones Memorial Hospital. In addition, Nora joined groups of artists painting still lives and landscapes. Although her parents wouldn’t allow her to go to art school, Nora loved drawing and painting even as a child. Exceptionally talented, she would often credit time spent under the tutelage of Clara Katherine Nelson of Alfred University for enhancing her artistic skills. Nora’s paintings, cherished possessions of her friends and collectors, almost always were awarded ribbons in juried exhibitions, even as recently as last year.  An avid reader since she was a child, Nora worked at David A. Howe Public Library in the 1950s in order to support her family while she attended Alfred University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in 1960 and then her Masters in Teaching from Alfred University, acquiring supplemental credits from Middlebury College. Nora was responsible for introducing German classes to Wellsville High School and from 1960 until 1978, taught German and French and even a class in English when called upon. Students not only benefited from Nora’s passion for languages and her love of teaching, but were exposed to her depth of knowledge whether European history, mythology, literature, music or Latin derivatives. A true linguist, she was always a stickler for correct grammar and expected language to be treated with respect. Her love for words brought her great joy even in the last weeks of her life when she would guide her grandson in daily German lessons followed by mutually solving (without internet help) the Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle.  Throughout her long life, Nora (known as “Moma” to her family) mentored and inspired many. She was especially fond of teenagers and young people. Recipients of her wisdom would find that her natural curiosity and excitement about life were as valuable as her wise advice. Nora called herself a “political animal.” She voted in every election, never missed a State of the Union address and was a fan of PBS News Hour and the Sunday political roundtables. Because Nora had dreamed of being a journalist herself, she took special pride in her grandson’s wide travels and success as an international journalist and documentary filmmaker. When her daughter, Barbi, was a teenager, Nora would encourage her to venture away from Wellsville to discover “the big world waiting out there.” In recent months, history repeated itself as she encouraged her granddaughter, Tate, to seek new adventures upon graduating from college. Nora was especially proud of her son Peter, delighting in his kindness, thoughtfulness and positive outlook on life despite his challenges. She adored his partner, Joann, and took great comfort in knowing they were so happy. As an avid skier, Nora joined Wellsville veterans who were part of the 10th Mountain Division as they jury-rigged an old Ford engine to power a rope tow turning the backside of Norton Hill into a ski slope. When Swain Resort opened, she would gather ski gear and head out with Barbi and her friends, many who still credit her with introducing them to skiing. Nora skied into her early 80s and after retirement added golf to the sports she enjoyed. Always interested in languages, Nora hosted Spanish classes in her home and although in her 80s and 90s her ear was sharp and her memory keen. In these later years she also began actively playing bridge, a game her father taught her well over three-quarters of a century earlier. She not only enjoyed the challenge of the game, she loved the company especially during daylong “Marathon” bridge tournaments. Some friends reported she soundly beat them a few days before she died.  Despite her dismay over the current political bickering and horrors of conflicts with their accompanying senseless deaths and destruction, she was overtly optimistic about the world in general, insisting, “Things will get better.” Although she sometimes would lament that she had “outlived my time,” she checked her email every day and would insist on “Googling” anything she did not know. When hearing about new technology, she would laugh and shake her head in amazement, noting that the science fiction she had loved as a child had become a reality.  Nora enjoyed living in Wellsville. She remarked often about the beauty of the hillsides changing with each season. When others complained about this past year’s long winter, she would exclaim, “I love the snow!” She was thrilled when the cardinals appeared at her bird feeder and equally excited when she could harvest tomatoes growing on her deck or her favorite sunflowers bloomed in late summer. From the time she was a pilot, Nora was fascinated by the weather. She would keep daily track of barometer readings and temperature fluctuations. By observing cloud formations, she predicted rain and storm fronts more accurately than the weatherman.   When she could, Nora loved to travel, visiting in the last half-century Germany, Yugoslavia, Greece, New Zealand, Australia, Kenya and Panama. Although her interests were indisputably global, her attention was more often than not directed on what was happening in the life of the person with whom she was talking. Always an attentive listener, she’d welcome newcomers as readily as old friends and her home was filled with people of all ages. Conversations were always rich in content and even if the world’s problems weren’t solved, they were debated.  It was because of her close and loyal friends and her wonderful team of dedicated caregivers that Nora, even as a centenarian, was able to lead an active life, contributing to the community, enjoying social engagements and the cultural offerings that delighted her so much. Her generous and vibrant spirit, dignified grace, keen perspective and intelligence, empathy and compassion, appreciation of the small things and an unending curiosity and fascination of the unknown have left lasting marks on all who knew her. Her time on this earth, treasured by so many, now serves as a legacy of how to live life to the fullest. Nora embraced Buddhism and believed her energy would live on. Nora is survived by her son, Peter Zinner and his partner Joann Picone, of Rochester New York, and her daughter, Barbi Reed and her husband, Gary Hornbuckle, of Ketchum, Idaho and Sausalito California; two grandchildren, Reed Lindsay of Ketchum, Idaho and Tate Reed of Flagstaff, Arizona; two nephews, Dr. William F. Colmers of Edmonton, Alberta (wife Eva and children Isabelle and Phillip) and John M. Colmers of Baltimore, Maryland (wife Debra and children Max and Eleanor) and her goddaughter, Margie Gill. Nora was preceded in death by her brother Rudolf A. Colmers, sister Elizabeth “Lisl” Standen, nephew Thomas P. Colmers and her governess “Engi,” Hilda L. Lacher.  During her final hours, Nora asked Barbi and Reed to “thank the town.” She landed in Wellsville by chance, but remained immensely grateful for the tight-knit community of which she became an integral part. Instead of a funeral or memorial service, she wanted people to not shed tears but to celebrate her life with a party. Respecting her wishes, a celebration of Nora’s life will take place at Wellsville Creative Art Center, May 3, at 2 p.m.  For those who would like to give a gift in her memory, her family respectively requests that you consider the following:

• LDA Life and Learning Services, 1650 South Avenue, Suite 200, Rochester, NY 14620. (Incoming donations will be applied to St. Paul where Nora’s son Peter is a resident.)

• David A. Howe Public Library, 155 North Main Street, Wellsville, NY 14895 (Nora, an avid reader all her life, always had a bookmarked book next to her chair and bed.)

• Genesee Valley Chorus, 53 South St., Belmont, NY 14813 (Nora supported the choir for many years and eagerly anticipated its concerts.)

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