Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas 2011 around the Cousins Blog

Here are some pictures of our cousins on Christmas Day:

Dawn Coleman Walker, her daughter Kelley and her grand-daughter, Rene'e 

Bernie Walker

Chris, Matt, Tom, Tim and Jim Kinsella, Christmas Day

At The Homestead-- 1826 home that Lance and Amanda Taylor have in LeRoy. Pam Crane, Lance and Amanda Taylor and Evelyn Taylor ( who has her coat on, ready to go home, when they decided to take a family picture), and Pam's friend Charlie Poltenson.

Happy New Year to all the "Cousins, by the dozens."!

Christmas at Aunt CB and Uncle Jack's house

Nativity Sets at Aunt CB and Uncle Jack's house

Christmas at the Bernie and Dawn Walker's house

Hope these last few days of 2011 are good to all of you!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

“I Want to See Christmas.” By Evelyn Taylor

Evelyn Taylor, wife of Bryant Taylor, Aunt CB's cousin, often writes stories for our cousins' blog. Here is one she wrote for her great-granddaughter, Olive, who lives in New Zealand.

Chippy, the chipmunk who lived in a small backyard in a village named Le Roy, had heard stories of how beautiful Christmas was. It came every December, and where he lived, that month was a cold winter one, so he was always snug and asleep in his underground house until spring.

But, unlike other chipmunks, Chippy had a summer house above ground in a rock garden. Rock gardens are supposed to have flowers in them, but the dirt kept washing away, so it finally became just a pile of rocks with wonderful open places to play in, hide in, and scamper through to the top rock for a look at the world each morning.

Wondering how he could ever see Christmas, a brilliant idea “popped” into his head. He would use his “summer” house for one “winter” day, Christmas!

He set his day alarm clock for midnight December 25th, and when it rang, he dashed to the rock pile to wait. Nestled down in the lowest space, he could look right up through the top and see the sky.

As he was gazing intently, something wet, cold, and very soft fell on his nose, and more kept falling out of the sky. They were white and soft like dandelion fluff in the spring.

As he was blinking to keep these strange things out of his eyes, he suddenly saw a glorious bright star. He was so excited he kept jumping up and down. The star, of course, was the one that showed the shepherds and wise men the way to the manger where the baby Jesus lay sleeping in the manger so long ago.

Yes, Chippy had heard the wonderful story and that was why he always wanted to see Christmas, and he had at last!

Now, he could return to his underground home for the rest of the winter with the Peace and Joy of Christmas in his heart.

From all of us here at the Taylor Baker's Cousin Blog, Merry Christmas to all of you!! Wishing you much laughter and love today, Christmas Eve, and tomorrow, Christmas Day.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dorothy Maffei in the News, By Pat Kinsella Herdeg

I think we all will be missing Aunt Leona for a very long time. But, this time on the blog, I want to do a ‘shout out’ to her daughter, Dorothy Maffei.

Dorothy has owned and operated ‘Home Goods’ in Margaretville, NY for fifteen years. When Hurricane Irene hit in late August, her village was one of the hardest hit. Dorothy immediately saw a need, and like her mother, stepped in: “We just started running around and doing stuff. We didn’t need titles or status. We were just happy to stay under the radar.”

One of the local newspapers called Dorothy ‘Margaretville's indefatigable flood relief volunteer organizer’.

Even two months later, Dorothy was continuing the effort:

“We continue to need help with cleaning out, ripping out sheetrock and paneling, and with assisting the Sweep Team and the Volunteer Center.

We need people to help with furniture pick-up and delivery. Any people w/ trucks would be great.

We are still in need of sofas and easy chairs that are in excellent shape.”

Dorothy, embarrassed by all of the media attention, made sure that she always stressed that it was a community effort, with many different people helping.

This December, the Shopmargaretville merchants’ group honored Dorothy by asking her to perform the tree lighting in Margaretville. For the small town, it was a way to show that Hurricane Irene had changed many things, but many things remained the same, indeed became stronger.

To paraphrase from ‘The Grinch Who Stole Christmas’:

‘Hurricane Irene hadn't stopped Christmas from coming, it *came*! Somehow or other... it came just the same.’

Dorothy, we are so proud of you. Have a very Merry Christmas AND a very Happy Birthday, as they are one and the same.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Welcome to the World, Dominic Carmelo Lochner!

We got the news that Aunt Esther and Uncle Dick have another great grandchild.

On November 1st, David Lochner's son, Stephen, and wife Christin had a baby boy.  Dominic Carmello Lochner weighed in at a whopping 10 lbs., 15 ounces and was born via c-section because he wasn't due until November 17.

Steve explains to his aunt Julie: “Tomorrow is my day off and I will probably be up at least four times tonight. It's a good thing he's cute.”

Stephen and Dominic

Thank you for these pictures, Stephen and Christin—he IS cute! Congratulations go out to all three of you, and to all of the Lochner family.

"Great big kisses, Aunt Julie."

Friday, December 9, 2011

Aunt Leona's Funeral--December 2011 (New Photos as of 12/11)

Aunt CB writes:

"After a two hour wake for Leona Howland Maffei in Syracuse, we attended a very meaningful service to commemorate her death. She was buried in the family plot with her husband, Neil, daughter, Carol Ann and son, Joe.

In the afternoon we gathered at Francesca’s Cucina for a wonderful Italian meal, the kind of food Leona liked and a wonderful way to honor her."

Many thanks go out to Chuck Lochner and Wendy Wood Osterhout for taking photos during the day, and then getting them ready for 'publication'--Great work!

You will find their photos on the right hand side of this blog--under December Birthdays. Look for 'Family Reunions and Get-Togethers' and then click on the Link for Leona's Funeral.

 Back of Leona's Prayer Card
 Front of Leona's Prayer Card

 Laurel, Wendy, Freddy and Linda Emhof

Aunt CB, Abby, Dan and Uncle Jack

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Leona Howland Maffei's Obituary

Dorothy sent this along today. It will soon be in the Syracuse newspaper:

Leona Howland Maffei, 92, who lived her life with grace, courage, and humor, died peacefully at the home of her daughter Dorothy in New Kingston, NY on November 28th. She was born on March 24, 1919 in Center Lisle, NY. She had three younger sisters – Sylva, Phyllis and Gladys – who predeceased her.

She was also predeceased by her daughter Carol Anne, son Joseph and husband Neil C. Maffei Sr.. She is survived by her son Neil C. Maffei, Jr. (Patricia Body) of Syracuse, daughter Dorothy J. Maffei of New Kingston, her grandchildren Daniel B. Maffei (Abby Davidson), Sara L. Maffei, Andrew C. Maffei and Max Body-Maffei - and many nieces, nephews and relatives.

She graduated from Marathon High School and attended nursing school at Crouse Memorial in Syracuse. She married on Dec. 7th, 1939. She pursued her education throughout her life and was especially interested in art history, which she pursued as a continuing education student at Syracuse University for many years. That interest exemplified her insatiable desire to challenge herself and to excel in the things that interested her even if they brought her far away from her Southern Tier rural background.

She was an avid traveler and took pride in understanding the art and culture of the many places in the world that she visited. She and her husband also hosted foreign students studying at Syracuse University for many years. They sponsored a School of Management student Tan Nuygen, his wife, Viet and their children so they could immigrate to the United States after the Vietnam War, and considered them part of their family.

She worked tirelessly as a volunteer for both social and healthcare organizations in Central New York. She served on the boards of the American Red Cross, Meals on Wheels, the Corinthian Club, the League of Women Voters and others. She loved the arts and supported and attended regularly The Syracuse Symphony, Syracuse Stage, Syracuse Opera and The Everson Museum of Art where she also served as a docent for many years. She contributed to Francis House, Hospice of Central New York, The Leukemia Society, and was a strong supporter of Planned Parenthood.

She had an enormous love of food and often spoke of how her husband’s Italian-American family taught her to cook and then she continued to pursue both her cooking techniques and skills throughout her life. At her longtime home on Sedgwick Drive, she had over 200 varieties of roses and she was a lifelong member of the Onondaga Garden Club.

Calling hours will be at Farone & Sons, 1500 Park Street, Thursday Dec 8th at 10AM ending at Noon with a short Service & Burial at Woodlawn with a reception following from 1PM – 5PM at Francesca’s Cucina at 545 North Salina Street.

In lieu of flowers, donations to a favorite cause or organization would be appreciated.

December Birthdays, 2011 By Pat Kinsella Herdeg

December already?! Well, we certainly have lots to celebrate at the Cousins Blog, so let's get to it!

I love this picture of Freddy! From 1955

 Dorothy Maffei
Aunt Esther

In Aunt Sylva’s family, Frederick F. Emhof ( Sylva’s husband) is the Birthday boy.

In Aunt Leona’s family, Dorothy Jean Maffei ( Leona’s daughter) has a December Birthday.

In Aunt Esther’s family, Esther Taylor Lochner is the Birthday Girl of the family.

In Aunt Gladys’ family, Wendy Lee Wood Osterhout (daughter of Gladys), Allena Ruth Smerchansky (daughter of Beth Barron), Allison Marie Hart-Wood (daughter of Jon and Annie Hart-Wood, so grand-daughter of Chic Wood, and Sara Grace Osterhout (daughter of Wendy, granddaughter of Gladys) all have birthdays this month.

In Aunt Phyllis’ family, Levi Wendell Henderson, son of David Henderson, grandson of Wendell, and Kelley Renee Walker ( daughter of Dawn, granddaughter of Phyllis) blow out candles.
Yvonne and Kathy

In Uncle Harold’s family, Kathleen Taylor Mills and her daughter--Yvonne Michelle Hauf Baley, and Matthew Taylor Spear ( MaryLou’s son) all have birthdays.
 Jack Colley
Will Colley
In Aunt Doris’ family, Joseph Michael Gabrys (Cindy’s husband) ,  William Charles Colley and Jonathan Paul Colley-- sons of Kristyne, grandsons of Charlie Hawkes celebrate this month.
Nancy, Ethel Baker Taylor, and Donny, August 1969
 Bill, Diana's husband

In Uncle Arnon’s family, Arnon Lloyd Taylor himself, and his children--George Laurens Taylor and Nancy Carolyn Taylor Wright share this birthday month.  Also in his family, William Patrick McCarty (Diana’s husband), Jacob Robert Desgroseilliers (Barbara's son, grandson of Bob Taylor), and Adam Samuel Taylor (George Taylor’s son) are Birthday Kids.
 Dan Kinsella
 Jack and Tom Kinsella
 Pat and Glenn Herdeg
 Alex and Sue Kinsella
 Maddy Kinsella
Maggie Kinsella
In Aunt CB’s family, Daniel John Kinsella and Thomas Edward Kinsella share a birthday, albeit it seven years apart. Also, Madeline Kate Kinsella ( Jim’s daughter), Glenn Arthur Herdeg (Pat’s husband), Alexander Brown Kinsella ( Sue’s son), and Margaret Rose Kinsella (Chris’ daughter) are the December Birthday Kinsella Kids.
Congratulations to all!