Archived News for 2009
Check the other years for archived news from that era.

December 5, 2009: New Paltz, NY – Thomas P. Benenati, 78, of New Paltz, a loving and devoted husband, father, and grandfather passed away on Friday morning, December 4, 2009 at the Kaplan Family Hospice Residence in Newburgh after a long and enjoyable life.  He courageously continued to enjoy life after experiencing significant health problems over the last few years.

Tom was born on June 29, 1931 at Chenango Memorial Hospital, Norwich, NY. He was the son of Frank and Catherine Paino Benenati. After graduating from Norwich High School in 1949, he attended the State University of New York at Albany where he met his wife Vivian. In addition to graduating from the University at Albany with a B.A. in Secondary Education he also received his Master of Arts Degree, Permanent
Certification in Guidance and Permanent Certification as a Secondary Principal.  On July 6, 1957 he married Vivian Schiro at St. Joseph’s Church, New Paltz, NY, and on July 6, 2007 they joyfully celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.  In addition to Vivian, his wife of 52 years, he is survived by his sons Brigadier General Paul Benenati of Richmond, VA; Michael and his wife Lynette Benenati of New Paltz, NY; and daughter Barbara McCutcheon & her husband Sean of Clintondale, NY; and his loving grandchildren Connor McCutcheon, Michael (MJ) Benenati, Jr., Tyler Benenati, Catherine (Katie) McCutcheon, Hannah Benenati & Candace McCutcheon; siblings Rosalie Benenati Rodiquenzi of Warwick, NY and Frank Benenati of Norwich, NY and several nieces and nephews. Tom and Vivian also have countless close friends whom they consider family.  He served in the United States Army from 1954 until his honorable discharge in 1956 at Fort Dix, NJ; Fort Lee, VA; Salzburg, Austria; and Vicenza, Italy. In 1996 he became a member of the American Legion Post 176, New Paltz and shortly thereafter became the Boys’ State Chairman.  His professional career included teaching Science at Berne-Knox Central School and Highland High School. In 1960 he became the Director of Guidance at the New Paltz High School until 1967 when he served for five years as the Principal of the New Paltz Middle School before returning to his previous position. He remained the Director of Guidance at the New Paltz High School until his retirement in 1989.  He was a current member of the New York State United Teachers, New Paltz United Teachers, New York State Retired Teachers Association, Paltz Club (where he served as President in 1997 & 1998), The Italian Center, Member of the Board of Directors of South Eastern Ulster County YMCA and was a Life Member of the New Paltz Fire Department.  Tom served on the Town Board, Town of New Paltz as a Councilperson
from 1986 – 1993; serving three years as Deputy Supervisor. His other activities included announcing at New Paltz sporting events as “The Voice of the Huguenots”, serving on the Elting Memorial Library Board, Chairman of the Library Fair, St. Joseph’s R.C. Parish Council, Boy Scout Troop 172 Chairman, Member of the Board of Trustees of the Italian Center Dr. Bacile Scholarship, Member of the New Paltz Jaycees where he served as President 1959-1960, and Member of the New Paltz-Highland Rotary Club.  Tom loved his family and his community. He had the opportunity to travel extensively visiting the vast United States and the countries of: England, France, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Morocco, France, Spain, Portugal, Malta, Egypt, Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, British Columbia, Puerto Rico, Tortola, Guadeloupe, Barbados, St. Lucia, Isla de Margarita, Bonaire and Grand Cayman.  Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, December 8, 2009 from 2 – 4 pm and 7 – 9 pm at the Copeland Funeral Home, 162 South Putt Corners Road, New Paltz, NY.  A mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, December 9, 2009, 1:30 p.m. at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in New Paltz, NY.  Memorial donations may be made to St. Joseph’s Church, 34 S. Chestnut Street, New Paltz, NY 12561, or New Paltz Rescue Squad, Inc., P.O. Box 594, New Paltz, NY 12561.

December 4, 2009:  In memoriam:
Word was received today that Tom Benenati, `53, passed away this morning.  Calling hours on Tuesday, December 8, 2009 from 2-4 P.M. and 7-9 P.M. at the Copeland Funeral Home, 162 South Putt Corners Road, New Paltz, NY 12561; 845-255-1212

Funeral  - Wednesday, December 9 at 1:30 PM from St. Joseph's Catholic Church; 34 South Chestnut Street (Route 208), New Paltz, NY 12561; 845-255-5635   We will print the obituary when available.

December 3, 2009:  Albany Area Luncheon at 76 Diner.  14 in attendance, see the Photo Gallery for pictures and names.  Discussion about Reunion plans for 2010.  Tentatively to be held in conjunction with UAlbany Homecoming Weekend.  We plan a 2-nighter; some meal event during Homecoming; possible day trip by bus outside the Albany area; most registration details to be handled by UAlb Alumni Assoc.  More info forthcoming.  Stay tuned.

Regards from Ben Reed, `47, unable to attend reunions. 
John Parsons
,`54 bumped into Hal and Barbara Smith in the motel at Homecoming Weekend.  John had been unaware of the Potter Reunion, or would have come earlier.  His address is unchanged from our directory. 
Harley Dingman
,`43 and wife, Carol, now living permanently in Florida.  See address changes.

November 1, 2009: In memoriam:
Frank Fay, 1953 - 
Obit provided by Doris Wilson, Class Councilor

FAY, Francis Augustine 77, of Lunenburg, formerly of Sudbury, died at his home on August 17, 2009. Frank was born in 1931 and lived in New York until moving to Massachusetts in 1972. He received his BS in Physics and Mathematics from SUNY Albany, in addition to course work at Michigan State and Columbia University. Frank completed military service from 1954 thru 1956 at Fort Detrick, MD. His career as an engineering physicist spanned firms such as AIL, Raytheon and MITRE. While at MITRE, he secured a Patent on "Shared Aperture Antenna for Independently Steered, Multiple Simultaneous Beams". Frank was involved in community service as part of The Boy Scouts of America where he earned an Eagle Scout Ranking. He also headed up Sudbury's Brush & Bridle 4-H program. Frank was an avid Civil War historian; he extensively researched and wrote about the life of Nostradamus and he enjoyed camping, horse-back riding, travel and golf. Frank was a devoted father who loved spending time with his wife and family. He is survived by his three children: Francis G. Fay of Augusta, Maine, Joseph A. Fay of Naperville, IL and Rosanna Fay Malcolm of San Leandro, CA. and by his two grandchildren, Michael Fay and Emily Fay of Illinois. Frank is predeceased by his wife of 50 years, Mary Jane Fay who passed away on August 1st, 2008 and by his son, Michael Martin Fay. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Francis Fay '53 Scholarship Fund for engineering students, 1400 Washington Avenue, UAB 226, Albany, NY 12222. Funeral services will be held from the Duckett-J.S.Waterman & Sons Home of Memorial Tribute, 656 Boston Post Rd., Rt. 20, Sudbury, Thursday, August 20, at 9:00 a.m. followed by a funeral mass at St. Anselm Church, 100 Landham Road, Sudbury at 10:00 o'clock. Visiting hours at the funeral home will be today (Wednesday) from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Interment will be in St. James Cemetery, Setauket, New York. For additional information, tributes and guest book, please visit Sudbury and Lunenburg Duckett-J.S.Waterman & Sons Sudbury, MA 978/443-5777.

Arnold Dansky, 1952 - Obit provided by Paul Ward.

QUEENSBURY -- Arnold Dansky, 79, of Queensbury passed away Friday, Oct. 30, 2009, at Glens Falls Hospital.  He was born March 16, 1930, in Hudson, N.Y., the son of the late Benjamin and Evelyn (Koslow) Dansky.  Arnold was educated in the Hudson City Schools. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree at SUNY Albany in 1952, and his Master of Arts degree at SUNY Albany in 1953. He then went on to earn additional graduate hours from both Union College and SUNY at Plattsburgh.

In 1953, he moved to Queensbury to join the faculty of the Queensbury School System, where he taught many different science subjects until retirement in 1987.  During his teaching career Arnie was very active in the Queensbury Faculty Association and was chosen "Queensbury Teacher of the Year" in 1975. He was also active in NYS Science Teachers and the American Chemical Society.  In 1978, he was chosen Eastern Section of ACS "Teacher of the Year" and in 1982 he received NYS Science Teachers Fellows Award. Arnie coached the Queensbury High School Rifle Team for many years.  In his leisure time he enjoyed hunting, fishing and was a member of the Gooley Club. He also was a NYS Safety Hunter Instructor.

Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Esther (Carlin) Dansky of Queensbury; his daughters: Karen Slone and husband, Robert, of Loveland, Ohio and Carol Dansky and fiancé, Nick West of Davie, Fla.; grandchildren Emily Sloane, and Benjamin Sloane, both of New York, N.Y. and Katherine Sloane of Loveland, Ohio; his brothers, Leonard Dansky and Lee Dansky of Hudson, N.Y., and New Smyrna Beach Fla., also survive Arnie.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Monday Nov. 2, 2009, at Singleton - Healy Funeral Home, 407 Bay Road, Queensbury, N.Y.  Burial will follow at Pine View Cemetery, Quaker Road, Queensbury, with Deacon Joseph Tyrell officiating.  Family and friends are invited and may call from 9 a.m. until the time of service.  Memorial donations in lieu of flowers, in Arnie's name are suggested to The Parkinson's Disease Foundation, 1359 Broadway Suite 1509, New York, NY 10018, West Glens Falls Emergency Squad, 86 Luzerne Road, Queensbury, NY 12804, or to American Diabetes Association, 7 Washington Square, Albany, NY 12204.  For those who wish, online condolences may be sent to

November 1, 2009:  New EEP Checks in! 
Ray Vokulich, 1981, found us and was put in touch by the Alumni Association.  Ray had not been in our records prior to this.  He was Club V.P.  See address changes for more details.

October 18, 2009: One week + after and counting!  24 Potter men, spouses and guests brought the total attendance to 46.  Dinner catered by the University food service, Chartwell's; a reception (in the newly refurbished Potter Memorial Room) replete with munchies and open bar; a guest speaker with an interesting and thought  provoking talk; opportunities for renewed fellowship; and an interesting field trip rounded out the event.  Many pictures were taken (could use more, if you have some), all of which are in the Photo Gallery (see link at left).

Paul Ward led discussion during the Business Meeting about the future of the reunions.  A new web page has been started to facilitate continued discussion of this topic as we move toward thoughtful decision-making later this year.  See the new link at the left for Reunion10 or go to Potter Reunion Future and join in the discussion!

Potter Alumni Bank Account:  Our money has been moved from BCTFCU (under Jack H's account) to an account under the U Albany Alumni Association.  This allows us to function under the tax-exempt status of the Association and eliminates the liability of having an account under a private individual's name.  Since the corporate existence of our group is unavailable this is our best choice, sans officers, a Constitution and all of the other trappings of an organized group.

Lost EEPs heard from (posted in Address Changes): 
Michael Schwartz, '65
Richard Moore, `63

Doris Doherty Wilson, Class of 1953, Co-counselor, has done some tracking down and provided us with the following:
C. Leonard Davis, `53
Edward McCarthy, `53 (married to Jeanne Corigliano McCarthy '53)
Joe Pasquarella, 53
Clarence Spain, `53
Donald Canonica, `53

Determined that Jack E. Burke is in Class of 1950.

October 1:  One Week to Reunion, and counting.  Our numbers are down for 2009, but we have Quality!  A couple more registrations, and more regrets have arrived, so check both lists at the link to the left.  See you next Thursday in Albany.  Stay tuned here for any late developments.

September 23, 2009:  2 days to Registration deadline.  Have you sent yours?

September 20, 2009:  From Paul Ward: (See link at end of obituary)
In memoriam: 
Joe Garcia, Faculty Member of Potter Club.
Garcia, Joseph FOXFIRE VILLAGE, N.C. Joseph Garcia, 87 years of age, of Foxfire Village, N.C., passed away peacefully on September 18, 2009 at Elmcroft of Southern Pines. Mr. Garcia was born April 13, 1922 in Graselli, W. Va., the third of seven children of the late Jose and Flora Garcia. The family later moved to East St. Louis, Ill. where he was captain of his high school wrestling team and an enthusiastic soccer player. During World War II, he served as a sergeant in the Pacific Theatre with the 892nd Combat Engineers and was awarded two Bronze Stars. Following the war, he attended the University of Illinois where he played club soccer and starred on the wrestling team, losing only three dual matches in four years of competition. Following graduation in 1949, he served as graduate assistant wrestling coach at the Ohio State University. In 1950, he began a career that spanned 35 years at the University at Albany, the State University at New York where he received his master's degree. He founded the wrestling program and coached from 1950-1978. Additionally, he was the varsity soccer coach from 1950-1968, coached JV basketball, JV baseball, JV tennis, and taught driver education. During those years, he also taught classes, was the coordinator of athletics and later director of athletics and associate professor of education. He was a coach, mentor, teacher and positively influenced hundreds of students during his long career. He was elected to the NY State Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame, the East St. Louis Athletic Hall of Fame and the University at Albany Athletic Hall of Fame. For many years, in his free time, he loved sailing, fishing, golfing and working on his second home at his beloved Lake St. Catherine in Vt. In his boat, with his fishing gear, lantern and cigar, he spent many enjoyable hours on the lake and swapping stories with his fellow fishermen. Joe is survived by his devoted wife of 42 years, Barbara; his beloved son, Michael and daughter-in-law Jennifer of Queensbury, N.Y.; daughter, Rebecca Belding of Portland, Ore.; and his adoring grandchildren, Megan Belding, Matthew Belding, Jessica Cobley and Ben Garcia. His brothers Ted and Manuel predeceased him and his surviving brother and sisters are: Louis Garcia of Columbia, Ill., Olga Davis of Arvada, Colo., Anna Hesse of Magnolia, Texas, Geraldine Bedwell of Washington, Mo. and 20 nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, September 24, 2009 at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 1517 Luther Way, Southern Pines, N.C. followed by a reception at the home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Bryan Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, Duke University Medical Center, 2220 W. Main St., Suite A-230, Durham, NC 27705 or to the University at Albany Foundation, 1400 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12224 for the creation of a scholarship in memory of Joseph Garcia. Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines is serving the family and online condolences can be forwarded to
The following is to the Albany Times-Union.

In memoriam.  S. Ellis Lyke, `36, formerly from Lockport, passed away August 24, 2009.  His son, Sherman, thoughtfully sent the information to us.  The link that follows is to the obituary for Ellis, and was included in Sherman's message:

Numbers still climbing for both Regs and Regrets.  A little less than a week until the registration deadline.  Have you sent yours?

September 13, 2009:  More Regs, a few more Regrets.  See the latest numbers under Reunion09.

Lost EEPs show up!  Richard Moore, `63 and Michael Schwartz, `65, have appeared on the radar.  See Address Changes for info.  Contact me for full info for each, if needed.

September 10, 2009:  Albany Group, consisting of Milan Krchniak, Paul Ward, Bob Lanni, Ken Doran, Doug Davis, and me, met yesterday at Alumni House for a look-see and discussion of the Reunion details.  We are all set.  Now we need registrations.  If yours has not been sent, this is a reminder.

The issue of future Potter Reunions was discussed with the following item penned by Milan for additional discussion at the Reunion, and for your consideration now.  Hopefully we will be able to get some resolution by then. 

Pottermen (and guests): Where to in the future?  For example, should we incorporate our reunion into the activities in October for Homecoming / Family Reunion Weekend at the University each year?  Should we maintain our separate reunions?  Should we try to meet in different parts of the state at different times?  Other thoughts?  Let's talk about it.

Paul Ward obtained word from the Viv Benenati following the Albany meeting.  Tom will be moved to a nursing home in the New Paltz area following the hospital procedure.  Cards and mail for Tom or the family should be sent to Vivian at their New Paltz address.  We continue to hold them in our thoughts and prayers. 

Tom Yole is recovering from surgery and was unable to attend the meeting yesterday.

September 6, 2009:  Reunion 09 Registrations and Regrets are now posted through the 09/05 mail.  We will keep you up to date regularly on new arrivals. 
If you need more info, call or email me.

Address Changes have been up dated.  Some changes are minor, but if you plan to contact any Pottermen, check this list first for the latest.

Lost EEPs -  This new page lists Pottermen for whom we have a bad address.  Mail has been returned or we do not know where they are, or their current status.  Some may be deceased.  Check this list and send what info you may be able to provide.

September 2, 2009:  Registrations and Regrets are rolling in, and lots of news.  Check often for updates here and at the Reunion09 link at the left.  The Registrants and Regrets will appear soon.  Busy now entering the data!

Word from the Benenatis that Tom, `53, is in Westchester Medical Center, 100 Woods Road, Valhalla, NY 10595.  He is in serious condition and was about to receive a procedure to alleviate brain pressure when Viv called this morning.  Send Tom a card, and keep Vivian and Tom in your thoughts and prayers.

Joe Zanchelli, `49, contacted us with the info that Fred Stunt, `36, with whom Joe taught, passed away a couple of years ago.  Fred's wife, Winifred, passed away shortly after Fred's death.

Joe mentioned several Potter men who have been recognized by the university, in addition to the ones we list along with the Past Presidents.  Joe has secured a list of all UAlb awardees.  We will scan it for Potter men and add to the list of those honored.

If you know of other news we should post here, please contact me whichever way is fastest for you.  See my contact info below.

August 17, 2009:  All photos are now up to date in the Photo Gallery.  We are missing many photos from various reunions.  If you have some that are not in the gallery, let me know, send them to me and we will add them.

More returned brochures with bad addresses.  As soon as we confirm new ones they will appear in the Address Changes (see link at left).

August 14, 2009: More address changes from returned brochures.  Check the list.

Photos are up to date for reunions back to the 75th in 2006.  Check the new Photo Gallery link at the left.  Let me know if you find errors, or omissions.  We will eventually drop the original photo pages done earlier.

August 10, 2009: This note from Bob Downey, `72.  Just an update for you to hopefully post. John “Hoople” Burrows is in dire shape at the Lexington Medical Center in Columbia, SC. He has been enduring much due to his cancer. He has been in and out of the hospital for several months but continues to hang in there. You can get the complete story at and type in johnburrows in the space provided. I am asking you to post this so he can hear from his buddies who are checking the Potter Club Site. His wife, Janine, would love to hear from us. Their email is: and you can text her at: 864-907-3670

I’m sure they’d love to hear from the guys who spent time with Hoople in the late 60’s and early 70’s. We connected with several buddies and have informed them of John’s situation. Mike Bligh (club) can be emailed at:

August 9, 2009: Brochures have begun to arrive... The mail is working!  More address changes.  See list at left.

Revision of links and additions to the Photo Gallery.  Now you can see all of the pictures from past reunions and other Potter events.  Keep checking the gallery for additions.  Let me know if you have any trouble using Coppermine as a tool.  It is quite powerful, allowing you to search, see slide shows, sort, etc.  Try it out.  Let me know.

August 6, 2009:  Many apologies for the hiatus in info on the site.  We will try to keep up the chatter and fill you in on what's happening.

Reunion Brochure 2009 went into the mail yesterday to about 400 people.  This includes nearly 400 Pottermen and several others to whom we regularly mail the brochure.  Look for yours soon.  If it does not arrive, let me know immediately.

See the links at the left for the brochure; detailed schedule of events; latest merchandise form; and latest in address changes.

Address Changes:  More Pottermen tracked down! 
Hollis Tibbetts, 1958, located.  Hollis is a retired math prof at Buffalo State, living in Lockport, NY.
Lindley DeGarmo, `50, now deceased.  Ben Jackson found the family.  Lindley had been omitted from our records.
Salvatore Grilli, `81 Hollywood, FL 
Ray Gibb, `53, now in Webster, NY.
Bob Sage, 55, now in Virginia Beach, VA
Ron Graves, 58 now in Webster, NY
Terry Dean, `65, now in Churchville, NY.

February 25, 2009: 
Call from Jim Sweet, `56, in FL inquiring about Reunion 2009.  He relayed the info that Don Krug, APA, 1954, had passed away in Little Valley some time ago.  Don joined us at the Jamestown Reunion to renew acquaintances with old friends.  For his obituary go to:   Belated condolences to his family.

February 22, 2009:  In memoriam:  Wayne Arthurton, `64, Webster, NY, passed away on February 14.  His wife, Valerie, was thoughtful in letting us know.  Condolences to all of Wayne's family.

More newly found Pottermen appearing on the "radar screen."  Once we have more information we'll let you know.  If you know of guys who were in the Club, but do not appear either in the UAlbany Alum Directory or on our lists, let us know.  We are striving to have an exhaustive list of all Potter Club Alumni.

February 17, 2009:  Andy Sheppard, `79, was President in 1976-1977, according to two sources from the era.  Thanks for the info.  We now have a complete list of all presidents.  However, we have not been able to reach some of them, so if you are in touch with any, have them check in either by phone, email, or letter.

Word from Dick Willis, `59, that he is on the mend.  He writes. "Your kind hearts and prayers and thoughts are deeply appreciated by me."

Dave McKay, `55, sends a message that he ran into Tony Denova, `55, recently.  Tony, still in Oneida, is doing fine.

February 05, 2009:  A couple more past presidents have been identified, thanks to Steve Finn's, `73, recollections.  We now lack an ID for 1976-1977.  Can anyone help?

The recent email message alerting members to the latest reunion info here resulted in several bounce backs due to bad email addresses.  As we clean these up corrections will be listed under Address Changes at the left.  If you can help with corrections, let us know.

Word from his family that Dick Willis, `59, is ailing.  We wish him well.  You can reach him at:

January 30, 2009:  Reunion 2009 Information.  We have a date and place and local committee working on details.
Date: Thursday, October 8-9, 2009  Registration, Reception and Dinner on Thursday afternoon and evening.  Optional field trips on Friday morning.
Place: Albany, NY at Alumni House, UAlbany
Lodging: Best Western Sovereign, Western Ave.

This date is on the eve of UAlbany Homecoming Weekend, so put it on your calendar and come for our Reunion and stay for Homecoming.  Homecoming Weekend now replaces Alumni Weekend for all Albany Alumni.

Doug Davis, `69, has agreed to function as the local Committee with help from here on mailing, etc.

Check the new link for Reunion09 at the left for more details and new information as it develops.