Archived News 2018        Home

December 29, 2018:  In memoriam:
Kenneth T. Doran, Potter Club, 1939:  At the time of his death Ken was believed to be the oldest living member of Potter Club. 
Doran, Kenneth T. Sun Prairie, WI. A teacher and pioneering administrator in the development of community colleges, Ken Doran died peacefully on December 2, 2018, at home in Sun Prairie, Wis. He died as he lived - calm and dignified - with his wife and son Eric at his side. Following active duty in England during World War II, he retired as a Lt. Colonel in the Air Force Reserve. Beginning his career as a teacher, he became the associate executive dean for Junior Colleges in the state of New York. Living most of his life in Albany, he was an active member of Christ the King Parish in Guilderland, serving as a lector, lay minister and choir member. Beyond his professional accomplishments, Ken distinguished himself as a devoted husband and father and a man of steadfast Catholic faith. His was a long life of scholarship and volunteer activities. He published four volumes of Doran Family Genealogy dating back to the Mayflower. He brought support to individuals in nursing homes and read to the blind over the radio. His joys were playing Scrabble and visiting Cape Cod. Moving to Sun Prairie in 2014, he lived out his life with his wife Kathleen "Connie" in comfort and peace. He reached the age of 100 years and seven months, thus achieving his oft stated goal of outliving his mother, which he did by four months. More important than the number of years, was the life-long respect Ken enjoyed for his intelligence, kindness and loyalty. He is survived by his wife Connie, who herself is 100 years old; his two sons, Christopher Doran in Denver, Colo. and Eric Doran in Sun Prairie; as well as his devoted daughter-in-law Maureen also in Denver. He has five grandchildren, Alison, Meghan, Caitlin, Leigh and Samuel as well as six great-grandchildren. Ken, Dad and "Papa" will be missed greatly by all those whose lives he touched. Donations may be sent to Agrace Hospice and Palliative Care, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI, 53711, who provided outstanding services to Ken in the last portion of his life.  Published in Albany Times Union on Dec. 23, 2018

Condolences: Doris Vater Ward, `52, 12/16/2018; wife of J. Paul Ward, `53.

October 11, 2018:  Potter Luncheon cancelled due to insufficient turnout:  With the deadline having passed and replies from key members unable to attend, the decision was made to cancel the event. We will try to reschedule either later this Fall or in early Spring 2019.  We need to have a good turnout in order to consider the agenda items listed below. These items are crucial to the future of the Potter Club Alumni Association.  Watch for mailings.

October 5, 2018:  In memoriam:
James Albert Coles, Fort Myers, FL (Potter Club `52) died in Ft. Myers on July 11, 2018 at the age of 88. He was born in Bay Shore, New York on December 6, 1929 and was the son of Albert Edward Coles and Violet Pearce Coles. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Jayne Penney Coles. Other survivors include daughter Penney Coles Soicher and son-in-law Barry Soicher of Davie, Florida; son David James Coles and daughter-in-law Belinda Shivel Coles of Farmville, Virginia; grandson Matthew Alan Soicher and his wife Raechel Soicher of Corvallis, Oregon; grandson Michael Drew Coles and his wife Joanna de Nie of Richmond, Virginia; and grand-daughter Kathryn Alexandra Coles of Ft. Myers. In addition he had two great grandchildren: Joshua David Coles and Torre Clarita Gonzalez.  Jim was a veteran of the U.S. Navy, serving on the destroyer-minelayer U.S.S. Harry F. Bauer from 1954-6. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Albany State Teacher's College, and worked as a teacher, guidance counselor, and administrator in the William Floyd School District in New York. Jim moved with his family to Ft. Myers Beach in 1968, and for a number of years operated The Cat's Meow gift shop there. He then worked for the State of Florida's Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services until his retirement. Jim subsequently volunteered for many years at the Friends of the Fort Myers Beach Public Library bookstore. In addition he enjoyed traveling, visiting with his family, and collecting antiques.  Jim and his wife were longtime members of the Unity Church of Fort Myers. A memorial service will be held at the church on August 4, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations may be made to the Ft. Myers Beach Public Library, 2755 Estero Blvd., 33931; Unity of Ft. Myers, 11120 Ranchette Rd., Ft. Myers, 33966; or Hope Hospice, 9470 Health Park Circle, Ft. Myers, 33908.  Published in The News-Press on Aug. 1, 2018
[N.B.  Jim's wife, Jayne, brought his passing to our attention following the recent mailing to members about the upcoming Albany luncheon.] 

Wayne Martin Overton, Ventura, CA, (Potter Club `56) died October 2, 2016.  Wayne, was born in the town of Lorraine, Jefferson County, New York on Dec. 8, 1934. First child of his parents, Lloyd and Doris Overton's four children. He loved sports in school and played baseball, basketball and football. He loved fishing the local streams. He graduated from Adams High School in 1951. He received his Bachelor degree in 1956 from Albany State in New York and received his teaching certification the same year. He joined the Coast Guard but after his initial training was put on reserves since he was a teacher which was a critical skill that was needed at the time. He was honorably discharged from the Coast Guard in 1965.  He taught math in New York for a couple of years and then received a National Science Foundation grant for four successive summers at Montclair State in New Jersey. He also taught for a year in France at a military dependent school. In 1962 he came to California to attend San Diego State on a national foundation grant. He was given a teaching position at Hueneme High School in Oxnard in Sept of 1962 where he continued to teach math until he retired in 1992. He married Ann Stoddard on Aug 24, 1964, who preceded him in death. They are the parents of two children, John Overton (Paige) and Mary Overton Harrison (Robert). He has six grandchildren Ashley and Mathew Harrison, Jericho Overton, Jasmyne Overton Hickerson (Joseph II), Jonah and Jarod Novoa and 2 great grandchildren Helen and Joseph III Hickerson. He married Ellen Graves in 2010 having been widowed for thirteen years. He additionally is survived by his two brothers, Francis and Henry Overton (Jan), sister Joan Fowler, sister-in-law Mary Ledbetter and nephews Dale, Dennis, Bill (Kristin), Jim (Ruth), and Frank (Naomi) Overton. Steven (Nancy), Lavern-Chris (Eva) and Brian (Susan)(Angie) Fowler and Jeff Ledbetter (Jennifer).  He joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in 1968 and served faithfully in various callings through the years. One that had the greatest impact on him was the many years he served as a scout master helping him to develop his love of the outdoors, hiking and backpacking. An annual outing that he organized for nearly 20 years was the Kelso Endurance hike. Hikers would complete 32.5 miles in one day through the desert, beginning at Halloran summit and ending at the train depot hotel in Kelso, California. He enjoyed early morning basketball at his church's basketball court for over 30 years. In 2011 he and his wife, Ellen, were called to serve as missionaries in the New York Utica Mission for 18 months, which brought him much joy. Throughout his life and especially after returning from that mission he often commented on feeling the hand of God in directing his life and for being grateful for all that had been given him.  A Viewing for Wayne will be held on Friday October 7th from 6-8pm at the Reardon Funeral Home, 511 North A St. in Oxnard. On Saturday October 8th there will be another viewing starting at 9am with a Funeral Service to start at 10am at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 3501 Loma Vista Rd. in Ventura. The Family has requested that the Burial Service are Private.  Wayne has been entrusted to the care of the family owned and operated Reardon Funeral Home, 511 North A St. Oxnard,  Published in Ventura County Star from Oct. 5 to Oct. 7, 2016
[N.B.  Wayne's wife, Ellen, brought his passing to our attention following the recent mailing to members about the upcoming Albany luncheon.] 

September 18, 2018:  Fall Albany Luncheon, Tuesday October 16, 2018.  A mailing has gone out from the UAlbany Alumni Office.  You need to reply and regsiter for the event.  The agenda for the meeting includes:
   1.  Discussing follow up to 100th Anniversary Commemoration ceremony;
   2.  Discussing plans for a fund raising campaign for future Potter Room expenses;
   3.  Discussing possible solutions for managing the Potter Club Alumni Database
        and Potter Club Alumni Web Site into the future;
   4. Other new and old business

We will meet at the Alumni House.  Parking permits will be available.  Watch for your mail with registration information.  Contact me if you have questions.

August 21, 2018:  Recap of 100th Anniverary Commemoration is now available under the History link at the left.  A couple of links still to be added.  Pictures in the Photo Gallery Album as mentioned below.  Most names have been identified.  Send corrections or notations about any of this new information.

August 7, 2018:  Fall Albany Luncheon date, Tuesday October 16, 2018.  Particulars regarding exact time and location will follow here and by email and paper letters to those on the Albany Luncheon list.  If you are not sure whether you are on the list, please contact me (see at bottom).

See 100th Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony photos in Photo Gallery, Edward Potter 100th Album.  Some help needed for names in captions.

August 1, 2018:  100th Anniversary Commemoration of the Death of 1st Lieutenant Edward Eldred Potter held at the Garden of Remembrance, Draper Hall, and Husted Hall Amphitheater, Downtown Campus, and Alumni House, UAlbany Campus. 

24 Pottermen and 11 others, including spouses, Alumni Association personnel, and guests attended the ceremony.  Rain forced most of the ceremony inside at the site of the WWI memorial plaque containing Edward Potter's name.  A wreath was layed on the exact day Edward died 100 years ago in France.  A similar wreath was also layed at the cemetery in Suresnes, France where he is buried.

See details soon in the History link at the left and in the Photo Gallery, Albany Luncheons Album, also at the left.

July 27, 2018:  Registrations for 100th Anniversary Commemoration now at 27.  Check UAlb site for names.  See link below.

July 21, 2018:  Invitations to the 100th Anniversary Commemoration Ceremony have been paper mailed to all Pottermen with good addresses in the UAlb database.
If you have not been notified use the following link to register:

July 17, 2018:  100th Anniversary Commemoration of Edward Potter's Death, Wednesday Aug. 1, 2018 at 11:00 A.M. at the Garden of Remembrance, Draper Hall, Downtown Campus.
The commemoration will include a wreath laying at the WWI memorial plaque which was recently rededicated along with the other war memorial plaques now in the Garden of Remembrance. 

A postcard mailing was sent recently by the UAlb Alumni Office to all known living Potter members announcing the event.  A followup registration form should soon arrive which needs to be returned if you plan to attend the ceremony and lunch.

June 20, 2018:  War Memorial Plaques Rededication Ceremony Douuments: See link at left to History and select War Memorial Rededication.

Information is forthcoming about the 100th Anniversary Commemoration of Edward Potter's death

May 24, 2018:  War Memorial Plaques Rededicated, 5/23, at Draper Hall Garden of Remembrance
Plaques honoring fallen veterans from the Civil War through World War II were rededicated on Wednersday.  The following link will take you to the UAlbany web site for an update on the ceremnony.

May 5, 2018:  In memorium:  Donald O. Anderson, `52:  Date of death 3/14/2014, courtesy of UAlb Alumni office.  Obituary unavailable at this time.

April 25, 2018: In memorium:  Joseph P. Stanionis, `50:  Joseph Paul Stanionis, 90, of West Haven, VT, died Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, at his residence.  He was born Nov. 17, 1925, in Amsterdam, New York, the son of John and Helen (Kazlauskus) Stanionis.  He enlisted in the U.S. Navy while in high school and was a gunner's mate 2nd class on a sub chaser during World War II.  He graduated from State University of New York at Albany with a bachelor's degree in business and earned a master's degree from New York University.  Mr. Stanionis was an educator for more than 35 years at the Sayville Public Schools in New York until his retirement.  In 1981, he relocated to West Haven, where he enjoyed farming. He also enjoyed skiing and riding horses.  He served West Haven many years as tax collector, constable, firefighter and planner.  Survivors include a daughter, Lin Stanionis, of Lawrence, Kansas; three sisters-in-law; a brother-in-law; several nieces and nephews.  He was predeceased by his wife, Marie Dickinson Stanionis, in 1998; two sisters Betty Kuzmich and Mary Stanionis; and two brothers John Stanionis and Bennie Stanionis.  There will be no public calling hours.  Graveside services with military honors will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, 2016, at St. Casimir Cemetery in Amsterdam, New York.  Arrangements are by Durfee Funeral Home.  Memorial contributions may be made to the West Haven Fire Department, c/o Durfee Funeral Home, P.O. Box 86, Fair Haven, VT 05743.

April 19, 2018: In memorium:  Robert E. Comley, `55:  Dr. Robert E. Comley, age 81, of Westview Crescent in Geneseo, died Tuesday, November 3, 2015 at the Livingston County Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Mt. Morris, NY. He was predeceased by his previous wife, Carolyn in 1976, sister, Mae Imerie, brothers, Jack, Bill and Albert Comley. He is survived by his wife, Mary Helen Comley, children, William (Lucy) Comley of WA, Lynne Comley of Schenectady, 3 Grandchildren, sister, Beryl Danner of Columbus, OH, brother, Richard (Patricia) Comley of Schenectady, many nieces and nephews. Robert was born March 11, 1934 in Cohoes, NY the son of Alec and Florrie Dodson Comley. He was a Mathematics Professor at SUNY Geneseo until his retirement in 1993. Dr. Comley was a long time member of the Geneseo United Methodist Church. No prior calling hours. Memorial Services will be private at the convenience of the family. Memorials may be made to the Geneseo United Methodist Church, 4520 Genesee St. (Route 63), Geneseo, NY 14454.

April 16, 2018:  In memorium:  Robert (“Bob”) Rocco Giammatteo: 86, of East Greenbush, New York died Wednesday, April 11, 2018 with his children at his side in Fort Myers, Florida. Bob is predeceased by his parents, Rinaldo and Filomena Giammatteo, and sister, Rose Dahowski, survived by his wife Catherine, his sister Edith Luca, his loving children, Catherine (Larry) Mele and Robert (Jennifer) Giammatteo, and his four prized grandchildren, Nicholas, Lauren Rose, Miles, and Oliver. Bob was born and raised in Poughkeepsie, NY, graduating from Roosevelt High School. He attended SUNY Albany, where he completed his undergraduate and Master’s degrees in 1953 and 1954, respectively. While an undergraduate, Bob made many close, lifelong friends in the Edward Eldred Potter Club fraternity. Bob served in the Army for two years as an intelligence officer, stationed in Austria and Italy. After his service, he taught French at the Orleans American High School in Orleans, France for two years. Upon returning from Europe, Bob started his teaching career in New York State. He served for many years as the Director of Guidance and Counseling in the East Greenbush Central School District, at Columbia High School. There, he took great pleasure assisting graduating students as they took the next step forward in their lives. While working at Columbia High School, Bob attained his Doctorate in Education, also from SUNY Albany. He also served as an adjunct professor at Sage Colleges and the College of St. Rose.  After retiring, Bob spent over twenty years enjoying life, splitting time between East Greenbush, NY and Fort Myers Beach, FL. He specifically relished the last eight years of his life, enjoying time with his beloved grandchildren. Bob had a uniquely calm and engaging way of conversing with family, friends, and strangers alike. He was a gentle, dignified, and caring man throughout his life, and he brightened the lives of those who knew him. 
Family and friends are invited to visit W.J. Lyons Jr. Funeral Home in Rensselaer, NY for calling hours from 4-7pm on Wednesday, April 18th. Private funeral services will be held for family members. 
[N.B.  This is a different funeral home from the one that was announced earlier today.]

April 12, 2018:  From the Spring issue of the UAlbany Magazine:
                                        Veteran Plaques Rededication
Join us as we honor our alumni veterans at the rededication ceremony of the Civil War, World War I,  and World War II memorial plaques recently installed in the garden area adjacent to Draper Hall.
                                    Wednesday May 23, 2018 10:00 A.M.
An informal reception will follow. 
For more information, contact the UAlbany Alumni Association at (518) 442-3080 or email :

Carroll Judd Memorial Celebration, May 25, 2018.  Carroll Judd, `53, passed away July 19, 2017.  A brief obituary was posted here at that time with the notation of a memorial service to follow.  Carroll's family has provided the following information about the memorial celebration, and a request for your thoughts and memories.  The announcement has also been sent via email to all Pottermen for whom we have an email address and by regular mail to all Pottermen in the era of 1951 through 1956.
                             Celebration of Life in Honor of Carroll Watson Judd
Please join us for a celebration of the life of Carroll Watson Judd on Friday, May 25, 2018. The celebration will take place at the Great Swamp Conservancy in Canastota, New York. Dress is casual.  The Conservancy will open to guests at 11 am. Weather permitting, a tree will be planted in Carroll’s memory in the Memorial Garden at 11:30. Guests are invited to stay for a luncheon in the newly renovated educational building.  Following the luncheon, there will be a celebration of Carroll’s life with stories told by friends and family. Please feel free to gather your thoughts and memories, and share as the spirit moves you.  The family hopes you will be able to attend the celebration. If you are unable to attend but wish to share memories, please mail them to: Penny Judd PO Box 275 Wampsville, NY 13163

If you plan to attend, please RSVP to Sheila Shaffer at (845) 340-7303 or Penny Judd at (315) 697-9131.

Directions to the Great Swamp Conservancy:  From NYS Thruway: Take Interstate 90 to Exit 34 in Canastota, NY. Turn left onto Route 13 South, in 100 yards turn right on Maple St. Turn right on North Main St. and follow for about 3 miles. The Great Swamp Conservancy is located on the corners of N. Main St. and Pine Ridge Rd.
From Route 31 (East or West): Turn South onto North Main Street and continue about 3 miles to Pine Ridge Road.
Parking is available on Conservancy property and on Pine Ridge Road.

In memorium:  Robert Whalen, `58:  Bob's passing came to our attention through the Spring 2018 issue of the UAlbany magazine. 
WATERFORD- Robert Albion Whalen, 86, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on October 10th, 2017. Born on 125th Street and Amsterdam Avenue, in the Irish section of Harlem known as Vinegar Hill, Robert was the youngest child of Patrick Francis Whalen and Elizabeth Kenny Whalen.  Bob graduated from Good Shepherd Elementary School, and went on to attend La Salle Academy where he excelled in hurdles and basketball. Bob was awarded a basketball scholarship to Fairleigh Dickinson University where he played four years of varsity basketball, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business and administration. Bob then spent two years in the army where he was assigned to serve in Korea. Upon returning to the states, Bob attended Albany State College for Teachers, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history and English.  Bob began his teaching career with his first position at Shaker High School, and in 1961 was named a Freedom Foundation Fellow for outstanding teaching in history. It was at Shaker that he met the love of his life, Judy Skocylas, although according to Bob, he had seen her once at Albany State, the most beautiful woman he had ever laid eyes on descending the main staircase. He never saw her again until that fateful day that they were introduced by a mutual friend at Shaker. He won her over, and they went on to spend 54 years together as husband and wife.  He then continued his education earning a Master of Arts degree in History from Albany State College for Teachers, as well as a Master of Science degree in Education Administration from Siena College.  Bob then became the principal at Waterford Halfmoon High School, a position that he retained for 20 years until his retirement. After retiring from WHHS, Bob held a variety of jobs, but the one he enjoyed most was teaching Christian Marriage at La Salle Institute in Troy for six years.  Always a lover of travel and visiting new places, Bob went on to become a travel agent for Conway Hammond Travel, specializing in tours to Ireland, during which time he took over twenty five groups on tours to share his ancestral lands.  When not keeping busy with work, Bob found time to participate in activities that he loved. When his wife Judy revealed that she had always wanted to play the bagpipes, Bob encouraged her to do so, and ended up becoming the drum major for the Tara Hall Pipe Band from Troy, NY.  Bob and Judy also loved to travel, and Bob loved to plan trips for them to take, from the month long cross country trip in the family station wagon with the whole family in the early eighties, to trips for the two of them to such places as Germany, Greece, China, Russia, Italy, and of course Ireland among other places. One of the last trips he planned was a road trip through the south to Louisiana to allow Judy to pick up the last few states she had not visited. Of course there was also the annual snowbird trip to Myrtle Beach where they spent five months a year living by the ocean.  Bob was predeceased by his wife Judith Whalen, as well as by all of his siblings; William Whalen, Mary Tomeo, Helen Burr, Patrick F. Whalen Jr., Anthony Whalen, and Regina Trudell. He is survived by his children Daniel F. Whalen of Waterford, Robert E. Whalen of Corinth, and Katherine Garrity (Peter) of Nassau. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.  Funeral services will be Friday at 8:30 a.m. at the Philip J. Brendese Funeral Home, 133 Broad St., Waterford and at 9 a.m. at St. Mary of the Assumption Church, Waterford. Interment will follow in the Gerald BH Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery, Schuylerville.  Relatives and friends may visit at the funeral home Thursday from 4-8 p.m.  Those who wish may make memorial contributions to La Salle Academy NYC in care of the funeral home office.

The March 13 Luncheon:  nearly snowed out, with Paul W, Bob U. and Doug D. attending.  Plans move forward for the May 23 plaque dedication and commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the death of Edward Potter at a later date.  Watch for the latest information here.

February 7, 2018:  Potter Club Albany Area Alumni Luncheon, Wednesday March 13, 2018.
An email and a letter were sent 02/01 to a total of 72 Pottermen on the mailing list.  The luncheon will be held at the Route 7 Diner, Latham, NY, at Noon.

The agenda will include:
1.  Discussing details for the Dedication Ceremony for the War Memorial Plaques,
To be held 11:00 A.M., Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at the Downtown Campus, Reception to follow;
2.  Planning for Commemorating the 100th Anniversary of Edward Potter's Death, August 1, 2018;
3.  Other new and old business

Whether or not you can attend, we invite you to send a greeting to everyone and ask for your suggestions for the ceremony to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of Edward Potter's death.  We will keep everyone informed through this web site as details develop.

January 7, 2018: Previous years entries are in the Archives.  See link at the left.

Potter Club Alumni Luncheon, March 13, 2018 at a site to be determined.  
Everyone on the Luncheon Mailing List will receive notice in February.  Agenda will deal with plans for the Memorial Plaques dedication ceremnony set for Wednesday May 23, 2018 at 10:00 A.M. at the downtown campus.  Watch for announcements on both.

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Check the Archives link at the left for complete earlier news.