In 2018, Jamestown and Chautauqua County lost several people who worked at some point to make their community safer, stronger and better. This is a partial list of people who passed away in 2018, all who contributed to a better community in one way or another.
Bradley W. Carlson: On Nov. 19, Carlson, 79, died in Huntsville, Ala. He served as a firefighter with the Jamestown Fire Department. After working for City Hall and Company Station 4 throughout his career, he retired as a captain in 1996.
John S. Holt: On Dec. 9, Holt, 86, died in the Lutheran Retirement Home. Holt, , 86, served in the Korean War with the U/S. Navy. Prior to his retirement in 1989, he was an industrial arts teacher at Jamestown High School.
Wayne R. Oste: On Dec. 3, Oste, died at UPMC Chautauqua. A lifelong area resident, he was a member of the Falconer Fire Department, having served as chief, first assistant and was currently active in the fire police.
Henry R. Weiler Jr: On Nov. 18, Weiler, 90, died at home in Lakewood. Weiler served two terms as Chautauqua County Clerk from 1986 to 1993 and also worked for several years in the Chautauqua County Supreme Court.
Rev. Dr. Donald Earl Modisher: On Oct. 17, Modisher 98. died at Alive Hospice, Nashville, Tenn. He served as pastor of the United Methodist (UM) Church in Fredonia, from 1959-68, after which he was appointed district superintendent of the Jamestown district, where he served for six years.He then served as conference executive for the Western New Yorl Conference of the UMC in Buffalo, where, for five yearsm he supervised 310 churches. In 1979 he returned to the area as pastor at UMC Kidder Church in Jamestown, N.Y., before retiring in 1984.
Vivian A. Taylor Jr.: Taylor died Oct. 24, UPMC Chautauqua.
He served 24 years as Jamestown City Councilman, from 1976 to 1992, 1996 to 1998 and 2000 to 2006. He served as a board member for the Lucile M. Wright Air Museum, board member for the Senior Citizens Center; Jamestown Civil Air Patrol Senior Squadron member; and former member of the YMCA’s “Y’s Men.” Awards he received include, the Dewitt Clinton Award, which is awarded by the Masonic Lodge for community service, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Award, and being named to the Who’s Who Among Black Americas.
He and his wife, Lula, co-founded the Chautauqua Black History Committee and were co-chairpersons of the Jamestown Interracial Forum. While attending the Blackwell Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church, they served as director of Youth Fellowship and were choir members and trustees.
Timothy Mills Johnson: Johnson, 59, died Oct, 14, 2018, after a long battle with multiple myeloma.
Following graduation, he returned to Jamestown at WKSN radio and also anchored local newscasts for a cable television channel. He received several awards of excellence during his time at WKSN, covered all five conferences on U.S.-Soviet relations at the Chautauqua Institution from 1985-89, and traveled to the then-Soviet Union for additional coverage.
In 1994, he received a congressional fellowship from the American Political Science Association and relocated to Washington. D.C., where for the next 20 years, he served as a staff aide for legislation and communications to U.S. Reps. Mike Oxley (R-Ohio) and Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.).
William J. Bauld: At 87, Bauld, of Frewsburg, died Oct. 6. 18. He had been employed as a deputy for the Erie County Sheriff’s Department.
Lucian Charles Lodestro: Lodestro, 78, of Bemus Point, died Sept. 14, in his home.
For more than 30 years, he was employed by the Falconer Central School District where he taught physical education and health. He retired in 1995. While employed at Falconer Central School, he coached track, cross country, wrestling, and bowling. He served as an assistant football coach for more than 20 years.
Joan Carlin Warner: Warner, 70, of Ashville, died at home Sept. 9. She spent her teaching career in the Jamestown Public School System as an English teacher in middle and high school. She concluded her career as the coordinator of English Language Arts for the Jamestown School System after 35 years of service.
Ernest Eugene Cowan: Age 72, Cowan died Aug. 12,in the Chambersburg, Pa., Hospital.
In 1969, he joined the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department, where he served for 10 years before taking a leave of absence to research and build, along with many volunteers, The Sea Lion, which sailed on Chautauqua Lake and is a replica of a 15th century square rigged merchant ship.
Theodore C. “Ted” Marsala: Died at age 74, Aug. 14, at St. Vincent Hospital, Erie.
He was an active member of the Westfield Fire Department for more than 44 years, joining the department in 1974. He was a member and vice president of the Cascade Hose Co. 1, where he had served as lieutenant, captain and ultimately chief of the department in 2000 and 2001. He spent more than 26 years in the rescue squad as a certified First responder.
William E. Locke: He died at 86, on Aug. 6, at Brooks Hospital.
Locke was deputy director of finance for Chautauqua County for more than 20 years. He was the treasurer of the County Treasurers and Finance Officers Association, a longtime member of the Fredonia First United Methodist Church, where he served as Church treasurer for many years and was district commissioner for the Boy Scouts of America.
Richard J. Battaglia: Age 72, died July 30, in UPMC Chautauqua.
He began a career in law enforcement in 1972 with the Jamestown Police Department and retired from there in 1991 as a detective.
Joseph Trusso Jr.: Age 86, died June 14, in the emergency room of UPMC Chautauqua WCA.
A lifelong area resident, he was born Sept. 9, 1931, in Jamestown, N.Y., the son of the late Joseph R. and Laura Pascatore Trusso.
He served as a Chautauqua County Legislator for 37 years, where he served on numerous boards and committees over the years. He was a member of the Jamestown Planning Commission and a member of the Lost Neighborhood. He was a past president of The Resource Center and remained an active member of the TRC Board and Advisory Committees.
Sandra K. Sopak: Age 78, died May 18, 2018) in her home.
She served as Town of Poland Supervisor and prior to retirement served as Chautauqua County Clerk for 20 years. She was a member of the New York State County Clerk Association and served as President. She received several NYS County Clerk Awards and served as host in 2004 for the state wide County Clerks Convention which was held in Chautauqua Institution.
W. Brook Rhinehart : Age 85, died May 14, in his home.
He graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1958 before becoming an industrial arts teacher at the Jamestown Senior High School for 33 years. During his teaching career, he taught many courses including blue print reading, hand drafting and computer aided drafting, as well as being a driver education teacher for many years.
Lula Mae Taylor : Died March 27, at UPMC Chautauqua WCA.
She was the first African American woman to hold a county legislative seat in New York state. She was also the first woman chairperson of the Jamestown Democratic Committee. She then ran for District 11 County Legislator and became the first African American woman in New York state to hold a county legislative seat, serving for 14 years.
William J. Pickard Sr. : Age79, died Feb. 14, at Heritage Park in Jamestown.
He began his law enforcement career in Washington, D.C., as a canine patrolman until he moved back to Jamestown to be closer to family. He then served 34 years with the Jamestown Police Department before retiring in 1995.
Eugene Michael Byrne : Age 89, died Jan. 30.
He joined the New York State Police serving Western New York and retired after 21 years as a sergeant. In retirement, he was an investigator for the Chautauqua County Public Defender’s office and the Chautauqua County Coroner. Later he opened his own business as a private investigator and bail bondsman. He was a councilman from the Lakeview Ward in the City of Jamestown for many years.