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In Memoriam

Classmate Obituaries

Hazel Nemeth Angle '51


Obituary: Hazel Nemeth Angle The following obituary was submitted to The Odessa File by a family member. Hazel Nemeth Angle Age 90, a beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend passed away on Tuesday, April 30. Originally from Blairstown, NJ, Hazel was born to Irene (Gouger) and Joseph Nemeth on January 24, 1934. Having moved to Watkins Glen in the 1950s, Hazel’s warmth and generosity have touched countless lives across her community. Known for her quick wit and sassy nature, Hazel’s hard working nature was evident in her long career, starting at Al’s Tavern by the original start-finish line of the Watkins Glen Road Course which she owned with her husband. She also worked with Carol Bower and her catering company, where she met many cherished friends. During this time she also worked in the kitchens of Camp Monterey and the Elmira Psychiatric Center, finally retiring at 72. Six months later she was tired of retirement and she soon joined the B.C. Cate cafeteria, then transitioned to the high school, and even worked at The Falls Home, where she out-aged many residents. Hazel retired completely only in the last two years. Devoted to her family, Hazel cherished the time spent with her grandchildren and great grandchildren and was a regular at Monday Night Bingo at the Horseheads Elks Lodge with her family. Her handmade crocheted towels and peanut butter balls were beloved gifts she shared abundantly. Hazel leaves behind a loving family: sisters Freda and Anna; children Albert (Janice), Donna, Ernie (Dianne), Diane (Chris), Doug (David), Patrick (Unchalee), Kelly, and Bob (Donna); and her cherished grandchildren Alison (Tony), Trevor, Kristy, Renee (Tearle), Ryan, Adam (Sam), Logan, Cheyenne (Bailey), Brittany (Dan), Ridge, Bobby, Nick, and Noah (Jenna). She was also blessed with 13 great-grandchildren; Ayden, Andre, Breeana, Luke, Ryleigh, Parker, Tannir, Hunter, Emmett, Sophia, Chloe, Brynleigh, and Lucas. Predeceased by her husband Albert, sons Wilbur and Richard, and brothers Joseph, John, Robert, Ralph, and Howard, her spirit will live on in the memories of those she loved. Details of Hazel’s memorial services will be announced later.

Ralph Nemeth '56

August 20, 1937 — October 30, 2023

86, formerly of Watkins Glen, NY, died October 30, 2023.

“Watch out for that other guy”, is great wisdom from a great man.  That man is Ralph Nemeth, who went home to be with our God and Savior at the age of 86 years young.  (Young compared to eternity!)  

Ralph was born in Blairstown, NJ on August 20, 1937.  He left high school to join the United States Air Force, where he served for over 21 years as a Communications Specialist, among other specialties. He served in Germany, Italy, Turkey and Spain before his Honorable Discharge in 1975, when he settled in Watkins Glen, NY.  He then worked as a skilled machinist at Shepard Niles Crane and Hoist in Montour Falls for 10+ years before an injury forced an early retirement there.  He also lived in Florida and then settled in middle TN for the last 16 years of his life here on earth.

Though some of his ways could be considered cantankerous at times by outsiders, those who truly knew him knew the fierce love and caring soul he had for others...and his great sense of humor.  When he wasn’t enjoying time with his family or a great church service with Pastor Allen at WOC, he enjoyed using his green thumb to create his own iterations of roses, as well as create a little FL in TN with his amazing Banana Palm trees.

While he will always be continuously and sorely missed by those of us still under the sun, we know Heaven is rejoicing at his arrival and he is reunited with those who have gone home before him.  In fact, he, Poppy and Uncle John are likely telling stories to each other right now!

Ralph is survived by his son, Bud Nemeth and his family, Wife - Courtney, Children - Baylee (and husband Matthew Donnell), Kaylee and Kooper Nemeth.  His daughter Angie Nemeth and her children and grandchildren.  His ex-wife, Katherine Nemeth.  His sisters, Freda Barnes, Hazel Angle and Anna Arzberger.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Irene (Gouger) Nemeth and siblings Joe, John, Robert and Howard Nemeth.

Celebration of Life Service in NY will be at Royce-Chedzoy Funeral Home - 212 E 4th St, Watkins Glen, NY, at a future time to be announced.  (

Michael Anthony Cook '66 

Michael Anthony Cook Sr., 75, passed away peacefully at his home in Blairstown, NJ early Sunday morning February 4th, 2024 surrounded by his loving family.


Born on October 3rd, 1948 in Newark, NJ to Harold and Viola Cook, Michael was the youngest of 5 children. Michael spent his early childhood growing up in Brooklyn, NY until the family moved to Blairstown, NJ when he was 13 years old. Michael graduated from Blairstown High School in 1966 and attended Churchman’s Business School in Easton, PA where he met his wife Beverly (Pleiss) Cook. Michael and Beverly also had 5 children.


With a proclivity for business and an entrepreneurial spirit, Mike became a pioneer in the Natural Products industry. In 1977, Mike and Bev founded Nature’s Harvest in Blairstown, a natural food and vitamin store, and subsequently opened additional locations in Nazareth and Emmaus, PA. The store in Blairstown still stands today and is an important part of the downtown community. With a vision to make natural products mainstream and accessible to everyone, Mike later went into the food brokerage business with the idea of putting natural foods and vitamins into conventional supermarkets up and down the east coast. His most notable professional success was realized when he co-founded a company in 1989 called Natural Specialties, Inc., a natural products brokerage headquartered in Blairstown, NJ. Subsequently, this company grew to be the number one brokerage sales and marketing agency in the natural foods industry. After being highly instrumental in the explosive growth of natural products, Natural Specialties was sold in 2001 to the largest, mainstream food brokerage, Acosta Sales and Marketing. Mike subsequently led the company through several Natural & Specialty acquisitions, and it remains number one in that space today. His most gratifying career pinnacle was that all five of his children, and some of his grandchildren, are involved with and working in the industry he loved for so many years.


With all his success in business, Mike’s true legacy is his family. Mike and Bev have 4 sons (Michael Jr., Mark, Jeremy, and Jared), 1 daughter (Jessica), 12 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren. All of Mike’s hard work was done with the goal in mind of having the means to bring the family together and create something that would benefit his posterity for generations to come. Mike loved to do so many things including bringing the family together for barbecues, boating, trips to their condos in Florida and Mexico, fishing, traveling, real estate investing, dancing to oldies music, and watching old Westerns with his children and grandchildren.


Mike was a longtime, faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, having been baptized in 1972. He served the church, its members, and the community in many ways over the years. After retirement, Mike and Bev served as full-time Temple Workers in the Orlando Florida Temple, full-time Missionaries in the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission, and full-time managers of the Piscataway, NJ Bishop’s Storehouse distributing food and supplies throughout the New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York region during the time of unprecedented demand caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Throughout his entire life, he was stalwart in keeping his commitments. At the time of his passing, he was serving as the Elder’s Quorum President in the Sparta, NJ Ward, presiding over the adult men and ministering to members of his Ward. He truly believed and lived his Faith’s teachings that the family can be eternal and continue after this life, looking forward with hope to a glorious resurrection and to be reunited with them in the eternities.


Mike was predeceased by his parents (Harold and Viola Cook), his twin sisters (Jeanie and Helen Brown), and his 2 brothers (Robert Brown and Harold Cook). He leaves behind his beloved wife (Beverly), his children (Michael Jr., Mark, Jessica and husband Jesse Barker, Jeremy and wife Kristy, Jared and wife Alyssa), his grandchildren (Amanda, Peter, Ashley and husband Marty Gower, Cori and husband Jose Cook, Kelsey, Corinne, Tanner, Jane, Caden, Channing, Carson, and Lilliana), and his great grandchildren (Isaiah, Arianna, Zachary, Matthew, Dante, Jalius, Jayden, and Emery).


Visitation will be held at Newbaker Funeral Home in Blairstown, NJ on Thursday February 8th from 2-4 pm and again from 6-8 pm. Services will be held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints located at 95 Pinkneyville Rd, Sparta Township, NJ 07871 on Friday February 9th at 10:00 am. Mike would tell us all not to spend money on flowers for him, but instead consider making a donation to the Humanitarian Aid Fund, the church’s charitable organization providing aid to people around the world without regard to cultural or religious affiliation. 100% of every dollar donated is used to provide relief to those in need, and also help people attain self-sufficiency so they can be self-reliant long after the humanitarian project ends. Donations can be made online at (click “Make a Gift To Humanitarian”) or by sending a check to Humanitarian Services c/o LDS Philanthropies, 1450 N. University Ave., Provo, UT 84604.

To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Michael, please visit our Tree Store.

Raymond K. Ward '50

Raymond “Ray” Keith Ward, 91, passed away peacefully on Saturday, September 30, 2023, just shy of his 92nd birthday. He passed comfortably with Hospice services at Brightview Baldwin Park Assisted Living Staunton. 

Mr. Ward was born October 8, 1931, to the late Lewis Franklin and Irma Geraldine Ward. He grew up in Blairstown, NJ. He is survived by his daughter, Marion Anne Ward and his son, Warren Keith Ward along with his spouse, Ernesto Gregorio. In addition to his parents and his loving wife, Dorothy “Dottie” Anne Ward, he is preceded in death by a son, Peter Franklin Ward; a brother, Robert Lee Ward; and sisters, June Elizabeth Ward Cooper and Nancy Jane Ward Blumhagen. 

Raymond graduated from Blairstown High School in Blairstown NJ, in 1950, and Rutgers University in 1954. He worked throughout childhood and high school on farms, raising animals, mowing lawns, delivering papers, hauling milk, and as a teenager lent his parents money for their down payment for their first house. Ray served in the US military then worked with Rutgers University and the State of NJ as an Agricultural Agent for 3 years. He then purchased his first farm in Southern NJ and built a cutting-edge Dairy operation using knowledge he gained both at university and in the field. He grew the herd and operation and over time purchased more land and two more farms. After two decades Ray was invited to develop and teach the industrial arts program for Salem County Schools. He gradually moved on from running the Dairy farm and taught until he “retired.” 

Ray was very active in the First Baptist Church of Woodstown for over six decades. He served on: Board of Deacons, Board of Missions, Board of Trustees, was church Treasurer for many of his later years until he moved to Virginia, and was a founding member of N and M’s (“Newly Married, Nicely Married and Never Married”). Ray and Dottie taught Sunday School and taught in the Migrant Ministry program and Vacation Bible School. He went on and sometimes organized many mission trips. If there were a need, he’d be there to help fill it. All the while, Ray, was also very active in civic engagement: He started the first Ruritan club in NJ (Wistarburg Ruritan club), served on and was President of Alloway Township School Board, and with a Christian reformed drug addict, founded a Drug Rehabilitation Center on one of this Farms called “Faith Farm”.


Retirement from teaching brought more volunteer work. For decades Ray built houses with Habitat for Humanity and served as a Hospice volunteer for many years. He and Dottie also were Hospital Chaplains/patient advocates for Salem County Hospital for over 20 years. They gave generously to the church and missions and many causes and have provided for ongoing giving through several foundations. 

Ray was remarkably social and confident and interested in people and their stories as well as telling his own. He loved reading on many topics and often read aloud to share what he was learning. Though dearly missing his friends and church from Woodstown NJ, he quickly adapted to living in a community with plenty of activities at Brightview Baldwin Park, Staunton VA, where he moved with Dottie in November 2021. He enjoyed the companionship of residents and staff. Wherever he was, Ray Ward was at the center of things. He was highly regarded and well loved.

( Note: Deceased classmate records were compiled as of 2017.

If you would like to share other names, please contact us)

Blairstown High School



Doris Hill Osterberg '35

Helen Gaisler Earl '36

Florence Savacool Gouger ’38 

Jennie Uhorchak Black ‘38

Frances M. Newcamp '38 

Clarice Bertholf Bobin '39

Frank Squeri ‘39

Pauline Thomas Cebulka ’39 

Ernest Billow ‘40

Freda M. Cook '40

Howard Mott ‘41 

Olena Jadick '41

Walter Ramond Vass '41

Earle Jones ‘42 

Verna VanSyckle Shuster ‘42 

Elizabeth Hezel Johnson ‘42

Vida Trapani Burdge ’42

Elizabeth Crisman Zenock ’42

Elmer T. Stoffels '42

Frederick Belet ’43  

Sophia Szalobryt Silva ’43 

Elizabeth May Beagle '43

Robert Beegle ‘43

Jean Chamberlain Zanetti ‘43 

Vivian Hendershot Dickerson '44

Jane Szalobryt ’44 
Victoria Kozimor Perini ‘44

Grace Rich Range ‘44

Doris Chamberlain Bair ‘45 

Alice May Erd '45

Joseph Smolha '45

Doris Burham Weber '45

Dorothy J. Winters '45

Mildred Cowell Kise ‘46 

Gertrude Walker Polhemus ‘46 

Shirley Newbaker McCracken ‘46

Gordon Beegle ’46 

Olga Bailey Guiler ’46

Norma Pennell Hill ’46

M. Maria Woodruff '46

Lawrence Vass ‘47

Anne Duimstra Beegle ’47

Virginia Wester Cooke '47

Thelma “Tilly” McPeek,'47

Anna Mae Robertson Raesly ’47 

Mildred Sipley Shaftic '47
Greta Hezel Crisman ‘48

Henry Kozimor ‘48 

David Keyser '48

Nancy Malon Hickey '48

Blanche Titman Kelly'48

Anna Mae Cowell Eber 49'

Lorraine Skow Everett '49

George D. Hall '49

M. William Berry '50

Josephine Drake '50

Leon Kot ‘50

Joan Pilewski Cook ‘50

Norma J. Cowell '50

Raymond K. Ward '50

Rhonda Westervelt '50

Hazel Nemeth Angle '51

Mary Burham Hayes '51

Teresa J. Heines '51

Melita Stickle Hurd ‘51 

Lyman Lawson '51

Louise Sprague Lambert ‘52

Donald Meshach ‘52

Shirley Huff Moore ‘52

Michael Joseph Bufis '52

George Fee ‘53 

Irene M. Litz '53

Gayle Lambert Salamone '53

Carolyn Biles Simonetti '53

Allen Zanetti '53

Margaret Henderson Kernan ‘54 

Bennett Van Der Wal ‘54 

Charles Rowe ‘54

Marcus Drake ’54

Carolyn Litts Elston '54

George William Transue '54

Walter Jones ’55 

Ross Marshall '55

Helen Gramberg Winters '55

Joan Roof Clark '56

Howard Cowell ‘56

Jessica Huttick Gately '56

Elaine Bozzuffi Hoover '56 

Ralph Nemeth '56

Robert Walters ’56

Charles Catalano ‘57

Barbara Chammings '57

Cedric Rhinesmith ’57

Ann Noordenbos Smith '57

Nancy J. (Brown), (Torok), Psyhojos

Eloise Cecile Gebhart Foreman '58

Mary Jane Katzenstein Nemeth '58

Duane A. Nolder, Jr. '58

Robert J. Sandberg'58

Diana Shipps Demund '59

Barbara Semken Rydell ’59

Lena Meshach Keyser ‘60

Joseph Murphy '60

Harry K. Rush '60

Carl Darst ‘61 

Della Mae Gulick Darst '61

Frederick Grandin '61

Andrew C. Foley '61

Joan Helen Ostrowski '61

Elizabeth Ann Shotwell '61

Bruce Woodruff ‘61 

Frank "Hank" Cook '62

 Phillip H. Zabowski '62   

Catherine A. Bacon, '63

Fred Brown '63

Michael Pryslak '63

Rebecca Meagher Bender '63

Ronald Cook ‘63

Edmund Hagopian ’63

Kathleen Murphy '63

Richard Skow ’63

Wieka DeBoer Dykstra ‘64

Barry W. Rusweiler '64 

Kenneth R. Tims '64

John Klaver ‘65

Raymond Edgar Schwind '65

William Andrew "Andy" Tims '65

Thomas A. Sawyer '65

Michael Anthony Cook '66

Marilyn Heitmann Grandin ‘66 

Brenda G. Lenkey Maxman '66

Delmar A. Paul '66

Howard Schwarz ‘67
G. Richard Cook ‘67

Linda Eckrode Tigner ’67

Glenn Barry ’68,

Sara L. Budd '68

Charles Cowell '68

Robert Volpe ’68 
Jon Thomas Cramer ‘68

William Hashagen'68

(died in Vietnam in 1971)
Gary Barker ‘69

Thomas Bennett '69
Nancy Burdge Drake ‘69

Marlene Bennett Lothian '69

Henry Natyzak '69

Lauren Chianese Cowell ’70 

Elaine Hellwege Hawes '70

Paul Meagher (Marr) 

Mayme Vivian Nemeth, '70

Gary Neil Sandberg '70

Warren Keith DePuy '71 (NWR)

Henry C. (Buddy) Kozimor '71 (NWR) 

William M. Reay '71 (NWR)

Robert Karl Andres '72 (NWR)

Carole Chrusz '72 (NWR)

Drexel Simonson '72 (NWR)

Becky Jennings Erd ’73 (NWR)

Linda Schwarz Bisbing’73 (NWR)

Arthur Haney '73 (NWR)

Robert Stout ‘74 (NWR)

Kenneth J. Bertholf, Jr. '74 (NWR)

Onalee Cramer '74 (NWR)

Deborah Louise Wittschiebe '74 (NWR)

Sharon VanAuken Steen, 1975 (NWR)

Thomas Gross, Former Teacher



Please consider a bequest in your Will to

the Blairstown High School Alumni Association to help us continue our scholarship program which currently awards a $2000 scholarship each year to a graduating senior who is a direct descendant of an alumni.

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