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Collins Center Deaths
Misc. Years


Collins & Collins Center Residents

Death Notices Misc. Years

Death Notices from: Buffalo News

Note  Date Before Name is Date of Obituary - Date After Name is Date of Death

The Buffalo News MONDAY May 28, 1990

A 26-year-old motorcyclist was killed late Saturday when he missed a curve and crashed into a culvert off Route 39 at Brewer Road, Town of Collins, the Erie County Sheriff's Department reported.

Arlie L. Downey Jr. of Main Street, Collins Center, was pronounced dead at Tri-County Memorial Hospital in Gowanda shortly after the 11 p.m. accident.

The Sheriff's Department is investigating.


A Mass of Christian Burial was offered today in St. Joseph's Catholic Church, Gowanda, for Bernadine Peet, an employee of the Hollywood Theater in Gowanda for the past 45 years. Prayers were said in the Mentley Funeral Home, Gowanda. Burial was in Langford Cemetery.

Mrs. Peet, 77, a Town of Collins resident, died Saturday (Nov. 2, 1991) in Tri-County Hospital, Gowanda, six weeks after suffering a stroke.

Mrs. Peet operated the box office and concession stand of the Hollywood Theater. Her husband, Roger, worked as manager of the theater until his death in 1972.

Even though the theater had several owners during her tenure, everyone considered it "Mrs. Peet's theater," according to a granddaughter. Mrs. Peet was a jack of all trades and at one time catered weddings, refinished furniture and dabbled in many other crafts. A native of Springville, she moved to Gowanda in the 1940s. Survivors include a daughter, Irene Andolino of Richmond, Va.; three grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

The Buffalo News
November 4, 1991


Ernest J. Cummings, 64, a trouble dispatcher for Niagara Mohawk Power Corp., died early Monday (Feb. 17, 1992) in Our Lady of Victory Hospital, Lackawanna.

A Town of Collins resident, Cummings retired from Niagara Mohawk in 1982 after 37 years of service. He was a member of Local 1339, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Cummings was a major in the Knights of St. John, of which he was a member for 35 years. For the past year, he was the commander of the Third Battalion of the Buffalo Regiment.

Cummings also was a member of Commandery 408 of St. Aloysius in Springville and the Holy Name Society of St. Gerard's Catholic Church. Survivors include his wife, the former Mary "Mickey" Wolf; three sons, Joseph E., Richard T. and Michael D.; two daughters, Cindy L. Wiesmore and Kathleen A. Lock; three brothers, William, Alfred and Robert; a sister, Mary Bohn, and 14 grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Thursday in St.

Joseph's Catholic Church, Gowanda. Prayers will be said at 10:30 in the Schindler Funeral Home, 44 Center St., Gowanda. Burial will be in Perrysburg Cemetery.

The Buffalo News
February 18, 1992

The Buffalo News WEDNESDAY, October 7, 1992

Francis A. "Papa Smurf" Anscombe, 54, owner of Smurf's Inn in Collins Center, died Tuesday (Oct. 6, 1992) in his home on 15th Street after a short illness.

A native of Buffalo, Anscombe moved to Niagara Falls 15 years ago. He retired from the U. S. Coast Guard in 1975 after 20 years service, including combat duty in Vietnam. After retiring from the Coast Guard, Anscombe worked for 10 years as a diesel mechanic. He was acting quartermaster of Niagara Falls Post 54, Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Survivors include his wife, the former Sandra Haseley; a son, Terry of Buffalo; two daughters, Jeanine Carrigan of Grand Island and Christine Mameli; a stepdaughter, Andria Lambert, and five grandchildren. Services will be conducted at 11 a.m. Friday in Otto Redanz Funeral Home, Michigan Avenue at 10th Street. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery.

The Buffalo News FRIDAY, December 18, 1992

A Collins man was killed in a fire that destroyed his 21/2-story farmhouse Thursday.

The victim was identified as Camaron Homan, 68, of 2837 W. Becker Road.

Deputies spent much of Thursday night searching for his body in the rubble of the old house. Erie County sheriff's deputies are trying to determine the cause of the fire, which burned for more than five hours. Firefighters were alerted to the fire about 1:15 p.m. by two National Fuel employees, who attempted to enter the house from the rear but were repelled by flames. By the time crews arrived, the house was engulfed, officials said.

Homan's wife, Allane, was not at home when the fire started, officials said.

Companies from Collins, Collins Center, Lawtons, Langford, Gowanda and Perrysburg fought the scene. The fire was declared under control about 6 p.m.

The Buffalo News Friday, March 15, 1996

A Mass of Christian Burial for Mary Jo Riehle Godfrey, a former Orchard Park resident who was active in education and community affairs before moving to Maryland, will be offered at 2:30 p.m. Monday in Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, Kensington, Md.

Mrs. Godfrey died Saturday (March 9, 1996) in Bethesda, Md., of complications from a recent stroke. She was 82. She graduated from D'Youville College in 1934 and began teaching Latin, history and art at Collins Center High School. She retired from active teaching a few years later when she married Dr. Joseph D. Godfrey but continued volunteer work in the field.

Before moving to Maryland in 1980, she was honored by Canisius High School for endowing a scholarship fund. She also raised funds for schools and charities, including Canisius High School, D'Youville College, the Civic Music Association, the American Heart Association and the March of Dimes.

She was a charter member of the Erie County Medical Auxiliary and remained a member for more than 40 years. She was a volunteer phone operator for Medline.

Mrs. Godfrey served as a eucharistic minister and parish council member at Nativity of Our Lord Church in Orchard Park. She also taught religion classes and was a member of Sodality.

She and her husband traveled throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and the Pacific Ocean. She also was host to many foreign visitors to the area. Her hobbies included gardening, reading, sewing, nature and history.

Survivors include her husband of 58 years; two sons, the Rev. Joseph J. of Philadelphia, and William R. of Chevy Chase, Md.; two daughters, Mary Jo Kelly of Chevy Chase, and Jane E. of Washington, D.C.; two sisters, Alice Riley of Weston, Mass., and Rose Toles; and six grandchildren.

The Buffalo News Monday, March 3, 1997

Gary A. "Buddy" Abbey, 46, of Collins Center, a former groundskeeper at Gowanda Country Club, died unexpectedly Friday (Feb. 28, 1997) in Buffalo Veterans Hospital.

Born in Buffalo, he graduated from Kensington High School and served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War.

He was a member of Gowanda Post 409, American Legion; James Crudden Post 5007, Veterans of Foreign Wars; and the Solvenian Club of Gowanda. Survivors include a son, Christopher; a daughter, Casey; his parents, Allen and Rita of Troy, Ala.; and a sister, Kathryn Gibson of Troy. Services will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday in Schindler Funeral Home, 44 Center St., Gowanda. Interment will be in Collins Center Cemetery.


Wesley A. Farner, 78, of Collins, a dairy farmer, died Wednesday (Oct. 22, 1997) in his home after a long illness.

Born in the Town of Collins, Farner was a lifelong resident of the Collins area and owned and operated a dairy with his father since 1940. His family still operates the farm.

He also owned and operated the former Farner and Parker Dairy and Restaurant from 1945 to 1979. He was a member of the Collins Town Planning Board, a former town constable and an exempt member of the Collins Volunteer Fire Department.

He is survived by his wife, the former Rhema Allen; four daughters, Arlene Samuelson of Gowanda, Sharon Hull and Irene Pfeifer, both of Collins, and Bonnie Drozd of Springville; three sons, Wayne, Warren and Alfred, all of Collins; a brother, Walter of Collins; 19 grandchildren; and 25 great-grandchildren.

A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in Mentley Funeral Home, 105 E. Main St., Gowanda.