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Kendall student wins oratorical contest in Orleans County

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 December 2019 at 6:23 pm

Provided photo: Pictured from left include John Pera, county commander of the American Legion; William Barnosky of Albion, third place; Lauren Miller of Kendall, second place; Ethan Kuhn of Kendall, first place; and Gary Befus, contest chairman for the Legion.

MEDINA – Medina High School on Saturday hosted the 83rd annual oratorical contest through the American Legion in Orleans County.

Ethan Kuhn of Kendall won first place and Lauren Miller of Kendall was second. William Barnosky of Albion placed third.

Students presented an 8 to 10 minute prepared oration on a US Constitution topic of their choosing.

Kuhn and Miller both advance to the District level contest to be held in Kenmore in January.

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Kendall’s community Christmas tree is lighted up for the holidays

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 December 2019 at 10:29 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

KENDALL – The Kendall community last Wednesday had a tree-lighting celebration for this Christmas tree at the town gazebo across from the elementary school on Kendall Road.

These photos, taken this evening, also show the new war memorial that was dedicated on Sept. 29. The war memorial was led by four Boy Scouts who each took charge of part of the memorial for their Eagle Scout project.

The 39-foot-long brick wall features granite plaques highlighting the American Revolution, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War and the War on Terror. Alternating the granite plaques are concrete medallions representing the five branches of the military.

Three flag poles stand tall behind the brick wall. The center American flag pole is 35 feet high, with two 30-foot flag poles representing the State of New York and Orleans County standing on either side. The memorial is lit from dusk to dawn.

There is a bench by the memorial. The bench includes a quote by Joseph Campbell: “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”

The war memorial project was led by four Boy Scouts – Ryan Barrett, Noah Rath, Jayden Pieniaszek and Brian Shaw.

The tree-lighting celebration last Wednesday included a supper with Santa at the elementary school cafeteria. The Kendall Community Band also performed at the event.

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Kendall’s FIRST LEGO team earns big award at UR competition

Staff Reports Posted 9 December 2019 at 9:39 am

Students created website for town libary

Provided photos

Kendall’s FIRST LEGO team, only in its second year, won the “Innovative Solution Award” on Sunday during a regional competition at the University of Rochester with 44 teams.

Team members include Madison Hults, Alek Odalovic, Dominic Dellaquila, Caleb Schumacher, Caleb Schneider, Robert Henry, Cody Johnstone, Alex King, Seth Pray and Carter Alt. The student coach is David Elliott, and adult coaches are Jackie Nielsen and Wendy O’Hearn.

The team also won the “Champions” award in November during a qualifier tournament in Churchville-Chili. That award recognizes the team that most embodies the FIRST LEGO League experience by fully embracing their Core Values of discovery, innovation, impact, inclusion, teamwork and fun, while also achieving excellence in both the robot game and innovation project.

Kendall started the program last year. For this year’s competition, students were tasked with finding a problem with a local building or public space. The Kendall students first believed that there wasn’t a town library, but after completing some research, they discovered there is a small one located in the Kendall Town Hall.

They visited the library and met Eileen Grah, the librarian, along with town officials Barb Flow and Tony Cammarata. They discussed with them the importance of a library and book access for kids in Kendall, especially over school breaks. Through these discussions, they discovered that one problem the library faces is lack of exposure. Many students and their parents are unaware of the library’s existence as a resource in our community. There is no way to know what books are in the library since they do not have a public database.

Students decided that the best way to raise awareness of the library and increase patronage was to create a website for the library with a searchable database of books. The students learned how to code a website in HTML, CSS and Javascript, and they created the following website The team hopes this website will be a helpful tool in promoting literacy in Kendall.

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USDA announces funding for water district in Kendall

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 November 2019 at 8:05 am

KENDALL – The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded $672,000 in funding for a water project in the Town of Kendall.

The USDA will provide a $384,000 grant and a $288,000 loan to create the West Kendall Road Water District #10.

This project will be located along Roosevelt Highway (Route 18) in an east-west direction and northerly along West Kendall Road. This will include replacing 6,500 linear feet of water main. This project will extend public water service to 19 residential users that currently do not have safe potable water, the USDA said.

Water-quality testing indicates a significant portion of the residents’ individual wells have coliform bacteria, which the Health Department indicates does not meet standards and are a threat to the health of residents, according to the USDA.

The USDA also approved more than $4 million for a water project in the Town of Sweden in Brockport. The town will construct a waterline on Lake Road and Redman Road. The project will extend an existing public water system to residents that currently have poor quality and quantity of water. The USDA is providing a $2,000,000 loan and $2,327,000 grant for the project.

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Community members give Kendall students mock job interviews

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 November 2019 at 1:55 pm

Photos courtesy of Carol D’Agostino, Kendall Junior-Senior High School principal

KENDALL – Seniors at Kendall Junior-Senior High School did their mock job interviews this morning, with help from 29 volunteers in the community.

The top photo shows Scott Fisken, right, interviewing student Noah Walter about his interest in the construction industry.

Olivia Reed communicates with Robert Schall, a member of the Air Force, through Skype.

Hannah Stewart is interviewed by two members of the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office, Investigator Shannon Brett, left, and Deputy Ashleigh Poler.

After the interviews, the seniors wrote thank you notes. Elizabeth Sutphen and Noah Rath work on their letters.5

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Kendall town officials discuss local government with students

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 October 2019 at 2:26 pm

Photo courtesy of Carol D’Agostino, Kendall school principal

KENDALL – Town officials spent part of today at the Kendall Junior-Senior High School, talking about local issues with Kendall’s government classes.

The top photo shows Town Board member Barb Flow, Town Supervisor Tony Cammarata and Town Board member Lynn Szozda with students in a class taught by Joe Petrosino.

The town officials were invited to the school so students could better understand how town government functions, and the duties of the local officials.

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Soldier on home for leave surprises kids at Kendall Elementary

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 October 2019 at 1:53 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

KENDALL – Shyller Elusma waits outside the cafeteria at the Kendall Elementary School today. Elusma, 27, is home on leave for about a week.

He is stationed at Fort Riley in Kansas. He hasn’t been home since Christmas.

Elusma walks through the cafeteria, where many of the students were encouraged to wear red, while and blue as part of Red Ribbon Week.

Elusma is tackled by his kids, Amara and Jenady. His son Jeremiah also gave him a big greeting.

To see a video of Elusma surprising his kids today at Kendall Elementary, click here.

There are big smiles when Elusma greeted his wife Amber and children, Amara in first grade, Jeremiah in kindergarten and Jenady in fourth grade.

Mrs. Elusma works in the cafeteria at the school. She orchestrated the surprise visit today with help from the school and her co-workers.

Jan Traino, a cafeteria worker, makes sure a big poster welcoming Elusma is securely in place.

Elusma is held tight by daughter Amara. He joined his kids for lunch in the cafeteria.

Elusma is from Orlando, Florida. His wife is from Barker. They like the small-town atmosphere in Kendall.

“I love it here,” he said. “The community is amazing. It’s a great place.”

Elusma is a specialist in the Army. He joined 7 years ago and wants to make it at least a 20-year career. He enjoys the camaraderie among the soldiers and being part of a team that serves the country. He was deployed to Poland for two months earlier this year. He has been training at Fort Riley for the past eight months.

Heather Eysaman, the school principal, was happy to help accommodate Elusma’s visit today.

She started as the principal on Oct. 1, and said Kendall is a caring community.

“It’s special for us because he has three students here and his wife works here, too,” Eysaman said.

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Orleans REDI projects total $17 million, with $9M sewer project in Kendall the biggest

Photos by Tom Rivers: The Town of Yates Park on Morrison Road has picnic tables, grills and a pavilion close to the shoreline. The state approved spending $2.5 million to expand the park and help protect it from flooding. This photo was taken this afternoon.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 23 October 2019 at 7:14 pm

Yates Town Park approved for $2.5 million in improvements, expansion

The $49 million announced by Gov. Cuomo today for 20 lakeshore projects in Orleans and Niagara counties includes $17 million in Orleans County.

The projects will improve public land and infrastructure, including roads, a new sewer system in Kendall and Hamlin, and an improved Yates Town Park.

The money announced today is part of the first round of funding under the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative. There is also $20 million available for homeowners and $30 million for businesses that will be allocated later.

Governor Cuomo launched the Lake Ontario Resiliency and Economic Development Initiative in May to increase the resilience of shoreline communities and bolster economic development in the region.

He said today it was necessary as part of “a new normal” with high lake levels. The governor wants projects that will protect important public land and infrastructure from future flooding.

The governor was at Fort Niagara in Youngstown to announce the funding for Niagara and Orleans. The state is paying 95 percent of the costs, with the local governments chipping in percent.

Those projects include:

Orleans County

Wastewater Infrastructure for Kendall and Hamlin, $9,053,000

This project will disconnect homes from the septic systems and connect them to a wastewater system. A privately owned facility (located at Troutburg in the Town of Kendall) will be turned over to the Town of Kendall, and approximately 125 residences in the towns of Hamlin and Kendall will be connected to the facility.

The project will solve the problems for lakeside residences with septic issues west of West Kendall Drive, including along Lomond Shore West, Edrose Shore, Knapp Shore, Thompson Drive, and near Lakeland Beach Road and Bald Eagle Drive in the Town of Kendall, plus residences near Beachwood Park Road in the Town of Hamlin. This project will connect these areas to a sanitary sewer and convey wastewater to a treatment facility.

Yates Town Park and Expansion in Yates, $2,531,000

The Yates Town Park is located off Morrison Road, northeast of the Village of Lyndonville.

The Town of Yates proposes to expand the town park with enhanced recreational and water access opportunities. This project seeks to further enhance the park’s environmental resiliency, protect and expand its natural and nature-based features, and increase public access to the area’s recreational resources.

Proposed mitigation measures in the project will consist of:

• Installing shoreline stabilization measures to protect the park shoreline and associated features

• Evaluating opportunities to enhance recreation and water access through a new kayak launch and playground

• Installing upgrades to the park’s amenities, including an upgraded parking lot area, enclosed pavilion and bathrooms, and a 10 foot wide nature trail

Lakeshore Road (Route 97) in Carlton, east of Point Breeze, $2,062,000

Lakeshore Road is eroding rapidly and creating a hazardous situation for the roadway infrastructure and the waterline adjacent to the road. This project seeks to address the erosion of the bluff, as well as the existing failed shoreline protection.

Proposed mitigation measures in the project will consist of:

• Protecting the toe of the bluff with shoreline stabilization measures

• Stabilizing the bluff through grading and fill (where possible)

• Vegetation along the embankment

The project assumes 1,500 foot long by 40 foot wide shore stabilization with fill and new vegetation for 10 to 20 foot of the width. During the engineering process, the project should also evaluate potential of shore protection measures.

Public Town Road Ends/Culverts in Kendall, $1,500,000

Culverts adjacent to Ed Rose Shore, Knapp Shore, and Thompson Drive are impacted by high water levels resulting in culvert ends being clogged with debris. This project will install a more resilient box culvert concept. A culvert located at Lakeland Beach Road needs fortification, and riprap will be placed at the outlet of the culvert to provide protection.

Proposed mitigation measures in the project will consist of:

• Replacing end of culverts with box design systems at four locations (Edrose, Knapp Shores, and Thompson Dr.)

• Upgrade stabilization measures at the Lakeland Beach Road end of culvert

Point Breeze Boat Launch in Carlton, $751,000

The docks and boating slips at the Orleans County Marine Park will see upgrades.

The 72-slip boat launch is owned by the county at the Orleans County Marine Park.

Proposed mitigation measures for the project consists of:

• Replacement of fixed elevation docks with floating docks and slips, inclusive of anchorage and posts to permit only vertical dock movement

• Modification and upgrades to impaired boat launches to increase resiliency

Lakeside Park Road East in Carlton, $385,000

The bluff  on which the eastern portion of Lakeside Park Road sits has been experiencing erosional impacts, creating a 30 to 40 foot drop that has become a hazardous condition for the road and public water line in the area. This project aims to stabilize the bluff  to protect these assets.

Proposed mitigation measures in the project will consist of:

• Protecting the toe of the bluff with shoreline stabilization; stabilizing the bluff with embankment vegetation

• Where space allows, the bluff will be graded back to a more stable slope

Lakeside Park Road West in Carlton, $235,000

The Town of Carlton Highway Department uses a payloader to carry pallets of sandbags across a washed out section of Lakeside Park Road West on June 2. A chunk of road washed out in May. Residents at three houses have to walk through the washed out road to reach their houses. The road will protected with riprap in one of the REDI projects.

The shoreline on which Lakeside Park Road sits has been experiencing flooding impacts from both Johnson Creek and Lake Ontario, including the loss of an access road/lane, land protecting homes, and public water lines. West of the intersection with Lakeside Road there is approximately 300 feet of public water line at risk of being exposed and compromised.

Proposed mitigation measures in the project will consist of:

• Constructing an access road to place protective materials along the shoreline

• Placement of riprap stone to protect the public water line during future high water level(s)

Thompson Drive turnaround to become beach access in Kendall, $131,000

A section of Thompson Drive at the western end of Kendall was eaten up by Lake Ontario in the spring 2017. This photo was taken on May 7, 2017.

The former Thompson Drive turnaround provides beach access to the Lake Ontario shoreline. There is an opportunity to turn the former turnaround into beach access, coupled with nature-based shoreline protection.

The proposed project would reduce shoreline erosion, protecting local infrastructure and maintaining access along the route.

Proposed mitigation measures in the project will consist of:

• Installing natural or nature-based shoreline protection addressing the erosion of the turnaround, which is nearing the shoreline edge

• Ensuring and enhancing access to the shoreline

Route 237 right-of-way in Kendall, $40,000

The shoreline/waterfront area along the Route 237 right-of-way is experiencing significant erosion as a result of high water levels, flooding, and wave intensity. A project is currently ongoing to install riprap along the waterfront to protect the eroding shoreline associated with the right-of-way, abutting the riprap of two neighboring private properties.

Proposed additional mitigation measures in the project will consist of:

• Construction of a berm to further stabilize the shoreline and protect the area from future flooding

• Filling the gap between existing shoreline protection features with additional shoreline protection

• A protective barrier to provide public safety, and limit access from hazardous conditions at the end of the Route 237 right-of-way

Installing markers on submerged structures in Orleans and Niagara, $50,000

In-lake structures throughout Niagara and Orleans counties, when underwater, may result in hazardous boating conditions. Installing temporary safety markers is a proactive approach to protect public safety.

This project will install safety markers on submerged structures (piers). The structures will be clearly marked by installing temporary warning buoys.

For more on the projects, including the $32 million for those in Niagara County, click here.

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Kendall author writes about finding serenity during life’s different stages

Staff Reports Posted 15 October 2019 at 8:23 am

Provided photo: Elly Stevens of Kendall, right, is pictured with her granddaughter, Amanda Stevens of Chili, who is holding a copy of a Stevens’ new book, In Searching for Serenity in My Crazy Life. Stevens also has written a crime novel, Dangerous Passion.

KENDALL – Living on the shore of Lake Ontario can be “heaven” or “hell,” as author Elly Stevens describes her current life — “heaven” when it’s full of the beauty of nature; “hell” when weather changes everything.

Stevens penned her relatable stories in her memoir, Searching for Serenity in My Crazy Life, covering not only her life on the lake in Kendall, but also many years in Rochester, Greece and three years in South Carolina.

Stevens came from a family of story-tellers, and almost every conversation started, “Remember when…?” Elly’s grandmother, Mary Kujawa Littlebetter, often told her stories of growing up in Albion, but so many of those stories were lost over the years.

Not wanting that to happen to her own stories, Stevens started writing a detailed history of her own life. And when her granddaughter, Amanda Stevens of Chili, started asking her to tell her stories, Stevens wanted to do something special for her – put them in a book for her 16th birthday.

In April 2018, Stevens received a call from Joe Janowicz, who worked with Stevens in the publications group at Kodak in the 1990s. He asked her to edit his horror novel, Bang-Bang You’re Dead, and she agreed. Joe encouraged Elly to do her own writing and, together, they began their journey to publishing.

In Searching for Serenity in My Crazy Life, Stevens travels through significant stages of her life — early childhood, growing up in an ethnic neighborhood, her first kiss, her marriage, the birth of her son, her career at Kodak, learning how to face and embrace retirement, the delight of a granddaughter, the passing of friends and family members, the remodeling of a house, the joy of nature, and the beginning of new “life” at age 70. She searches for serenity along the way.

Some stories may spark memories, such as the 1966 blizzard, the 1991 ice storm, and September 11, 2001. And she shares the story of the First Norwegian Settlement in the United States in Kendall.

Stevens is scheduled to have a book signing for Searching for Serenity in My Crazy Life at Lift Bridge Bookstore in Brockport, Oct. 26, from noon to 2 p.m. The book is also available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble online. Find out more about Stevens’ books at or connect with her on Facebook.

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Kendall dedicates war memorial, year-long effort led by 4 Boy Scouts

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 September 2019 at 10:03 pm

Big crowd turns out for dedication ceremony at Community Park

KENDALL – The Kendall community dedicated the new war memorial at the community park today, a project that was spearheaded by four Boy Scouts.

The four scouts – Jayden Pieniaszek, Noah Rath, Brian Shaw and Ryan Barrett – join local veterans for a group photo this afternoon at the new Kendall War Memorial, which the Scouts worked on together for their Eagle Scout community service project.

The Scouts first presented the plan to the Kendall Board of Education about a year ago. The plan quickly gained momentum in the community and was complete within in a year of that initial meeting.

Patriot Guard Riders salute while the American flag is raised by the memorial wall.

The 39-foot-long brick wall features granite plaques highlighting the American Revolution, the Civil War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War and the War on Terror. Alternating the granite plaques are concrete medallions representing the five branches of the military.

Three flag poles stand tall behind the brick wall. The center American flag pole is 35 feet high, with two 30-foot flag poles representing the State of New York and Orleans County standing on either side. The memorial is respectfully lit from dusk to dawn.

Black granite engraved bricks border the memorial sidewalk in honor of veterans who are currently serving, who have served, who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, or in appreciation of all veterans. Those bricks were sold for $100 each.

The centerpiece of the memorial is a black granite stone that previously stood in front of the Kendall Town Hall and was dedicated to Kendall residents who have served.

Scouts and community members stand and salute while the Honor Guard carries the American flag near the beginning of the dedication ceremony for the war memorial today. About 500 people attended the dedication.

Barb Flow, a member of the Kendall Town Board, takes a photo of three of the bricks along the walkway. Her family bought memorial bricks for her late father, Albert Haseley who served in World War II; her son, Sgt. Vincent Flow IV of the Army, who was deployed in 2008 to Afghanistan; and her late father-in-law, Vincent James Flow Jr., who served in World War II.

Flow said she likes how the brick line the edge of the walkway so people shouldn’t be stepping on the names of the soldiers.

The Honor Guard walks down the walkway, which is lined with bricks. The soldiers include from left: Malcolm Misere, Brian Kizer and Luke Rath. Luke is the older brother of Noah Rath, one of the scout’s who spearheaded the project.

The Scouts thank the community for supporting the project. The Scouts include, from left: Jayden Pieniaszek, Noah Rath, Brian Shaw and Ryan Barrett.

Today was a big day for Boy Scout Troop 94. The troop worked with the Town of Kendall, local businesses and other community members to create the Kendall War Memorial, a 4-phase Eagle Project honoring the armed forces of the United States.

The memorial is part of the Kendall Community Park on Kendall Road, across from the Kendall Elementary School.

The war memorial project is a joint effort by four Boy Scouts: Ryan Barrett, Jayden Pieniazek, Noah Rath and Brian Shaw, each working to become an Eagle Scout. Barrett, a freshman at Nazareth College, has earned Scout’s highest rank while the three others are getting close.

State Sen. Robert Ortt joins Kendall Scoutmaster Ken Spohr in a salute while the flags were raised.

A marker on the brick wall commemorates the efforts of the four Boy Scouts.

Ryan Barrett led the first phase, which included putting in the foundation for the wall, a stone memorial and three flag poles. Two of the poles are 30 feet high and one for the American flag is 35 feet.

Jayden Pieniaszek led the second phase which includes construction of the brick wall, which is 39 feet long, 3 ½ feet wide and 4 feet tall.

Noah Rath headed up phase three which includes the medallions for each five branches of military. Rath also had the electricity set up so the memorial and sidewalk can be lighted up at night.

Brian Shaw coordinated phase four which includes final grading and planting of cedar trees behind the memorial, which provides a buffer for the neighbors and also enhances the site. Shaw also led the work to for the plaques on the memorial for the different wars where Kendall soldiers served.

State Assemblyman Steve Hawley, R-Batavia, speaks during the dedication ceremony. He paid for the flag pole that carries the New York State flag. He did that in memory of his father, the late R. Stephen Hawley who served in World War II.

The Kendall Lions Club and the VFW Lincoln Post 1483 in Medina also paid for flag poles. The VFW paid for the pole in honor of Duke Sevenski.

Assemblyman Hawley praised the teamwork by the Scouts in creating the memorial.

Hawley said he has led 12 Patriot Trips to take local veterans and their families to memorial in Washington, D.C. and the Gettysburg. About 1,500 people have attended those trips, which were originally the idea of the Mike Paduchak, a Kendall resident and WWII veteran.

Now local residents can come to the new Kendall War Memorial to reflect on the service of veterans.

Lori Cyr leads the Kendall Community Band, which played several patriotic songs for the dedication.

The Kendall High School group, Vocal Effect, also performed and sang, “Anthem.”

The four Scouts remove the cover on a bench by the memorial. The bench includes a quote by Joseph Campbell: “A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”

The Scouts raise an American flag and a flag of Prisons of War and soldiers Missing In Action. About 20 members of the Patriot Guard Riders attended the dedication. They salute while the flags are raised.

Wilma Lemcke, a Kendall graduate, leads the group in singing, “God Bless America.”

Tony Cammarata, the Kendall town supervisor, said the war memorial is a great addition for the community.

“This memorial is dedicated to service members from all walks of life,” Cammarata said. “But they shared several fundamental qualities. They possessed courage, pride, determination, selflessness, dedication to duty and integrity — all the qualities needed to serve a cause larger than one’s self.”

“This remarkable memorial would not be possible without these four Eagle Scouts. Because of them we can, from today and going forward, have a lasting tribute to all those who have served. From the soldiers that shivered and starved through the winter at Valley Forge to the doughboys crouched in the muddy trenches of France to the platoon who patrolled the hazy jungles of Vietnam and the young man or woman patrolling the mountains of Afghanistan, we remember and never forget them.”

Cammarata thanked the Scouts for their vision with the project and seeing it to completion.

“Our gathering today is the beginning of one small spark that ignites a flame of pride, for the people of Kendall and across our great country.”

Orleans County Legislature Chairwoman Lynne Johnson presented certificates of commendation to the scouts.

She quoted the late U.S. President Gerald Ford, who an Eagle Scout. “The three great principles which Scouting provides – self-discipline, teamwork, and moral and patriotic values – are the basic building blocks of leadership,” Ford said. “I applaud the Scouting program for continuing to emphasize them.”

Joette Knapp, retired Kendall town historian, checks the memorial bricks, which include one in honor of her late husband, Yorke Knapp, who served in World War II.

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