Elsa Marion Wells Petri
ONEONTA — Elsa Marion Wells Petri of Oneonta passed away Feb. 15, 2014, at Otsego Manor at the age of 94 years.
She was born Jan. 8, 1920, at the Wells Homestead on Christian Hill in the Town of Hartwick, the only child of Jesse and Lula Bishop Wells.
She attended school through grade eight at the Eddy School House also known as Hartwick District School No. 6. Thereafter she went to Cooperstown graduating in the Class of 1937. She then furthered her education at Brockport Teacher’s College and later graduated from Powelson Business School in Syracuse.
During World War II she worked for the U.S. Flood Control Agency and later for General Electric and at the office of the Leatherstocking Corporation in Cooperstown. While working at Leatherstocking she met Ralph A. Petri an employee at the Second National Bank, now Key Bank, in Cooperstown and they were married April 12, 1952, at the First Baptist Church in Cooperstown. Soon after the marriage they purchased a farm in Toddsville, where Brookwood School is now located, which they ran while Ralph was still working at the bank. In 1961, the bank transferred them to Hudson, and in 1965, to Oneonta.
After her marriage Elsa became a devoted housewife and mother giving her time to the Lord’s work. She put her family ahead of all matters, caring for her elderly parents and her husband in their old age.
She was a former member of Hartwick Grange No. 746 which she had joined at the age of 14, and was an active member of the Oneonta Chapter of DAR as a descendant of Revolutionary War veteran, John Wells, who moved to and purchased land in the Town of Hartwick from Judge William Cooper in 1793.
She was a member of the Elm Park United Methodist Church in Oneonta where she sang in the choir for many years and was a member of the UMW (United Methodist Women). She was also a member of the First Baptist Church of Cooperstown, and the Native Daughters of Cooperstown. She served as an Election Commissioner in Oneonta for a number of years.
Elsa is survived by her son, David R. Petri of Cooperstown; and a daughter and son-in-law, Janice and John Gurule of Arvada, Colo. She is also survived by two grandchildren, Sara and Owen Gurule of Colorado; and by her cousins, Carol Adanti of Florida and Irene West of Syracuse.
A memorial service will be at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at the Elm Park United Methodist Church in Oneonta with the Rev. Olu Harding, pastor and the Rev. Douglas Deer, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Cooperstown co-officiating.
For those who so desire, the family suggests that donations be made in Elsa’s memory to either the Elm Park United Methodist Church, 401 Chestnut St., Oneonta, NY 13820 or the First Baptist Church of Cooperstown, 19 Elm St., Cooperstown, NY 13326.
Arrangements are under the guidance of Tillapaugh Funeral Service, Cooperstown.