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Obituaries

February 27, 2014

Lesley A. Branson

Lesley A. Branson

ROSEBOOM — Lesley A. Branson, 62, of Roseboom, died Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown.

Born May 6, 1951, in Patterson, N.J., Lesley was the daughter of Richard and Mary (Kearns) Orelup.

She graduated from Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale, N.J., in the Class of 1969, attended the Ridgewood School of Art in Ridgewood, N.J., where she was recognized for her outstanding artistic ability, and graduated from Franconia College in New Hampshire with an associate’s degree. Thereafter, she received her bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York in Oneonta in dietary science.

As an adult, Lesley worked in a number of Cooperstown area businesses, among them Spurbeck’s Grocery, the Otsego Manor and the Clara Welch Thanksgiving Home. She especially enjoyed interacting with the residents of the Manor and Thanksgiving Home and sharing their memories and experiences.

Lesley was an absolutely voracious reader, commonly “consuming” a novel or more a day. Her home was always piled with books; she read literally thousands of books during her adult life.

She enjoyed growing herbs, cooking, classical music, long walks, bird watching, boating on Otsego Lake, long swims in the ocean and … animals. It was not unusual for her to have several adopted stray dogs or cats in her home.

Lesley is survived by William H. Bowers, her partner of 21 years; her sister, Mary Clare Orelup and her husband, Rob Novotny and their children, Lauren and Richard, all of Montville, N.J.; her sister, Diane Orelup and her husband, James Guider of Gray, Maine; her brother, Richard (Alicia) Orelup of Portland, Maine, and their daughter, Margaret of South Portland, Maine. She is also survived by her stepchildren, Emily Bowers and Emily’s husband Ben Combetta and their children, Max and Avery, all of Walker, La., William R. Bowers of Milford, Pa., and Elisabeth Penree of Saratoga.

A gathering will be at 5 p.m. Saturday, March 1, 2014, at the Tillapaugh Funeral Home, 28 Pioneer St., Cooperstown, for friends and acquaintances to share their memories and recollections of Lesley.

The family suggests, for those who so desire, that donations in Lesley’s memory be made to the Susquehanna SPCA, 4841 State Highway 28, Cooperstown, NY 13326.

Arrangements are under the supervision of Tillapaugh Funeral Service, Cooperstown.

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