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April 24, 2014

Raymond E. Southworth

Raymond E. Southworth

MIDDLEFIELD — Raymond E. Southworth, 86, a lifelong resident of the Cooperstown, Middlefield and Westford area died Friday April 18, 2014, at Bassett Healthcare in Cooperstown, after a short illness.

Raymond was born on March 1, 1928, in Cooperstown, the son of Earl M. and Julia (Jacobs) Southworth. Ray was raised in Cooperstown and in 1946, he entered the U.S. Army and served in the Korean War. Later, while serving in West Germany he met Hildegard Bonkte, they were married in 1952, and, following the completion of Ray’s military service, they moved back to Cooperstown.

They first resided on Irish Hill and later, for nearly 35 years, on Chestnut Street (where Stewarts now exists) before moving to the Middlefield area. Following Hilda’s death Ray married Helen Strong, who survives him.

He was employed as a chef in a number of area establishments, among them Bassett Hospital for more than 30 years and later Woodside Hall in Cooperstown. He was well-known for his food preparation skills. Ray was also the caretaker of the Westville Cemetery for a number of years.

Raymond loved the out-of-doors and especially enjoyed hunting, fishing and golfing; indeed he bought several new clubs just last year! He also enjoyed bowling in several leagues, following NASCAR, especially Matt Kenseth, WWE Wresting, and watching TV westerns.

More than anything he loved the company of his family and playing games, especially cards. He will also be fondly remembered by many for his ever present willingness to volunteer to help his friends and acquaintances whenever they needed assistance. He truly enjoyed helping others.

He was a member of the Milford American Legion Post 1566 and the Westville United Methodist Church.

In addition to his wife, Helen; Ray is survived by his son, Gregory (Cheryl) Strong of the town of Westford; his granddaughter, Annkatherine Strong of Oneonta; and his great-granddaughter, Lynn Rose Robinson; by Cheryl’s two sons, Tyler at home and Kyle (Dawn) Hogan of Milford; as well as by their four children Alexander, Olivea and Audrie Hilgers and Owyn Hogan, all of Milford. He is also survived by his godson, Lloyd (Mary) Wilkinson of Hartwick; and his former daughter-in-law, (Gregory’s first wife), Florence Strong of Laurens; as well as by his beloved cat, Garth.

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