Tribute to Nancy Mapston Yann on the Aurora Village web site by Deputy Clerk Debbie Brooks, and Memorial Remarks read at her service.

Nancy M. Yann, 53, of Cherry Avenue, Aurora, died Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009, at Auburn Memorial Hospital. Nancy was born in Auburn, the daughter of the late Thomas G. Mapstone and Barbara A. Gunderson Mapstone, of Ithaca. She was a graduate of Southern Cayuga Central School "Class of 1974," and attended Cayuga Community College. She was employed as the village clerk in Aurora. In addition, she was a member of the United Ministry Church of Aurora. In addition to her mother, Nancy is survived by her husband, George W. Yann III, of Aurora; two sons, Christian G. Yann and Jeremy T. Yann, both of Aurora; one sister, Janet M. Mapstone, of Aurora; one brother, Daniel T. Mapstone and his wife KT, of Saltillo, Miss.; two uncles, Roger L. Gunderson, of Florence, S.C., and Thomas H. Gunderson and his wife Marilee, of Aurora; one grandchild, Caleb A. Davis, of Aurora; several cousins. In addition to her father; one aunt, Thelma M. Lepak; and one uncle, Howard J. Gunderson, predeceased Nancy. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 3, in the Church of the United Ministry, Aurora, with the Rev. Robert Hugh French, the pastor, officiating. Friends are invited to call from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, March 2, at the Shakelton Funeral Home, 418 Main St., Aurora. Interment will be in Oak Glen Cemetery, Aurora. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Aurora Volunteer Fire Department, Aurora, NY 13021, in memory of Nancy M. Yann. To send a message to the family, sign our guest book at www.auburnpub.com and click on obituaries.

Published in The Citizen on Saturday 2/28/2009

Kenyon was a character

Monday, February 16, 2009
By Charles McChesney, Syracuse Post-Standard staff writer

Susan "Tudy" Kenyon, of Aurora, wrote her own obituary.

"On Friday the 13th, Tudy Kenyon died . . . finally," she wrote in the obit that appeared in Sunday's Post-Standard.

Kenyon, 78, had been ill for some time, suffering a heart attack at Christmas time, said longtime friend Stanley Zabriskie.

He said the best summing up of Kenyon might have been written more than 30 years ago in a letter to her by a friend, composer Alec Wilder.

"God knows you've moved against the current since I met you at Wells College all those years ago. You've stuck to your beliefs to the extent of becoming the town character. And you couldn't care less. You live your happiest hours with your animals, you maintain a marvelous amalgam of cynicism and naivete," Wilder wrote to Kenyon in 1975.

Zabriskie said it would be wrong to limit Kenyon's legacy to the AuroraFest parade floats that protested Pleasant Rowland's efforts to aid Wells College, where Kenyon attended in the 1950s, and remake Aurora during the last decade. "That's how the 'Google-world' knows her," he said.

He said Kenyon was a woman of great integrity and "a very special part of the community."

While Wilder used the term "town character," Zabriskie said there was more. "She was very cherished by the community," he said. He suggested those interested in getting a fuller picture of the woman visit the local bar and listen.

"There will be no services; instead why not take your dog for a walk?" Kenyon wrote in the obituary.

"Friends are invited to gather at Stanley (Zabriskie's) on the 21st of February at 1 p.m.," it concludes.

"I put that in," Zabriskie said of his addition to his friend's obit.

Contact Charles McChesney at cmcchesney@syracuse.com or 470-2244.

In her own words:

"On Friday the 13th, 2009, Tudy Kenyon died.....finally. There will be no services; instead, why not take your dog for a walk? And please remember our outstanding fire department; they were so good to her. Friends are invited to gather at Stanley's on Saturday, the 21st of February at 1 p.m."

And the loving words of American composer Alec Wilder: a letter written to and about his friend Susan "Tudy"Whitacre Crandall Kenyon, whom he first met at Wells College back in 1948.

Professor Emeritus of Psychology Shelby Harris died on New Year’s Day at the age of 76. He was a long-time resident of Aurora and most recently lived in King Ferry. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Professor Harris received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. After teaching at Princeton, Lehigh, and the University of Maryland, he arrived at Wells in 1961 and taught here until retiring in 1991.

Associate Professor of Psychology Milene Z. Morfei ’89 recalled Harris’ sharp, dry wit and praised him as one of her most important professional mentors. “He saw things in people,” she said. “He knew how to nurture students’ strengths … and served as a role model for students. It was an incredible gift to Wells.” Morfei, who returned to teach at Wells seven years after her own graduation, said that Harris’ role as her teacher was a main reason she decided to pursue a Ph.D. and an academic career.

Harris served on several committees during his tenure at Wells, including Admissions & Financial Aid; Evaluation; and Financial. He also worked on special projects for the Development Office and served as advisor for the Women in Lifelong Learning (W.I.L.L.) student group. He was a member of several professional groups such as the American Psychological Association, Sigma Xi and Phi Beta Kappa, and the American Association of University Professors. A memorial service celebrating Professor Harris’ life was held at the Poplar Ridge Friends Meeting House. Professor Harris made a $10,000 bequest to Wells, a generous gift that will be designated for construction of the new science center.

Page Updated February 28, 2009