The Record-Review – The official newspaper of Bedford and Pound Ridge, New York



Obituaries for current and former Bedford, Pound Ridge  and Lewisboro residents are posted online as they are received as a courtesy to family and friends who want to attend services. Obituaries are also printed in the newspaper on Friday if submitted to the newsroom, by Tuesday at 5 p.m. There is no charge for publication. Submissions must be 500 words or less and may be edited to conform with the paper's editorial style. To have an obituary published unedited, as a paid ad, contact the Advertising Department

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The official newspaper of the towns of Bedford, Pound Ridge and Lewisboro, New York

April 27, 2018

Betty Wamsley, 81, was active in many Bedford organizations

Betty (McGowan) Wamsley died April 19 after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s disease. She was 81.

Born in Jacksonville, Florida, July 19, 1936, to Paul E. and Sarah Florence McGowan, she earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Florida State University. She met her husband, Alfred (Fred) Wamsley, of Savannah, Georgia, on a blind date. They were married for 55 years before he died in 2015.

Because of Mr. Wamsley’s career with General Foods, the family moved many times before finally settling in Bedford in 1968. Ms. Wamsley was a lifelong volunteer and board member of many organizations, including the Bedford Garden Club, the Garden Club of America, the Junior League of Northern Westchester, the Board of Trustees of Westchester Community College, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the Nature Conservatory and Mianus River Gorge Preserve and the Bedford Conservation Committee. She was also the former co-owner of the Richard Oliver House, a clothing boutique in Bedford.

In addition, she was an active member of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church and the Bedford Golf & Tennis Club, where she was known as a formidable golf and tennis player, according to family members. She was also known for her keen sense of humor and practical jokes.

The Wamsleys moved to Atlantic Beach, Florida, in 2009, when Ms. Wamsley’s health began to fail, The couple had spent winters there for many years. 

Ms. Wamsley is survived by her daughters, Mary Jane Johnson of Stoughton, Massachusetts; Sara Hickman (Bruce) of Hartfield, Virginia, and Susie Wamsley of Greenwich, Connecticut; four grandsons and other family members.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the American Alzheimer’s Association or a charity of one’s choice. A private memorial service will be held May 20 in Atlantic Beach.

Robert Furman, 91, longtime St. Matthew’s member

Robert E. Furman, 91, formerly of Katonah, died April 19. He was 91.

Mr. Furman was a longtime member of St. Matthew’s Church and was active in local civic affairs, most notably as a member of the Wetlands Commission in the Town of Bedford.

He was born in New York City to the late Edwin and Louise Furman. After serving in  the Navy during World War II, he had a long career at IBM.

He was married to his wife, Jane, for 50 years before her death in 2007. 

Survivors include a daughter, Susan Furman Walter and three grandchildren.

A service celebrating Mr. Furman’s life will take place at St. Matthew’s Church Saturday, April 28, at 11 a.m. 

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Matthew’s Church, PO Box 293, Bedford NY 10506.

St. Matthew’s service for Mary Seaman, longtime Bedford resident

A memorial service and celebration of life for Mary Hegarty Seaman will be held Saturday, May 12, at 2 p.m., at St. Matthew’s Church, 382 Cantitoe St., Bedford. Family and friends are invited to attend. 

A longtime Bedford resident, Ms. Seaman died Jan. 18 in Bakersfield, California. She was 74.

Ms. Seaman was the wife of the late David P. Seaman. Survivors include her children, Jennifer (Ward) Day of Westchester, Ohio; Victoria (Perry) Jue of Bakersfield, California; Page (BT) Bowler of Ridgefield, Connecticut; David (Nicole) Seaman Jr. of New York City, and Geoffrey (Amanda) Seaman of Queens; her stepchildren, Suzanne (Mark) Winkelman of New York City, Julie (Fran) Gennarelli of Croton-on-Hudson and Amanda (Mark) Notz of Providence, Rhode Island; 12 grandchildren; her sisters, Brenda Breen, Virginia Flaherty and Anne Hegarty; a brother, David Hegarty, and other family members. She was predeceased by a brother, Peter Hegarty, and two sisters, Patricia Hegarty and Julia Ernesti.

Born in Boston to the late Mary and Peter Hegarty, Ms. Seaman was a graduate of St. Gregory’s High School and the Chandler School in Boston, Massachusetts. She spent her early career as a legal assistant in New York, and later worked as a personal manager in the entertainment industry.

She loved the theater and singing, according to her family, and spent many years as an active member of the St. Matthew’s Church Choir. She was also an accomplished cook.

Frank Kearns, American literature specialist, was 86

Francis (Frank) Kearns, a longtime Pound Ridge resident, died April 23. He was 86.

Born and raised in Brooklyn, he graduated from New York University and received a master’s degree from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina, where he met his future wife, Ann.

Mr. Kearns served in the CIA during the early years of the Cold War. He later had a long academic career at Georgetown University and at the City University of New York’s Lehman College, where he became chair of the English department. His field was American literature, with specialties in transcendentalist writers and African-American authors. He also taught American literature to foreign students in Norway, France and Hungary.

Mr. Kearns was a resident of Pound Ridge since 1974.

Survivors include Ann, his wife of 57 years; a daughter, Ellen; a son, Edward; a sister, Margaret LaConte; and other family members. He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Gertrude, and by his brothers, George and Jack.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Patrick’s Church in Bedford. Interment will follow at Pound Ridge Cemetery.

Peter Hertel, former Pound Ridge Market owner, was 71

Peter James Hertel, a former owner-operator of the Pound Ridge Market, died April 22. He was 71.

He was a former longtime resident of Westchester County, where he lived for roughly 30 years. He was most recently living in New Milford, Connecticut.

He was born in the Bronx, Jan. 27, 1947, to the late Frank and Irene Hertel. He grew up on Carpenter Avenue, where he started to work at a local deli at age 13. He was a graduate of Mount Saint Michael Academy and also studied at Iona College. Professionally, he was the former treasurer at Utilities and Industries Corp. He also worked as a financial advisor at Fusion Financial Group. 

He is survived by his wife, Lynn; a brother, Richard; and five children, Rachel (Jim Grahn), Christina (Bobby Demaria), Richard (Jaime Fenton), Ellen (Casey Hilliard), and Kathleen; five grandchildren and other family members. He was preceded in death by his sisters, Anne and Barbara (Larry Hannan).

The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated April 26 at St. Patrick’s Church, Bedford. Interment was private.

FEBRUARY 16, 2018

Longtime Katonah resident William P. Herbert dies at 91

William P. Herbert, a Katonah resident for more than 40 years, died Feb. 9 in Wilton, Connecticut. He was 91.

Mr. Herbert was born Oct. 29, 1926, to Preston and Miriam Herbert in Briarcliff Manor, where he lived for over 40 years before moving to Katonah. He graduated from the New York Military Academy in 1945 and served in the Navy from 1945 to 1947. Following his service, Mr. Herbert had a career in sales for Thomas J. Lipton & Co. 

In 1948, he married Suzanne Connelly, who died in 2014.

Mr. Herbert is survived by four children and their spouses: William and Anne Herbert of Ludlow, Vermont; Stephen and Suzanne Herbert of Pound Ridge; Sally and Daniel Sorel of Vingt-Hanaps, France; and Peter and Cynthia Herbert of New Canaan, Connecticut; nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Mr. Herbert and his wife’s urn containing their ashes will be sent to a family plot in Savannah, Georgia.

Rosemary L. Simpson, retired KES teacher, dies at 84

Rosemary L. Simpson, of Katonah, died Feb. 9. She was 84.

Ms. Simpson retired from Katonah Elementary School where she taught grades five and six for many years. She was also an avid gardener, enjoyed traveling, hiking, outdoor activities and square dancing.

Ms. Simpson was born in Passaic, New Jersey, to Joyce and Victor Lenartowicz. She is survived by her husband, James H. Simpson; three children, Katherine McEleney of Bedford, James Simpson of Perkiomenville, Pennsylvania, and David Simpson of Hernando, Florida, as well as a sister, Joan Lenartowicz, of Boulder, Colorado, and brother, Walter Lenartowicz, of Vernon, New Jersey.

In lieu of flowers, the family has suggested that donations be made to the American Cancer Society or the Katonah Village Library.

FEBRUARY 9, 2018

Pound Ridge mourns passing of Plum Plums founder


Foodies and friends in Pound Ridge are mourning the passing of Audrey Miele Free, 57, who died suddenly Jan. 27.

Ms. Free, who was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 1, 1960, and has seven sisters, spent many years living in Pound Ridge and working in Plum Plums Cheese, the artisanal cheese shop she founded in 2006 with her late husband, Adam. She had moved to Mamaroneck in recent years.

Many in town became friends with her as a result of frequenting her shop on Westchester Avenue. “I would visit her and Adam daily at the shop just to say ‘Hi’ and have a cup of coffee with them,” said Susan Grissom, who was the director of the now closed Lionheart Gallery down the road. “We would laugh a lot. She gave me an art show of my own at Plum Plums, as she knew … that I rarely showed my own art.”

Another friend, Lisl Steiner, who has lived in Pound Ridge since 1970, was the “pro bono curator” for art exhibits in the shop. She frequently featured Pound Ridge Elementary School student artists, and Ms. Free would make the exhibit openings lively events, including, of course, a cheese tasting. “Audrey had remarkable depth and sensitivity,” said Ms Steiner. “She had such a great humor.”

Ms. Free was originally a script supervisor by profession. “She worked in the film industry, as did her husband, Adam. She was so much fun — a foodie, a wonderful cook, a generous and lovely friend. And such a wonderful laugh,” said Ms. Grissom. “I was lucky enough to be a dinner guest at their home many times. When the movies came out for the Academy Awards, as Adam was in the Directors Guild, we would watch the movies up for awards. Audrey was generous, kind, thoughtful and so much fun, such a great sense of wit.”

But her love of food stands out. “She told me she had chosen the name Plum Plums a long time ago and wanted to have a business one day with that name,” said Ms. Grissom. “She was so amazing with cheese and food, and the products that she brought into the store were so unique and unusual. She gave her all to the store.”

In 2014, Gayle Martin and her husband, Michael Riahi, partnered with Ms. Free to grow Plum Plums in new directions. “We were customers of theirs, and she asked us to come on board,” said Ms. Martin. “She decided to pass the torch to people who would take it to the next level. But it is her passion that started Plum Plums Cheese, and we are delighted to pay it forward.”

Ms. Free eventually stepped away from the business, but Ms. Martin is quick to point out that it was her vision that laid the groundwork for the success of the shop.

“I think that what she did was find a niche that the community embraced. Our community has well-traveled food lovers who appreciate quality food. She developed a niche that everyone appreciated. The community wanted her and the store to thrive.”

Ms. Free is survived by her sisters Diane (Dave), Janet, Carol (Bachir), Joan (Phil), Susan (Mark), Patricia (George), and Barbra (Gordon), as well as several nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her daughter, Madeline “Maddy” Free, 24, an only child who lost both her parents in the span of just two years. She is a full-time student and currently spends her days interning with second- and fourth-graders. A fund has been set up to help with the funeral expenses and her future at

“Maddy has the support of the entire community behind her,” said Ms. Martin. “And that’s what Pound Ridge is all about.”

Ms. Grissom agreed. “Audrey’s customers just loved her. She was an inspiration. She was always working on the shop to make it the best cheese store. If you were there when her customers came in, you could see the warmth and respect they had for her,” said Ms. Grissom. “She was one of a kind. She has gone from us far too soon.”

Mel Hartzler, former owner of Katonah Building Services, dies at 93

Melvin E. Hartzler, the former owner of Katonah Building Services, died Jan. 18, at the Putnam Ridge Nursing Home in Brewster. He was 93.

Born Aug. 2, 1924, in Manhattan, Kansas, to Melvin and Zora Hartzler, he was the fifth of six children born to parents who had been brought up in the Mennonite faith. The family moved to Downers Grove, Illinois, while he was still a boy and he attended schools there. He graduated from Downers Grove High School in 1942 and briefly attended the University of Illinois before being drafted into the Army Air Corps in 1943. In the service, he was stationed in Texas and Florida working as a technician repairing landing instrumentation.

After being discharged from the service in 1945, he worked as a surveyor and a carpenter and studied for his pilot’s license, which he received in 1947. He married Gretchen Rahn in August 1951.

He returned to the University of Illinois, which he attended on the GI Bill, earning a bachelor’s degree in engineering and then a master’s degree in industrial relations in 1953.

He began working in labor relations at the Ford Motor Company in 1957 in Dearborn, Michigan. Several years later, a former colleague recruited him to join IBM in New York. His family moved to  Chappaqua in 1960.

After separating from his wife, he married Ursula Milde in 1987. The couple settled in Katonah shortly after.

Mr. Hartzler retired from IBM in 1986. He returned to his first love, carpentry, opening a home repair business, Katonah Building Services, which he operated for roughly a decade. Family members recalled that whenever he was asked, “How are you doing?” his standard answer was, “There’s always room for improvement!”

In 1980, he earned a master’s degree in divinity from the New York Theological Seminary.

Mr. Hartzler is preceded in death by his parents and three brothers, James, Thomas and Harris, and two sisters, Zora and Eleanor. He is survived by his wife, Ursula; a son, Carl (Terry) Hartzler, of Valencia, California, and three daughters, Linda Murray, of Logansport, Indiana, Christine (Robert) Suda, of Katonah, and Elizabeth (Andrew) Seeds, of New Fairfield, Connecticut. He also is survived by two  stepchildren, Mark and Monica; 12 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and other family members.

A celebration of his life will be held tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 10, at 1 p.m., at the Katonah Presbyterian Church, 31 Bedford Road, Katonah. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that donations be made to the Deacon’s Fund at the church.

Margaret Cable, 89, lived in Katonah for 64 years

Margaret Barrington Winter Cable, a longtime Katonah resident, died Feb. 1. She was 89.

Ms. Cable was born in 1928 in Goldens Bridge. She lived for the last 64 years in Katonah.

She was predeceased by her husband, Arthur Wesley Cable Sr., and her son, Douglas. She is survived by her sons, Arthur Jr. of Alabama, and John of Binghamton, and  daughter, Suzanne, of Mill City, Oregon. She is also survived by five grandchildren.

The family will gather for burial tomorrow, Saturday, Feb. 10, at Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla.

Dot Burbank, former Pound Ridge EMT and store owner, was 86

Dorothy (Dot) Burbank, a former EMT with the Pound Ridge Volunteer Ambulance Corps and a former resident of Bedford Hills and Pound Ridge, died Jan. 24 of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. She was 86.

Born in Mount Kisco Dec. 20, 1931, she was the daughter of Charles William Tracey Caley and Hedwig (Lanz) Caley. She attended a one-room schoolhouse in the area and graduated from Horace Greeley High School in Chappaqua. She graduated from the University of Bridgeport (Connecticut) summa cum laude in 1977 with an associates degree in nursing.

In 1951, she married the late Robert Everett Burbank, establishing their home in Bedford Hills. They later moved to Pound Ridge. Years later, they settled in Brattleboro, Vermont, where they lived for the next 32 years. They couple spent winter months in the Caribbean.

An EMT with PRVAC, Ms. Burbank also served as a Girl Scout Leader in Bedford Hills. In addition to enjoying traveling and caring for animals, she also was involved in theater, acting and later directing. She performed in many productions with the Walpole Players in Walpole, New Hampshire, and ran a theater group on the island of Montserrat. She also created an import business and sold Peruvian wares in her shop, Things Inca, in Pound Ridge.

She is survived by her children, Nancy Woodward of Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, Hollis Burbank-Hammarlund of Newfane, Vermont, Ross Burbank of Bedford and Todd Burbank of Wilton, Connecticut; five grandchildren; a brother, Herbert Caley of Dunedin, Florida, and other family members.

A gravesite gathering will be held March 17, at 11 a.m., at the Bedford Union Cemetery on Clinton Road in Bedford. A memorial gathering will follow at the home of Ross Burbank. A family member can be contacted for directions.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Windham County Humane Society, P.O. Box 397, Brattleboro, VT 05302.