Belleville, NY, Bios, Obits, Dedications, News,
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Shirley Rasbach

4 Sep 1930 – 24 Dec 1998

“Ras” joined the faculty of BCS in 1952, after graduating from Syracuse University. For 29 years she coached all girls’ sports, cheerleading, driver education, co-ed bowling and taught not only health & physical education but also, lessons for life. “Ras” promoted courtesy, enthusiasm, teamwork, mutual respect and dedication to perform at one’s fullest capability.

After retirement in 1981 “Ras” continued to be an active member of professional sports and community clubs and organizations. At the time of her death, in recognition of her lifetime dedication to school and community, her family and friends established a scholarship in her name as a fitting tribute for her many contributions during her lifetime.


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Agnes W. Martelle

16 Mar 1904–1 Apr 1999

Mrs. Martelle taught English at BCS for five years during the 1960’s while her husband, Edward F. Martelle, was Principal. Though Mrs. Martelle lived in Belleville only about ten years, she was such an integral part of the community that she has always seemed like a real “native.” Her old friends and former students miss a lovely lady.


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Keith G. Williams

18 Nov 1927–22 May 1999

A Belleville native, owner and operator of “Keith’s Radio & TV” and a member of Belleville United Methodist Church, UAB Board of Trustees and Woodside Cemetery Lot Owners Association, Keith contributed much to school & community all his life. He established a scholarship for students entering the field of electronics in the name of his family and business. Keith’s honor and integrity won the respect of all that knew him and his soft-spoken, gentle manner is greatly missed by his family and friends.


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Marilyn Simonton Cornell

5 Jan 1933 – 20 Nov 1999

A graduate of Henderson Central School and Potsdam Teachers’ College, Marilyn McGrath Simonton joined the BCS faculty in 1955. After several years as an elementary classroom teacher, Marilyn became the Remedial Reading teacher. Her unlimited patience, love and understanding were perfect for the position. She was totally dedicated to her profession and devoted to her students.

In 1980 she married Wesley “Wes” Cornell and moved to Schenectady, where she continued to substitute teach in the local school until her retirement and move to Florida. Upon her death, her family established a scholarship in her name to continue her lifelong dedication to education. Though sadly missed, she is recalled with only happy memories.


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Nellie B. Eastman Sivula

26 Dec 1900 – 10 Jan 2000

Nellie Balliet came to teach at Union Academy after her graduation from Bucknell University in 1923. Over the next 34 years she became revered and respected, not only as teacher to three generations, but as a dedicated member of the community active in church, clubs, and organizations throughout her life in Belleville.

The scholarship established in her honor in 1998 is a true reflection of the feelings of her friends, family and students. At this time nearly $7,000 has been donated in her honor and memory.


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Janice Williams Shelmidine

8 Nov 1934 – 11 Feb 2000

Born and raised in Belleville, Janice was a graduate of BCS and Watertown School of Commerce. She was an active member of Belleville United Methodist Church, and Belleville Rough & Ready 4-H Club. Also, the Jefferson Rehabilitation Assoc., Jefferson County Co-op Extension, Farm Bureau, BCS & BHCS PTO, UAB Board of Trustees and long time Sunday School teacher. She was also president of Trisomy 21 Foundation of Northern NY, which she was instrumental in founding.


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Karen Christine Kelly

22 Jul 1948 – 7 May 2000

A native of Ogdensburg, NY, Miss Kelly joined the faculty of BCS as fourth grade teacher in 1971, after graduating from SUNY Potsdam. She held that position for the next twenty-nine years, until her death. Always active in school and community, Karen was a member of BHCS PTO, Belleville Fire Auxiliary, German-American Partnership Program, Girl Scouts and Philomathean Free Library Board. A scholarship established in her memory totals over $7,500 at this time; a fitting tribute to a very much loved friend and devoted teacher.


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Marion L. Keck

11 Jun 1921 – 22 Jun 2000

Mrs. Keck came to BCS in 1963, as a Commercial teacher, after serving on faculties in four other schools and secretary at J. P. Lewis Company. While raising five children of her own, she still took a very personal interest in each of her students and always had time for everyone. She was the kind of teacher all former students come back to visit, which is the greatest tribute students can give. Marion retired in 1987, after twenty-four years at BCS. The absence of her forthright ways, her humor and her hearty laugh left a great void in the halls of “Old Union.”


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Cora M. Laemmermann

28 Oct 1909 – 25 Jul 2000

Mrs. Laemmermann was school nurse at Belleville from 1952 until her retirement in 1970. Before coming to Belleville, she had served as Nurse Supervisor at Mercy Hospital, school nurse at Brownville High School and four years in the State education Department in Albany. She was a communicant of St. Cecilia’s church, member of St. Cecilia’s Ladies Group, NYS Retired Teachers’ Assoc. and former member of several state and local nursing associations.

Always able to cope with any emergency, Mrs. Laemmermann was the true embodiment of “NURSE.” A lovely lady mourned by all.


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Lila Bull

18 Jan 1908 - 10 Oct 2000

A graduate of UAB (1925), Oswego State Teachers’ College and Syracuse University, Miss Bull taught Art in Lyons Central School before coming to BCS in 1955. Always noted for her spacious pockets (in which she could find anything from a toothbrush to a hammer?) and the pencils worn in her hair, she was everyone’s favorite. After her retirement in 1970 she taught crafts at local historical societies and museums and played flute in several local music groups.

This tiny, energetic lady touched the lives of four generations with her many talents.


Articles as they appeared in the
Union Academy of Belleville Board of Trustee's publication, ACADEMIA
Voume 2 Issue 1 May 2001
Editor Maurice L. Herron