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Obituaries from the Past Three Days

Robinson, Brian  
MANHEIM - Brian G. Robinson, 47, of Columbia, Pa., formerly of Coudersport, passed away Friday (Nov. 28, 2014) surrounded by his loving family. There will be a memorial service at 1 p.m. this Saturday at the Park United Methodist Church in Coudersport. Visitation for family and friends will follow from 2 to 4 p.m. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Spence Funeral Services, Manheim.
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Published in The Bradford Era from Dec. 16 to Dec. 23, 2014
Robinson, Brian  
MANHEIM - Brian G. Robinson, 47, of Columbia, Pa., formerly of Coudersport, passed away Friday (Nov. 28, 2014) surrounded by his loving family. There will be a memorial service at 1 p.m. this Saturday at the Park United Methodist Church in Coudersport. Visitation for family and friends will follow from 2 to 4 p.m. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Spence Funeral Services, Manheim.
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Published in The Bradford Era from Dec. 16 to Dec. 23, 2014

Obituaries from the Past Week

Rigas, Doris  
COUDERSPORT - Doris Nielsen Rigas died on Wednesday (Dec. 10, 2014) at Cole Memorial Hospital in Coudersport following a lengthy illness. Doris Rigas was born on Feb. 25, 1927, the fifth of nine children, in Penn Yan, N.Y., in humble circumstances. Her parents were Danish immigrants, her father, Christian, a tombstone engraver, and her mother, Charlotte, a housekeeper. Doris attended the Penn Yan school system, where she graduated in 1945. She was a bright and conscientious student, finishing second in her class and achieving recognition for her excellent performances in plays. Extremely hardworking her entire life, Doris was determined to be the first in her family to attend college. She paid for her education at Albany State Teacher's College (now the University of Albany) by babysitting, waiting tables, picking blueberries and cleaning homes. Graduating in 1949 with honors in English, Doris carried with her a lifelong belief in the importance of education, which she imparted to her children and grandchildren. After graduating from Albany State, Doris accepted a teaching position at Wellsville (N.Y.) Junior-Senior High School, teaching English in the seventh and tenth grades. She was widely respected by her students and colleagues for her enthusiasm, diligence and caring attitude. She helped produce school plays and advised the junior high cheerleaders. She was also active in the Nancy Howe Players, a community theater group, and played several prominent roles in its productions. While at Albany State, Doris met John Rigas on a blind date arranged by one of John's fraternity brothers. After dating a few times at school, they renewed their relationship in Wellsville, John's hometown, and on Feb. 1, 1953, they were married at St. John's Episcopal Church in Wellsville in a Greek Orthodox ceremony. Soon after, they moved to Coudersport, where they raised their four children and operated their business enterprises. They were married for nearly 62 years. While Doris preferred to remain in the background, she nevertheless played important roles in the family's business ventures. Shortly after marrying, she worked at the Coudersport Theatre selling tickets and candy. As the member of a select group - the wife of a cable television pioneer - she participated in many cable industry events over the years. Although shy by nature, she had a vibrant personality, a beautiful smile, and a robust sense of humor, which made her very popular with fellow cable operators and their families. In later years, Doris found a niche in helping to design, decorate and supervise the construction of company buildings. Lacking formal training in architecture or design - but ever the perfectionist - she possessed a keen eye for detail, an innate aesthetic sensibility and a deep appreciation for superior craftsmanship. She had a large hand in creating many of the most attractive new and restored buildings in Coudersport, including the old public school on Main Street, the old Rexall Drug Store on the corner of Main and Second streets, and the old Silk Mill on North Main Street, as well as numerous other buildings throughout the country. Doris, along with her husband, also owned and operated Eleni Interiors in Olean, N.Y. Doris's overriding love was her family. She devoted her life to her husband, her children and her grandchildren. She spared no effort or measure of creativity to ensure that each of her children enjoyed a secure, comfortable and special childhood. Coupling prodigious energy and stamina with high standards, she was often the force behind the family's accomplishments. It was her determined spirit aligned with that of her husband that shaped the family's foundation. Her work behind the scenes at home took large burdens off John and the children, enabling them to pursue their own ambitions and projects. In a crisis you could unfailingly depend on Doris to be brave and strong. Her love for the family was unconditional and profound, in good times and bad. Doris's devotion to academic excellence led her to take a special interest in her children's education, and she spent countless hours supplementing what they learned in school. Her children's academic achievements - each attended an Ivy League college - were the source of tremendous pride throughout her life. Doris engaged in a number of hobbies and activities. She worked on March of Dime campaigns, taught Sunday school at Christ Episcopal Church and participated in the ECW at the Church. A lifetime resident of small towns, she was fortunate to have traveled extensively in the United States and Europe, both with her family and with members of the cable television industry. She liked to cook and bake, often for her neighbors and friends, and to can a variety of fruits and vegetables. Her baked goods - especially her pecan pies -earned a reputation far and wide. She also loved to decorate for Christmas and other holidays, just one example being the extraordinary effort she put into adorning the Coudersport Consistory for the Adelphia Christmas concerts. Doris was an avid reader of novels and loved films of all sorts. Due to the influence of her husband and children, she became an enthusiastic sports fan, adopting their teams - especially St. Bonaventure basketball, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Buffalo Sabres - as her own. In later years, her grandchildren's sporting events became a passion, and in fair weather or foul, even as her health declined, she could be counted on to be there. Doris is survived by her husband, John; three sons, Michael, Timothy and James, all of Coudersport; one daughter, Ellen of New York, N.Y.; a daughter-in-law, Mary Ann (James) Rigas of Coudersport; a son-in-law Peter (Ellen) Venetis of New York; two siblings, Jean Nielsen Daiker and John Nielsen, both of Rochester, N.Y; and six grandchildren, Christopher Rigas, John Michael Rigas, Andrew Rigas and David Rigas, all of Coudersport, and Elias Venetis of New York, N.Y. and Hallie Rigas of Odin, Pa.: and many nieces and nephews. Doris was preceded in death by six siblings, Helen Nielsen Fox of Penn Yan, Fred Nielsen of Penn Yan, Anna Nielsen Porter of Syracuse, N.Y., Karen Nielsen Cleveland of Rochester, Bob Nielsen of Penn Yan and Herman Nielsen of Poplar Ridge, N.Y. There will be a private funeral service for family members. At a date yet to be determined, there will be a memorial celebration for the public. The Rigas Family intends to honor Doris by establishing a foundation in her name. In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Doris may be made to a charity of the donor's choice. Funeral arrangements are being coordinated by the Thomas E. Fickinger Funeral Home, 210 North East St., Coudersport, PA 16915, "A Life Celebration Home." To share your fondest memories of Doris, visit either www.lifecelebration.com or John Rigas' Facebook page.
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Published in The Bradford Era from Dec. 15 to Dec. 22, 2014
Rooke, Michael  
Michael A. Rooke, 64, of 56 Shonts Road, passed away Thursday (Dec. 11, 2014) at Bradford Regional Medical Center.  Born Sept. 6, 1950, in Southampton, United Kingdom, he was a son of the late Edwin Arthur Rooke and Maureen Stickland Caughhey, who survives. He was a 1968 graduate of Palatine, Illinois High School and studied at Northern Illinois University.  He was married to Dianne L. Frick Rooke, who survives.  He moved to Bradford in 1976 and worked for Bradco Milk Company. He worked for South Penn Service for a time and also worked for Blue Bird Coach Lines as a coach driver for a number of years. He then owned and operated M&D Trucking Company until his retirement in 2007.  At the time of his death, he was employed by St. Francis of Assisi Parish. He enjoyed golf, bowling and riding his Harley Davidson. In addition to his wife and mother, he is survived by three daughters, Melanie Little and her children, Seth and Sarah Little, of Altenburg, Mo.; Tiffany (Jason Babcock) Rooke and their children Mason, Garrett, Gage, Gavin and Mya Babcock; and Bridgette (James Jr.) Copeland and their children Jack and Lily Wells and Owen Copeland, all of Bradford; two brothers, Shaun Rooke of Port Allegany and Phil Rooke of Denver, Colo.; several nieces and nephews; and his in-laws, Clifford and Gladys Frick of Custer City. In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by a brother, Bob Rooke. Friends are invited to call from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes Inc., South Avenue, where funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday with the Rev. Steven Collins, pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Church, officiating.  Memorial contributions, if desired, can be made to the charity of the donor's choice.  Online condolences may be made at www.hollenbeckcahill.com
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Published in The Bradford Era from Dec. 13 to Dec. 20, 2014
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