Sunday, April 20, 2014

Faces of Bovina - Ann Tator

These pictures of Ann Tator, also known as Anna, were taken by Bob Wyer on November 8, 1973 (images courtesy of the Delaware County Historical Association).  At this time, Ann was living in Bovina in the house that Mark Schneider and Julie Hilson now own.

I remember the Tators well – Burt and Ann were good friends of my mom and dad.  Burt was into ham radio and got my dad into it, helping him get his ham radio license. They were generous friends, too. When my sister and brother in law were in a car accident at Christmas 1976, Burt and Ann offered my folks any financial assistance they might need in dealing with it.  As they aged and Burt became infirm, my folks started taking Ann along with them on their weekly shopping expeditions.  This tradition continued after Burt’s passing in 1998.

Though Burt and Ann were from Brooklyn, they were no strangers to Bovina, even before they moved here in 1969.  Ann’s daughter Judy provided further information about her mom and dad which I am sharing in its entirety:

Ann had been coming to Bovina ever since she was a child.  Her mother, Lucy, and Sophie Reinertsen were cousins.  They would take the train from NYC to South Kortright or Hamden and Andrew Reinerstsen would pick them up in the horse and wagon in the earlier years. She said at that time it was an all day event to retrieve them from the train.   She loved visiting the Reinersten farm "up on the hill" and riding the mule to town to get the mail, buy groceries, etc.  

After World War II, her husband, Burt, was suffering from what now might be known as TSS.  She suggested that they go to Bovina and take on a less stressful life than their one in Brooklyn.  Burt was hired in the summer of 1946 by Cliff Hall and they and their new daughter, Judy, lived in the other side of the Hall's farmhouse for about a year.  Ann worked as a nurse at the hospital in Margaretville during their stay.  Judy spent her first birthday in Bovina before the family moved back to Brooklyn where Burt started his career in the funeral business.  It was while visiting Burt and Ann that the Seedorf's, Burt's mother and step father, attended an auction of the Coulter homestead on Coulter Brook Road. Charlie had been told that for health reasons he should leave NYC and the funeral business. They  bought the farm and started their  lives in Bovina.  When the Seedorf's moved to Bovina, Ann and the children, Judy and Jeane, would spend summers with them.

When Charlie Seedorf died in November of 1969,  the Tators bought the house in town.  Agnes Seedorf lived with them for a while until she broke her hip, rehabilitated and  moved to Brooklyn with her daughter, Lois.  Ann worked as the director of nurses at the Delhi hospital and Burt got a job with the post office in Delhi.

Ann remained in the Tator home after Burt's passing, but did have to leave after breaking her hip. The last time I saw her was at the Delhi hospital in November 2005.  She had pretty much decided that because of her fall she could no longer live in her home. I'm sure she wasn't happy to be leaving Bovina, but it was just the way things were. Ann was very practical and matter of fact about it.

Here is Ann’s obituary, as it appeared in the Daily Star (Oneonta) on March 19, 2007:

Anna D. Tator, 86, a longtime Bovina Center resident, passed away peacefully early Saturday, March 17, 2007, at Oneonta Nursing Home.

The daughter of Matthew J. and Lucy C. (Jackson) Dwyer, she was born June 4, 1920, in Brooklyn, where she received her nursing training at Kings County Hospital, later continuing at New York University.

She married Burton E. Tator on March 2, 1945, in Brooklyn. "Burt" died May 20, 1998.

A registered nurse, Anna was employed 15 years at Kings County Hospital, where she was a clinical instructor. She moved to Bovina Center in 1969 and, subsequently, was director of nursing at O'Connor Hospital, Delhi (1970-71), until retirement.

She was a member of Kings County Hospital Alumni Association and had been civically active in the Bovina community.

Surviving are two daughters, Judith Ann Tator and her partner, April Gates, of Otego, and Jeane Bennett O'Dea and her husband, William, of Oneonta; two grandchildren, Lauren Marie Bennett and Robert Michael Bennett; two sisters, Lucy Schall of Stamford, Conn., and Dorothy Christensen of Albuquerque, N.M.; several nieces and nephews.

Private graveside services and burial in the Bovina Cemetery will be at the convenience of the family.

Memorial contributions to Catskill Area Hospice or Bovina Emergency Squad will be appreciated.

Anna's family wishes to express sincere appreciation to the staff at Oneonta Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and especially George and Lisa, for their care and kindness. 

Arrangements entrusted to Robert A. Peet, Hall & Peet Funeral Home, Delhi.

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