Ione L. “Polly” Niese, 94, of Cortland passed away on January 10, 2018 at Cortland Park Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. She was born March 4, 1923.
Ione (or Polly to many people) lived a happy, productive life – growing up in Homer, NY graduating from Homer School in 1940 and Cortland Normal School (now SUNY Cortland) in 1944, and teaching five years in Scotia NY.
In 1949, she married Raymond Niese from Connecticut. She moved there and taught three years before having their two sons. The family moved to Cortland, NY in 1955. A year later she was contacted by Louis Wolner, Principal of Homer School, to fill in a vacancy for one year. She ended up teaching for 28 years in Homer, retiring in 1983.
Her husband, Ray, passed away from a heart attack in June 1976 and Ione continued teaching as it gave her comfort to be around children.
After retirement she organized a Widow’s Group and began volunteering in many area organizations – Red Cross, Salvation Army, Cortland Hospital, she became a pen pal to students and participated in other R.S.V.P. activities.
Ione did quite a bit of traveling as a retired widow and developed an interest in collecting bookmarks from places she had visited as a hobby. People would give her unusual bookmarks and together she had eight albums of stories she would share with people. The collection will be left to the Cortland Free Library for others to enjoy.
Ione loved her family, her pupils and had many friends. She was especially fond of her college friends who continued a “Round Robin” letter writing to stay in touch since 1944. She felt she had a blessed life and had told friends and family she was eager to see God and thank Him.
She is survived by her loving family; her son Gary and his wife Cheryl of Redondo Beach, CA, dear friends Kathryn and Hayley Premo of Winston-Salem, NC, Carol DeShane of Preble, NY, great niece, Kathy Morey and son Cameron of Canastota, nephew Bob and his wife Wynie of Homer, NY, niece Eleanor Shrader of Cortland, NY, and many extended family members. Ione was predeceased by her parents, Mabel and Frank Lottridge, son Frederick, brother, Donald Lottridge, and sister, Elizabeth Johnson.
Calling hours will be Saturday 1-2 pm with a funeral service to begin 2 pm at the Wright-Beard Funeral Home Inc., 9 Lincoln Ave., Cortland NY, 13045. Spring Burial will be in the Glenwood Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Fourth Grade Student Award at Homer Intermediate School. The recipient will be chosen each year by the selection committee of the school and awarded to the fourth grader who shows the most improvement in behavior, attitude and effort. Funds can be sent to Homer Education Foundation, P.O. Box 174, Homer, NY 13077 and reference the Ione Niese Restricted Purpose Fund.
To offer online condolences visit www.wright-beard.com