Emily Nell VanGorder, 89, of Cortland, passed away on April 5, 2022 at the Guthrie Cortland Medical Center.
Kind, generous, and loving, Emily persevered to raise four sons despite a disabling childhood battle with polio and the 1972 death of her husband and high school sweetheart, Darrell, at the hands of a drunk driver. We mourn her loss now but will always remember her for her courage, her toughness, and the love she had for her family and friends. She was and will remain an inspiration to us all.
Emily was born on January 14, 1933 in Cortland, NY to her parents the late Murl Osbeck and Julia Reakes Osbeck. A proud 1951 graduate of Virgil Central School, Emily first found work as a secretary for flyfishing ambassador Leon Chandler at the Cortland Line Company. She later worked as a secretary in the Gibbs Medical Building on Homer Avenue and in the offices of the county district attorney and nursing department.
In retirement, she enjoyed gardening at her home, plays at the Cortland Repertory Theater with her special friend Molly Ireland, researching her family’s history and participating as secretary for the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She rarely missed a televised Syracuse basketball game and enjoyed attending the events and activities of children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
She is survived by her sons Garry (Valarie) VanGorder of Cortland, James (Susan) VanGorder of Willow, Alaska, Darrell (Cathy) VanGorder of Cortland, and Keith (Shelly) VanGorder of Cortland, brother Richard (Phyllis) Osbeck, brother-and sisters-in-law Anita VanGorder, Carl and Dorla Elliot, Dave and Marilyn VanGorder, Tom and Audrey VanGorder and Joni VanGorder, grandchildren Stephanie (Shawn) Shutts, Emily (Jon) Rodriguez, Aubrey (Travis) Lang, Ryan (Samantha) VanGorder, Ellen VanGorder, Taylor VanGorder, Jeffrey (Laura) VanGorder, Morgan (Qwuhail) Barlow, Jacob VanGorder and Chloe VanGorder as well as great-grandchildren Eleanor, Maxine, Quinn, Delilah, and Mason along with numerous nieces and nephews, and her beloved dog, Rosie.
In addition to her parents and husband, Emily was preceded in death by brothers Donald, Leonard, and David Osbeck, sisters-in-law Vera and Charlotte Osbeck, Janet VanGorder, Thelma VanGorder, Marian VanGorder, and brothers-in-law Robert VanGorder, Philip VanGorder, and Richard VanGorder.
Calling hours will be held from 4 to 7pm on Monday at Wright-Beard Funeral Home. Funeral services will take place on Tuesday at 10am at the funeral home. Burial will follow at the Cortland Rural Cemetery.
Those wishing to make memorial contributions are asked to consider a donation to the Cortland County SPCA.
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