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Death notices and obituaries from the Jan. 1 Springville Journal

Harriet Davis
Harriet Davis

Harriet F. Davis, a resident of Springville prior to 2007, died Dec. 30 at Fox Run in Orchard Park, shortly after her 100th birthday.

She was born in New York City on Dec. 12, 1912. She attended the Eastman School of Music and Fredonia State Teachers College, graduating in 1935. She taught vocal music at Springville-Griffith Institute from 1935 – 1939 and kindergarten from 1950 – 1971, when she retired.

After her retirement, she volunteered at the Preschool Learning Center and the Meals on Wheels program in the village. In 1959, she and her husband hosted Leena Jaskari, an American Field Service student from Finland.

Harriet was the wife of the late Philip Davis and is survived by a niece and nephew.

A memorial service will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Springville, at a later date. Expressions of sympathy may be made to the Methodist Church in Springville or to Hospice Buffalo, 150 Bennett Road, Cheektowaga, N.Y. 14227.

Arrangements were made by the Smith-Weismantel Funeral Home, 271 East Main St., Springville. Online condolences may be made at

[photo2[Daisy Rycraft
Daisy Rycraft, 93, formerly of Fort Myers, Fla. and Springville, died Dec. 28.

She was born on Oct. 22, 1919 in Exeter, N.H., a daughter of the Rev. Stephen and Sophia (nee Parker) Schurman. She and her family relocated Springville, where her father led the congregation at the First Baptist Church.

Growing up, Rycraft was active in church life, sang in choirs, played piano and violin and was a Girl Scout. She graduated from Springville-Griffith Institute High School in 1936 and attended Cortland Normal School from 1937 – 1939, majoring in physical education.

She married Edward Mitchell in 1939 and had five children. The family then moved to the Rochester area.

While raising her family, she worked in laboratory technology for Gerber Baby Foods, R.T. French Company and the University of Rochester. She also worked as the office manager at Sears Roebuck & Co., The Heart Association and Diamond Shamrock Labs. She also sewed, knitted, crocheted and gardened.

In 1964, she married Nelson Rycraft. The couple had eight children, 18 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. The Rycrafts played cards and board games and traveled throughout the United States and Canada. They were members of Clowns of America and participated in the Special Olympics.

The couple retired to Florida and, in 2002, after Nelson’s death, Daisie returned to Rochester.

She was predeceased by her husband, Nelson Rycraft; son, James Mitchell; daughters, Jean Pickens and Jeanne Sherman; grandson, Steven Sherman and granddaughter, Cheri Purcell. She is survived by three daughters, Barbara Surre, Joanne (Fred) Burnash, and Janet (Eugene) Kobos; two sons, Alan Mitchell and Roger (Brenda) Rycraft; son-in-law, Wells Sherman; 16 grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild.

She was a member of the West Henrietta Baptist Church and choir and Value Of Implementing Consumer Empowerment; a volunteer for the Lee County Office of the Sheriff; past matron, Order of the Eastern Star Oatka and Eagle Star Chapters and a member Order of the Amaranth, Lee Court No. 9, Florida.

A celebration of her life will be held Jan. 26, at 11 a.m. at West Henrietta Baptist Church, 5660 West Henrietta Road, West Henrietta, N.Y. Expressions of sympathy may be made to The Friendly Home, 3156 East Ave., Rochester, N.Y. 14618, or West Henrietta Baptist Church.

Sara Stevens
Sara Stevens

Sara Jeanne Stevens, 86, died Dec. 30 in Hamot Medical Center in Erie, Pa. She had worked at Robinson Knife Factory in Springville.

She was born March 12, 1926 to Louie and Sarah (nee Ryder) Wehust.

She was the mother of Bonnie Dougan, Robin (Richard) Gravett, Jeffrey (Kathleen) Stevens, Timothy (Rhonda) Stevens and Patti (David) Cleveland; also survived by 14 grandchildren and several great-grandchildren; sister of Bob Wehust of California.

A funeral service was held Jan. 4 from the Smith-Weismantel Funeral Home, 271 East Main St., Springville. The Rev. William Kay officiated. Burial was in East Otto Cemetery. Online condolences may be made at


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