Erma Eilene Voorhees, 94, formerly of Oppenheim, New York joined her family members in Heaven on June 8, 2021. She passed away peacefully at St. Johnsville Rehabilitation and Nursing Center.
She was born in Oppenheim, New York to the late, Raymond and Elsie (Brown) Voorhees on April 11, 1927. Growing up on the family farm, she attended the one room school house until the opening of the new K-12 Oppenheim school. Erma was in one of the first graduating classes of the “new” school, graduating in 1945. She went on to graduate from Oneonta State University with her Bachelors Degree and from Potsdam State University with her Master’s Degree in Teaching.
Erma very much enjoyed teaching. Over her 35 year career, she taught elementary grades at the Waterville City School District and Rome City School District. She retired in 1986. When Erma wasn’t working, she was helping her sister, Bertha. Having had polio, the residual effects left Bertha with ambulation and movement limitations. Erma, unselfishly, assisted Bertha with all her wants and needs for the rest of her life.
Embracing the Methodist faith, Erma was a life-long, faithful, member of the Oppenheim United Methodist Church. She served in many capacities at the church over the years, including; choir member, Sunday School superintendent, Chairperson and other positions of the administrative board. As a Sunday School teacher for several decades, Erma taught many of the community’s children in both Sunday school and vacation bible school. These people still talk about their classes with “Miss Erma”.
For many years, Erma was a member of the Oppenheim Senior Citizens organization. She loved spending time with her friends at “the center” in their meetings and various activities. For many years, Erma served as “Trip Planner”, for the group to various sights in the Northeast.
Erma always enjoyed spending time with her family and friends. Any time she could spend with her immediate family as well as aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews was her most favorite times. She also had many other life passions such as gardening, reading, baking, sewing, making quilts, working cross word and Quotable puzzles, playing iPad Solitaire, seeing area or Broadway plays, and watching Hallmark movies or game shows.
Erma also loved to travel! She visited many national and tourist areas. Of her most favorite were the times she joined the spectator bus for the OECS Marching Hawk band trips across the nation. Erma will forever be remembered through her hundreds of paintings! Her superb artistic talents showed in paintings. She was always happy to share her beautiful canvases with her family and friends.
Erma is survived by her nieces and nephews: Vicki DeNinno of Oppenheim, NY with whom she lived prior to St. Johnsville Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Lisa (Brad) Ploss of Oppenheim, NY; Douglas Leavenworth of Claremore, OK., Robin (Ken) Coirin of Caroga Lake, Karen (Michael) Sears of Talkeetna, AK, Dawn (Robert) Dunn of Glens Falls, Keith (Kathi) Leavenworth of Ottawa, IL, and several cousins. Erma also had a close, special friend, Alice Silvernail.
Erma was predeceased by her parents and siblings – William Leavenworth, Bertha Voorhees, and Ernest Voorhees; sisters-in-law, Diane (May) Voorhees and Mildred (Robinson) Leavenworth; a nephew, Richard Voorhees and many other cousins and close friends.
Calling hours will be held on Friday, June 11, 2021 from 11:00 am to 12:00 pm at Miller-Plonka Funeral Home, 30 Wolf Street, Dolgeville, New York 13329. A funeral service will be held immediately following calling hours at 12:00 pm (noon) also Miller-Plonka Funeral Home, with Pastor Anthony Bradseth officiating. Procession will follow to Dolgeville Cemetery where she will be laid to rest with her parents and sister.
The family of Erma Voorhees would like to thank the practitioners, nurses and staff of the St. Johnsville Rehabilitation and Nursing Center for the kind and compassionate care that was shown to her during her stay.
In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial contributions to the Oppenheim United Methodist Church, c/o Linda Duesler, 6582 State Highway 29, St. Johnsville, New York 13452, or the Oppenheim Volunteer Fire Department, 6786 State Highway 29, St. Johnsville, New York 13452.
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