Thursday, November 5, 2020

SLDNewsletter Begins Reduced Winter Schedule and Content this Weekend

 by Greg Franklin
UPDATED 11/5/20, 8:16 PM

Beginning this past Summer, I had the opportunity of re-engaging in a more rigorous schedule with my family when my daughter offered to be my chauffer since driving distances was no longer an option for me. Since my first occupation has always been "in my blood" from a teenager, that of being a reporter/editor/publisher. I have had to make special efforts to intentionally pull away from that love in order to enable other important aspects in my life to flourish--such as personal and family relationships. 

The plan is to spend much more time with family members during the winter months. Although it saddens me to be away from both the Institute and the piano at First U.M. Church in Perry where I play weekly, I want more time to enjoy my family during these special years of my family's rapid growth and development. I don't want to regret not doing it.

My daily plan for the winter months is to begin my mornings with an update of the Newsletter which will be augmented by persons still on the Institute campus and communicating with me. This includes however-much information is shared with me with regards to snow, road conditions and any unanticipated events along the way. The weather and Covid-19 reports will also be updated, as will most anything that is requested by readers. 

You may notice a reduction in the amount of details in a story and a reduction of graphics or photos--all of which take time to research and create. Hopefully you won't notice much of anything that matters. If so, let me know; and particularly let me know if you are willing to do some "reporting" on details with which I need help. I look forward to our continued reader-writer-comment relationships and being a continuing part of your morning coffee.

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I never fail to be amazed that somehow we have managed to keep busy year round from 2010 to the present, with Silver Lake specific, Wyoming County, surrounding counties, and miscellaneous stories of human interest. At first it was slow, but under the leadership of then-Trustee-President, Pete Mairs, improvements and efficiencies were introduced in the SLI budget that created news which we were eager to share with you.

It was always fun to look through history accounts and many pages of old photos to determine what might be interesting to both those of you who experienced "the old times," and those for whom the "memories" of history were all new. The highs and lows of Institute history helped to bring a range of emotions. We received positive comments from almost all quarters indicating the readers' general interest.

Special projects stimulated much interest for our readers, as more and more detail became available about the proposed Heritage Walkway and the paver bricks at the core of the walkway. The refurbishing of Stoody Hall, the new accessible bath room in Hoag Memorial, and the major projects involving Epworth Hall, left readers consumed with interest.

Three years into our new communications tool, came the "request" to separate from the United Methodist Church which led to several years of negotiations, proposals, and some disappointments--all of which were solid news for the community--as was the final disposition in State Supreme Court in Warsaw. Finally, 143 years after the first events at Silver Lake in 1873, the Silver Lake Institute was finally a totally independent, 501c3 corporation of its own, and what an ongoing story it came to be.

With all the talk and energies that went into separation, the suggestion came that the Institute consider a healing gesture of sorts by beginning a mini-Chautauqua that would merge our efforts with those of the Asbury Retreat Center for a whole new era of working for the wider community and fulfilling our identity as expressed in our charter. The summer of 2021 will be our fourth three-day, multi-event Silver Lake Experience (SLE) also dubbed "mini-Chautauqua."

From the first Silver Lake Experience came the idea of a second Walkway in the Institute, one that offers people an alternative to competing with the wheeled traffic on Perry Avenue. SLE registrants now make their way between Epworth Hall and the Park Tent, Stoody and Hoag by way of Ames. 

As fate would have it, there was already a walkway in place and it just needed to be resurrected. Ames Avenue Walkway had historically been the "main drag" of the old Camp Wesley, Chautauqua Assembly, and Silver Lake Assembly. Prior to 1950 it served as the only connector between the old auditorium and surrounding Park, and the three historic buildings on the south side: Epworth Hall, the Hall of Philosophy (later Epworth Inn), and the Methodist Manor. 

The process of re-opening Ames for pedestrians during the open season of the Institute (July-Labor Day) provided for many interesting stories of both history and potentially beautified future. Even without the additional flowers and walkways envisioned, Ames Walkway is well loved and used even when illegally parked cars on the south end, and winter snow make it difficult to transverse. 

Many good things have been initiated and completed at SLI and at the Asbury Retreat Center. Neither can we ignore the many good things with regards to water quality by volunteers at SLA for which we all are grateful. Protecting and enhancing water quality is our future.

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SILVER LAKE EXPERIENCE (SLE) - Registration now Open for this August 4-6, 2022's SLE. See:


Walter D. “Pete” Mairs, 81, died peacefully on July 23, 2021. Born in Avon, N.Y., on Sept. 3, 1939, Pete was a longtime resident of Geneva, N.Y., and these past many years in Buffalo, N.Y., as well as his beloved Silver Lake. Pete is survived by his wife, Linda Bergstrom Mairs, a loving and true companion; children, Mimi C. Mairs, Jonathan B. Mairs; sisters, June Huff, Helen Dole; brother, Thomas Mairs; stepchildren, Daniel Brinkworth, Jennie Ramsey; sister-in-law, Anne Bergstrom, eight beautiful grandchildren, and nieces and nephews. A service and celebration of life is planned for the fall when all can share the joy of Pete’s life together. Arrangements by Stephenson – Dougherty Funeral Home, Avon, N.Y.

Editor's Note: It was a privilege knowing and working with Pete Mairs during his presidency of the Silver Lake Institute. He was a kind and gentle man, but also firm in his leadership. I served as Treasurer and Chaplain of SLI during those years and I could always depend on Pete's presence in the worship service. He was a man of faith and a gem of a human being. May he rest in God's care.


Gerald C. Sahrle, 80, of Perry, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester. He was born on Oct. 10, 1941, in Wayland, N.Y., to the late Charles A. and Helen I. (Blowers) Sahrle. Gerry was a line foreman for 32 1/2 years for NYSE&G, working out of the Perry and Hamburg locations, and was a Town of Perry Councilman. He was a member of the Free and Accepted Masons of the Constellation Lodge -404 in Perry. He was an avid fisherman, hunter and woodworker. He is survived by his wife, Valary A. (Conley) Sahrle; 1 son, Gerald (Pamela) Sahrle II of Silver Springs; 2 sisters, Millie Edmond of Greece, Bonnie Fink of Winston-Salem, N.C., 3 brothers, Ronald (Linda) Sahrle of Dansville, Robert (Susan) Sahrle of Springwater, Kenneth Sahrle of Dansville; 5 grandchildren, Bradley Musscarella, Stone and Winston Sahrle, Conley and Cooper Gayton; along with many nieces, nephews and friends. Along with his parents, he is preceded in death by a brother, Thomas Sahrle, who passed away in 2012. Services will be held at the convenience of the family. Gerry will be laid to rest in West Perry Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Perry Center Fire Department, P.O. Box 204, Perry, NY 14530. For more information, please call (585) 237-2626 or to leave a message of condolence, visit Arrangements completed by Eaton-Watson Funeral Home, LLC. 98 North Main Street, Perry, NY 14530.

Editor's Note: Gerald and Valarie could always be seen in the family pew with Pamela, Stone and Winston at Perry First United Methodist Church and continue to be loved. Gerry will be sorely missed. Both were supporters of the Arts at the Silver Lake Institute and Valarie was active in painting and participating in the Annual Show in August. Valarie's presence was always valued and appreciated.


"Kathy P." passed November 8, 2021, of Hamburg and Boston, NY. Beloved daughter of Joseph and Barbara Michalak; loving sister of Daniel Michalak; devoted wife of the late Jeffrey Praczkajlo; cherished mother of Jennifer (Shawn) Jump; loving babcia of Lily Jump; also survived by many beloved family members and friends who became her family. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Editor's Note: "Kathy P." as she was better known to us at Silver Lake was an annual summer visitor for most of the last number of years at the invitation of Silver Laker Julia Hoffner. She stayed at the Hoffner Cottage, and became known as both the fun visitor with the vivacious smile to the neighbors at the intersection of Haven Ave. and the Ames Walkway. Kathy P. and Julie could be seen walking and talking between the cottage and the Hoffner boathouse where they could be close to the water. She was also occasionally seen at the Saturday morning breakfasts at Stoody Hall. Her stay was anywhere between 4 days and a week where she had the opportunity to develop a love for Silver Lake. She was not yet eligible for retirement when late last week she developed "a cold" and had to remain home from her job. She did not update her condition over the weekend so the local police made a wellness visit and found her deceased on Monday. She was one of those many people who found Silver Lake and friendship for brief respites where she also found new strength and energy to return to work. She is being particularly mourned by those in the Haven/Ames neighborhood. She will be memorialized next summer at the annual Celebration of Life Memorial Service at Epworth Hall.


Brenda Joan Paddock, 82, of Perry, born April 15, 1939, now resides in heaven with her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Brenda met Jesus as her Savior in 1965. She met him in person on Nov. 14, 2021. She had a beautiful homecoming with music, singing and praying, leading her into Glory. Her last words were “I am well, I am well.”

Brenda’s greatest loves were her family and friends. Brenda had five children with her husband Roger: Don and Daelene Paddock of Florida, Jody and Tim Von Sanden of Pavilion, Bradley and Jeanie Paddock of Warsaw, Jennifer and Paul Guy of Massachusetts, and Nathan and Jill Paddock of Perry.

Brenda dearly loved her grandchildren: Jessica Morillo, Nikki and Clint O’Brien, Luke Paddock, Paul Paddock, Ian and Brooklyn Paddock, Joe and Louana Paddock, Burke and Megan Paddock, Aaron Paddock, Ellen Paddock, Andrew Paddock, Rachael Paddock, Abigail Paddock, Erik and Cassandra Von Sanden, Jacquelyn and Michael Jones, Tim Von Sanden, Brandon and Brandee Paddock, Jamey and Laura Paddock, Peter and Kara Guy, Candy and Jay Waitkevich, Marlo and Ryan Bolger and Jenna and Rory Peterson.

Brenda was blessed and loved her great grandchildren: Chloe, Olivia and Nicholas Von Sanden, Joshua and Jaxon Morillo, Jameson and Cassandra O’Brien, Atlas Paddock, Noah and Ezra Jones, Colton, Brantley and Charlotte Guy, Cameron Waitkevich, Amelia Bolger and Brennen Leonard.

Brenda is also survived by her brother and sister in laws; Frank and Emma Paddock, Viva and Jim Phillips-Richardson and Kurt and Lynn Paddock.

Brenda first started working as a secretary at Perry Central School. She then assisted her husband building Paddock’s Breeding Service. Roger and Brenda together built and ran the Sandsabarn teenage nightclub. Brenda was owner and operator of Serendipity Travel. Brenda’s pleasures included playing organ and piano. She played at a number of area churches along with performing for her loved ones. UPDATED -- Brenda also played with conviction at both indoor and outdoor services at the Silver Lake Institute where her grandson, Luke, sang at Epworth Hall on several occasions and was appreciated by all who heard his inspiring voice.

Brenda was preceded in death by her parents Noble and Freda Buckland, her husband Roger and son Bradley.

A Committal service at West Perry Cemetery will be held tomorrow, Wednesday, November 17 at 11 a.m., followed by a Celebration of Life at LaGrange Baptist Church at 4 p.m.

Memorial donations may be made in Brenda’s honor to the LaGrange Baptist Church 7092 LaGrange Rd. Perry, NY 14530 or to the First Congregational Church P.O. Box 156 Perry, NY 14530. Arrangements completed by Eaton-Watson Funeral Home, LLC. 98 N. Main St., Perry, N.Y. 14530. For more information or to sign the online guest registry please visit

AUGUST 4-7, 2022

AUGUST 4-7, 2022
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Silver Lake Links

  • South Lake Cam (S/L Marine; SLA)
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  • AMES WALKWAY--No Parking on Walkway from every July 1 through Labor Day by order of the SLI Trustees.
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    (Joan Maddison)
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  • Silver Lake Experience Website (SLE)
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