Sunday, August 1, 2021

Pioneers of RG&E Newsletter - 08/01/2021

A Newsletter for Retirees and Friends * Also posted at

 The picnic is full steam ahead this Thursday. We have just about 200 people signed up! (This is actually our typical headcount). I'm excited to see everyone - much of the usual crowd and also quite a bit of first-timers joining. We will be doing a 50/50 raffle (see JIM WHITE) that helps with funding the postcards and keeping this picnic so affordable - so bring some CASH if you want to help support this effort! We also usually have folks bringing old RG&E memorabilia that is FREE for you to take home!
  Check-in and nametag pickup is at the front of the pavillion, so please stop there first - also note, we request you turn your nametag back in to us before you leave for safe-keeping for future years. 
  I want to THANK YOU all that included little notes in with your checks for the picnic - it is much appreciated and keeps me going - I appreciate all of you too!

  Keep in mind that RG&E no longer provides recent retiree info, so sharing this information is basically word of mouth. Much of the group is on facebook and on this email chain, and I still have an old database of addresses where I send picnic postcards. 

Warmest regards,
The below sections are email replies to newsletters.
It is SO NICE to have things to share other than obituaries...

I LOVE THIS SO MUCH! Keep it coming! You can email me HERE.
Email from Don Jeerings on April 28th - 

"Yes I received the report and I am extremely grateful that you sent it..
My name is Donald Jeerings, I am 93 years old and still driving.
I worked in the Electric Meter and Lab on Front Street and later at Jefferson Rd.  My memory is reasonably good, but it is strictly one track...  Change the subject and I am Lost. 

I do not have any living family. basically I am an electronic engineer, and hold 3 (worthless) patents in 5 foreign countries.  My main functions at RG&E were maintenance of the Supervisory Control systems, and later, research for design of a fallen conductor sensor.  I was at Hydro Station 5 during the North East Blackout and instrumental is getting cranking power for Beebe station. I directed the RG&E / Westinghouse acceptance test at the Gina station. 

I am still doing engineering work (no license in Florida) but I have a suitable income to pay for my research toys and help others in distress. Engineering and money wise.

I have done a tremendous amount of work in the DNA field and have concluded that the Lord lives in the DNA within me. (this is contrary to bible teachings and kept personal) 
My wife passed away 3 years ago after I spent 10 months of 24/7 bedside attendance. 
My father was Carl Jeerings, Rural Electro-frication Third Floor, East Avenue office.  
I have a lot of RG&E memorabilia that I wish I could find a home for. Is there any Rochester Museum available Perhaps a local collector that might possibly use it ?
Respectfully Submitted 
        Donald Jeerings "
Email from Chuck Weigand on June 6th - 

"Thank you, thank you.  I read in the obits that my friend, Paul J. Knipper passed away.  It was a stark reminder of life and passing.  We used to play euchre from dusk to dawn.  Memories that will be forever etched on my hard drive.  It seems each day I endeavor to contact friends from the past, unfortunately it becomes a job for tomorrow.  The thought of calling and finding out another friend has passed is much too painful.  Living in the Valley of the sun is marvelous and absolutely refreshing.  Yep, it is a dry heat!!
Considering the virus and frightful fallout, newsletters such as this become a vital line of communications for remembrance and reminiscing.  Beebee Station now is long gone.  It reminds me of the song that involves removing the trees and putting up a parking lot.  Preservation of station history fell into my lap, but upon my departure I have no idea where is disappeared to.  Well preserved photos of the building of Station 3 were stored in folders as a memento of the past.  A great deal of photos were from 1898 illustrating workers hauling debris via donkey and cart up the gorge wall. 
It was most certainly a massive undertaking.  Peering into dark deserted rooms were filled with apparatus used for what I imagine was street car power.  Turbines dated back to 1909 were still in use, but restricted because steam was lost to atmosphere, not recaptured for low pressure steam heating.
I love the memories from those years, even though some are painful reminders of unscrupulous personnel.  All in all the memories of Beebee Station parties at Logan’s brings a smile.
Chuck Weigand"

Fundraiser Alert!

For Kevin Woolever

Click HERE for the Go Fund Me page organized by James Zapetis. Info copied from the site is below - 

Hi, my name is Jim and I am fundraising for my friend Kevin Woolever and his wife, Sharon.  After high school, Kevin went to Alfred State.  In 1980, He got hired by Rochester Gas & Electric company (RG&E) as an Instrument & Control Technician at Beebe Station and later transferred to R.E. Ginna Nuclear Power Plant in Ontario, NY.  He also provided outage support to Russel Station.  Kevin left Ginna station (then owned by Constellation) in 2007 and worked on the road as an I&C Tech at various power plants in the U.S., most recently with Greenidge Generation LLC in Dresden, NY.

Kevin has been diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.  Here’s a link that describes this disease: What is ALS ?  This is the same disease that his father had.

Currently Kevin’s symptoms include slow or slurred speech (called dysarthria or “thick speech”) and difficulty in projecting the voice.  Having his personal experience seeing what this disease did to his father, Kevin is aware of what is to come.

His wish is to be able to prevent foreclosure of their house and hopefully pay off the rest of the mortgage so Sharon doesn’t have to carry that burden.  Additionally, to help with the medical costs as this disease progresses. At the very least they are going to need help with their household expenses for the next few weeks. 

Any help that you can provide is very much appreciated. Even if it is just sharing this GoFundMe. Thank you so much.
Don't forget about Lifespan as a resource.
Lifespan provides information, guidance and more than 30 services for older adults and caregivers.


Elmer Adkins (passed away in May in Arizona per Bill Schrouder - I don't see an obituary)

From Legacy notifications:

Dionizio "Dan" Abbazia
Henry Elliott Wetherby
Vera E. Bellows
Edmund V. Knittel
Quirino "Reno" Simonetti

From Facebook posts
Jack L. Lukens
David J. "Blackie" Marrapese
Alice J. Fishbeck
Cynthia Mitchell (Coomber)
Gloria A. DeMeo - wife of Stephen DeMeo

If you know of folks that should be getting this newsletter - have them check their spam or junk folders. I have come across a few that we send to, request that I put their email in, but they never open them, so I assume they are caught up in spam.
Newsletter & User Maintenance:
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Sunday, June 6, 2021

Pioneers of RG&E Newsletter - 06/06/2021


A Newsletter for Retirees * Also posted at
 We have decided to have the Pioneer's Picnic this year due to the overhwhelming YES responses from the survey and I wanted to get the picnic information out to you. Please share!
  That being said, there were a few concerns about preferring that folks were vaccinated and some about wearing masks. My recommendation will be that you do whatever is comfortable for you, and we'll need to follow whatever regulations/guidelines are in place at the time of the picnic by Barnard. My expectation is that you will be respectful of each other's choices and of regulations.
Warmest regards,
Step 1:
REPLY to this email by June 11th IF YOU DO NOT NEED A POSTCARD delivered (because you received this email/post and/or are not planning on attending). 
Note, regardless, I may not have your address if you haven't received a postcard in the past.
Step 2:
82nd Annual RG&E Pioneer’s Picnic

Barnard Exempt Party House, 360 Maiden Lane
11:00 AM to 4:00 PM; food available from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM;
Cash beverages and cash bar
$15 per person
Please pay in advance by Friday, July 9th, 2021:
  1. Make check out to “PIONEERS OF RG&E
  2. Please include names of attendees
  3. Mail to:
Molly Johnston
51 Chautauqua Drive
Rochester, NY 14623
  1. You do not need to reply if you are not attending
Questions may be directed to Molly Johnston at 585-315-0795 or email
If you know of folks that should be getting this newsletter - have them check their spam or junk folders. I have come across a few that we send to, request that I put their email in, but they never open them, so I assume they are caught up in spam.
Newsletter & User Maintenance:
Update Profile - help us collect retiree info!

Contact: /

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Sunday, April 25, 2021

Pioneers of RG&E Newsletter - 04/25/2021



A Newsletter for Retirees and Friends of RG&E

Hello friends,

Happy 2021!

I hope that everyone is doing well. Are you staying healthy? I expect that most of you are vaccinated by now? If you are still nervous about getting the vaccine, consider that there are now 226 million people in the US with at least their first dose, and very minimal adverse effects! Please get vaccinated. Monroe County has now fully opened up the vaccination sites with no registration required - meaning you can walk-in and get a vaccine. 16 and older are currently eligible in NYS. The Monroe County site is here: Our positivity rates are still high, so the quicker we get through this the quicker we can get back to normal hopefully!

Speaking of, I’d like to know how you feel about the Picnic for this year… I think by then things will be much more opened up and since our picnic is outside our risk is on the lower side. But since most of you are likely in the high risk group, I think it will be up to you to decide. Please take the anonymous survey by clicking the link below. It is just a Yes/No survey, and you can leave a comment if desired. Please only take the survey once:


Thank you,


PS - For those of you on Facebook - our group is 
Don't forget these newsletters are also posted at
The old Pioneers site is active here:

March Picnic

I heard there was a March 8th picnic, but didn’t hear any details - got some awfully sad news from the Klein’s -

“I am so sorry Jack and I couldn't make the picnic. We had to fly to Rochester March 3rd and have just returned this week. Our son, Leo, fell and had a head injury. He was bleeding internally and in Strong hospital. When we arrived he was in a coma and never woke up. Leo passed March 4th with Jack, me and our daughter at his side. We had his children on the laptop to say their goodbyes. The nurses were so nice to cover all the cords so the children wouldn't see all the cords.

Leo is at peace and in heaven with our families. We will find peace through all our friends and family.

Were there many people at the picnic? Shall we do it again next year?

Take care. Hope to hear from some of you.


Jack and Christy Klein”

Personal Updates

Rick Meier, formerly Corporate Communications, moved to Phoenix, Arizona in December 2019. All of our children had moved to Phoenix and with the arrival of two grandsons in 2019, staying in Western New York wasn't where Angela and I wanted to be. We took four days to drive across the country. Stopped to have my picture taken "standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona..." Playing some golf. Hiking in the deserts. Enjoying the grandsons and family.

Recent Avangrid Phone Numbers:

1-855-577-4237 (Benefits Center)

1-833-246-6347 (One HR)

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Saturday, December 5, 2020

Pioneers of RG&E Newsletter - 12/05/2020


A Newsletter for Retirees * Also posted at
Hello friends,
   I hope you are continuing to stay healthy and taking the appropriate precautions to keep you safe. 2020 has been quite the year for everyone. 
   In my own journey, I had the preventative mastectomies on 8/31 and am feeling pretty much back to normal at this point, with some residual healing that is still taking place. I've captured my journey here for those of you following me. 
   We actually have a few things within this newsletter, so grab your favorite beverage and enjoy!
   I wish you the best for your holiday season and hope for a refreshing 2021 that allows us to get together again. 
Best regards,
PS - For those of you on Facebook - our group is HERE
Don't forget these newsletters are also posted at
The old Pioneers site is active here:

Ed Messmer and Family - could use some support

"Nearly 3 years have passed since our good friend and co-worker, Ed Messmer suffered a debilitating stroke.  It has been a long, hard road for both him and his family as they face the challenges of even day to day tasks.  Ed’s progress has been slow, but considering the severity of his stroke, he has come a long way. With the help and support of his loving family, wife Debbie and daughters Nicole and Katie, Ed continues to improve.

On November 28th the Messmer family suffered another tragedy.  Their home caught fire and has been deemed un-inhabitable.  The family is looking to rehab/rebuild what they can, but this will take months.  Most items in their home have been damaged if not completely destroyed.  Thankfully, they have been able to find temporary housing and start the healing/rebuilding process.  We are hoping to help the Messmer family in any way we can to get through this difficult time, especially during the holiday season.  Thank you for taking the time to read this posting and for continued prayers and support for their family.

Any contributions will be greatly appreciated by this gracious family."

Please click HERE for donation information. Special thanks to Melissa Enright and Victor Novello for putting this together for them. 

[OR if you feel more comfortable writing a check to Pioneers of RG&E (send to 51 Chautauqua Dr, Rochester 14623, put Ed Messmer in the memo), I'd be happy to make the online donation on your behalf.]

Veterans Day Ceremony

Was canceled this year since there was not a Covid-19 vaccine, or a cure. 
However, we look forward to the possibility of holding a 2021 Memorial Day Ceremony, next Spring.

"Picnic" pictures

If you recall, in the last newsletter Jeff Trost suggested you send some pics in lieu of the picnic we couldn't have.
Below is what I received - from left to right - Gary Graus and Bob McGraw, Tom Raisbeck, Jeff Trost, Dave Whitlock.

Roger Kober 

I suspect many of you have received a letter in the mail from lawyers regarding Roger Kober and the search for people that knew him. 
The information I received is that he passed away from mesothelioma and they are looking for information about companies that supplied asbestos to RG&E. If you wanted to share anything regarding that, the lawyer is Joe Belluck, his number is (917)-204-2544 and his email is

A note from Bob Eisenburg (anyone interested in Dodger history?)

"We have moved again and are downsizing.  I have a couple of Bankers boxes of  Brooklyn Dodger history.  "The Dodgers and Me", by  Leo Durocher ; Branch Rickey's "Little Blue Book"; of course "The Boys of Summer", Roger Kahn and "Bum's",  Peter Golenbock.  There are others including Duke Snider story, Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax and maybe "Wait Till Next Year' Doris Kearns Goodwin.  There are also Dodger Blue Books and a complete set of Tot Holmes "Dugout" monthly's.  I tried to contact the local SABR group; but never found a contact.  Kevin Thompson, although a Yankee fan (Dodgers and Yankees are the water and oil of baseball) may know a Dodger fan who needs a boost for his archive.  For nearly fifteen years the Dodgers made the Yankees look good.  In any event please let him know I remember Maria and him fondly, although I would have caught the fly ball he hit to the wall during our last game; but my astigmatism was taking control."
Let me know and I'll put you in touch - Molly

A bit of RG&E History

I received an email from Dr. Pierce at U of R - has a bit of history for all of us!


I have collected some information on the RG&E steam system which I have put on line at:

I have made use of many of the old newsletter and yearbooks your have posted, many thanks for those!

Feel free to share this link with others.

I am also working on an article on the steam system for the Rochester History journal and will be given a presentation on it at the Rochester Central Library sometime in April.

I also have some information on the RG&E electric system at:
Morris A. Pierce, PhD
Department of History
University of Rochester"


I would LOVE to share pics of you or letters with updates if you want to share your lives. It is SO nice to be able to publish something other that obituaries - wouldn't you all like to hear about each other instead of who died? I'd rather post current life updates...Click HERE to share something for the next newsletter - a small paragraph of your status, location and what you are enjoying would be nice! (Please make it clear if there is something you don't want me to post). Thanks!

Obits (Click names to see obituary)

Not in any particular order
Note that most of the ones without obit links, I'm finding out from the Facebook group posts. 
Leonard G. Whitcraft (Mike Whitcraft's dad - Mike says HI to everyone)
Robert Joseph DeSeyn
Wilbert L. Burns
Arthur Ernest (Ernie) Lynn
Patricia Werner
Leroy W. Brown
John P. Haschmann
Joseph F. Magro
Harry J. Sowles
Sandra Lee Hutchinson
David D. Horton
Frederick S. "Fritz" Tytler

Robert Calus (did not see an obituary, his family posted on Facebook) - 
The family of Robert Calus would like to share that Bob peacefully passed away this morning at home. We appreciate all of your well wishes and in lieu of flowers, please donate to The Irondequoit Community Cupboard:
ICC c/o Debbi Evans
PO Box 17834
Rochester, NY 14617 

From our friends at Ginna

Jason James Davis
William I. "Bill" Schipper
Eugene Francis Palmer Jr
Arthur Morris
June E. Anderson

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