Remembering the victims of Mohawk Valley tragedy


The Mohawk Valley community continues to mourn the loss of four of its residents who all lost their lives in the shooting spree on Wednesday.

A community prayer service will be held Monday night at 7 p.m. at the Herkimer Methodist Church on North Prospect Street.

Below are profiles of the victims, along with some information on their calling hours and funeral information.

Harry Montgomery

Harry Montgomery, known as "Monty," was the father of three and grandfather of five.

He was born on May 8, 1944 in Richfield Springs, where he would later attend school. He married his wife Linda Pierce in 1967.

Harry worked at Union Fork and Hoe in Frankfort for nearly ten years, worked at D.J. Ferdula Top Soil in Frankfort and at the Ilion Marina. He was also a proud member of the Mohawk Fire Corps.

Harry is being remember as a family man. "My dad enjoyed emergency traffic directing for the fire dept, helping people avoid the danger, that was my dad," said Linda Springer, Montgomery's oldest daughter. "Always thinking of everyone but himself."

Calling hours: Monday, March 18 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. at Enea Funeral Home (Acme Road in Frankfort)
Funeral: Monday, March 18 at 5 p.m. at Enea Funeral Home

Michael Ransear

Michael Ransear, was a husband, father of four, and grandfather of five.

He was born in Watertown on February 8, 1956 and was educated in Cape Vincent.

Michael was a U.S. Navy Veteran. In 1976, he married his wife Jolene.

His family says he enjoyed landscaping and baseball, especially the times spent coaching it, but most of all, spending time with his family.

He worked as a corrections officer at Mohawk Correctional Facility for nearly 18 years, retiring in 2006. He was involved with NYSCOPBA, was a member of the Oriskany Falls Volunteer Fire Department and a member of Christian Bible Church in Mohawk. 

Department of Corrections Commissioner Brian Fischer said Ransear and Michael Renshaw, a prison guard, "will be remembered for their dedication and daily contributions made throughout their long careers."

Calling hours: Sunday, 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. at Heintz Funeral Home (408 Herkimer Road, Utica)
Funeral: Monday, March 18 at 11 a.m. at First Assembly of God (9427 Maynard Drive, Marcy)


Michael Renshaw
Michael Renshaw is being remembered as a fun-loving friend who leaves behind a fiance, a son and two grandchildren.

He was a twenty-year veteran of the Mid-State Correctional Facility.

His friend Matt Stubley is shocked knowing that his friend is now gone. "I'm going to remember Mike the way he'd want to be remembered," said Stubley. "Big smile on his face, not complaining about anything."

Another correction officer Michael Ransear was also killed at the other shooting scene John's Barber Shop. 

Remembering them, the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association said, "These men spent their lives in service to their communities and their state and there are no words to express our profound grief over their untimely passing." 

Calling hours: Saturday, March 23, 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. at Petykiewicz - Iocovozzi and Burns Funeral Home (329 South Washington Street, Herkimer)

Prayer service: 
Saturday, March 23 at 5 p.m. at Petykiewicz - Iocovozzi and Burns Funeral Home (329 South Washington Street, Herkimer)



Tom Stefka

Friends remember Tom as a very spiritual man, having ministered at local churches, and as a devoted father to his three kids.

Friends remember Tom Stefka as a very spiritual man, having ministered at local churches, and as a devoted husband and father to his three kids and two grandsons. 

He was born on June 24, 1950 and raised in Little Falls. For more than 20 years, he worked as a social welfare examiners for Herkimer County. He worked part-time at Gaffey's.

His family say Tom was well known for his musical talents, including drumming in the band, “Sea Breeze”, which was popular up and down the East Coast in the 1970s.  

One friend, Theresa Tangorra said, "He attended all of their events, Brian (his son) he was a car buff so was Tom they really had a lot going on with cars and motorcycles, in fact Tom gave Brian his motorcycle at one time," said Tangorra.

Calling hours: Tuesday, March 19, 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. at Fenner Funeral Home (115 Court Street, Herkimer)
Funeral: Wednesday, March 20, 9 a.m. at Church of Saints Anthony and Joseph, Herkimer


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