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Richard J. Vanyo


Richard J. Vanyo of Brantingham, NY passed away unexpectedly at the age of 73 on February 17, 2014 in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He was surrounded by his loving wife of 47 years, Collette, and his sons.

Richard was born on June 13, 1940 in Ballston Spa, NY. He was the son of Joseph and Dorothy Vanyo of Ballston Spa, NY. Richard graduated from Saratoga Catholic High School in Saratoga Springs, NY in 1958. He earned his B.S. from St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa and his M.S. from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.

After graduating from college, Richard worked as a Social Studies teacher and Guidance Counselor in Galva, Illinois from 1964 to 1968. Richard returned to New York and raised his family in Lowville, NY. He worked for the Copenhagen Central School District from 1968 to 1976 before moving to Lowville Academy and Central School and retiring in 1997. Richard dedicated 34 years to public education as a Teacher, Guidance Counselor, Director of Guidance and Summer School Principal.

Richard was known to his family and friends as “Dick” and he is survived by his wife, Collette, of Brantingham, NY. They were married on August 6, 1966 in Chicago, Illinois. He is also survived by his four sons: Michael Vanyo of Saratoga Springs, NY; Kevin and Dana Vanyo of Fairfax, VA; Brian and Krissie Vanyo of The Woodlands, TX; and Keith and Tina Vanyo of Leavenworth, KS. He was a cherished grandfather to his eight grandchildren: Lauren Brisbin, Isaac McGuffin, Sarah Vanyo, Kyle Vanyo, Katie Vanyo, Tyler Vanyo, Alexa Vanyo and Cooper Vanyo. He is also survived by his sister and brother in law, Noreen, and Robert McClements of Ballston Spa, NY and his nephews: Joseph McClements of Wilton, NY, Robert McClements of Toms River, NJ and nieces: Michele Kolozy of Ballston Spa, NY and Renee Damico of Ballston Spa, NY.

Richard was a communicant of St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Lowville, NY. He was very active in the church and served as a lector and Eucharistic Minister to the Lewis County General Hospital and Nursing Home. He was also a proud member of the Lowville Elks Lodge 1605 and served as a Past Exalted Ruler, and Past State Vice President of the Elks North Central District. He was honored to be recognized as Elk of the Year and served as the Lowville Elks District Scholarship Chairman for several years. Richard was involved in several committees, boards and organizations that supported families in Lewis County. He was very proud to work and chair scholarship committees and foundations that provided financial support for students in the region.

Richard moved to Brantingham, NY in 1998 after retiring and enjoyed living on the lake as well as golfing, kayaking and swimming. He and Collette enjoyed traveling, visiting family and friends and spending their winters in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

There will be a mass in honor of Richard at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Ballston Spa, NY on March 23rd at 8:30 am. There will be a reception for family and friends at Peabody’s in Saratoga Springs following the mass. There will also be a funeral mass at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Lowville, NY on July 3rd at 11 am. The family will have a celebration of “Dick’s Life” for his family and friends following the ceremony at his home on Lake of the Pines in Brantingham, NY.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to be sent to the Lowville Academy and Central School District for the Richard J. Vanyo Scholarship that is being established for students. Additional information can be found at

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