Flanders, Riverside And Northampton Community Notes, January 23

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There is no way to say it other than this: Our little hamlet, our little family of Flanders, has had a horrible week. We lost two wonderful neighbors and friends, and their losses will weigh greatly on our community. Our thoughts are with the families of Barbara Tocci and Janice Mackey, and the entire community of Flanders sends their deepest sympathies.Barbara Tocci was taken from us far too soon last Thursday and her beautiful smile will be greatly missed by all of those who were lucky enough to be a part of her world. Although Barbara lived in Hampton Bays, her roots, her family was here in Flanders, and her family, friends and co-workers are all heartbroken, shocked and devastated by a loss so sudden and tragic.

Barbara lived a wonderful and giving life, always helping others and forever putting others first … even calling the local radio stations to make sure that her family members birthdays were announced on the air. She loved her grandchildren with all of her heart, as she did her brothers and sisters, her sons, and her nieces and nephews. This was Barbara—she loved unconditionally and with all of her heart and she will be greatly missed with every breath of every day.

Rest easy, Barbara, and continue to love and look over your family and friends with your angel wings outspread.

Saturday morning we lost a wonderful woman, mother, neighbor and teacher to our children. Janice Mackey, or simply “Mrs. Mackey” as her students knew her, was a fourth grade teacher at the Phillips Avenue Elementary School right here in Riverside for the last eight years. She taught in the Riverhead School District for the past 30 years.

Both of my older children, Brittany and Travis, were lucky enough to be in Mrs. Mackey’s class at Phillips Avenue and she was certainly one of their favorites in all of their years in the district. I would frequently run into Mrs. Mackey in the deli or at the store, and she would just light up when she spoke of her family, especially her grandchildren. She just loved those grand-babies so much and always took a minute to show me a picture. She also took a great interest in my children and how they were doing, and always had a smile on her face.

She will certainly be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing her. Rest in peace, Jan. Fly high and free with the angels.

Congratulations to Army National Guardsman Craig Johnson on his promotion to Private First Class. PFC Johnson is serving with Company F (Forward Support Company Infantry), 427th Brigade Support Battalion, and begins his new responsibilities immediately. We are very grateful for your service and dedication!

Many thanks to Staff Sergeant Thomas Keenan of Riverhead, who has reenlisted with the Company B, 1-69th Infantry of the Army National Guard. Your service and dedication are greatly appreciated.

Congratulations go out this week to Kathryn Bockino of Riverhead who was named to the dean’s list at SUNY Geneseo for the fall semester, as well as Devon Brewer of Flanders and Deborah Bates, also of Riverhead, who received the same honors at SUNY Oneonta. Keep up the good work!

On The Calendar

Tuesday, January 28: The Riverhead Community Awareness Program Bowling Bonanza, 7 to 9:30 p.m., at The All Star on Route 58 in Riverhead. You must pre-register for this event and it costs $20 per person. Call Felicia at (631) 727-3722 for more information or to reserve a spot.

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