Lisa Helen Hoffman

March 30, 1965-September 23, 2019.

Lisa Hoffman entered heaven on Monday September 23, 2019. The celebration of Lisa’s life was held on Saturday, October 5. Mass was at St. Mary’s Church in downtown Rochester, followed by a celebration of Lisa’s life at the Geva Theater.

Lisa entered this world on March 30, 1965 with a smile on her face and never stopped smiling. At 14 months, she was diagnosed with retinoblastoma causing her blindness by the age of three. This challenge never slowed Lisa down or prevented her from living a life full of adventures. Lisa saw this world through her heart and her hands.

Lisa was a student at the original World of Inquiry School on Moran Street where she made lifelong friends. West Irondequoit school district welcomed Lisa and her love of learning with open arms.  Lisa’s love for music offered her the opportunity to play her violin in the school orchestra, with Dr. Suzuki and at the Shakespeare plays at Highland Bowl. Lisa loved to dance. She was a member of an English Country Dancing group and looked forward to designing her ball gown for the annual ball.  She loved it so much that she went by herself to an English Dance weeklong camp where she once again made lifelong friends.

Lisa earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Buffalo, in psychology and Spanish. While in Buffalo she joined with the Society for Creative Anachronism. Lisa loved participating in Pennsic.  Lisa’s proficiency in Spanish was put to the test when the family went on their annual trip to Puerto Vallarta (PVR) and she served as their interpreter. Lisa visited her Mexican family many times and was often complimented on how beautifully she spoke the language.

Lisa loved to read braille and had a voracious appetite for learning.

She became quite an Anglophile in her early years with the highlight coming in 1976 in New York City when Lisa was introduced to Queen Elizabeth! This was just one of her many adventures.

Lisa embraced so many things and loved all things tactile. Her creativity with jewels and stones inspired her to make her own jewelry. Many of her friends wear her jewelry on a regular basis. Her jewelry has been sold at the Memorial Art Gallery.

Lisa was featured in an episode of the TV show, “That’s incredible”.

Lisa was a committed advocate for people with disabilities specifically the blind. She was instrumental in the design of the pedestrian bridge over 490 connecting South Clinton with downtown. With a great love of the theatre, Lisa brought audio description to the Geva THEATRE where she worked as a consultant for 25 years. Through her advocacy Lisa received countless honors and accolades, too many to list.

The ripple effect Lisa had on those she touched will her big hugs and infectious laugh will continue for years to come.

Lisa is survived by her Dad (Dan), her “Momma” (Barbara), the “best sister in the world” (Susan), and her four-legged lover from Shakespeare’s, “As you like it” (Orlando).

In lieu of flowers, consider donations to the Geva Theatre or the Memorial Art Gallery in Lisa’s honor.

FrancesR. (Frank) Casey

Francis R. “Frank” Casey, 62, died Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at Samaritan Hospital. Born in Albany, he was son of the late Thomas and Agnes (Thornton) Casey. He was a graduate of the New York Institute
for the Education of the Blind in the Bronx, N.Y. Mr. Casey worked for the Albany County Sheriffs’ Department for 32 years, retiring as a 911 Supervisor in 2001. He was president of the Capital District Chapter of the American Council of the Blind. He enjoyed amateur radio “W2JIO”, was an avid fan of the New York Mets and was a weather buff. Husband of 25 years of Kathy (Wilkens) Casey of Albany; brother of Thomas “Sonny” (Dorothy) Casey of Bohemia, N.Y., Mary (Charles) Fullam of N.J. and the late Patricia Burns; uncle of Nicole Hornsby, James and Timothy Burns; also survived by several grand nieces and nephews and cousins.

Janet (Hotchkiss) Wettenstein

Janet (Hotchkiss) Wettenstein was born on July 14, 1949 in Rochester, New York and passed away suddenly on the evening of January 8, 2019 after a lengthy illness. She attended the New York State School for the Blind in Batavia, New York, and graduated from there in June, 1968. Her family lived on a farm outside of Rochester, and it was there that Janet developed her love of nature and the outdoors. She was a dog lover, having had five guide dogs during her life.

After graduating from high school, Janet spent several years in New York City, where she took transcription typing courses at the Lighthouse. She also met her husband there. They eventually moved to Syracuse. Shortly thereafter the marriage ended in divorce and Janet moved back to Rochester, where she spent the rest of her life. She was hired by the Monroe Developmental Center where she did transcription work for the next 41 years, retiring in January, 2018 because of ill health.

Janet’s parents helped her purchase a house in Rochester. They spent summers with her and lived in Florida during the winter. When they were unable to return to Florida, they lived with her fulltime until
their deaths and she took care of them. She stayed in touch with many of her childhood friends and they were always welcome at her house. She was always willing to help anybody anyway she could.

Janet was an active member of the New York State School for the Blind Alumni Association, having held several offices and attending reunions every year. She was also a member of the American Council of the Blind (ACB) for over 35 years. She hosted many of her chapter’s events, held several officer positions, and had a hand in running several state conventions. Until her health precluded her from traveling, Janet attended most state conventions and legislative weekends. She felt very badly that for the last couple years of her life she was unable to be in the loop as far as what was happening on the state level. She was treasurer of the Rochester Chapter at the time of her death.

Janet is survived by her sister-in-law who was living with her at the time of her death and a brother in Arizona and his family. She will be deeply missed by her many friends and colleagues.