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By Lacey Gardner

Warren R. “Wally” Amphlett, 79, Hornell

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Warren R. “Wally” Amphlett – 79 – of West Van Scoter St., Hornell, passed away at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY on Tuesday March 12, 2024 following a brief battle with esophageal cancer.

Wally was born October 21, 1944 in Hornell, NY to Warren Edward and Margaret “Mitzi” Gemmell Amphlett.  He grew up in Hornell and was a graduate of Hornell High School (Class of 1962).

After high school, Wally earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from Cortland State College (SUNY Cortland) and his dual Master’s Degree in Education and Coaching from Alfred University.  He began his career in 1969 at Whitesville Central School, where he taught physical education and coached for three decades, eventually retiring in 1999.

In high school, Wally met the love of his life, Mary Sherman, who survives.  They were married on September 3, 1966- the same day Wally’s draft notice arrived in the mail.  Following their honeymoon, Wally attended basic training in Fort Dix, GA, and then served four years in Schweinfurt, Germany, as the head of a mechanized motor pool.  While serving, Wally was recognized as an Expert Marksman, honored with an Army Commendation Medal, and graduated Officer Candidate School as a 1st Lieutenant.

Wally loved sports from an early age.  In his youth, he played Hornell Little League Baseball and in the Sunday School Basketball League. In high school, Wally excelled on the Hornell High School Varsity Baseball, Basketball and Football teams, as well as in the Babe Ruth Baseball League.  He went on to play baseball at SUNY Cortland, a perennially stellar collegiate baseball program.   Wally continued his love of baseball later in life as an umpire and Rules Interpreter with the Steuben-Allegany County Umpires Association.

As an adult, Wally’s passion for athletics never waned.  He provided countless young adults with his guidance and wisdom as Head Coach of the Boys Varsity Basketball teams at Whitesville Central School and Wellsville High School, retiring with a lifetime record of 324-219.  Wally was voted the Section V Class D Coach of the Year for the 1973-1974 and 1985-1986 basketball seasons, and led his team to a sectional championship in 1990. Throughout his career, Wally was sought out by various basketball camps and clinics around the country to provide instruction, a testament to the great respect he earned in the basketball community.  He served as the Allegany County Athletic Director and the Section V Basketball Seating coordinator until his retirement.  Wally was inducted into the Hornell High School Hall of Fame Class of 1999 and the Allegany County Athletic Association Hall of Fame Class of 2005.  

Wally was a lifelong fan of the New York Yankees, Buffalo Bills, Syracuse Orangemen, and all things college basketball.  In the Amphlett house, the NCAA College Basketball Tournament (March Madness) was always regarded as “the most wonderful time of the year”.  In more recent years, he became a fan of THE Ohio State University athletic programs when two of his grandchildren attended college there.  Wally loved to work on his yard – his lawn and flowers always looked like a picture out of a magazine.  He also enjoyed golfing and Wednesday Golf League with his friends was always a highlight of his week. 

While Wally’s love for athletics was never in question, his greatest enjoyment was his family.  He particularly enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s activities and sporting events.   

He was preceded in death by his parents, Wally & Mitzi Amphlett, along with several in-laws and other family members.

In addition to his wife, Mary, Wally is survived by two children, Amy (Andrew) Wulforst of Rochester and Matthew “Matt” Amphlett of Hornell; his grandchildren Noah, Ella, Jadon, Cameran, Tristan; his brother Jack (Maureen) Amphlett of Ontario, NY, and his sister Maureen Yurkewecz of Spencerport, NY, and numerous in-laws and cousins.

The family of Warren R. “Wally” Amphlett will receive friends on Sunday, March 24, 2024 from 3:00 PM until 6:00 PM at the Dagon Funeral Home, 38 Church St., Hornell, NY.  A Memorial Service with Military Honors will be held on Monday at 11:00 AM with Deacon Robert McCormick officiating.

Wally’s family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his name be made to the Warren R. Amphlett Scholarship Fund, C/O Amy Amphlett Wulforst, 245 Shaftsbury Road, Rochester, NY  14610.  Memorial forms will be available at the Dagon Funeral home or by visiting:

https://www.gofundme.com/f/warren-r-amphlett-scholarship-fund?utm_campaign=p_lico+share-sheet-first-launch&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook

In recognition of Wally’s service to his country as a member of the US Army, the American Flag at the Dagon Funeral Home will be flown at half-staff.

To leave an online condolence or share a memory, visit www.dagonfuneralhome.com

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