Dennis Carr is a founding member, past president and current trustee of the Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery. He is the Senior Tour Guide at Mount Hope, with 2020 marking his 42nd year leading tours of Mount Hope Cemetery. He is currently vice president of the Friends of Mount Hope. Dennis is also on staff at the Edward G. Miner Library at the University of Rochester Medical Center, assisting students, researchers, clinical staff and faculty. He is a life-long scholar of the American cemetery.
Deb Coffey is a historian, cemetery enthusiast, museum advocate, experienced docent, educator, mentor, and aspiring Gettysburg (PA) Licensed Battlefield Guide. She has a passion for public speaking and loves teaching others. Favorite topics include women's history, Susan B. Anthony & suffrage, 19th C funerary art & symbolism, and Civil War/military history. Deb's professional work includes: Operations & Management; former Operations/Facilities Director & Volunteer Coordinator at the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House, currently employed in Public Safety, Emergency Management, & Logistics.
Deb joined the Friends of Mount Hope as a tour guide/docent, Special Tour & Volunteer Coordinator in September 2016. Elected to the Board of Trustees in Spring 2017, she served Special Tour Coordinator 2017-2018, and Volunteer Coordinator 2017-present.
Patricia Corcoran has been in love with Mount Hope Cemetery and its history since she moved to Linden Street in 1975. Currently serving as president of the Friends of Mount Hope, she has been a FOMH volunteer and trustee for years, serving as a tour guide, speaker, and chair of many committees. She was an ESOL teacher for 30 years in the Rochester City School District and served as an adjunct instructor at SUNY Geneseo, Nazareth College, and St. John Fisher College. When not involved at Mount Hope Cemetery, Pat continues her love of history as a transcriber at the Seward Family Digital Project at the University of Rochester.
Robbie Dreeson has been a member of Friends of Mt. Hope for several years. She originally became interested in Mt. Hope when researching Revolutionary War Patriots buried in the cemetery. She participated as a co-tour guide for the Revolutionary War Theme Tour, representing the Daughters of the American Revolution of which she has been an active member for over 15 years. Currently she is a member of the FOMH Restoration Committee and helps coordinate the cleaning of monuments in several sections of the cemetery.
Chris Grooms joined the Friends of Mount Hope after relocating to Rochester in the summer of 2017. In the summer of 2018 he became a volunteer for the Friends, mostly as a tour guide. He joined the board in 2019. Chris is a Nationally Certified Sign Language Interpreter who loves history and enjoys traveling, reading, and meandering walks in historic cemeteries.
Monica Gurell is a fun loving, hard-working, energetic woman. From the age of seven she knew she wanted to be a special education teacher and after graduation from SUNY Geneseo she made this dream a reality. Monica has been a special education teacher in the Rochester City School District since 2000. She displays a commitment to serving under-privileged youth in our community and works daily to instill the desire for success in her students.
Tom Jones, a.k.a. RevDrTom/rdT, is neither a reverend nor a doctor, but prays with and administers aid to trees whenever there is a need. ...Say what? But seriously folks, Tom has loved the Cemetery ever since he first volunteered for United Way's Day of Caring with a group from Bausch & Lomb, Inc. back in 1995.
Initially drawn to the Cemetery by the beautiful trees, Tom really appreciates the cultural significance of Mount Hope. When you combine the beauty of MHC's landscape with its monuments, stone sculptures, and history, there's no better combination. (Much better than any "plain old" arboretum.)
Along with other members of the Friends, Tom is helping to actively steward this resource. He is involved with putting up the tree tags and is also a new member of the Restoration Committee. He was inspired to suggest a cradle grave gardening program here in Mount Hope Cemetery after seeing similar efforts in Laurel Hill Cemetery and The Woodlands in Philadelphia (two early garden cemeteries).
And one more thing -- don't get worried if you think that he's looking at you all googly-eyed and seems to be falling in love with you. There's probably just a nice tree behind you that's distracting him. Ha!
Henry McCartney is FOMH's treasurer. He retired in 2012 after a long career in historic preservation. He was executive director of the Landmark Society of Western New York from 1984 through 2005. He also served as executive director of preservation organizations in Buffalo and in Jacksonville, Florida.
Valerie O'Hara has been a board member since 2010, and has chaired the Restoration Committee since 2018. With the help of Anna Jannes, committee volunteers have cleaned the monuments of over 200 plots in Section G. Valerie is the owner and designer at Pike Stained Glass Studios, a three-generation family business.
Chris Petote discovered later in life her love of history, especially Rochester history. After many hikes in Mount Hope Cemetery, she fell madly in love with it. Chris became a volunteer in 2013 as a Gatehouse receptionist. In 2019, she joined the Board of Trustees as Secretary. She also serves as Special Tours Coordinator, organizing tours for schools and large groups. Chris works part-time in the city in administrative support. When not working on various projects at Mount Hope, she loves gardening and hiking, especially in our beautiful state parks, county parks, and the ADKs when possible, while taking tons of pictures. Outside of the Rochester area, she loves exploring Washington DC, Gettysburg, and South Carolina.
Richard Reisem is a founder of the Friends of Mount Hope Cemetery in 1980. Over the years, he has served in several officer positions. He is the author of 16 books since retiring from Eastman Kodak's Communications and Public Affairs Division. Six of those books are about Mount Hope Cemetery. He is also editor of the Friends' newsletter, the Epitaph
Marjorie B. Searl
Nancy Uffindell joined the board in 2001. She has served as VP, Secretary and Treasurer and handled our public relations. She is our liaison to the National Parks Service National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom and the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor. As a tour guide for over 20 years, Nancy designed and leads our Erie Canal Connections tours and has added the information from those tours to our Speaker's Bureau as a portable presentation. A family genealogist and public historian, she enjoys answering the requests FOMH receives for genealogical services. A graduate of RIT and retiree of Valeo, Nancy also gives back to her community by serving on the boards of The New York Museum of Transportation as VP and Event Manager, The Irondequoit Historical Society as President, and The Monroe County Fair as Home Arts Superintendent.