Music 01


Roberta M. Updaw "Bobbie"

Roberta M. Updaw

It is with great sorrow that we announce the passing of Roberta (Bobbie) Updaw on April 25, 2019.

Bobbie was raised in Rochester, N.Y., the eldest of three children.  She attended Nazareth College and then moved to Ontario to accept a teaching position in music at Ontario High School. Shortly after, she met her beloved husband of 65 years, Frank. He was an Ontario native who had just returned from a tour of duty in the Army Air Corp, having flown fifty-three missions in the Pacific Theater. Frank and Bobbie married one year later.

Bobbie was a pillar of the community. She was an active member and organist at St. Mary’s of the Lake Church for many years. She impacted the lives of many students and teachers throughout her teaching career and was voted "teacher of the year" for her excellence in teaching. She tirelessly led efforts to make Ontario a better place by bringing music to the community.  Bobbie coordinated and directed several musicals, recruited many talented groups to perform in Ontario, directed numerous concerts put on by her students and significantly impacted the reputation and stature of the Music Department at the Wayne Central School District.

Bobbie retired from Wayne in 1982, but her mission did not stop there. She continued to make a difference spearheading the development of the Ontario Presenters Program which was designed to present a series of weekly summer concerts at Casey Park. The initiative was a huge success, culminating with a Musical Tribute to Bobbie on June 21, 2012 and, subsequently, earning her the Ontario Citizen of the Year Award.

Bobbie is survived by her son, Robert (Ann) Updaw; daughter, Maryann (Dave) Straube; grandchildren, Dr. Robert (Alison) Updaw II, Karen (Daniel) Thorpe, Jennifer Straube, and Kyle Straube, three great-grandchildren; Daniel and Alyssa Thorpe and James Updaw, and several nieces, nephews and close friends.

To celebrate Bobbie's life, a Memorial Mass will be held at St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish, 5823 Walworth Rd. in Ontario, NY on Saturday, June 8, 2019 at 11 AM. 

In an effort to continue Bobbie’s legacy, a scholarship fund has been set up in her name to honor one graduating Wayne Central student annually who has a love for music and plans on majoring in music in college.  Donations may be made in Bobbie's memory to the Wayne Central Scholarship Fund c/o Roberta Updaw Memorial at 6200 Ontario Center Road, Ontario Center, NY 14520.


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