Longtime Hornell Chamberlain Tolly Pelych Has Died

Hornell, New York

Thelma A. “Tolly” Pelych of 27 Glen Avenue, Hornell, died Friday evening (August 27, 2021) at her home, following a “disagreement with old age.”  She was 95.

For about 14 years she was employed as an office clerk in various departments of the former Erie Railroad and Erie Lackawanna Railroad. In November of 1966, she ran for and was elected to the position of Hornell City Chamberlain. She actually took office on January 1, 1967 and held the position until her retirement on December 31, 2011. On April 13, 2000 (her birthday) the City of Hornell honored her by naming the city building the Thelma A. Pelych Municipal Building.

Tolly served as president of the NYS Society of Finance Officers from 1977-1978 and later served as secretary of the NYS Society of Finance Officers from 1979-1997. She received the Distinguished Finance Officer’s Award in 1983. In 1993, Tolly was honored by the NYS Society of Finance Officers when they established the “Thelma A. Pelych Advancement Award” for continuing education for its members.

In 2006, Thelma was honored by the NYS Conference of Mayors with a plaque for 40 years of attendance of the Fall Training School. She received the Excellence in Financial Reporting Award from 1989 to retirement from the Government Finance Officers of United States & Canada.

She was one of the original founders of the Hornell Democratic Women’s Club and served as treasurer until 2012. Tolly served as Campaign Chairman for the Hornell Area United Way Fund Drive from 1985-1986 and was a member & Past President of the former Business & Professional Women’s Club.

Her family will receive friends on Thursday from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM at the Dagon Funeral Home, 38 Church St., Hornell, NY. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday at 10:00 AM at St. Ann’s Church with burial in St. Mary’s Cemetery.

The Funeral Mass for Thelma “Tolly” Pelych will be streamed live and can be viewed on the Dagon Funeral Home Facebook page on Friday at 10:00 AM. The video will remain available for viewing on our Facebook page for 30 days.

Due to health concerns and compromised immune systems of several members of the Pelych family, friends who have not been vaccinated against Covid are kindly asked not to attend calling hours and everyone will be required to wear a mask. The family appreciates your understanding!!!

A complete obituary can be found on our Obituaries Page.