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Emil Hnatko

Obituary of Emil Eugene Hnatko

Emil Eugene HNATKO, 89, of Cortland, NY, passed away peacefully on July 28th, 2021, at his home, surrounded by family. A memorial service will be held at a later date, to be announced. Wright-Beard will be handling the arrangements. Eugene [Gene] Hnatko was born in Cleveland, Ohio to Catherine Matyashowski [aka Mathews] and Nicolas Hnatko on August 16th, 1931. The family lived in Cleveland through his early childhood, after which they relocated to Pittsburg, PA. Gene went on to earn his BA in English and music, and MA in English from Bowling Green State University, Ohio. He earned his PhD in 18th -century English Literature from Syracuse University, and started his post as a professor of English Literature at SUNY Cortland in the early 1960s. He was an accomplished fine woodworker, and lover of music, cats, and his rescue dog Tykie. He and his wife loved to collect trees for their own arboretum on their property, and also grew apples for wine-making. Gene is survived by Amy [Short] Hnatko, his wife of 53 years, of Cortland, Robin Rhodes Harris, surrogate daughter, of Montpelier, VT, Heather Short, niece, of Hudson, QC, Canada, and five nephews: Stuart, Randall, Frank, Tom, and Matt Short, in various states. He is preceded in death by his parents. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the SPCA of Cortland, NY, 879 McLean Road. The family wishes to extend their gratitude to Hospicare & Palliative Care Services of Cortland and Guthrie Hospital. A tribute to Eugene Hnatko will be held on Saturday, October 16tj at 5:30 PM in the Ithaca Farmers Market, Ithaca, New York. The market is covered but open, the event will be rain or shine. The informal gathering will include a short eulogy to celebrate Gene's life. All are welcome to come and share memories and friendship with his family and other friends. As he would have liked, refreshments will be served. "Good company, good wine, good welcome, can make good people" (Henry VIII, Act 1 Scene 4) "With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come." (The Merchant of Venice, Act 1 Scene 4)