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Robert Booher

March 5, 1937   –  February 18, 2024



At age 86 surrounded by family, Robert Leonard Booher passed away peacefully on February 18th at the home of his daughter and son-in-law Joanna (Gregory)Collins, South Lima NY, after a battle with cancer. Robert was born on March 5, 1937, in Rochester, NY to Avon NY residents Claire Leonard Booher and Cornelia Bernice MacArthur. He is predeceased by his parents, first wife Jane Vanderhoof, sister and brother-in-law Lynda (Craig) Porter, and niece Kymberly Porter. He is survived by his wife, Sarah Booher, children, Cynthia (Robert) Little, and Joanna (Gregory) Collins, stepchildren, Robert (Tracey) Cawlfield, and John (Emily) Allen. Grandchildren, Matthew (Chandra) Ladelpha, Katelynn Ladelpha, Cory (Leigha) Collins, Christopher (Megan) Collins, Ethan (Meghan) Collins, Spencer Collins, step-grandchildren, Carlos Sierras, Christina Sierras, Colin Cawlfield, Cam Cawlfield. Great grandchildren, Madilyn Ladelpha, Sadie Lynn Ladelpha, River-Lyn Collins, Jeremiah Sierras, Ricardo Sierras, and Elena Sierras, niece Karen Porter, nephew Mark (Rose) Porter, and children Joshua, Lori and Jennifer.


Parents, Claire and Cornelia (aka Nene) Booher welcomed their firstborn with great celebration. Five years later they welcomed Bob’s little sister, Lynda, to the family. He attended and graduated from Livonia Central School District. He graduated from Colgate University in 1959, where he was chosen to sing and travel with the University’s illustrious Colgate 13. He attended Colgate Rochester Divinity School in 1962 and was ordained as a Presbyterian Minister the same year and was called to Christ Presbyterian Church in Rochester.


He married his first wife Jane Vanderhoof in 1962 welcoming daughters Cynthia and Joanna in due course while he started four neighborhood associations as a specialized ministry. He was very active in the Civil Rights Movement and worked for the equality of all human beings regardless of race, creed, and skin color. His passion led him to attend a large gathering in Washington D.C. where he heard Martin Luther King give his ‘I Have a Dream speech’. An account he loved telling his grandchildren about!


In 1974 his family joined the Ecumenical Institute/Institute of Cultural Affairs where he worked internationally for 10 years helping communities improve their lives through planning and implementing programs.  In 1983 Bob returned to the Rochester Area to start his consulting firm, PMA Associates of the Genesee Valley, Inc. working with over forty area organizations. In 1984 he married Sarah (Cawlfield, Kiser) Allen. They settled in Livonia, along with Sarah’s sons Robert Cawlfield and John Allen. He continued his work developing programs as Executive Director of Livingston County Coalition of Churches promoting and supporting the development of new programs such as food pantries, local prison family visitation, and most importantly to him, the establishment of Teresa House in Geneseo, a beautiful hospice home that continues to help families navigate through difficult times. At the same time, he served several long-term interim Pastor positions with rural Presbyterian congregations officially retiring from Ministry in 2002.


Through Sarah Bob discovered his love of all things equestrian later in life. In 1990 he and Sarah bought a farm in Livonia and twelve years later a farm in West Sparta. For 29 years he enjoyed being a very hard-working gentleman farmer. He rode and raised horses, loved his tractor and dogs, Ginger and Cadbury, so much, and watched his crops, horses, and Koi fish grow from his back porch. He and Sarah were active in the Genesee Valley Riding and Driving Club and Genesee Valley Hunt.  Bob could be found manning the swinging gate at the Genesee Valley Hunt Trials every year, often recruiting available grandsons to help him. In West Sparta, his tomato plants grew to enormous heights with a mound of horse dung as fertilizer. We would laugh at his methods, but the tomatoes were delicious.


In 2019, due to health issues, Bob and Sarah gave up their horse farm and moved to an independent living apartment at The Village at Unity in Greece NY.  Just before his passing Bob and Sarah celebrated forty years of their marriage.


December 10, 2024

With Bob and Sarah Booher’s permission, I am posting the sad news that Bob has entered Hospice care at their apartment at: The Village, 1471 Long Pond Road, Apt 303E, Rochester, NY. 14626. They would welcome notes, memories and reflections that you may wish to share.  Photos and old stories would add to the conversations.  They are very pleased that their very supportive children and grandchildren are nearby. Sarah keeps things lively from her power wheelchair, which greatly enables her to get around more easily.  Email to Sarah at


We send our care for this strong couple as they care for each other.   We are grateful for our shared journeys through the Local Church Experiment, time in Area NY, all the Chicago gatherings, and most recently through the Archives.

          ~~  Lynda and John Cock



Carleton and I worked with Bob as part of the Rochester Local Church Experiment for the six years we were there–many meetings and events between our neighboring congregation, Dewey Avenue Presbyterian Church and his, Christ Presbyterian Church.  Bob was a mentor, friend, and colleague, and we always appreciated his sense of care, compassion, sense of humor, and passion for justice, grounded in local communities.  Our paths crossed many times through the ICA and in 2014 when he and Sarah attended the 40th reunion of the Rochester Region Global Odyssey.  We had a chance to talk with him a few weeks ago when he was looking for the words to the Being Song and also the In Memoriam Reflection, at that time in hospice care.  He said he was half-way through the 6 months’ time the doctors gave him.  A few days ago we talked with Sarah and Bob was talking in the background, saying he was “lumping along”.  I asked, limping along?, and he said just “lumping” along.

We give thanks for and celebrate the gift of his passionate life, his care and love for creation (grounded in their farm) and for his love of music and singing.  Our prayers are with Sarah and all the family.  May Bob’s legacy live on through those whose lives he touched. Grace and peace~

          ~~  Ellie and Carl Stock





Robert Booher loved music. As a Sophomore in Livonia, NY High School, Bob and three good friends organized a dance band and played for school and community occasions. At that time Bob played the lead Trombone. And of course, he sang at Church and in school chorus. But Bob’s experience at college, singing and traveling with the Colgate 13 had a powerful impact on his life. That he was chosen for that honor gave him confidence in his voice and ability.


All of his life as a clergy Bob was engaged on Sunday mornings as a Pastor or in the Mission. There were places he had to be every Sunday. He would often tell me that his heart’s desire was to sing with a great church choir under a skilled director. So  after retirement he went on his search. He happily  joined the choir at St Michaels Episcopal in Geneseo, NY and sang there  many years.   When we moved to the Village at Unity in Rochester, he found another Church where the Eastman School of Music vocal  students sang and added his lovely base voice there.


But it turns out he was open to many types of groups with capable leadership  He joined the Rochester Oratorio Society’s  100 plus chorus,  The Fingerlakes Festival Chorus,  Warsaw NY Barber Shop Chorus and more. He rarely turned down an invitation to sing.  He often had rehearsals five days a week. He was quite dedicated to his preparation and anyone coming to our apartment was used to him rehearsing or warming up in the other room. The office was populated with scattered shoulder bags each dedicated to a particular chorus. The calendar was full of concerts and performances. This later in life musical activity and its sociality was very fulfilling.


 Unfortunately, with the onset of  COPD  symptoms in his early 80’s  he began to lose range and often performed as a baritone. From then on it was a struggle to balance singing versus treating the disease as the medicines badly impacted his voice. He dedicated himself to vocal lessons until it was clear it was a losing battle and joined the small chorus at the Village where his residual ability was highly valued. But he wouldn’t give in to losing the musical part of himself, even asking the Music therapist provided through hospice  to help him do vocal warm-ups only a few months before he died.  Robert Booher loved music and I loved that about him.

          ~~   Sarah Booher



Christmas 1965, Rochester NY, I attended the Presbyterian Church around the corner. It was a brownstone building, end of the underground railroad, merger of the missional Scotch and mystical Waldensian Presbyterians. Rev. Booher was paassionate about church relevance in those changing times and its response in the parish and world. Bob White, newly married, and I joined and got involved. Cindy, Jodie, Rob, Russ, and Randy will always hold this revolutionary bond of common memory. The one remnant  ritual of life in Christ Presbyterian Church is Advent. Following a model created by East Harlem Parish, we decorated trees with purple stars, keys, crowns and cribs. Recovered the powerful ritual of the Advent Wreath and heldd the promise of the birth of the Prince of Peace with a Bible verse with each candle lit. Today, I continue this seasonal ritual – 1st week light a candle anticipating Peace on Earth, 2nd week Desiring Peace on Earth, 3rd week Promising Peace by my actions, 4th week watering seeds of Peace and finally Welcoming Peace, accepting challenge to make it happen! This journey is the path all of the congregation lived as our church rebuilt  literally from the ground up, using the brownstone and church members gifts in the creation. All that is gone now. Everything has continued in a transformed form, unrecognizable save the great spirit movement of our time and great passion for true human community in response to these radical times when a vision of peace is manifesting everywhere , even in the most desperate places., where only questions of outrageous “Why”  resound.


Much love to you, Sarah and the whole of her side of the  family, and to you, Bob and to Cindy and Joanna and the whole of their families. May we all grieve peacefully as a great spirit giant and social change agent makes his final transition. Job well done, Bob.🧘🙏🧘

          ~~ Judi White


Dear Bob.  Thank you for your deep vein of love and care for the people of this planet.  Travell well.

          ~~  Jan Sanders




And Amen to that thank you, Ellie. I always admired Bob when we worked closely with him at 4750. With love from

          ~~  Isobel Bishop


Bob touched our lives. Profoundly.

          ~~  Bill and Carol Schlesinger.


Condolences to Sarah and Bob’s entire family. Bob was the best! I will never forget how much he helped me with information to start up my small fitness business . He did so much for our community and the world around him. Thinking of you, sending prayers and hugs.

          ~~  Kathy Olson


We’re so very sorry to hear Bob has passed away. We enjoyed him very much during his time in our little town of West Sparta.amd missed he and Sarah when they our area. All our love to Sarah and God bless you always… Love,Greg and Trish always…

          ~~  Greg and Trish


Joanna and Cindy and families. So very sorry for your loss. Many hugs to you all.

          ~~  Betty and Rich