Warren R. “Wally” Amphlett

Hornell, New York

Warren R. “Wally” Amphlett – 79 – of West Van Scoter St., Hornell, passed away at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY on Tuesday March 12, 2024 following a brief battle with esophageal cancer.

Wally was born October 21, 1944 in Hornell, NY to Warren Edward and Margaret “Mitzi” Gemmell Amphlett. He grew up in Hornell and was a graduate of Hornell High School (Class of 1962).

After high school, Wally earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from Cortland State College (SUNY Cortland) and his dual Master’s Degree in Education and Coaching from Alfred University. He began his career in 1969 at Whitesville Central School, where he taught physical education and coached for three decades, eventually retiring in 1999.

In high school, Wally met the love of his life, Mary Sherman, who survives. They were married on September 3, 1966- the same day Wally’s draft notice arrived in the mail. Following their honeymoon, Wally attended basic training in Fort Dix, GA, and then served four years in Schweinfurt, Germany, as the head of a mechanized motor pool. While serving, Wally was recognized as an Expert Marksman, honored with an Army Commendation Medal, and graduated Officer Candidate School as a 1st Lieutenant.

Wally loved sports from an early age. In his youth, he played Hornell Little League Baseball and in the Sunday School Basketball League. In high school, Wally excelled on the Hornell High School Varsity Baseball, Basketball and Football teams, as well as in the Babe Ruth Baseball League. He went on to play baseball at SUNY Cortland, a perennially stellar collegiate baseball program. Wally continued his love of baseball later in life as an umpire and Rules Interpreter with the Steuben-Allegany County Umpires Association.

As an adult, Wally’s passion for athletics never waned. He provided countless young adults with his guidance and wisdom as Head Coach of the Boys Varsity Basketball teams at Whitesville Central School and Wellsville High School, retiring with a lifetime record of 324-219. Wally was voted the Section V Class D Coach of the Year for the 1973-1974 and 1985-1986 basketball seasons, and led his team to a sectional championship in 1990. Throughout his career, Wally was sought out by various basketball camps and clinics around the country to provide instruction, a testament to the great respect he earned in the basketball community. He served as the Allegany County Athletic Director and the Section V Basketball Seating coordinator until his retirement. Wally was inducted into the Hornell High School Hall of Fame Class of 1999 and the Allegany County Athletic Association Hall of Fame Class of 2005.

Wally was a lifelong fan of the New York Yankees, Buffalo Bills, Syracuse Orangemen, and all things college basketball. In the Amphlett house, the NCAA College Basketball Tournament (March Madness) was always regarded as “the most wonderful time of the year”. In more recent years, he became a fan of THE Ohio State University athletic programs when two of his grandchildren attended college there. Wally loved to work on his yard – his lawn and flowers always looked like a picture out of a magazine. He also enjoyed golfing and Wednesday Golf League with his friends was always a highlight of his week.

While Wally’s love for athletics was never in question, his greatest enjoyment was his family. He particularly enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s activities and sporting events.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Wally & Mitzi Amphlett, along with several in-laws and other family members.

In addition to his wife, Mary, Wally is survived by two children, Amy (Andrew) Wulforst of Rochester and Matthew “Matt” Amphlett of Hornell; his grandchildren Noah, Ella, Jadon, Cameran, Tristan; his brother Jack (Maureen) Amphlett of Ontario, NY, and his sister Maureen Yurkewecz of Spencerport, NY, and numerous in-laws and cousins.

The family of Warren R. “Wally” Amphlett will receive friends on Sunday, March 24, 2024 from 3:00 PM until 6:00 PM at the Dagon Funeral Home, 38 Church St., Hornell, NY. A Memorial Service with Military Honors will be held on Monday at 11:00 AM with Deacon Robert McCormick officiating.

Wally’s family requests that, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his name be made to the Warren R. Amphlett Scholarship Fund, C/O Amy Amphlett Wulforst, 245 Shaftsbury Road, Rochester, NY 14610. Memorial forms will be available at the Dagon Funeral home or by visiting https://gofund.me/d253050c.

In recognition of Wally’s service to his country as a member of the US Army, the American Flag at the Dagon Funeral Home will be flown at half-staff.

To leave an online condolence or share a memory, visit www.dagonfuneralhome.com.

15 Responses to “Warren R. “Wally” Amphlett”

  1. Pete & Jerry Gath says:

    Mary & family, I’ve known “Big Wally”for 70 years. We played Little League, Babe Ruth and HS baseball together. Wally was considered the best Catcher in the area. I always enjoyed meeting up with him. We would be laughing almost immediately. Our thoughts and prayers are with you Mary. God Bless.

  2. Joanie Livingston says:

    So sorry to hear Wall’s passing. Great member of Hornell. RIP

  3. Curt Christman says:

    He was Coach Amphlett to me. His and Mary’s sacrifice of time for all his students and players will never be forgotten and always greatly appreciated . So glad I was able to reconnect a few times the past few years. Praying for you Mary. Thanks for welcoming us into your home. I pray the peace and comfort of Jesus for you in the days ahead.

  4. Stephanie Argentieri /Baker says:

    He was always Wally Bob to me and my family. He taught me to jitterbug, was my dance partner when no other boys would ask. Many nights after baseball practice he would land at 39 Ransom Street and hang out with us, after all, most of his teammates lived on our street. I was always proud to tell people he was my cousin. And his wife Mary, then his girlfriend was my Big Sister when I pledged a sorority in HS. I’ll be forever grateful that she never made me swallow the oyster tied on a string that they would then pull back up! My memories are precious and many. My heart goes out to Mary and the family, and both my sisters Karen and Pam send their love and prayers. You will all be in my heart in the days ahead. If there’s a baseball team in Heaven, Wally will be the catcher for sure.

  5. Mindy (Payne) Silipo says:

    I have 13 great years of memories with “Coach” from my years at WCS. He was a great man. I will always remember his great sense of humor-he needed it with rascals like us! My condolences to his wife and family, may you have peace in your hearts. Thanks for everything Coach! You will never be forgotten ❤️

  6. Shawn Hogan says:

    Wally was one of our neighborhood heroes, I grew up a short distance from his house on Canisteo St.. We all wished to be the athlete, and gentlemen that he was. He positively influenced countless young people throughout our region. Rest in Peace, may the Angels guide you to paradise.

  7. Tim and Midge Nisbet says:

    Mary and family,
    Sorry to hear that Wally passed away.
    You’re in our thoughts and prayers.

  8. Chris Reitter says:

    This man taught me a lot about life. Taught me to compete. Taught me to do the right thing, even when it wasn’t easy. -chris (member of that 1990 sectional championship team)

  9. Donna Castiglione Kopach says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. My prayers go out to you and your family.

  10. Jack Amphlett says:

    Wally was a thoughtful man, a caring man. As a brother he would always be there for you, whether it was for one of my kids birthdays or going all the way to Montana to my daughter’s wedding. Wally was my daughter Stacey’s Godfather, and I know he always went out of his way to let her know she was loved. We both shared a love of sports. Wally never stopped passing on his knowledge on to anyone trying to improve their skills. He always took joy when a former player of his would reach out to him. The message he would get would be that he was more than just a Coach, that he had made a difference in their lives that made them a better more successful person. I will miss my brother and am thankful that he no longer has to endure the health issues that kept him from enjoying life like he so deserved. Save me a spot in your foursome with Dad and Bud.

  11. Karen Argentieri Lee says:

    Wally Bob was my cousin, but seemed more like a big brother to me. He was a teenager when I was a little girl and he was so fun and funny! If I was annoying as little kids can be he would pretend to call Santa and tell him to bring me all kinds of funny bizarre things and then we would all crack up laughing! I remember going with my parents to visit Wally and Mary in their little apartment in North Hornell…I thought they were the most perfect and romantic couple. My thoughts and prayers are with Mary and all the family. God Bless.

  12. Mary Fortuna says:

    Wally and you have always be close friends to John and me. I guess Wally and John are golfing in heaven as we speak. They died so close together; you never knows God’s plan!!! I am so sorry for your loss, I have been just through it, so I know how hard this is for you! If you need anything, just know, I am here for anything you may need. I love you, Mary.

  13. Jean Todd says:

    It is very sad news to hear of Wally’s death. I used to walk by his house on Canisteo Street every time I went to school or downtown. I just remember this really tall guy with a big smile that lived in that house, and he was very popular with his classmates. And he had a wife that was really short, like me. Wally was well known and well liked. His obituary was a great testament to the guy he was. Mary I am so sorry for your loss. Wishing you brighter tomorrows.

  14. Esteban Espinoza says:

    Thanks for embrace me when i do need it, thanks for being my coach, thanks for be my stepfather. Always are in my thoght and heart. You are in any ball of basket i touch. Sorry if i fail you

  15. Annie Torrey says:

    I am saddened to see my favorite coach at Whitesville 1969-1970 has passed. He was a wonderful person, great athletic teacher and a friend to everyone. He one gave me a VERY dirty look for having a fake hicky on my neck. I’ve never forgotten that. My prayers go out to you and your family. God bless!

Leave a Reply