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Former Cayuga County Legislature Chair Steve Cuddeback passes away at 65 after battle with cancer

Steven Cuddeback, a respected farmer, military veteran, and former chairman of the Cayuga County Legislature, passed away on Tuesday, November 14, following a brief battle with cancer.

He was 65. Cuddeback, who owned and operated Cuddeback Farms, a family tradition since 1794, was also known for his involvement in the Finger Lakes Old Time Farmers, an antique tractor club.

He graduated from Moravia High School in 1976 and served in the U.S. Marine Corps until 1982.

After his military service, Cuddeback returned to Cayuga County and balanced his farming responsibilities with a career in law enforcement. He worked as a corrections officer at the Cayuga County Jail and served as a police officer in the village of Moravia for over three decades.

His commitment to community service extended to his role as a member of the New Hope Fire Department. In 2001, Cuddeback entered local politics, being elected to the Cayuga County Legislature, where he represented several towns and chaired key committees. He was reelected in 2005 and 2009 and became the chairman of the Legislature in 2012, a position previously held by his father and father-in-law.

Despite concluding his tenure as a county legislator after three terms, Cuddeback continued to serve the public in the town of Niles, holding positions on the town council and as deputy town supervisor. He remained politically active, running for town supervisor in 2023 and receiving significant write-in votes despite losing the primary.

Cuddeback’s legacy is survived by his wife, Teri, their two sons, three grandsons, and other family members. A service in his honor will be held on November 30 at the West Niles Fire Department, with visitation and a reception to follow. His passing marks the end of a distinguished career in public service and commitment to the Cayuga County community.