Garry Allen VanIderstine

Garry Allen VanIderstine

Garry Allen VanIderstine

BERNE — Garry Allen VanIderstine had a heart for animals and his family and hands for hard work. After battling cancer, he died at his brother’s home in Westerlo, surrounded by his family, on Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019. He was 66.

“He was very funny and had a sarcastic personality,” said his daughter, Alicia Lomio.

Mr. VanIderstine was also an intelligent man with a lot of “Jeopardy information” on his mind and an ability to fix “everything for anyone,” said his daughter.

“I don’t think there’s anything he couldn’t fix,” she said. She added that this could range from car repairs to helping to build a house.

Mr. VanIderstine was born in Albany on Oct. 4, 1952, to Richard Leslie VanIderstine Sr. and Bernice Kline (née Hotaling) VanIderstine. He grew up in Berne before moving to the hamlet of Dormansville in Westerlo. He graduated from Greenville High School in 1970 and joined the United States Navy, where he became a member of a construction battalion, known as a C.B. or Seabee.

After serving in the Navy for a couple of years, Mr. VanIderstine worked as a heavy-equipment operator for various construction companies, including for his friends, Harold Lounsbury and Ned Donaldson, and Porter Excavating. He became a member of the Operating Engineers Union Local 106 and worked with his brother at James H. Malloy Excavation. It was a job he was especially good at, said his daughter.

“Everybody loved his work,” she said.

After working in construction, Mr. VanIderstine worked as a security guard for the city of Albany at the city’s Alcove Reservoir. He enjoyed patrolling the picturesque woods to catch trespassers, said his daughter. But the nature of his work changed after the terrorists’ attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. His work went from stopping trespassers who were there perhaps to fish and instead focused on terrorism and potential threats to the water supply, said his daughter.

Mr. VanIderstine retired from his job as a security guard and moved to Marion, South Carolina, about a decade ago. The town is about 40 miles from Myrtle Beach. During his retirement, Mr. VanIderstine also worked at Walmart there, where he was named Employee of the Month several times.

Mr. VanIderstine’s daughter said he chose to move to Marion to get away from the cold weather and to see friends that had also moved there. He became reacquainted with another old friend, Tanya Flansburg, and they were later married.

Mr. VanIderstine returned to New York to stay first with his sister and then his brother during his illness. In a tribute, Mr. VanIderstine’s family offered special thanks to Brianna from Veterans Affairs “who always went above and beyond to make sure that he was well taken care of, and to Joe and Janis Sala, Sam and Anita Clayton, and Pastor Will Balta and his wife, Devon.”

“They were very supportive of my dad,” said Mrs. Lomio.

Growing up, Mr. VanIderstine raised his daughter as a single parent on his small farm in Westerlo, where he taught her things like how to trap, shoot, and bale hay. He recently also became a grandfather, “which lit up his world,” his family wrote in a tribute.

Mr. VanIderstine loved animals, especially the horses that he kept on his farm. In his younger years he participated in Gymkhana horse shows, involving timed games and speed pattern racing; team penning, in which he and others on horseback had to herd calves into a pen; and amateur bull riding.

Mr. VanIderstine was a talented leather-worker and drawer. He also enjoyed hunting, trapping, and camping, including “fly-in” trips to go fishing in the Adirondacks, in which a small plane would bring himself, friends, and family to a remote area.

Mrs. Lomio said she never went on a “fly-in” trip, but said, when she was growing up, she and her father “played hooky” from work and school once a year to take a fishing trip, usually to the lakes tucked into the hills of Rensselaerville.

“We didn’t tell anybody where we were going,” she said.


Garry Allen VanIderstine is survived by his wife, Tanya VanIderstine; his children, Alicia Lomio and her husband, Frank; Patrick Toma and his wife, Adriana; his granddaughter, Harper Grace Toma; his siblings, Rise VanIderstine; Sharon VanIderstine and her partner, Paul Devane; Roger VanIderstine; and Wilfred VanIderstine and his wife, Renee.

He is also survived by his nieces and nephews, Richard VanIderstine and his wife, Lisa; Jeffrey VanIderstine and his wife, Tina; Liddy VanIderstine and her partner, Alan Applebee; Autumn VanIderstine; Steven Irizarry and his wife, Aliex; and his niece and goddaughter Andrea Brown; his great-nieces and nephews, Richard VanIderstine IV and his wife Katie; Megan, Stephanie, and Samantha VanIderstine; Nolan and Sawyer Brown; and Samuel Irizarry; and his great-great niece and nephew LunaBell Dillenbeck and Richard VanIderstine V.

He is survived, too, by his sister-in-law, Donna Brisk and her husband, Bill; his brother-in-law, Dean Brisk and his wife, Tracie; and his dear friends, Ed Price and his wife, Vicky; and Bobby Lee.

Mr. VanIderstine’s parents, Richard Leslie VanIderstine Sr. and Bernice Kline (née Hotaling) VanIderstine, died before him, as did his brother, Richard VanIderstine Jr. and his wife, Linda VanIderstine; his sister, Denise Irizarry-Barkley; his brother, Darrin VanIderstine; and his mother-in-law, Anna Brisk.

Calling hours will be held on Friday, Feb. 8, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the A. J. Cunningham Funeral Home, at 4898 State Route 81, in Greenville. The funeral services will begin at 6:30 p.m., overseen by Charlie Faul.

— H. Rose Schneider

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