John Wolcott

John Wolcott

John Wolcott

COLONIE — “John Wolcott, a rebel with a cause, a purveyor of justice and the truth, died Aug. 17, 2023, a month before his 91st birthday,” his family wrote in a tribute. “He is now walking the Glory Road with Jesus.

“John was a genius who had a photographic memory. He was a beautiful calligrapher and made his own Christmas cards each year. He was a self-taught person who knew how to use maps to locate many details.

“He was an all-or-nothing person, which sometimes caused him trouble. He was an historian extraordinaire of Albany, and learned the Dutch language to study old Albany records. He was unbelievably astute and accurate in his use of old maps and in his title searching.

“His earthly accomplishments include helping preserve the Pine Bush, establishing the Bozenkill Preserve in Altamont; he was the first person to accurately determine the date of the oldest house in Albany at 48 Hudson Avenue.

“He discovered through his use of maps the location of Fort Nassau and saved the Stanford House in Schenectady, and the Schoolcraft House in Guilderland, and mapped out all of the Dutch barns in Guilderland, Altamont, and Berne areas. He located the Rum Factory underneath the streets of Albany, and by using maps he pinpointed the location of Fort Orange, the first settlement of Albany.

“He was dearly loved by his wife, family, and friends. A true Renaissance man, he will be sorely missed.

“We wish to thank Mala, his aide who gave him special joy. We also wish to thank all of our friends and family who helped us these last few years. Special thanks also goes to Community Hospice.

“Much love was expressed during John’s life. He was passionate about his ideas, now he rests in the arms of Jesus.”


John Wolcott is survived by his wife, Linda Becker. Also by Cathy Becker Knightes, Carol Becker, Tom Armstrong, and Dr. David Becker. He is survived by many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends are invited to attend memorial services on Saturday, Aug. 26, at 10 a.m. at St. Michael's Episcopal Church at 49 Killean Park in Colonie. Interment will be private at Graceland Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Michael’s Church, 49 Killean Park, Albany NY 12205, or Save the Pine Bush, care of Lynne Jackson, 223 South Swan Street, Albany NY 12202.

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