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Hilltowns Archives —The Altamont Enterprise, November 8, 2007

In Berne
Dems sweep clean

By Tyler Schuling

BERNE - Democrats swept the town board and assessor races in Tuesday's election.

In the town board race, Democratic incumbent James Hamilton, seeking his second term, was the top vote-getter, with 522 votes.

"I'm pretty happy with the outcome," said Hamilton, adding that it appears the majority of the residents feel he is doing a good enough job to keep him in office for another four years.

Democrats outnumber Republicans in Berne by nearly 3 to 1. About 40 percent of Berne's enrolled voters cast their ballots on Tuesday.

After the polls closed, town clerk Patricia Favreau, and a courier sat in her office, awaiting a call for final results. The call finally came.

Because of a voting machine malfunction in the morning, about 90 voters at the East Berne polling place had to fill out emergency ballots.

Hamilton's running mate, Democrat Peter Vance, in his first run for the town board, received 456 votes. Democrat Carol Crounse is retiring from the board; she ran successfully for assessor.

Hamilton, a college professor, said Vance will make "a tremendous contribution to the town board."

"He's got some good ideas," Hamilton said, adding that he agrees with many of them strongly. Vance is concerned about some of the same things he has brought up at town board meetings, Hamilton said.

"He may help us move some things along," he said.

Republican Rudy Stempel, who owns a local lumber mill and had once been town supervisor, got 339 votes. Randy Rapp, a carpenter making his first run, got 316 votes.

Both Stempel and Rapp are both lifelong Berne residents, Hamilton said, and he appreciates their input in the race. He added, "There were only two positions open."

Hamilton, who made an unsuccessful run for supervisor two years ago, said he has no plans at this time to try again in two years.

Vance said he stands by statements he made during his campaign. "I'm going to be concerned with process in terms of planning and zoning," he said, adding that he wants to ensure that all "information gets out to the taxpayers."

Some boards, such as the town's planning board and zoning board of appeals, are governed by posting legal notices, he said. But, he said, if a board is going to talk about anything other than what has been published through legal notices, agendas should be made available to the public at least a week before meetings.

Asked what, if any, issues swayed voters, Vance said he doesn't know whether different issues influenced voters' decisions.

Those in the community who are concerned about planning and zoning are "a distinct minority of people," he said.

"People are being active and active voters," Vance said.

"Now, people in East Berne are showing more concern," he said.

Hamilton said he is unsure whether there were issues "to make that big of an impact." All four candidates felt the same on many of the issues, he said. The Democrats, he said, "may be more in line with what the residents want at this point in time."

In the assessor's race, Democratic incumbent Brian Crawford, the chairman of the assessors, received 571 votes, and Crounse garnered 531.

Republican candidates Paul Whitbeck and Dan Marshall, both making their first runs for the office, received 262 and 211, respectively.

In Knox
Dems dominate, Gage keeps seat

By Tyler Schuling

KNOX - Democrats returned to a position of dominance Tuesday night as the longtime supervisor, Michael Hammond, had a decisive win, and newcomer Mary Ellen Nagengast got the most votes for town board.

"It feels good," said Hammond. The town's supervisor since 1974, Hammond said yesterday, "Every town board meeting is a challenge."

At each meeting, he said, there's something new and exciting.

"And I think those are the driving forces to seek re-election," Hammond said.

On election night, Nagengast sat in the basement of Town Hall Tuesday night with her son by her side as election officials read results. She was the top vote-getter in a four-way race for two town board seats, garnering 529 votes. In her campaign, Nagengast, a mother of two children who attend Berne-Knox-Westerlo schools, said the board, which has no members with children attending the school, needs to bridge the gap.

But the Republicans will maintain a presence on the board after getting a foothold in Knox four years ago. It appears Republican incumbent Councilwoman Patricia Gage, with 467 votes, will retain her seat. Absentee ballots will be counted next week.

"Obviously, I was pleased," Gage said. "The voters spoke, and they wanted at least one person of the opposing party on the board," she said. Over half of the town's enrolled voters cast ballots on Tuesday.

In Knox, Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly 5 to 3.

Democrats had dominated the town board for decades. But, in 2003, two Republicans - Gage and Joseph Best - contested the Democrats paperwork in court and the Democrats were removed from the ballot. Before 2003, the town board was dominated by Democrats for decades.

Best lost his seat in Tuesday's election, receiving the fewest votes.

Nagengast said yesterday she was "delighted" with the results. "I'm glad the voters have given me the opportunity to represent them on the town board," she said.

She attributed her win to campaigning to be the people's voice.

Nagengast said she thinks it's very important to move forward with the Town Hall renovation project, and that she is going to be gathering more information.

"Communication is key," said Nagengast.

One of the town's clerks, Nagengast said her first initiatives on the board would be to work on getting as much information on the town's website, such as the town's zoning ordinance and building permit; other ideas include installing computers at town hall and a bringing back a town newsletter.

While campaigning, she said, senior housing was a "hot topic." While senior housing is not something that can be accomplished overnight, Nagengast said, "Nothing's an insurmountable task."

"I'm excited," Nagengast said. "I'm looking forward to it."

Gage, who chairs Knox's Republican Party, said support for the GOP has gotten stronger in town in recent years. "Little by little, we've tried to wake up the Republican Party," she said.

When the town board makes appointments, such as for boards and citizens committees, Gage said, she will encourage the board to advertise and interview for the positions.

Gage doesn't think there were any issues that were crucial to the election's outcome. Members of both parties agreed on issues, such as cellular towers and wind turbines, she said.

In his first run for town board Democrat Jeff Landauer, an equipment operator for the University at Albany and a former Knox highway superintent, trailed closely behind Gage with 440 votes. Republican incumbent Best, who owns a convenience store in the hamlet, received 432 votes, eight votes fewer than Landauer.

A total of 38 Knox voters were issued absentee ballots, and the Albany County Board of Elections has received 21 of the ballots as of yesterday. They will be counted at the board of elections office on Russell Road in Albany next Thursday, beginning at 9 a.m., said Republican Commissioner John Graziano.

In the town clerk race, only 10 votes separate the candidates. Republican incumbent Kimberly Swain leads Democrat Deborah Liddle 483 to 473. Swain defeated Liddle, who held the post from 2000 to 2006, by just 50 votes in 2005. These, like other results in this account, are based on unofficial counts released yesterday by the board of elections.

In the supervisor's race, Democratic incumbent Michael Hammond, the town's supervisor since 1974, soundly defeated his opponents - Republican Mark Von Haugg, also his opponent in 2005, and Cheryl Frantzen, making her first run on small-party lines.

Hammond received 584 votes, Von Haugg 229 votes, and Frantzen 142 votes.

Republican Gary Salisbury, making his third run for highway superintendent, received the most votes of all Knox candidates with 931 votes. He was endorsed by both the Republicans and the Democrats.

In other races, long-time Democratic incumbent Delia Palombo defeated Karen Catalfamo, making her second run for the receiver of taxes, 541 to 432.

Democratic incumbent Linda Quay, making her fourth run for town justice, retained her seat by a solid margin. She received 665 votes, and her opponent, Republican Bonnie Donati, making her first run for office, received 314.

In Westerlo
Unchallenged, Democrats roll on

By Melissa Hale-Spencer

WESTERLO - With a dormant Republican party, Westerlo offered no challengers to the Democrats this year. Six Democrats ran without opposition; all but one of them are long-time incumbents.

About 24 percent of the town's 2,217 enrolled voters went to the polls on Tuesday in this rural Helderberg town where Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly 3 to 1.

The long-time supervisor, Richard Rapp, garnered 522 votes, just behind top vote-getter Highway Superintendent John Nevins, who got 533 votes.

Asked yesterday for his reaction to the election, Rapp said, "I'm glad it's over."

Rapp had announced two years ago that the term he is finishing now would be his last. He has been supervisor for over 30 years.

"They talked me into it," he said of why he ran again. Rapp, who is 69, has retired from his job as the head of Albany County's Department of Public Works.

"I'm not going to run after this term," he said. "There's no talking me into it again."

Asked if he had a successor in mind, Rapp said, "There are several trying to replace me. That's good."

Two years ago, the town board tapped Councilman R. Gregory Zeh Jr., a Democrat, to take the place of Councilman Sonny Richardson, who died in office. Richardson was Westerlo's first Republican town board member in 70 years.

Asked what it's like to have an uncontested one-party government, Rapp said, "It's alright"We try to be fair with everybody, regardless of politics."

Westerlo's long-time clerk and tax collector, Gertrude Smith, was returned to office with 516 votes, making her the third most popular candidate. Smith, 68, has been town clerk since 1986 and said before the election that she was running because she likes the job.

Town Justice Joseph Dean was returned with 473 votes, according to unofficial results available yesterday from the Albany County Board of elections. That tally makes him Westerlo's fourth-highest vote-getter.

Robert Snyder, a farmer who has served on the town board for 43 years, got 457 votes. Snyder, 72, said his goals for the upcoming four-year term include trying to keep town taxes low, keeping the town rural, and providing new equipment for the highway workers.

The one newcomer in the Westerlo election is Kristen Slaver, making her first run for town board. She got the fewest votes, at 427. Slaver is a member of the town's newly-formed planning board. Fourteen years ago, Westerlo abolished its planning board and then, after town board members had filled the function, they formed a new planning board this past year.

Slaver, who has lived in Westerlo since 1990, said she wants to help guide the community.

Slaver is replacing Dorothy Lounsbury on the town board. Rapp said Lounsbury, who is retiring at the end of December, had been on the board "better than 20 years."

"We'll miss her in all ways," Rapp said when asked about Lounsbury's contributions. "She was always there and brought good ideas to the board."

Rapp went on, about Slaver, "She'll fill in Dorothy's shoes well."

Reflecting on having a female in Hilltown government a quarter-century ago, Rapp said, "I was the first one up here to have a woman on my board"I have no problem with a woman on the board."

Asked what he plans to accomplish with an all-Democratic board in his final term, Rapp said, "There are a lot of things to work on"The planning board is working on a comprehensive plan. With development all over the place, it's important they keep a handle on it."

Rapp concluded, "And we'll continue with our park system and our highway system in town."

In Rensselaerville
Power shifts to Dems

By Tyler Schuling

RENSSELAERVILLE - "We lost," said Republican Supervisor Jost Nickelsberg early Wednesday morning, after the polls had closed.

The GOP had held a majority on the five-member town board, but, starting Jan. 1, the Democrats will dominate with three board members. The Democrats are already planning changes. A Republican incumbent was ousted, receiving the least votes.

Unofficial results show Democrat Marie Dermody, in her first run for office, was the top vote-getter with 469 votes in the four-way race for two town board seats.

During her campaign, Dermody, a retired school teacher and member of the town's board of assessment review, criticized the current administration. She began coming to town board meetings regularly after the assessment board's stipend was "unilaterally and arbitrarily" removed from the budget "without any negotiation," she said. Dermody said she saw "the way townspeople are treated and dismissed" and, she said, "They deserve more respect than that."

Nickelsberg, who has been at odds with Dermody since the funds for the assessment board's stipend were eliminated a year ago, said he is "cautiously optimistic" about serving on the town board with Dermody.

Three weeks ago, Nickelsberg said, he and Dermody shook hands and "both professed to be town-first."

"She was a very strong candidate to run with me," said Dermody's running mate, Democratic incumbent Gary Chase, a corrections officer, who got 433 votes in his run for a third term.

"We went out in the community, and the community decided to take the town back," Chase said.

Republican newcomer Allyn Wright, a private consulting forester, garnered 388 votes, and Republican incumbent Myra Dorman, a professor, came in last with 348 votes.

Absentee ballots have not yet been counted. The Albany County Board of Elections issued 69 absentee ballots to Rensselaerville voters. This means there's a slight chance Chase could be bested by Wright, but Dermody's seat is secure. The ballots will be counted at the board of elections office on Russell Road in Albany on Thursday, Nov. 15, starting at 9 a.m.

Nickelsberg said a victory for Wright, whom the supervisor called "as fine of an individual as I've ever met," is unlikely.

The supervisor is serving a four-year term, so was not up for re-election. The two GOP board members have consistently voted with him since he was sworn in nearly two years ago. Nickelsberg and the Democratic highway superintendent, G. Jon Chase, the father of Councilman Chase, have disagreed over a number of issues, including the town's procurement policy and the way roads are maintained.

Tuesday night, at the Democratic headquarters, Councilman Chase and Councilwoman Sherri Pine, who was elected two years ago, talked about the board's dynamics and communication.

The first thing the Democratic majority is going to do is have the highway superintendent sit with the town board at meetings to answer the residents' questions, said Councilman Chase.

G. Jon Chase once sat next to his son on the dais, said Councilman Chase; the highway superintendent has not attended a regular town board meeting since January, although Nickelsberg had requested it in the past.

The Democrats, Chase said, are also going to put a procurement policy in place that is going to work for all of the town's departments.

"We're going to get some unity back in the community," said Chase. "Our goal is to keep taxes low. We all want to live here and our kids to live here. We've got to keep the community together. I think the vote shows that."

Chase and Pine said that, at town board meetings, they do not know beforehand what is going to be discussed.

"We don't know what's going on at board meetings until we get there," said Chase. "That's going to change."

Councilwoman Pine said, "I see more unity because we'll talk openly."

Another hot-button issue has been nepotism. Nickelsberg would not appoint G. Jon Chase's wife as the superintendent's clerk, a function she had served in the past. Councilman Chase said in his campaign, "I have no problem with nepotism. It's what the town was founded on." Dermody said during her campaign that a town policy should be established rather than the supervisor "arbitrarily" applying "a personal policy."

"Maybe the town doesn't care about nepotism," said Nickelsberg yesterday, "but I don't know that."

Asked what issues played a part in the election's outcome, Nickelsberg said, "We did not come up with one deciding factor"If there was, I just don't know it."

In the assessor's race, Democratic incumbent Jeff Pine, making his third run for the post, defeated Stephen Wood, who waged a write-in campaign. Wood, a Conservative, was bested by Pine in the Conservative Party primary. According to unofficial results, Pine received 517 votes and Wood garnered 126.

Victor La Plante, who has been a town judge for 20 years, was endorsed by all parties and received 761 votes.

Political ad surprises two of the people in it

By Melissa Hale-Spencer

HILLTOWNS - A campaign ad that ran in last week's Enterprise caught a local developer off guard.

"I was shocked when I saw The Enterprise," said Jeff Thomas.

A smiling Thomas was pictured standing between Travis Stevens, a Republican making his first run for Albany County Legislature, and Linda Carman, a Knox resident who has been an advocate for senior housing in the Hilltowns since her mother was forced to move to a nursing home in Guilderland.

Thomas is pictured holding a drawing of a senior retirement community he plans to build in Berne. He is also building two senior-housing projects in Guilderland.

"Supporting Plans for Senior Housing in Berne," says the ad, and names the trio. The bottom of the ad says, "Paid for by Hilltowns Citizens for Change."

"That's just a title I gave myself," said Carman who paid for the ad. Carman, a Republican, said on Election Day, "I'm after different officials to be voted in."

She said she asked Thomas to pose for the picture two weeks ago. "He didn't realize it would be in the paper," Carman said. "It was a misunderstanding." Thomas called Carman after he saw the newspaper, she said, and asked her to write a letter to the Enterprise editor, explaining, and she did. "He was very upset," said Carman.

Thomas told The Enterprise this week that, after a recent meeting dealing with senior housing, Carman asked him to pose for a picture with her and her nephew. "She said he was running for the county legislature," recalled Thomas. "I did it as a friendly gesture. I thought it was a picture for the mantle. Then it showed up in an ad.

"We don't endorse candidates with projects," said Thomas. "I was shocked."

Thomas, the owner of WeatherGuard Roofing, lives in Knox and is enrolled as a Republican. Thomas went on to say both political parties have been supportive of his senior housing. And he said that Carman has been "a great supporter of senior housing."

Stevens, who lost his bid to represent the Hilltowns to long-time Democratic incumbent Alexander "Sandy" Gordon, said he, too, was surprised by the ad. Stevens went to a recent public hearing in Berne on the housing project, he said, and Carman, whom he said is not an aunt but a distant relation, asked if he wanted his picture taken.

"I didn't think anything of it," said Stevens. "Everyone there was in support of the senior housing."

He went on, "All the ads for my political stuff, I did myself." This was not one of them.

"It's a non-issue," concluded Stevens yesterday.

"I think it was innocent," Thomas concluded of the mix-up. "There was no harm done."

Schrade emailing me pictures of the plan
BKW proposes $12.7M in renovations

By Tyler Schuling

BERNE - On Dec. 18, the school district's voters will decide on a bond issue for a $12.7 million plan to renovate the Berne-Knox-Westerlo elementary and middle-high school buildings.

Driven by the Americans With Disabilities Act, BKW administrators have recently proposed several projects. The board unanimously approved the renovation plan last week.

Currently, two students in the middle-high school and two in the elementary school use wheelchairs permanently, said BKW Superintendent Steven Schrade, adding that some other students are using wheelchairs temporarily due to injuries.

"This project is driven by issues of handicapped accessibility, and, certainly, people are wondering why we need to do this project when our student population is declining," Schrade said.

"I can just reinforce that"that's the law," Schrade said, "and it's the right thing to do for our students."

A recent Cornell University study commissioned by the district projected district-wide enrollment will plummet as low as 792 in the next 10 years.

Currently, there are 1,080 students attending BKW schools. Schrade said the number of students is down slightly - about 25 to 30 students - from last year.

Renovation plans for the middle-high school include a new cafeteria and technology room and new bathrooms and locker rooms - all accessible to those with handicaps. Plans also include an expanded auditorium stage and renovations to the gymnasium, art room, and library.

Updates to the elementary school include: renovated bathrooms, a new loudspeaker system, new fire alarms and smoke detectors, and added elevator access on its ground floor.

No new classroom space would be added; the current middle-high school cafeteria would be used for storage or as a study hall, and the current boys' locker room would be used for storage, said Schrade.

If the bond passes, Schrade said, a student parking lot next to the high school would be eliminated, and an existing parking lot with crushed stone would be paved next to the soccer field. Also, the high school auditorium would be expanded. Schrade said the plan also includes added air ducts in the auditorium to improve ventilation, with the potential to add air-conditioning.

Currently, BKW has only some spaces air-conditioned by window units, such as in rooms which must meet certain temperature conditions for special-education students, Schrade said.

About 80 percent of the $12.7 million project would be funded by state aid. If approved, district taxpayers will pay about $1 million over 15 years. About $340,000 would come from EXCEL (EXpanding our Children's Education and Learning) state aid, designated for building projects, and about $1.3 million would come from BKW's capital reserve fund.

Schrade said administrators are presenting a reasonable project for the district's taxpayers. The project would add less than 1 percent annually to the district tax rate, Schrade said, adding that he is working with the district's fiscal advisors to pin down the added cost so that those in the district know what it means to them.

By the time the project would start, there could be more than $1.3 million in BKW's capital reserve, Schrade said, adding that he would recommend the board of education use all of those funds to reduce the tax burden.


If approved by the district's voters, the project would not get underway for six to nine months as plans have to be approved by the State Education Department, Schrade said. Then, in the fall of 2008, bids would be requested, and groundbreaking would take place in the spring of 2009.

Schrade, recalling a building project that started in 2004 and ended in 2006, estimated the current project would take one-and-a-half to two years to complete. After consulting with Karl Griffith, of Griffith Dardanelli Architects, which the district has used in the past for renovation projects, Schrade said the project would occur in two phases.

New construction, which includes a cafeteria and technology room in the high school, would take place in the spring, summer, and fall of 2009, Schrade said; then, the ideal time to reconstruct the gymnasium would be between April and October so that physical-education classes and winter sports would not be greatly interrupted.

The town of Berne, which has been working on adding a sewer system to the hamlet of Berne, is planning to locate a water-treatment plant near the school grounds.

Schrade said that, even if the sewer-treatment project occurred at the same time as the renovations, none of the work would take place near the renovation project.


The most current information shows that, in the BKW school district, there are 4,249 assessed parcels, spanning parts of seven towns. Berne residents pay about 41-percent of BKW's taxes, Knox pays about 35 percent, and Westerlo pays 23 percent. Small parts of New Scotland, Rensselaerville, Middleburgh, and Wright also lie within the district, making up the remaining 1 percent.

The current school tax rates are as follows:

- Berne, $26.86;
- Knox, $29.30;
- New Scotland, $16.96;
- Rensselaerville, $29.57;
- Westerlo, $1,941.73;
- Middleburgh, $24.05; and
- Wright, $20.66.
Westerlo's rate is high because its assessments are low; the town has not revalued property since 1955.

Berne farmer, environmentalist, family man dies at 78

By Tyler Schuling

BERNE - Later in his life, Harold E. Lendrum's mission was to preserve farmland, said his son, Kenneth Lendrum.

Mr. Lendrum, a Berne farmer and environmentalist, died on Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007, at the Albany Medical Center Hospital.

He was 78.

A direct descendent of Hilltown settlers, Mr. Lendrum's ancestors came through Schoharie to settle in Berne and owned an ax factory.

He was once asked where he was from.

"I'm American," he answered.

"What nationality are you"" he was asked.

"We're from Berne," he said.

A lifelong Berne resident, Mr. Lendrum was born on the farm that his family settled over 200 years ago. Until his death, he was still working on the farm. He died after being kicked by a cow he had brought to auction.

One of Mr. Lendrum's favorite sayings was, "Plant a tree and drink your milk."

As well as running the family's farm, Mr. Lendrum drove for Roadway Express, and earned the Million-Mile Safe Driver Award. He retired in 1992.

His eldest son, Kenneth Lendrum, said his father's life was about a love story.

Mr. Lendrum married his high-school sweetheart, Arlene Carl, the only girl he ever dated. In high school, they had both been in their school's production of South Pacific, Kenneth Lendrum said. The couple had six children.

Arlene Carl Lendrum died in 1996.

"They were a wonderful family," said Phyllis Anderson, who lives in the Lendrum's tenant house. "Just a beautiful family. Integrity. Caring. You can't even describe them."

Jean Conklin, owner of the Hungerford Market in Altamont, called Mr. Lendrum "one in a million."

"He was just a genuinely great person," said Mrs. Conklin, who lives in the Hilltowns.

Mrs. Conklin met Mr. Lendrum when she ran the Berne Store in the hamlet. Mr. Lendrum always came in for Thursday-night dinners, Mrs. Conklin said. She was able to visit with him each week, she said, if she was lucky. Her husband, who is one of 10 children, remembers milking cows at the Lendrum Farm, said Mrs. Conklin.

Mr. Lendrum was "always there" - to lend a hand and to give a smile - and she feels very fortunate to have known him, said Mrs. Conklin.

Between 600 and 700 people came to pay their respects on Monday at Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont, said Mrs. Anderson. There were "so many people, so broken up," she said.

Family man

Mr. and Mrs. Lendrum worked together on community projects.

Mr. Lendrum's attitude was, "Let's roll up our sleeves and do it," said his son, Kenneth Lendrum. He didn't do things so that he would be recognized but "because it was the right thing to do," he said.

His father built the shelves for the original Berne library, "originally just a little podunk building with donated books," which is now gone, he said.

Mr. Lendrum's wife, Arlene, "was very well-known," Mrs. Anderson said. She "got the historical society and the library going," and was also a member of the Berne-Knox-Westerlo School Board for 27 years. She also helped form the Hilltowns Players, currently celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Mrs. Anderson called Mr. Lendrum "such a wonderful man - unbelievable."

"He remembered everything," she said. Mr. Lendrum remembered all details, such as the names of people on a deed that dates back to 1849.

Kenneth Lendrum traced the family's roots; one of his mother's descendents was born in Plymouth, Mass. in 1673. The Lendrums are direct descendents of the Weidmans.

He described the family's relationships.

After he and his five siblings married, their spouses weren't thought of as being from outside of the family and there were no labels such as father-in-law. To Kenneth Lendrum's wife, his father was "Dad." Also in the family, Kenneth Lendrum said, "There's never been any doubt about what's right and wrong.

"We're all family"It's a very strong group of people," Kenneth Lendrum said.

Mr. Lendrum's grandchildren are "truly spectacular" and, when they grow older, they're going to be terrific people, and it all started with his mother and father, Kenneth Lendrum said.

When Arlene Lendrum died, Mrs. Anderson said, Mr. Lendrum became a grandmother and grandfather to his grandchildren.

More than a handful of men looked up to Mr. Lendrum as their own father, said Kenneth Lendrum.

One is Jeff Emmerich, whose father died of a heart attack when he was young, around the age of 12; he later married Mr. Lendrum's granddaughter, Katie. After Mr. Emmerich's father died, Mr. Lendrum's daughter, Jill Norray, began bringing him around the Lendrums' home.

"He was absorbed into the family. He was one of the guys," Kenneth Lendrum said.

"Jeff was always at the farm and Katie was always with Mom and Dad," he said. "They're a perfect fit."

Mr. Lendrum "never lived more than a mile from where he was born," said Kenneth Lendrum.

For a few years, Mr. Lendrum and his wife went to Florida in February. But he would have rather stayed near his grandchildren. Mr. Lendrum loved Alaska.

"He liked to travel, but he really liked his grandkids," said Kenneth Lendrum.

A farmer and environmentalist

When Kenneth Lendrum went away to college, the family, living on about 98 acres, sold some of their cows. Then, as his younger brother, Alan, grew into his teens, the family bought more cows and more farming equipment. Now, the Lendrums farm about 900 acres.

Every time a Hilltown farm or property was for sale or homeowners were retiring to Florida, his father and brother, Alan, bought the land, said Kenneth Lendrum.

At a time when many farms are dying, the Lendrums have two businesses, and his brother is starting on another phase of the farm.

"It's really a cool operation," said Kenneth Lendrum. "They make the best hay you would want to feed your pet horse." His father and brother, he said, were experts.

A few years ago, he said, when there was a wet spring, the only hay that did not grow mold was his brother's. In cases where the hay is not as good to feed to pet horses, the Lendrums feed it to their 200 cows.

"The secret is to work seven days a week for 52 weeks a year, and you do it because you love it," said Kenneth Lendrum.

In the 1950s, "times were pretty rough," said Kenneth Lendrum, so his father and his father's brother worked loading tractor trailers in the night. His father then drove for Western Express, now known as Roadway Express, for nearly 30 years. When he retired in 1992 from truck-driving, Mr. Lendrum went back to being a farmer full-time.

While it is now the "in thing to be green," Kenneth Lendrum said, his father, "was a green environmentalist from the day he was born."

"They only would take what they needed from the earth, and no more," he said.

The reason Mr. Lendrum and his son Alan bought so much land is because they didn't want the Hilltowns to be developed as it has been in Guilderland, he said.

"It was incredibly important to him," said his son.

Kenneth Lendrum called his father's involvement with the Berne Conservation Board "a perfect fit." He cared about wetlands, trees, and green space, said Kenneth Lendrum, and he understood and liked people.

"I don't think he ever met a person he didn't like"He was always glad to see you," Kenneth Lendrum said.

"We absolutely thought the world of him," he said. "He had purpose from the day he was born, and he married the girl he loved."

He called his father a "solid pillar-of-the-earth person that you could build a community around."


Mr. Lendrum is survived by his children, Kenneth Lendrum, of Glens Falls; Denise Swezey of Berne; Alan Lendrum of Berne; Jill Norray of Berne; Annette Landry of Guilderland; and Anita Bunzey of Voorheesville. He is also survived by his 11 grandchildren, David, Jared, Eric, and Elizabeth Lendrum; Katrina Emmerich; Ashley, Tyler, and Alyssa Landry; Maclin and Kristen Norray; and Sarah Bunzey. He is also survived by two great-grandchildren, Lauren Emmerich and Elise Lendrum; his sister, Marjorie Shultes, of Berne; and many nieces and nephews.

His brother, Frederick Lendrum and sister, Helen VanNess, died before him.

A funeral service was held Monday at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Berne. Arrangements are by the Fredendall Funeral Home in Altamont.

Burial was in the Woodlawn Cemetery in Berne.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Arlene B. Lendrum Scholarship Fund at Berne-Knox-Westerlo Schools, 1738 Helderberg Trail, Berne, NY 12023, Attention: Ellen Grasek or to the American Cancer Society, NCICFUL, Post Office Box 102454, Atlanta, GA 30368-2454; or to St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1732 Helderberg Trail, Berne, NY 12023.

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