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Hilltowns Archives —The Altamont Enterprise, November 6, 2008

Earl H. Barcomb

KNOX — Earl H. Barcomb was an Air Force colonel and an environmental engineer who loved his family and the town of Knox.

On Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008, he died at his home in Knox. He was 65 years old, the son of Earl Barcomb and the late Katherine Falvey Barcomb. Born in Holyoke, Mass., he was raised in Mountain View, N.Y.

“He was a kind and gentle guy, and he had a wonderful sense of humor — devilish almost,” said Wendy Barcomb, his wife of 43 years. “But he helped a lot of people and didn’t make a big deal out of it,” she said.

“We love living here, and, when we turned the farm over to our son and his family, it was important for us to stay within the town of Knox,” Mr. Barcomb said in April.

He was on Knox’s zoning board of appeals for 25 years, much of which he spent as chairman before stepping down in April.

“I wanted to be involved with this community and to work to keep it as special as it is,” Mr. Barcomb said shortly after retiring from the board. “It is an important board, and it must be careful to adhere to our legal framework,” he said.

“He really liked working on the ZBA,” his wife said. “He liked the legal aspects, working with neighbors, making sure the town was protected legally.”

Mr. Barcomb retired from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in 2001, but returned to work for the State Emergency Management Office after 9/11. He had worked part-time for SEMO ever since.

He met his wife while in college at the University of Buffalo. “We started dating immediately,” she said. They were out with mutual friends for pizza and drinks. It was her 19th birthday. They would be married on her 22nd.

They loved to travel, seeing Europe, Australia, and Africa during their life together. They also traveled to Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan during his service in the Air Force. During this time, they lived in Guam, where they had their first son, Earl.

“He used to bow hunt,” Mrs. Barcomb said. “He absolutely loved family gatherings, too.” He loved chess, playing cards, and his dog, Molly.

“We had a wonderful life together,” Mrs. Barcomb said. “We were very lucky for that.”


Earl Barcomb is survived by his wife, Wendy Barcomb and his father, Earl Barcomb.

He is also survived by his children: Earl Barcomb and his wife, Jessica; Daniel Barcomb and his wife, Catherine; Nathan Barcomb and his wife, Carolyn; Eleanor Barcomb and her husband, James; and his grandchildren: Earl, Sophia, Daniel, Hannah, Phoebe, Alice, Owen, and Calvin.

He is survived, too, by his sisters: Nancy Dolland and her husband, John; Amanda Barcomb; and three nieces.

The family sends a special thanks to Dr. Ronald Stram, nurse April Bruzdzinski, the Center for Integrative Health and Healing in Delmar, and to Community Hospice in Schenectady.

A memorial mass will be held Saturday, Nov. 8 at 10 a.m. at St. Lucy’s Church in Altamont. Friends may call at Fredendall’s Funeral Home in Altamont from 4 to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

— Zach Simeone

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