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Obituaries Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, June 30, 2011

William La Grange

WESTERLO — William (Bill) La Grange was a founding member of Westerlo’s fire department, a disciplinarian, and a lover of food.

“He ate everything,” Mr. La Grange’s daughter, Margaret “Peg” Maynes, remembered with a laugh. “There was nothing that man wouldn’t eat. Pig’s feet; lamb’s tongue; everything. The one thing he didn’t like was tomatoes.”

Mr. La Grange died at the Fireman’s Home in Hudson on June 28, 2011. He was 101.

“My father was a very generous man,” his daughter said. “Everything had to be done by the rule; he was a disciplinarian with us children. We knew what discipline was, but he was very generous with everyone, and a very good father. He provided well for his family, and was a workaholic.”

Mr. La Grange was born in Greenville on Jan. 18, 1910, the son of the late Harry and Grace (Swartout) La Grange. He lived in Indian Fields, and was a long time resident of Westerlo.

Mr. La Grange was a member for 73 years and one of the founders of the Westerlo Volunteer Fire Company, being the last surviving charter member. For the past three years, he was a resident of the New York State Fireman’s Home in Hudson.

“When visiting Dad at the home, it was so interesting to hear the stories he had to tell about his family and friends,” his daughter said. “I asked him about his grandmother and grandfather. He started telling me how he worked for them on the farm, and drove the horse and carriage, and went on to tell me that his dad had the first automobile in Westerlo.”

He attended the Greenville Academy and transferred to Ravena from which he graduated. Bill was married to the late Leona (Lee) Blair; they raised a family of three children.

“He enjoyed camping when he was younger,” said Mrs. Maynes. “He and Mom used to go camping for the summer in a tow-behind. They used to camp at Earlton and Athens campsites. They met so many friends, and he enjoyed that so much.”

Mr. La Grange worked for his father, Harry La Grange, in his icehouse, feed mill, saw mill, garage, and ice cream parlor in Westerlo. He also drove one of his father’s 13 trucks, picking up and hauling milk to the various dairies in the Albany area.

“I used to go on the milk route with him occasionally,” his daughter went on, “and when he hauled milk, he’d pick up milk cans, one with each hand, and put them up in the truck, and I had never forgotten that. Two cans of milk is a lot of weight,” she exclaimed.

When Mr. La Grange’s father retired, he went to work for Vogel Trucking in Albany as a mechanic.

When his mother became ill, he wanted to work closer to home so he could help care for her. He took a job at Clifford B. Hannay & Son Inc. in Westerlo, now known as Hannay Reels, where he worked as a mechanic, and worked with Clifford (“Poppa”) and Dwight Hannay in making and adapting components for their fabrication machinery. He retired after 32 years there.

“He will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather and a friend to all he met and shared a cup of coffee with,” his family wrote in a tribute.


Mr. La Grange is survived by his children: Harriet Bernard of Westerlo and her husband, Donald; Margaret “Peg” Maynes of Westmere; and W. Wayne La Grange of Westerlo and his wife, Margaret.

He is also survived by nine grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, 15 great-great grandchildren, six nieces and nephews, and a sister-in-law, Betty La Grange of Ramseur, N.C.

Mr. La Grange’s parents died before him, as did his beloved wife, Leona; a great-grandson, Garrett Barton; and a brother, W. Sidney La Grange.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, July 1, at the Cunningham Funeral Home, at 4898 Route 81 in Greenville.

Friends may call at the funeral home today, Thursday, from 4 to 7 p.m. The Westerlo Volunteer Fire Company will meet at the funeral home at 6:30 p.m. for a 7 p.m. service.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Westerlo Volunteer Fire Company, at 157 County Route 405.

Mourners may light a candle at AJCunninghamFH.com.

— Zach Simeone

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