Florence M. Tryon

Florence M. Tryon


GUILDERLAND — A strong woman with a hearty laugh and a ready smile, Florence M. Tryon died on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady. She was 79.

“She loved to quilt and sew,” said her husband, George E. Tryon. “We were married for 12 years and never had an argument. We saw things the same way.”

Born on March 22, 1934 in Dannemora, N.Y., Mrs. Tryon was the daughter of the late Robert and Marie (née Gebo) Garrow. Her father worked in the mines and her mother was a housewife, said Mr. Tryon, adding, “It was a rough time.”

She left home when she was 16 years old, he said, and settled in Schenectady, where she worked in restaurants as a waitress.

Mrs. Tryon was a member of the auxiliaries of the Disabled American Veterans Post 88 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 357, both in Schenectady. “She was aided by her loving and devoted son, Patsy, who has been caring for her for over two years as well as assisting his stepfather, George,” her family wrote in a tribute.

It was a first marriage for Mr. Tryon, who had retired from a career as a heavy equipment operator for the town of Guilderland, and a third marriage for Mrs. Tryon who had been widowed twice. Mr. Tryon was 75 when they wed.

The Tryons were married by the judge in Gallupville, where Mrs. Tryon lived at the time.

For years, Mrs. Tryon had recorded the ebb and flow of small-town life as the Gallupville correspondent for The Enterprise. This included news on visits and card clubs, on birthdays and anniversaries, and on events and celebrations.

Mrs. Tryon found beauty in everyday things. Describing a scenic ride home from a fall breakfast at Mike’s Diner, she wrote, “On one road, we could see the colors of five different states in a great panorama. I was in great awe over it all. The colors were perfect.”

Along with appreciating beauty, she was also pragmatic. After a November ice storm, she wrote, “It looks like Mother Nature got the upper hand on us once again...The icy trees and bushes sure did look great, but not for the workers and drivers. Hope she calms down for the Thanksgiving holiday.”

Mrs. Tryon kept up her column even when undergoing triple bypass heart surgery in 2001. “I just want to get going,” she said then, from her hospital bed.

After their marriage, the couple settled in Mr. Tryon’s Guilderland home. In his basement, he had over 1,500 toy-sized steam-engine contraptions. He enjoyed displaying them at local fairs.

It was at the fair in Fonda where he met the woman who would become his wife. “It was bright and early,” he recalled the day of their meeting. “Florence and George Hotaling came,” he said referring to her husband, “and we talked before the fair even opened. I explained how the engines worked.”

Later, after her husband died, Mr. Tryon went into the hospital for surgery. “She came to see me,” he recalled. “I was just coming out of the operating room and she said, ‘I waited for you.’ I told her right then that we would get a license and get married, and we did.’”

Mrs. Tryon came to know as much about his many engines as he did, said Mr. Tryon. “She was very, very smart,” he said.

“We liked to travel,” he went on. “We’d go to the Catskills, and Middleburgh, and Schoharie. We’d go around to flea markets and auctions. We had a wonderful time.”

On the home front, Mrs. Tryon liked to make ceramics and sew and cook.

“I bought her an embroidery machine,” Mr. Tryon said. One of the things she decorated with it was a hatband for him.

“I got a straw hat,” he said, “with a band on it. She sewed old steam engines on it.”

Mrs. Tryon was also an excellent baker, he said. “She’d make cakes and pies and fancy biscuits,” he said.

She also liked to talk to her birds — a parrot named Jake and two cockatiels named Lucky and Joey.

In recent times, as his health declined, Mr. Tryon sold his collection of miniature steam engines — probably the largest in the Northeast, he said — saving just a prize dozen or so.

“She really, really took care of me, and I took care of her,” he said.

Mr. Tryon concluded, “She was a good, good woman — a very nice lady.”


Florence M. Tryon is survived by her husband, George E. Tryon; her children, Carol Ann St. Hilaire and her husband, Ray, Pauline A. Price, John R. Burns, Wayne L. Burns, Lee M. Burns and his wife, Peggy, Patsy M. Burns, and Gerald V. Brooks; her stepdaughter, Brenda Hotaling; her siblings, Agnes Mandy, Marie Roche, and Joseph Garrow and his wife, Beverly; and several nieces and nephews.

Her first husband, John Burns, died in 1993. Her daughter Suzanne Basso also died before her, as did her brother Robert Garrow.

Funeral services were held Tuesday, Feb. 11, at New Comer Cannon Funeral Home in Colonie. Mourners may leave condolences online at www.NewcomerAlbany.com.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

— Melissa Hale-Spencer

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