A town of Kortright man was honored Sunday by the organization he has served for more than 56 years.
The Riverside Cemetery Association in Bloomville surprised Wilber Haynes, 84, with a monument and plaque near the entrance of the cemetery on River Street. He stepped down last summer as president and secretary of the organization. He agreed to serve as a director of the organization through next year to help with the transition.
“It was a total surprise,” Haynes said. “I appreciated it.”
His son, Marc Haynes, who took over both positions in June, helped get him there. Marc Haynes told his father that he needed his help at the cemetery. When Haynes arrived, he thought there was a funeral, he said. When he saw that those in attendance included his family and cemetery director, he knew “something was up.”
Haynes said he stepping down because “I figured it was about time to quit.”
The Bloomville native is also the town of Kortright historian. He will use any extra time to work on a town project researching those who fought in the Revolutionary War.
He got involved with the cemetery at 16, helping his uncle who also headed the organization. “I enjoyed doing it, I learned a lot of history,” the retired dairy farmer said.
Cemetery Treasurer Carol Dibble said Haynes has done “a great job,” serving for more than 20 years as president and secretary. “There won’t be many people who have served longer.”
He deserves credit for such accomplishments as adding new sections to the cemetery and the establishment of the veterans’ monument in 2000, she said.
Marc Haynes said he has been on the cemetery board for 24 years. During that time, he developed an interest in the cemetery and was looking forward to carrying on the work that was important to his father and his great uncle.