WARNERVILLE — Paul Berard passed away on July 17, 2013, after a long battle with Lewy body dementia. He was born on Feb. 25, 1933, in Cobleskill, to Alphonse Joseph (George) Berard and Mary Alice L’Ecuyer. He attended Cobleskill schools, graduating with the Cobleskill Bicentennial Class of 1952. Paul served in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955, stationed at Fort Hood, Texas. He attended Hartwick College, and earned an associate degree with a major in business administration from SUNY Cobleskill in 1961.
Paul worked for the Delaware & Hudson Railroad as a signal maintainer from 1955 to 1959 and also at the former Cobleskill Community Hospital, first as a laboratory technician and later as comptroller. He worked as the Schoharie County director of weights and measures, and was active in the New York State Association of Weights and Measures, serving as president.
In his early adult years, he was active in the Jaycees, working on many community projects, and was a former member of the Cobleskill Exchange Club. He was a member of the BPOE 2040 for over 40 years, was active on town and county Republican committees as a committeeman, and served as treasurer of the county GOP Committee. He also worked as custodian of elections for Schoharie County from 1959 to 2005.
Paul was an enthusiastic volunteer for many years with the Boy Scouts of America. While serving as district commissioner of the former Delotscho District, he completed both the master’s and doctoral scout leadership program. He completed Wood Badge advanced training for scout leaders, and was awarded the Silver Beaver award for his outstanding service.
He was active in the SUNY Cobleskill Alumni Association, serving as treasurer and president. He was appointed to the SUNY Cobleskill College Council by Governor Pataki in 1995 and 2002, and was chairman of the Council for over 13 years.
Paul married Harriet Pray of Whitehall, on July 14, 1957, who survives him. He was predeceased by his parents, his brothers Leo, Henry, Amedda, and Arthur Berard, sisters Della Lavallee, Leona Fonda and Alma Wright. He is survived by his daughter, Denise Fissell, and son-in-law Thomas, his son Daniel and daughter-in-law Krimhild, all of Cobleskill. Paul’s grandchildren were the light of his life, and he was the beloved Grandpa of Brenner and Kelly Fissell, Monica and Nicholas Berard. Also surviving are two sisters-in law, Helen (Frank) Fuller and Lorraine (Bernon) Chamberlin and several nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Paul’s faithful caregivers, Susan, Christina, Angelo, Jill, Ruth, Linda and Millie for their compassionate care during his illness.
Paul loved his hometown, including his favorite spot on Settles Mountain, and enjoyed driving throughout beautiful Schoharie County in his Jeep. He was an avid birder, and especially enjoyed the bluebirds that nested in his backyard. He rarely missed watching a sunset from his porch or hammock. Above all, he loved spending time with his family and long- time friends.
Paul made a gift to Harvard Brain Bank to aid in Lewy body dementia research.
Paul was a communicant of St. Vincent de Paul Church, Cobleskill, where a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, July 27th , at 11:30 AM. Visitation will be at the church prior to the mass, beginning at 10:00 AM. Private inurment will be in Cobleskill Rural Cemetery with military honors.
Donations may be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association 912 Killian Hill Road. S.W., Lilburn, GA 30047; SUNY Cobleskill Foundation, Knapp Hall Room 211, Lois Goblet, Cobleskill, NY 12043; Boy Scouts of America, Otschodela Council, PO Box 1356, Oneonta, NY 13820 or to Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc. 795 East Main St., Suite 11, Cobleskill, NY 12043.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Mereness-Putnam Funeral Home, 171 Elm St., Cobleskill and Palmer & Shaylor Funeral Home, 134 River St., Middleburgh.
Further information and the provision for online condolences may be found by visiting www.merenessputnamfuneralhome.com.