Delaware County supervisors and officials shared condolences and fond memories following the passing of former Roxbury Town Supervisor Thomas Hynes over the weekend.
“It’s a tremendous loss to the county, the community and his family,” said Christa Schafer, clerk of the Delaware County Board of Supervisors.
“He loved his party — he was a very devoted Democrat,” said Hamden Town Supervisor Wayne Marshfield, one of Hynes’ few fellow Democrats on the board.
Marshfield said he knew Hynes for 27 years and served with him on several committees throughout their shared time on the board.
“He was always a gentleman,” Marshfield continued. “He was a good friend. We picked on each other back and forth and laughed a lot.”
“He loved his family, the town and the county,” Marshfield said. “It’s going to be a tremendous loss to the town of Roxbury.”
Allen Hinkley, a former Roxbury town councilman who succeeded Hynes as supervisor in January, described his predecessor as “a mentor and a good friend.”
“Tom was a major figure in our community,” Hinkley said, noting that Hynes was also an active member of the Rotary Club of Roxbury and together with his wife, Mary, owned and operated Miller-Hynes Funeral Home for 50 years.
“Thirty-six years as supervisor — that’s a long career in Roxbury,” he said.
After his retirement as town supervisor, Hynes remained on the board as a town councilman, a position the board will be required to fill in the coming weeks, Hinkley said.
“That was Tom — he couldn’t stay away completely,” he said. “Tom was there every minute.”
“He will be sorely missed,” Hinkley continued. “His wisdom and his experience stretched far. Those are big shoes to fill.”
“I was very close to Tom,” said Alan Rosa, executive director of the Catskill Watershed Corporation.
Hynes helped organize the Coalition of Watershed Towns and served as one of the original directors of the CWC when it was formed in December 1996, Rosa said.
“There are no words to describe Tom Hynes,” Rosa said. “Tom was always there, pushing me to stay with it.”
Rosa said he received an email from Hynes on Friday, the day before his death, in which the former town supervisor told him: “You’re doing a good job. I know you’ll do what’s best for everyone. This too shall pass.”
“I greatly appreciated the opportunity to serve not only Roxbury, but Delaware County,” Hynes said at his final board meeting before his December retirement. “I’ve had the pleasure to work with so many good people.”
Tom Hynes was a consummate and well-respected elected official who always served with dignity and in the best interest of Delaware County," Bovina Town Supervisor and board chair Tina Molé. "I will always cherish the honor I had knowing him and the many lessons he taught me. May his family know Delaware County will miss him!"*
Sarah Eames, staff writer, can be reached at email@example.com or 607-441-7213. Follow her @DS_SarahE on Twitter.
*Item changed at 4:11 p.m. March 24 to include Tina Mole's comment.