NATURAL BRIDGE, NY – Allan Herbert Chaffee, 89, of County Route 41 and the Ridge Road, Natural Bridge, passed away peacefully in the early hours of Monday, July 8, 2019, at the Jefferson County Hospice House in Watertown, after suffering for many years from Lewy Body Dementia.
Allan was born Sept. 3, 1929, in the home of his grandparents, Ira and Carrie Chaffee, in Natural Bridge. He was the son of the late Roy and Geraldine (Card) Chaffee.
He received his early education from a one room schoolhouse known as the Sarvay School. In the winter, he left early and walked two miles to start the fire so it would be warm enough for the teacher and the children. He also carried a pail of fresh water from the neighbors every day to fill the water fountain, ensuring everyone had drinking water.
Each day after school, he walked to the Halase Farm to help out as a farmhand.
Soon after, in August of 1947, he became employed at the former Carthage Motor Sales, which was owned by the late Wilbur Lehman. There, he honed in on his auto repair skills. He worked at Carthage Motor Sales until 1951.
Later, he was drafted into the United States Army, receiving his basic training in Fort Dix, New Jersey. While in service, he served in the Korean War conflict. He was awarded the Korean Service Medal, the United Nations Service Medal and the Merit Unit Accommodation.
He returned to the states in 1953 and after learning his job at Carthage Motor Sales was no longer available, he joined the New Jersey National Guard Consite. He remained working with the unit at Fort Drum as a heavy tank repairman until his retirement in 1986.
On June 21, 1953 he married the former Mayfred Yaddow at a ceremony performed by Rev. Harry C. Campbell at the First Methodist Church in Carthage. The couple purchased a farm on the Ridge Road in Natural Bridge in 1956 and have resided there since.
They also owned a camp in Montague, a place where many memories were made. Allan spent much of his retirement in the outdoors, snowmobiling and hunting with his many friends and spending quality time with his family. During retirement he also enjoyed restoring old antique tractors. For five years, he restored an Oliver OC-12 Diesel Bulldozer, winning many prizes at a Canandaigua Oliver Show.
Mr. Chaffee was a member of the Natural Bridge United Methodist Church and a former member of the Part-Parr Oliver Collectors Association. He was also a lifetime member of the 4 River Valley Historical Society.
Surviving beside his wife of 66 years, Mayfred, are two sons, Jeffrey A. Chaffee of Carthage and John A. (Delores) Chaffee of Natural Bridge; a sister, Lois M. Burdick of Geronimo, OK; two grandsons, Brandon and Derek Chaffee; two granddaughters, Brittany (Nathan) Jaramillo and Gennha Chaffee, both of Watertown; eight great-grandchildren, Zandrea Chaffee, twins- Zoelle & Zaria Chaffee, twins- Manning & Beckham Chaffee, Alexis & John Clinton Snyder, and Remington Jose Jaramillo; a goddaughter, Angela Schermerhorn as well as several nieces, nephews, beloved neighbors and friends.
He was predeceased by his parents; a brother, Norman C. Chaffee; a sister, Jean Chaffee LaFrance, and a nephew, Timothy LaFrance.
Calling hours will be held 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, July 12, 2019, at Lundy Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Inc., 500 State St., Carthage. A funeral service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, July 13, 2019, at the funeral home with Pastor Peter Mowers officiating. Burial with military honors will immediately follow in Hillside Cemetery in Natural Bridge. Following the burial, everyone is invited to the Belva’s Sahara Restaurant on Route 3 for a luncheon.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Jefferson County Hospice at 1398 Gotham St., Watertown, NY 13601; the Natural Bridge Ambulance Fund at 27570 High Street, Natural Bridge, NY 13665; or the Natural Bridge United Methodist Church at 44035 Church St., Natural Bridge, NY 13665.
Arrangements are entrusted to Lundy Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Inc.
Condolences may be made online at www.lundyfuneralhome.com.