Donald Genter, 89, Carthage

CARTHAGE, NY —  Donald “Duck” Genter, 89, Carthage, died Sunday morning March 8, 2020.

Born June 7, 1930, in Watertown, the son of the late Florentine David and Ruth Margaret (Wilder) Genter, he attended public schools in Watertown and Carthage. He enlisted in the Navy in 1951, serving through the Korean War, honorably discharged in 1954 as Engineman Third Class.

Don worked at Condino Chrysler Plymouth Dealership in Carthage for 18 years.

He then joined the 50th Armored Division at NJ National Guard, based at Fort Drum where he worked and served for 17 years.

As with many of his generation, Don was very civic minded and heavily involved in his community.

He served on the West Carthage Volunteer Fire Dept for 57 years, from 1955 through 2012 as well as being a principal member of the WCVFD Squad Team that dominated the NNY Firematics and Annual Field Days Competitions through the 1960s and into the 1970s.

He served as a member of the West Carthage Police Department from 1962, serving as chief from 1966, until his retirement in 1985. Through all of those years there was nary a large snowstorm, fire, emergency or community need where Don did not step forward to serve. We remember those multi-day snowstorms as kids where he would be out plowing streets all night, helping spell the Village crews, and headed off to work in the morning. Or rushing off to the Fire Hall at all hours when the siren went off.

In his later years he provided many hours of volunteer service at the local nursing home and was recognized as the 2004 District Volunteer of the Year for the NYS Health Facilities Assn. Don was a proponent youth literacy and was a supporter of the Carthage Free Library. He was a Life Member of the VFW Post #7227 in Carthage, and a Past Grand Marshall of the International Order of Odd Fellows.

Don married the late Arline Greenizen in 1957 and were later divorced.

Surviving are his four sons, Joseph of Carthage, David (Heidi) of Belgrade, Montana, Alan (Karen) of Durango, Colorado, and William “Bill” of West Carthage; and four grandsons – one each from the sons above: Aaron Genter of  Washington, DC,  Amory Genter of Missoula, Mont., Sean Genter of Durango, Colo. and  Justin Genter of Denver, Colo. Don is further survived by sisters Lois Johnson of  Minben, Louisiana, Mary Pachoud (Mexico, NY) and her lovely children (Shelly, Jeffrey and Randy) and grandkids, all of whom were close to Don; and brother Gerald (Donna) Williams of Elizabethton, Tennessee.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Martha, and a brother, Paul.

Don enjoyed family outings for camping, fishing and travel. He fished in Canada with family and friends, deer hunting around the region and especially the times at his hunting camp on Tug Hill. Son Billy and “adopted” son Mike Wheaton were regular accomplices along with others in long weekend outings to hunting camp.  After retiring, Don traveled extensively but really loved the Rocky Mountain West.  He especially enjoyed the thrill and rigors of elk and deer hunting in the Rockies – first in Colorado where he was crazy enough to pack into the Flattops Wilderness with his enthusiastic sons to camp, sleep on the ground at a bare-bones elk camp.   Later he was able to enjoy the “comforts” of riding horseback into the Bob Marshall Wilderness of Montana on several occasions where he reveled in the primitive camping/hunting/horse packing experience that so few get to experience.  He was also quite skilled at dropping in for visits and spoiling grandkids. Don was active among the local snowmobile community and spent many hours running trails on Tug Hill or in trips to Quebec.

And he was a life-long Yankee fan and as an 85th birthday surprise was able to watch them play 2 games against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. We are sure he bent many ears back home talking about that trip.

Calling hours will be 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, March 16, at Bezanilla-McGraw Funeral Home in Carthage. Spring burial with military honors will be in Sunnyside Cemetery, Naumburg at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Carthage Free Library, 412 Budd St., Carthage, NY 13619.

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