Herbert L. Waite, 88, Black River

BLACK RIVER, NY —  Herbert L. Waite, 88, of Black River, passed away at his home on June 17, 2020.

Herb was born at the Waite Homestead in Champion on May 17, 1932, the oldest of eleven sons of Merritt and Helena Fitzgerald Waite.

Private funeral arrangements will be held for his immediate family on Saturday, June 20, 2020, at the Reed & Benoit Funeral Home.

A celebration of Herbie’s life for friends and family will be held at a date and time yet to be determined.

He married the love of his life, Helen Sheltray, on Nov. 6, 1954, at the Deer River Methodist Parsonage. Helen passed away in Herb’s arms on Sept. 7, 1985, at their cottage.

They had seven children, Debra (Scott) Briant, SC, Cathleen Wilson, NC, Donna (Chip) Andrews, Black River, Karen Oatman, Felts Mills, Diane Brown, NC. Herb is also survived by wife, Janice Raso-Waite; his step-children, Randy (Sue) Raso, Alfred (Amy) Raso, Dennis Raso, Faye (Robert) Dupell, Janice (Douglas) Dunham; his siblings, Duane (Ada) and Ernie (Gina) of Watertown, John (June) of Florida, George of Carhage; Irene Astafan, Paul and David of Castorland; Jerry of Georgia; Sarah (William) Walsemann of Carthage, Ellen (Jim) Remington of Glenfield, Helen (Joseph) Morisette and Martha (Patrick) McCarthy of Cape Vincent; and several grandchildren & great-grandchildren.

Herb married Janice Raso on June 20, 2010.

Herb had a special bond with his grandfather, George. Being the oldest son in the family they were great buddies. And, oh, the stories they could tell.

Herb painted with his Dad and helped on the family farm until he was drafted into the Army serving in Koreas as a field artillery chief. He was wounded June 11, 1953, during a missile attack and was hospitalized in a MASH unit. He later returned to action and, as a result, was awarded the Purple Heart.

On his first return from service Herb worked for O’Connor Vaults until he and Helen founded Jefferson Concrete Corporation where he was known as a hands-on boss working alongside his employees. A “tell it like it is” man, Herb was respected by everyone he came in contact with. He also had a nickname for everyone he knew.

Herbie was a member of the Kiwanis Club, and a life-member of the VFW and Black River American Legion. He also served on the Black River Cemetery board of directors.

Herb will be sorely missed by all those who knew him. He was always there to help anyone in need, especially his siblings and parents.

Herbie is predeceased by two sons, Herby Waite & Tom Waite; a stepdaughter, Sandra Raso-Waite; his first wife, Helen Sheltray-Waite; and siblings Evelyn (Bill) McCallops, Mary (Robert) Greenwood, Carol Elizabeth, Harold, Howard “Doc” and Kenneth.


Arrangements are with Reed & Benoit Funeral Home, Inc.

Online condolences may be made at www.reedbenoit.com