Lonnie Gale: "The single most accurate historical reference of the Catskills"

The following is a user-submitted obituary.

Alonzo " Lonnie " Gale of Waterwork Road died Wednesday October 10, 2012 at the Benedictine Hospital. Lonnie, as he was known to all, was born in Tannersville on January 22, 1927 son of the late Lemuel Chichester Gale and Hazel Wright Gale. He was a graduate of Hunter-Tannersville H.S., and he then joined the Merchant Marines, where he was stationed in Alaska. In 1945 he was aboard the Sueja III (Q137US), a supply ship in World War II. Upon returning home, Lonnie married Peggy ( Ruth ) Every and they raised their family in Phoenicia.

Lonnie was the owner and operator of Lonnie Gale Home Heating Oil for more than 40 years. He was a former lay leader, Sunday School teacher, Trustee and Youth Fellowship Leader for the Methodist Church. In his early years, he was a member of the very active Chichester Baseball team. A Life member of the M F Whitney Hose Co. and a former Phoenicia Fire District Commissioner. He had served as trustee and former Chairman of the Board of trustee for the Hudler Cemetery, member of the Katerskill Postcard Club, founding charter board member along with his wife Peg, and Mike Bobick of the Shandaken Area Revitalization Program, member of the Shandaken Zoning Board of Appeals, former chairman of the Shandaken Conservative Party. Lonnie was an avid NY Mets and Giants fan, and loved to tease his close friends. He and his wife cherished the time they enjoyed with the Wednesday Night Gang at Ricciardella's.

Lonnie had a respect and appreciation for nature. He like to hunt and fish, and he had a bird's eye view from his kitchen nook, of the American Bald Eagles as they flew over the Esopus Creek. He collaborated on books of local history, including: Ulster County Railroads: 100 Years on Resort Ridge, Old Up & Down, Light Rails and Short Ties Thru the Notch, Where Did the Trails Go - Kaaterskill Clove and he and Peg were authors of Shandaken NY A Pictorial History. He and his wife wanted to preserve the town's story for their children and grandchildren. They always did things as a team.

Lonnie was the single most accurate historical reference of the Catskills, including the Ulster & Delaware Railroad, the reservoirs, and local politics. He was a volunteer at the Empire State Railroad Museum at the Phoenicia Station serving as curator and docent of many of the photographic exhibitions featuring black & white photoes, newspaper clippings and other related memorabilia of the day. Lonnie was able to help individuals make historical family connections thru his extensive postcard collection. He loved talking with people and sharing the albums of pictures he has cataloged.

Surviving are his daughter Melanie and her husband Bryan Kelly of Big Indian, two sons: Dennis and his wife Mary Pat Molloy Gale of Kremmling, CO and Donald and his wife Jodi Warner Gale of Lincoln, VT. Eleven grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren, a sister Marilyn Gale Linebaugh of FL, several nieces, nephews,. dear friends and neighbors also survive. He was predeceased by his wife of 63 years Peggy (Ruth) Every Gale who died on Aug. 5, 2012, a brother Edwin and a sister Dulcie Gale Sulzbach.

A service to Celebrate the Life of Lonnie will be held on Wednesday Oct. 17 at a time to be announced at the E. B. Gormley Funeral Home 87 Main St. Phoenicia with the Rev. Ralph Darmstadt as celebrant. Burial with military honors will be in the Hudler Cemetery Rt. 28 Mt. Tremper. The family suggests memorial contributions may be made to the M F Whitney Hose Co.; Empire Railroad Museum-Phoenicia; or the United Methodist Church.

Friends will be received on Tuesday from 2-4 and 7-9pm at the E. B. Gormley Funeral Home. You may share a personal condolence at Lonnie's Memorial page, at www.gormleyfuneralhome.com

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