Former Hoosick Falls mayor Donald Bogardus dead at 85

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HOOSICK FALLS, N.Y. — A longtime former mayor is being remembered as both a dedicated elected official and a hardworking business owner who championed the village.

Donald Bogardus, who served as mayor for 25 years, was a barber for over 50 and active in the community, died on Sunday at the age of 85.

Bogardus was a lifelong resident of the village, minus several years of military service. As a barber, he was fixture in the village's downtown. On top of his work with community organizations, he was an elected official: He served on the Village Board for three years before he was elected mayor in 1975; he served until 1985 and then 1987 to 2001.

"It kind of gets into your blood," Bogardus, reflecting on his years as mayor after announcing he would not seek another term, said in a Jan. 5, 2001 article published in the Banner. "Some people call it politics; I call it community service."

He is survived by his wife Esther, their children Curtis Bogardus (Chris) and Terry Loomis (Jeff), all of Hoosick Falls, as well as six grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

Residents of the village this week spoke of his wit, work ethic and dedication to the village.

"Don was a mayor for the people," said Village Clerk Ann Bournt. "The village was his love and his family."

"If you had a problem, you called Don. He'd help you out," she added.

Bogardus served in the U.S. Air Force from 1951-1955, where he earned the rank of sargeant. His service included the Town of Hoosick Youth Commission, the Lions Club, the former Elks No. 178, Eagles Arie No. 2467, Life Member of American Legion Post No. 40, where he was a past commander, the St. Stanislaw Society, the Owlkill Rod & Gun Club, and co-chairman of the former Drum & Bugle Corp., according to his obituary. Bogardus also served as the chairman for the Memorial Day Parade,

"He did his best to make the village a better place," Trustee Kevin O'Malley remembers. He said he began helping with that effort several years ago.

Nearly every kid in town sat in Don's barbershop chair, O'Malley said. Seeing men chit-chat over village politics in Don's barbership, "it was like Mayberry."

"He went to every event and was a real supporter of local businesses," he added. "He put his money where his mouth was and always supported going to local stores and businesses. He was there for people who needed him."

"He loved this village and I remember him being a straight shooter as far as his opinion went — you knew where he stood on an issue," said Town Supervisor Mark Surdam.

"Don Bogardus will be missed by this community and he will always be remembered as 'the mayor,'" said David Borge, current mayor.

Borge continued: "He saw many changes over that period of time — both in the village and throughout society and he never lost his love for his community. In fact, as time passed, he became even more devoted to helping make this village a great place to live and to raise a family."

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Friday at the Immaculate Conception Church on Main Street in Hoosick Falls. Burial will follow at St. Mary's Cemetery in Hoosick Falls.

Reach staff writer Edward Damon at 802-447-7567, ext. 111 or @edamon_banner.


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