Ronald Raymond Stark died at his home in Vassar, MI, September 17, after battling throat cancer.
Ron was born November 16, 1942, to Reba (Suits) and Frank Stark of Schoharie. He was large and strong throughout his life. As a boy he liked bike riding, swimming, Little League baseball, Boy Scouts, and operating lawn and garden machines. As a teen, he worked on farms and at the family gas station. He became an expert auto mechanic. At school he was a class officer and made solid contributions to stage crew, Key Club, and the basketball, football, and track teams.
Upon high school graduation, Ron served in the United States Air Force 1960-64 as a mechanic on turbo-prop engines. He was stationed at Otis AFB on Cape Cod and at Mildenhall, England. He received several high performance ratings and was Airman of the Month on three levels.
In the Fall of 1964, Ron enrolled at Hudson Valley Community College and married Susanne Klahr. They were married forty years and lived in Schoharie, Averill Park, East Greenbush, and Castleton-on-Hudson. They had two sons, Andrew and Darrell.
With his AS degree Ron immediately took charge of the Cluett & Peabody bleachery on Green Island which was inauguerating the brand new permanent press process for Arrow Shirts. Ron left the textile business when he was recruited to teach drafting and mechanical drawing at Hudson Valley CC. While teaching, working on houses, and parenting his boys, Ron commuted to SUNY Buffalo on weekends and earned a BS degree in Mechanical Technology. He continued teaching at Hudson Valley until his retirement in 2002. He also taught classes for Union College, R.P.I., General Electric, and the Watervliet Arsenal. He helped usher in Computer Aided Drafting (CAD). He also drove dump trucks and he designed some commercial buildings.
Ron enjoyed building, woodworking, using his chainsaw, growing vegetables, and mowing. He liked country music, canine companions, and camping. He managed Jelleystone Campground in Sturbridge, MA for several summers. Ron was a fabulous cook. He was famous for his clam chowder and his grilled beef and pork with exquisite sauces. He barbecued thousands of chicken halves for Kiwanis and the Hendrick Hudson Fish and Game Club. He participated in several international skeet shooting tournaments.
In 2010 Ron moved to a farm in Michigan where he built an an apartment specially designed for a tall person.
Ron is survived by his soulmate Elaine Wachman, two sons: Andrew (Heidi) Stark of Vassar, MI; Darrell (Shannah) Stark of Naples, FL; grandchildren Nathan and Addison Stark of Naples, FL; four brothers: Robert (Christina) Stark of Cobleskill, Richard (Cheryl) Stark of Manchester Center, VT; Thomas (Denise) Stark of Albany, NY; Rodney Stark of Schoharie, NY; ten nieces and nephews; twelve grandnieces and grandnephews, and six cousins.
Friends and family are invited to a wake at the Stark Family House on Bridge Street, Schoharie, Saturday, September 28, 2:00-5:00. Per Ron's request: casual attire - jeans, NO NECKTIES!
Consider a gift in Ron's memory to garysinisefoundation.org
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