Richmondville- Kevin P. Neary, 72, of Main St., died Sunday, July 11,2021, in the comfort of his home, surrounded by his loving family.
Born March 5,1949, in New York City, he was the son of Mary (Jones) Neary. Although born in New York City, Kevin always considered Richmondville to be his home. The family moved to the area when he was 10 years old, and he graduated from Richmondville Central School in 1968. After graduating, he worked various jobs including bartending at the Bear’s Steakhouse, managing the Belvedere Inn, acting as a technician at the Department of Environmental Conservation, and serving as an apprentice at General Electric before finding his true passion in public service.
Kevin dedicated 40 years to a career in emergency management and public safety. He served as Chief of Operations with the New York State Emergency Management Office and was responsible for directing the five regional offices as well as managing the State Emergency Operations Center. He was a veteran of numerous State and Presidential Disaster Declarations serving as an operations officer and liaison for such events as the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, American Airlines Flight 587 and TWA Flight 800, as well as numerous hurricanes, floods, wildfires and ice storms. In retirement, he continued his career in emergency management working as a consultant where his expertise was utilized in the response to Hurricanes Sandy and Irene. He frequently spoke to and consulted with numerous state and federal agencies and was an adjunct instructor at the National Emergency Training Center’s Emergency Management Institute. Most recently, he provided guidance to the New York City Office of Emergency Management for the COVID-19 pandemic operations response.
Kevin was both proud of and deeply affected by the work he did during and after the terrorist attacks on The World Trade Center. He was in New York City on September 11th and worked for months after the attacks supervising and coordinating with state, federal and city agencies to facilitate the rescue and recovery efforts.
Even with his willingness to render aid in national times of need, his dedication to the local community of Richmondville never wavered. He was in his 25th year as Mayor of Richmondville, was the Deputy Director of the Schoharie County Emergency Management Department, an active member of the Richmondville Volunteer Fire Department, and previously served on the Board of Education for both Richmondville Central School and Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School. For the past thirty plus years he helped organize the Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner which provided hundreds of Thanksgiving meals each year to the people of Schoharie County.
As an avid sports fan, Kevin never missed an opportunity to complain about Yankees hitting. He loved both playing and coaching sports, especially softball, winning several New York State ASA Championships as a member of the Boreali’s Restaurant Softball team. For a time, he was the official PA announcer for the Cobleskill-Richmondville Bulldogs Football Team, and much to the delight of his children, coached youth basketball and baseball. As a grandfather, he made sure that every Sunday morning came with an apple fritter.
Cherishing his love and memories are his wife, Melodie “Dee” (Harmon) Neary, whom he married September 18, 1976; three children: Eamonn (Jenny) Neary, Meghan Neary and Brendan (Lauren Joaquin) Neary; two grandchildren: Ronan Neary and Riley Neary; his siblings: John (Chris) Neary, Thomas (Susie Dupre) Neary, Edward (Mary Jean) Neary, Christopher (Debbie) Neary; Sister-in-law, Mary Neary; Mother and Father-in-law, Jack and Ardeth Harmon; Brother-in-law, Jack (Pam) Harmon; and 21 nieces and nephews: Brian, Jason, Stephan, Tim, Chris, Eileen, Theresa, Karen, Sheila, Sean, Kara, Devin, Conor, Ed, Dan, Katie, Patrick, Shannon, Kelly, Justin and Matthew. Along with his mother, Kevin was predeceased by his siblings, Catherine Fischer and James Neary.
Summarizing Kevin’s life is a difficult task as he was an individual who was involved in so much and impacted so many. Family and friends are invited to share their stories of remembrance at a period of visitation to be held on Friday, July 16, 2021, from 4PM to 7PM at Mereness-Putnam Funeral Home, 171 Elm St., Cobleskill or on Saturday, July 17, 2021, from 1PM to 4PM. Private burial will be held in Richmondville Rural Cemetery. A memorial celebrating Kevin’s life is being planned for all family and friends who wish to attend later this summer.
Memorial contributions may be made to Richmondville Historical Society, PO Box 316, Richmondville, NY 12149 or Schoharie County Community Action Program, 795 east Main St., Suite 5, Cobleskill, NY 12043.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kevin P. Neary, please visit our floral store.
Richmondville Historical Society
PO Box 316, Richmondville NY 12149
Schoharie County Community Action Program
795 East Main St. Suite #5, Cobleskill NY 12043