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Tuesday, 18 March 2014 09:50

Eugene J. “Gene” Corsale

By | Obituaries

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Eugene J. “Gene” Corsale, 85, of Saratoga Springs, passed away peacefully on March 15 with his devoted wife and daughters by his side.

Born July 25, 1928 in Glens Falls, he was the son of the late Joseph and Angela Marcantonio Corsale and was a communicant of the Church of Saint Peter.

A lifelong resident of the city, he graduated from Saratoga Springs High School, Class of 1946. He married the former Barbara Holtmeyer of Long Island on August 20, 1961 at St. Mary’s Star of the Sea Church in Far Rockaway.

Upon graduation from high school, he was employed by the Delaware & Hudson Railroad as a Locomotive Fireman and later as Maintenance of Way Foreman on the Ballston Spa Railroad Relocation project and the Adirondack Branch of the railroad at North Creek. He later worked 19 years for the International Paper Company.

With the outbreak of the Korean War, he volunteered for duty with the U.S. Navy, serving from 1950 to 1954 aboard the Battleship, USS Wisconsin and Aircraft Carrier, USS Midway.

During his military service, he was awarded the Korean Service Medal with one battle star, the Combat Action Medal, the United Nations Korean Service Medal, the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, the National Defense Service Medal with star, the R.O.K. Korean War Service Medal and the Good Conduct Medal. In recognition of his military service, he was the recipient of the New York State Senate Liberty Medal and the NYS Medal for Merit.

He was a charter member of the Italian American Veterans Post 35 and served as Vice Commander of Adirondack Chapter No. 60 Korean War Veterans of America and Chairman of the Tell-America Program.

A long-time Real Estate Broker, he became licensed in 1963 with the Strout Farm Agency of Springfield, Missouri and later had his own brokerage. He was a member of the Saratoga, Schenectady, and Schoharie Association of Realtors.

In 1975, he was employed by the City of Saratoga Springs Assessment Department and in 1981, was appointed as the Saratoga County Director of Real Property Tax Services. Under his management, the agency was honored in 1989, receiving the International Association of Assessing Officers, Peter Zangerle Public Relations Award for their statewide newsletter, “Equity.” The Agency was also cited by the NYS County Directors of Real Property Tax Services with the Director’s 1987 Excellence Award in recognition of the newsletter. He served as President of the New York State County Directors of Real Property Tax Services from 1985-1986 and held both the Professional Assessor, Institute of Assessing Officers (IAO) and the Certified County Directors (CCD) designations. He was a 35-year member of the NYS Assessor’s Association, also serving on the group’s Board of Directors.

After his retirement in 1995, he worked summers as a conductor on the Upper Hudson River Railroad Scenic Train Line at North Creek.

He also worked as a freelance writer for the Ballston Journal newspaper, Poor Richards’ Saratoga Journal and was a contributing columnist for the Bridge Line Bulletin, the Delaware and Hudson Railroad Historical Society magazine and served as a Small Claims Real Property Tax Assessment Hearing Officer for the Unified Court System, Fourth Judicial District.

An avid railroad enthusiast, he served on the Board of Directors of the Bridge Line (D&H Railroad) Historical Society, as a member of the Empire State Passenger Association and the Capital District Transportation “Revest” Committee, studying railroad issues. He was a life member of the USS Wisconsin Association, the Adirondack Chapter No. 60 Korean War Veterans of America, where he served as Vice Commander, and the Korean War Veterans National Association.

Locally, he served on the Board of Directors of the West Side Neighborhood Association, the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation (Emeritus), the former Saratoga Springs Federal Credit Union and the Board of Trustees of the New York State Military Heritage Institute. He was a member of the Saratoga Springs and the Greenfield Historical Societies.

A former member of the Saratoga Springs Planning Board, he served on the city’s Community Renewal Committee, the Mayor’s 2006 Comprehensive Plan Committee, the Saratoga Springs City School District’s Transportation Advisory Committee, and the City Republican Party Supervisory Committee. In 2000, he initiated and served as community advisor for the Operation Lifesaver Railroad Safety Program that was presented annually in the Ballston Spa School District.

He served for six years on the Board of Directors and later as coach with the Miss Saratoga Softball League.

The Saint Peters-Saratoga Springs Catholic Central High School honored him with the Outstanding Citizen Award for dedicated service to the Saratoga Springs Community at their 2000 Hall of Fame Ceremony. He was designated Director Emeritus by the Board of Directors of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation “in recognition of his many years of dedicated service to the preservation of Saratoga Springs and his outstanding and continuing leadership in coordination the restoration of the Gideon Putnam Burial Ground” in the city’s West Side.

In 2002, he began the monthly Video Train Show program held at the Saratoga Springs Public Library. In 2003, the Saratoga Springs Rotary Club designated him as the “Senior Citizen of the Year” for outstanding community involvement. He received the 2003 “Red Carpet Award” from the Lake George-Adirondack Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau “in appreciation for exceptional customer service and hospitality” in his position as conductor at the Upper Hudson River Railroad.

In 2006, he was recognized as one of the Saratogian’s “20 Over 40” Group for making a difference in the community.HHHH


In 2007, he was a Capital District Jefferson Award Honoree and was presented with a certificate of excellence in recognition of selfless service to ones’ community given to those “who performed remarkable deeds in community service without expectation of reward or recognition.”

He was also the recipient of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, American Heritage Committee certificate “in recognition of outstanding achievement in historic preservation.” The Saratoga Chapter of the NSDAR presented him with the Historical Preservation Medal for the research, obtaining funding and installation of a 1930 D.A.R. replacement plaque at the Gideon Putnam Burial Ground.

Of particular pride to him was working as chairman of the USS Saratoga Committee in the restoration of the Saint Peter’s War Memorial on Broadway, his service as originator and co-chairman of the monthly Saratoga County Honor a Deceased Veteran program which began in 1999, and his involvement as project coordinator in the restoration of the near two century old Gideon Putnam Burial Ground on the city’s West Side.

Working with fellow Saratogians, Bob Israel, Walter Gilbert, and Sonny and Tony Bonacio of Bonacio Construction Company, he coordinated the installation and dedication of the monument plaque on Railroad Place to those involved in the “Iraq-Afghanistan War and the Global War on Terrorism.”

The Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation honored him with the 2007 Spirit of Preservation Award recognizing “individuals who have made a sustained contribution to the preservation of Saratoga Springs architecture and cultural heritage.”

Obtaining the funding from neighborhood businessmen and working with the West Side Neighborhood Association, he coordinated the installation of the “Welcome to the City of Saratoga” signs installed at Church and Washington Streets and the placement of the Station Lane sign.

Initiating the concept and together with veterans groups, they were successful in designating and renaming the former Geyser Park fields as “Veterans Memorial Park.”

In recognition of his advocacy for veteran’s causes and his service to community, the New York State Military Heritage Institute designated him as the 2009 Veteran of the Year.

He was instrumental in the naming and dedication of two restored West Side buildings for senior citizens- honoring U.S. Army Private George Biffer, neighborhood grocer, who made the supreme sacrifice during WWII in Italy and noted West Side restaurateur, Hattie Mosley Austin (Hattie’s Chicken Shack).

In 2009, he was awarded the Marvin A. Davis Memorial Award by the Bridge Line Historical Society, “in grateful recognition of outstanding and dedicated service to the society.” Along with Town of Saratoga Supervisor and former Town Historian, Tom Wood, they were successful in obtaining a Canadian Pacific Railroad caboose for permanent display at the Saratoga County Fairgrounds.

On September 11, 2009, he began an annual Remembrance Day Ceremony in the city to honor those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 and in the war that followed.

In 2011, he was honored by the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors as the first recipient of the Key to Saratoga County for his ‘advocacy and tireless efforts on behalf of veterans.’

“Gene” always enjoyed helping others, reading historical military and railroad literature, writing for newspapers and magazines, composing monthly speeches for the Saratoga County Honor a Deceased Veteran Program, and his involvement as an advocate in veteran affairs. His greatest joy, though, was spending time with his family and grandchildren, Gregory, Caroline, Colin and his family’s pet, Gus. Gene loved people and will be missed by all.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Barbara, and daughters, Angela Corsale Brady and her husband, Joseph Brady, of Saratoga Springs and Anne Marie Corsale and her husband, Gary Keroack, of Malta. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Gregory Corsale Boehm, of Philadelphia, Caroline Grace Brady and Colin William Brady, of Saratoga Springs.; his brother, Joseph Jr. and his wife, Barbara; sister-in-law, Nancy Corsale; and brother-in-law, Eric Lindau, all of Saratoga Springs. He is survived by a niece, Diane Lindau Esposito of Greenfield and a nephew, Dennis Corsale of Hollywood, Florida.

His sister, Anna Lindau, brothers, Dennis and Francis, sister-in-law, Marie Corsale, nephew, Eric Peter Lindau and niece, Donna Marie Corsale, pre-deceased him.

A funeral mass will be celebrated on Saturday, March 22 at 9:30 a.m. at Saint Clements Church, 231 Lake Avenue, Saratoga Springs with Reverend Paul J. Borowski,C.Ss.Rofficiating.

Friends may call at the William J. Burke and Sons Funeral Home, 628 North Broadway, Saratoga Springs from 4-7 p.m. on Friday, March 21. Burial with military honors will be in the family plot at Saint Peter’s Cemetery, Saratoga Springs.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations be made to the American Heart Association, Northeastern New York Area, 440 New Karner Road, Albany, New York 12205 or the National Stroke Association, 9707 E. Easter Lane, Suite B, Centennial, CO 80112.

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