QUEENSBURY -- Richard Clark VanDusen Jr. (Dick) of 995 West Mountain Road in Queensbury, died suddenly Monday, Nov. 5, 2012, at his family homestead, once known as Hunting Hill Farm, where many of his ancestors lived and farmed.
He was born Sept. 23, 1935, in Albany, and spent most of his life in the Glens Falls and Queensbury area.
Dick is survived by his twin sister, Jane Bennett VanDusen Pattison (John R.) of Troy, N.Y.; his niece, Ivy McQuade Brockley of New Scotland, N.Y.; his nephew, David C. McQuade (Janine Rossi) of Amsterdam, N.Y.; great-niece, Lydia Tompson Brockley of Narragansett, R.I.; and great-nephew, Nicholas Carleton Brockley of Tempe, Ariz.
A graduate of Glens Falls High School, then SUNY Agricultural and Technical Institute (ATI) and SUNY at Delhi, he served in the U.S. Navy and was employed by Exxon/Mobil Corp. in Pelham, N.Y., before returning to the farm on West Mountain, where he started 88 Acres Nursery, an enterprise he owned, operated and managed for more than 45 years with the aid of his faithful sidekick, “Charlie Chickadee.”
He loved the outdoors, its flora and fauna, and all kinds of wildlife, which abound around the nursery and farm properties. He also enjoyed raising chickens, ducks, rabbits and other animals, a hobby that interested him from the time he was a young boy tending incubators full of baby chicks in the cellar on Monument Avenue in Glens Falls, and bringing home turtles and snakes from Crandall Pond. For many years after his Navy experience, Dick was taken up with going on safaris in Africa. He wrote a book called “Safari Furahi,” describing his adventures, especially in the game preserves of Kenya and Tanzania.
A visitor to his nursery shop or to the farmhouse would always be greeted by his many paintings of African animals as well as those featuring our own Adirondack black bears and bull moose. A man of many interests, the preservation of West Mountain lands was very important to Dick and, not long ago, he gave a significant parcel of the farm property to the Nature Conservancy.
The family would like to thank Dick’s many good friends who gave him support, encouragement and laughed at his ever-present dry humor and antics over the years and during the period of his declining health, especially Cretta Bouchard, Betty and Lee Blanchard, and Mary Smith.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012, at Regan Denny Stafford Funeral Home, 53 Quaker Road, Queensbury. At Richard’s request, there will be no calling hours. Burial will be at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, friends may make donations to World Wildlife Fund, 1250 24th Street N.W. 20037-1193, P.O. Box 97180, Washington, DC 20037, or The Nature Conservancy, Attn: Treasury/R.C. VanDusen memorial, 4245 North Fairfox Drive Suite 100 Arlington, VA 22203.
For those who wish, online condolences can be made at www.sbfuneralhome.com.