LAKE GEORGE — Robert F. Flacke, 85, died on Saturday, Behan Communications reported.
He wore many hats throughout his life. He was the president for Fort William Henry since 1958, the commissioner for the state Department of Environmental Conservation from 1979 to 1983 and the chairman of the Adirondack Park Agency in 1974.
Flacke was on the Lake George Town Planning Board and later served two terms as town supervisor in the 1970s.
The U.S. Navy veteran, educator, environmentalist and former state and local official had a long list of accomplishments.
In 1955, he was drafted to the National Football League’s Detroit Lions as the 288th pick, the team’s 2014 “History book” stated. Instead, he opted to become a submarine warfare expert on a Naval Destroyer Escort, Behan reported.
He attained the rank of captain as he served both actively and in the reserves for 30 years.
After his military service and college years at Holy Cross, he worked as a teacher and guidance counselor in the Queensbury Union Free School District.
In the 1960s, he implemented one of the first learning-disability programs in the state and created the basketball and football teams.
Mark Behan, president of Behan Communications, knew Flacke for 50 years. He learned of Flacke’s death Saturday morning from Flacke’s family members. Flacke was more than just one of his clients for the public relations firm.
“It’s a sad day for all the people that worked with him and loved him,” he said.
Behan believed that Flacke was a independent thinker and said he avidly read. Flacke sought to assist others. Behan added that Flacke would help those struggling to make ends meet.
From his football career to his ability to develop Fort William Henry into a historic museum, hotel and conference center, Flacke emulated strong traits of leadership, Behan said.
“He was larger than life,” Behan said. “Bob was an extraordinary leader in the state, in the Navy and in the Lake George community. He had a tremendous gift for bringing out the best in all the people around him.”
Behan said that his services are not announced yet.