Herbert Houtman, 96, of Houtman Road died Monday, November 18, 2019 at his residence surrounded by his family. Born January 11, 1923 in Brooklyn, NY, he was the son of the late Aaron and Hilda Houtman.
He served in the Merchant Marines from 1942-1945 where he earned two engineering licenses. After being discharged from the Merchant Marines, he worked for Western Electric on Long Island. He became a Master Electrician, and moved to Saugerties in 1954 to his family estate which was bought by his grandparents in 1920 as a summer residence. Eventually, the home became a permanent residence for his mother and father.
After coming to Saugerties, Herb went to work at Lehigh Cement, and, then in 1956 worked for American Machine and Foundry (AMF) installing bowling machines up and down the east coast from Maine to Virginia. He also installed machines out of the country in Greenland, Newfoundland, Bermuda, and Curaçao. In the mid 1960’s AMF became involved in manufacturing pool tables which Herb set up in local pool halls, fire departments, and private residences. In 1965, he purchased Riccardi Bowling Alley from the Riccardi family on Partition Street. In 1968, he closed the alley and moved to the current Saugerties Bowlers’ Club location, Barclay Heights, with Morris Cramer and Phil Stark. In 1970, Herb became the sole owner of the alley in Saugerties.
Living in Saugerties for many years, he owned and operated the Saugerties Bowlers’ Club. He was a charter member of both the Saugerties Elks Lodge #2574 and Saugerties Kiwanis Club. He also was an avid breeder of birds, which, in turn, led to lifelong friendships of other breeders, such as Judy and Joe Passantino, of CA, and John Markum of MA. He was a collector of carved and porcelain birds, and built model airplanes and ships.
Herb relocated to Englewood, FL in 1986, where he enjoyed boating, playing golf, bowling, and enjoyed the warmer weather, which allowed him to pursue his interest in birds. He returned to Saugerties in later years for health issues and to be closer to his family, whom he cherished.
Survivors include his wife, Charlotte, with whom he recently celebrated their 72nd wedding anniversary, a daughter Peggy Houtman, a son Robert, and his wife Meg Swart Houtman, all of Saugerties. Three grandchildren, Christopher and Julie Shauger and Alexander Houtman, a sister Eva Taylor, and several nieces and nephews also survive. He was predeceased by two sons, Herbert and Jeffrey, a sister Nancy Warns, Arthur Witt, a childhood friend of 90 years, of VT, and Frank Hawthorne, of SC, a best friend whom he served with in the Merchant Marines. Heartfelt thanks to his care-givers for the past six years, Fran, Krissy, and Amanda.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Seamon-Wilsey Funeral Home Inc., cor. of John and Lafayette Sts., Saugerties. Services were held privately. Friends may offer condolences on his Tribute Wall at SeamonWilseyFuneralHome.com
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