Saugerties… George Thomas Oswald, 84, of Dave Elliott Road peacefully transitioned to eternal life Thursday, January 23, 2020 at his residence and surrounded by his family, capping off an extraordinary life that included 56 years of marriage to his sweetheart, Eileen. He was the son of the late Lawrence J. and Ella S. Oswald. A lifelong resident, George was a veteran of the U.S. Army and had a successful career as a mechanical engineer at IBM in Kingston that lasted nearly 30 years. His true love was his devoted wife, followed by his adoring children and the great outdoors.
Active in the community, he was a member of the Blue Kats Men’s Club, the Saugerties Vintage Tractor Club and the High Woods Sportsmen’s Club. He enjoyed birdwatching, time on the shooting range, hiking and long walks with his family, giving his grandchildren tractor rides in the spring and taking them sledding in the winter. He was famous for his weekend breakfasts, which included pancakes, French toast and crepes. He could make anything from wine to candles to belts and clocks.
He was born March 24,1935 on the same country road that he died on, having married the girl next door, and building a home between their houses, where they raised two children and, eventually, doted on three grandchildren. After retiring in 1992, he was able to fully immerse himself in his true passions: farming and building antique tractors. When we could get him to take a break from the farm, he traveled to Europe, Nova Scotia, Alaska and many memorable trips to Cape Cod.
Even as a young boy, he had a great love for nature and the outdoors. He loved animals, especially dogs and birds. He could construct pretty much anything. The most important item he built was loving relationships, always ready to lend a hand to family, friends, neighbors and anyone in need. He was the epitome of a good neighbor and absolutely the best father and grandfather on the planet. His siblings called him “Sonny” and in later years, his youngest sister called him “Mr. Fix-It” because he could fix anything.
A jack of all trades, he was a perfectionist and a workaholic. During his amazingly productive life he grew endless rows of vegetables and made an infinite amount of hay. He built not only his home, but also two barns, including one from scratch: cutting down trees in the back woods, hauling them up to the house, and having the wood milled before constructing his masterpiece, designed to house his antique tractor collection.
One of his nephews described him as “the ultimate blend of tradition and modern times” because he held tight to an old fashioned work ethic and pure family values, while also welcoming modern times — ordering tractor parts from all over the world, and following politics on his computer.
Survivors include his wife, Eileen; a daughter, Stephanie (Bernard) Langlois of New Orleans; a son, Mark Oswald of Westchester; three sisters: June Oswald of Saugerties; Marion Schoch of Knoxville, TN; and Dorothy (Jim) Tompkins of Tucson, AZ; a sister-in-law Anne (Jay) Hine of Fonda, NY; three grandchildren: Taryn Lazarone, Carl “Trey” Lazarone, and Charlotte Oswald; and several beloved nieces, nephews and friends who are like family. He was predeceased by his siblings, Lawrence J. Oswald Jr. and Norma Oswald; his brothers-in-law Harold Schoch and Robert Paganelli; his daughter-in-law, Andrea Oswald; and a nephew, Adam Hine.
His Funeral Service will be held 11:00am Saturday at the Seamon-Wilsey Funeral Home, Inc., corner of John & Lafayette Streets, Saugerties. Friends will be received on Friday 2-4 and 7-9pm. Spring interment with military honors will be held in the Katsbaan Cemetery. Family suggests donations in his memory be made to the Blue Kats Mens Club, 273 Blue Mountain Road, Saugerties, NY. 12477. Expressions of condolence may be shared with the family @SeamonWilseyFuneralHome.
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