Darien -- Gerald M. Reynolds, of Darien, NY, passed away peacefully Tuesday, March 3, 2020 at Leroy Village Green.
Born on September 9, 1931, to the late Edward and Celestine (Richert) Reynolds, Gerald happily called the family farm in Darien, NY, his only home for 88 years. He had a lifelong interest in history, farming, and public service.
Upon the death of their father in 1952, Gerald and his brother Edward decided to take on the additional duties managing the Reynolds farm. He belonged to many farm organizations and received awards for herd production, milk quality, and farm safety. He was named Jaycees Genesee County Young Farmer in 1962, and Genesee County Conservation Farmer of the Year in 1998. Shady Summit Farm received a “Dairy of Distinction” award every year since 1991, and was named a Century Farm in 2003 by the New York State Agricultural Society.
Gerald dedicated his free time to a multitude of organizations, served 15 years as a Town of Darien Councilman, and seven years as Town Supervisor on the Democratic ticket. Prior to his elected positions, he served on the Planning Board for 12 years. He was elected to the USDA Farm Service Agency to represent the towns of Darien, Pembroke, and Alabama. He had been Chairman of the Corfu Alumni Association, a charter member of the Genesee Valley Civil War Roundtable, a member of the Holland Purchase Historical Society, and a Trustee to the Darien Cemetery Association. He belonged to and was a leader in 4H, Dairylea Young Coop., the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, and Future Farmers of America. He was a faithful member of the North Darien Bible Church until he was physically unable to attend.
He received the Grange’s 7th degree in 1951 and was Master of the Corfu Grange #142 for 15 years. He was Chapter President of the FFA, New York State Reporter, and earned the American Farmer Degree in 1951. He was elected Vice President of the National FFA organization serving from 1951-1952. Meeting President Harry Truman in the Oval Office in 1951 highlighted Gerald’s FFA service.
Gerald loved long drives in the country, admiring other farms, antique auctions, investigating unmarked cemeteries, visiting historic sites like Fort Niagara, Gettysburg, and homes designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. He loved his family above all things and took great pride in cooking for family gatherings, bragging about his grandchildren, and live music – especially when it was performed by family.
In addition to his parents, Gerald is predeceased by his wife Verna (Cook), his brother Edward John Reynolds, his daughter Deborah Morgan, and his son Michael Gerald Reynolds.
Survivors include his son Thomas (Laura) Reynolds of Darien, NY, daughter Heather Reynolds of Hornell, NY, stepdaughter Susan Reynolds of Geneseo, NY, 7 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren. Several nieces and nephews also survive.
Gerald’s family will be present from 4 - 8 p.m. on Monday, March 9th 2020 at the C. B. Beach & Son Mortuary, Inc., 4 E. Main St., Corfu, New York (14036). where funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday, March 10th 2020.