Raymond V. Beecher, 1917-2008

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The following text is the obituary of Raymond Beecher originally published in the Albany Times Union on October 11, 2008. Mr Beecher's legacy and impact are difficult to summarize on one page, and so we defer to the following excerpt as an appropriate, albeit brief biography:

"Raymond V. Beecher, age 91 years of Coxsackie, died at his residence October 9, 2008...  Raymond graduated from Greenville Central School and he earned a bachelor of science degree from Hartwick College and master of science degree from Boston University. He was a post-graduate of State University of Albany and earned additional teaching and administrative certifications. He followed a teaching career, first at Oneonta High School and then as an assistant professor at Hartwick College. In later years, after returning to Coxsackie, he was employed at the N.Y. Vocational Institution as guidance supervisor until his retirement. During World War II, Raymond served in America's Armed Forces in the United States Army, first in the Asiatic-Pacific Theatre of Operations where he earned a special commendation and was subsequently in the European Theatre of Operations until the close of the war. He was discharged with the rank of technical sergeant. Mr. Beecher gave generously of his time and substance to a wide variety of charitable and educational causes. He was a president of the Hartwick College Alumni Association, receiving its highest Meritorious Service Award. He twice served as president of the Greene County Historical Society and, more recently, as chairman of its board of trustees. He was trustee of Friends of Olana, serving as its treasurer. The Vedder Research Library was of particular interest to him, he filled the unsalaried position of librarian. Several terms of service were given as the official historian of Green County as well as for the town of Coxsackie. Local history was of special interest to Mr. Beecher, especially that of Green County. During the nation's American Revolution Bicentennial Celebration, he served as chairman of the Greene County American Revolution Bicentennial Committee. Later he coordinated the celebration of the Diamond Jubilee of Green County Courthouse. During the year 2000, he chaired the county's 200th birthday celebration. Mr. Beecher wrote and published extensively, being an author of four books. He established and served as the first editor of the Greene County Historical Journal. His weekly Greene Gleanings column was widely read. On August 29, 1996, in recognition of a lifetime of scholarly achievement of his alma mater, Hartwick College, awarded Raymond Beecher, the honorary Doctor of Humane Leggers. Earlier that year, the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, On-Ti-Ora Chapter, presented him with their national gold medal of honor for service to the state of the nation. The Catskill Center for Conservation and Development awarded him the Prestigious Alf Evers Award in 2007. He was earlier honored with the first Greene Treasurer's Award by the Greene County Legislators on April 6, 2002. Mr. Beecher was a single-handed, driving force and benefactor in saving Cedar Grove, the Thomas Cole House, when it was available for purchase and shepherded it into the ownership of the Greene County Historical Society in 1998." - Albany Times Union

A complete list of the works authored by Ray Beecher is currently unavailable, however cataloged items may be seen listed here.