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1922 Henry Hank Schwalenstocker 2023

Henry John "Hank" Schwalenstocker

May 29, 1922 — July 25, 2023

Saranac Lake

Henry John “Hank” Schwalenstocker passed away peacefully on July 25, 2023, in Williamsburg, VA, at the age of 101.

He was a scientist, altruist, nature lover, ham radio operator, inventor, woodworker, history buff, and avid photographer. A meticulous man who could fix anything, he was known for his logical advice, his integrity, and his wickedly dry sense of humor. But more than anything else, he was a father—a devoted family man who spent all his free time with his wife and seven children.

Hank was born to Henry John Schwalenstocker, Sr., and Georgiana Wing Schwalenstocker in Attica, NY, on May 29, 1922. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Clarkson University in 1943. While in college, he met the love of his life, Catherine “Kay” O’Brien, and married her immediately after they both graduated. He served in the US Army in the European theater of World War II. He spent 40 years as a research chemist at DuPont in Rochester, NY, before retiring and moving to Saranac Lake, NY, his and Kay’s “Shangri-La.”

Always deeply involved in his communities, Hank was an Elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Pittsford, NY, a member of the American Radio Relay League and the Rochester Amateur Radio Association, a member of the Rochester Theater Organ Society, and the “Music Man” who provided soundtracks for Pittsford Musicals in the days before cast members did the singing. In Saranac Lake, he was a driving force in starting the local Habitat for Humanity chapter, a weekly volunteer at the Saranac Lake Free Library, a member of the Village Improvement Society, and a volunteer tax preparer for the elderly, as well as a daily participant in the Carrier Net group of ham radio operators.

A firm believer in education, Hank liked to say, “It’s a good day if you learn something new.” He explored innumerable science and natural history museums, historic sites, monuments, nature areas, state and national parks, and backroads with his family. He and Kay instilled in all their children a love of camping, hiking, paddling, traveling, reading, and being outdoors, all of which have been handed down to later generations. They were proud to have raised a family that to this day enjoys spending time together and they loved nothing more than visits from their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Right up to his last days, Hank was delighted to join weekly family video chats to see all of his children together.

Hank was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Kay, to whom he was married for 76 years. He will be greatly missed and lovingly remembered by his children Anne (Jim) Klijanowicz, Tom (Gee), George (Julia), Ellen (Charles Perdue), Dave (Kelly), Nancy (Duane Booher) Rowe, and Martha (Joe) Kile, as well as by his grandchildren Amy (Troy) Campbell, Daniel and Katarina Schwalenstocker, Emily and Annika Kile, Katherine (Eric) Kaye, and Elizabeth (Steve) Skordinski, and his seven great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held in Saranac Lake at 1:00 PM on Tuesday July 2, 2024 at the First Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Joanne White Officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Wild Center, Tupper Lake, NY, or to the charity of your choice.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Schwalenstocker family.

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Service Schedule

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Memorial Service

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)


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