‘What a fine gentleman Joe has always been'

| 22 Feb 2012 | 02:15

Editor’s note: Joe De Gregorio of Central Valley passed away last Sunday at the age of 103. And he is well-remembered. Mr. De Gregorio’s obituary appears on page 26. What follows, though, are the remarks by Fred Lindlaw, who served with Mr. De Gregorio on the Woodbury Historical Society, at a tree dedication ceremony in Dec. 7, 2002, outside the Rushmore Memorial Building. The Woodbury Historical Society, and the community as a whole, have been blessed for many years by having Joe De Gregorio as one of our finest citizens. Joe is now more than 90 years old and lives in West Park, near Kingston. Unfortunately, he is not able to be here today, but without a doubt he is present in spirit. As a young boy, Joe came to America from Italy, and for most of his life, has been a resident of Woodbury, devoting much of his work years to caring for the Harriman estate in Arden. His love of gardening flourished there. Among Joe’s great loves have been history and his dedication to our society. We honor him for that today. Let me read the following proclamation: “The officers, trustees and members hereby acknowledge our gratitude and express our appreciation to Joseph De Gregorio for his long-time commitment to the Woodbury Historical Society. In particular, we express our thanks to him for his dedication in welcoming members and visitors at the Rushmore Memorial building, home of the society, each Saturday morning from 1985 to 2001. The society has continually been enriched by his faithful presence and generous hospitality.” And now, it is a great privilege to dedicate this tree to the honor of Joseph De Gregorio, our friend and devoted member of the Woodbury Historical Society. By special request of Joe, it is a sycamore. May this tree grow to be strong and always be a reminder of what a fine gentleman Joe has always been. Postscript: Fred Lindlaw provided this postscript in an e-mail Wednesday evening: “The sycamore tree planted in Joe’s honor almost eight years ago is tall and handsome, and prospering behind the Rushmore Memorial Library on Route 32 in Highland Mills. The building, named after the Rushmore family of Mt. Rushmore fame (who lived in Highland Mills years ago), was the original town library. It is now the home of the Woodbury Historical Society where Joe De Gregorio devoted many hours and much dedication to the organization and to the Woodbury community.