Clinton A. Taft, 88, of Lafayette Street and a lifelong resident of Whitehall, passed away at his home on Friday, June 13, following a long illness.
Born on August 26, 1919 in Whitehall, he was the son of the late Gus and Ida (Hyatt) Taft.
Taft was married to the late Kathleen Barker Taft for 57 years, who passed away in 1999.
He was a graduate of Whitehall High School, Class of 1938 and attended Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont, before graduating from SUNY Cortland. He then received his Master’s Degree from SUNY Albany.
Taft served in the Army Air Corp and the US Navy during World War II. Prior to his discharge, he was stationed in Jacksonville, Florida and Memphis, Tennessee.
Following his discharge, he completed his education at Cortland State College and then was employed as a physical education teacher and coach, first in Averill Park and then at the Whitehall Central School, where he remained until his retirement in 1985.
In his 39 years of education, Clint held positions as a teacher, coach, director of athletics and high school principal. He was proud of his accomplishments and very proud to have been called "Coach" by many people for years beyond his career. In addition to his educational career, Coach spent many summers as an iron worker working on many buildings throughout the area.
Coach was inducted into the Green Mountain Hall of Fame, Class of 1941 and into the Civic Center Heritage Hall Sports Hall of Fame in Glens Falls in June of 1996. In March of 2008, he was the first inductee in the Whitehall Central School Athletic Hall of Fame. Most recently, the Whitehall Recreation Department announced it will be dedicating the recreation fields in Coach’s honor.
Taft is predeceased by his parents, his wife and a sister-in-law.
He is survived by his six children, Linda Mahar and her husband, Michael, of New Paltz, Jerry Taft and his wife, Betsy, of Queensbury, Jim Taft and his wife, Donna, of Avon, CT, Kay Fredette and her husband, Al, of Glens Falls, Teresa Fugate and her husband, Jim, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, and Lee Taft and his wife, Jennifer, of New Castle, Indiana; 14 grandchildren; three sisters-in-law and many nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 1 p.m. at Our Lady of Hope Roman Catholic Church in Whitehall with Rev. Michael Flannery, Pastor, officiating. Interment will follow at Our Lady of Angels Cemetery in Whitehall.
Family and friends may call at the Jillson Funeral Home, Inc., 46 Williams Street, Whitehall, New York on Tuesday, June 17, 2008 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The family wishes to thank the neighbors and friends for their ongoing help and support. A special thank you must go to all the caregivers whose compassion and kindness to Clint in his later years was exceptional. These included longtime caregivers, Nancy Jones, Hellin LeClaire, Anne Bearor and Laurie Luckow.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may take the form of a donation in Coach’s name to the Whitehall Recreation Department, 58 Skenesborough Drive, Whitehall, NY 12887, the Skenesborough Emergency Squad, P. O. Box 333, Whitehall, NY 12887, the Hospice of Washington County, 415 Lower Main Street, Hudson Falls, NY 12839 or a charity of one’s choice.
Following the interment, family and friends are invited to a time of fellowship and refreshments at the Skenesborough Fire Company, Skenesborough Drive, Whitehall, N.Y.