Bernard Oliver “Bernie” Silvernail, 90, a lifelong Millerton, NY resident, died peacefully at Vassar Brothers Medical Center on Tuesday, February 22, 2023. Born April 10, 1932, in the Town of North East, Bernie was the son of the late Albert N. and Florence (Parmalee) Silvernail. Bernie was a graduate of Millerton High School, and on June 23, 1953, he married his wife of nearly 70 years, Joan (DeWitt), who along with their son Robert, survives at home. Bernie was predeceased by a sister, Isabel Corbett, and is survived by a sister, Joan Schuster, and a sister-in-law, Jean DeWitt. He has a niece, Terry Young, and nephews Michael DeWitt, Alan (Brenda) DeWitt, David (Patti) VandeBogart, David Corbett, and Peter Corbett.
Bernie proudly served his Country as a member of the U.S. Airforce from 1951-1955, mostly stationed in Biloxi, Mississippi. Bernie specialized in meat cutting and was employed by the First National in Millerton. He had a long career as a machine operator at the Keuffel & Esser Company also in Millerton. He later worked as an athletic assistant at the Salisbury School. He worked in the same position at the Hotchkiss School as well as a housekeeper and a security officer.
Bernie was extremely active in his community. He was a seventy-three-year active member of the Millerton Fire Company. He was a member of the American Legion Post 178 and a member of the North East Historical Society. He was a Town of North East tax collector, served on the Town Planning Board and Board of Appeals, and was an interim building inspector. He also served several years on the Town Republican committee. Bernie also coached minor league, Little League, and Babe Ruth baseball. Bernie wrote a very popular weekly History column for the Millerton News titled Yesterday Year. Bernie’s true passion was being a volunteer firefighter. He also served as the Fire Company Historian for his entire career, and was also a charter member of the Company color guard. Bernie held many titles through the years including Parade Marshal for the Company’s 125-Year Anniversary Parade. He was also the Company jokester, constantly making people smile and laugh, but took his firefighting seriously, and was always there to help.
Bernie was a huge part of the Millerton Community. He had a great sense of humor, and was a dedicated individual that loved his community, and the local history that accompanied it. He will be dearly missed by all.
Callings hours will take place on Saturday, March 4, 2023, from 10 am to 11:30 am at the Funeral Home, 37 Park Avenue, Millerton, NY 12546. Members of the Millerton Fire Company and the Millerton Legion Post 178 will conduct services during visiting hours. A funeral service will be held at 11:30 am at the funeral home. Pastor William Mayhew will officiate. Burial with Standard Military Air Force Honors will follow at Irondale Cemetery in Millerton. Memorial contributions may be made to the Millerton Fire Company, P.O. Box 733, Millerton, NY 12546, or Millerton Legion Post 178, 155 Route 44, Millerton, NY 12546.