WINTHROP -- On February 10, 2023, Edward J. Carr, known familiarly as Joe, died at the age of 97 and a half years at his home with his family close beside him.
He leaves his beloved wife of 72 years, Margaret Gale (Margee), son Edward Jr. and his wife Kathy, daughter Evelyn and his granddaughter Allison (who he and Margee raised as a daughter) and her husband Bill McGahay. He also leaves behind his 6 other grandchildren Michael, Jesse, Heidi, Carrie, Joseph Bailey, and Maggie Carr; three step-grandchildren Wendy, Jennifer, and Josh Murray; and twenty-two great-grandchildren.
The two great grandchildren who knew him best are Allison and Bill’s children Liam and Gracie, who loved to work in the orchard and swim with him in the pool. He was always the first one in the pool in May.
Joe was born May 3rd, 1925, in the little town of Turin, NY, the son of Margaret and Edward.
His father walked three miles to work each day, standing in water in the pulp room of a paper mill, then walking three miles home, no matter the weather. Joe’s character and work ethic was the product of watching his father’s dedication to his job, his wife and his family. His father died in 1944. Joe is also predeceased by his mother and sisters, Veretta and Evelyn.
Joe grew up fishing and swimming in the creek, playing ball and checkers and was active in his local 4H.
To make money, he shoveled the never-ending snow, did some trapping and made a small fortune when he was hired to eliminate a skunk problem for a well-to-do family in town.
He was book smart, as well and graduated at the top of his class in June of 1943, enlisting in the US Navy shortly after.
He went to submarine school and was stationed in Panama as an electrician to service boats as they transited through the canal. He was honorably discharged at the end of the war.
In May of 1946 on his 21st birthday he and a friend left Northern NY to head for Alaska, where the Al-Can Highway was just being built and there were promises of work; it was an adventure-packed trip he vividly remembered for the rest of his life. While there, he worked at the Airforce Base in Fairbanks Alaska as an electrician, returning home to NY in October.
After returning home, Joe entered the NY State Police Academy becoming a State Trooper stationed with Troop B in Canton when he found his lifelong love Margaret, in the fall of 1950 while trying to catch her for speeding in Potsdam.
They were married March 2nd, 1951. After they wed, Joe served a brief time with the US Border Patrol in El Paso, Texas but returned to New York after a few months and re-entered the NY State Police.
Just this year, he was listed in the NYSP’s “Gray Rider” newsletter as one of only 75 living former troopers over the age of 90.
Joe started a very successful vending machine business in 1953 with a single jukebox that he installed in a busy Massena diner near the construction site of what was becoming the Seaway Locks; the vending business is still in operation to this day.
In May of 1967, he and Margee bought 50 acres of land on the Brookdale Road in Winthrop and began construction of their dream house, a home that he never wanted to leave…and he didn’t.
In the Spring of 1977 he had a vision to start an apple orchard. “Brookdale Orchard” would grow to 750 trees and operated until the Fall of 2021.
To Joe, the orchard was never a day at work, it was the joy of his retirement years.
He shared that joy with his close friend Gary Snell, who owns Parishville orchard. He and Gary spent many hours discussing their trees… the last time being the morning he passed on February 10th.
If you knew Joe, you know he was a tireless worker and a very good man who loved and honored his family and home, and was loved and honored in return. He is deeply missed.
Memories can be shared with his family at www.hammillfh.com.