Douglas S. Rhyde

1932 - 2017

FLY CREEK VALLEY - Douglas Schuyler Rhyde, "The Mayor of Fly Creek Valley", passed away Sunday evening, February 19, 2017, at Syracuse VA Medical Center. He was 84. 

Born July 21, 1932, in Walton, Doug was a son of Rufus J. and Esther E. (Pope) Rhyde. He first attended a one-room schoolhouse and then school in Richfield Springs.

Doug entered into active service with the United States Army on November 5, 1953, and proudly served his country during the Korean War. He received his honorable discharge November 4, 1955, and then transferred to the US Army Reserves, receiving his honorable discharge from there in October 1961. 

On December 27, 1954, Doug married Helen Turner in a ceremony at the Fly Creek Methodist Church. Together, they raised their family and ran their dairy farm on Roses Hill Road for 60 years. 

Doug was a dedicated and faithful Brother in the Masonic Fraternity for over 50 years. Raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason on the eighth day of February, A.D. 1966, A.L. 5966, in Richfield Springs Lodge No. 482, Free and Accepted Masons, he served the Lodge as Worshipful Master 1989-1992, 1993-1994, and 1998-2001. In 2006, he received the Dedicated Service Award from The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the State of New York, and on April 26, 2016, he was recognized by The Grand Lodge for having completed 50 years of loyal support and dedication to the Masonic Fraternity. Doug was also a member the Order of the Eastern Star, first with Arbutus Chapter No. 317, O.E.S. in Richfield Springs and then Otsego-Hartwick-Arbutus Chapter No. 201, O.E.S. in Cooperstown. He served the Chapter as Patron for many years, and in 1981was District Lecturer.

An active and dedicated volunteer fireman, Doug was a long-time member the Fly Creek Volunteer Fire Company and was very proud being a part of their Fire Police. For 27 years he was a member of the Fly Creek Board of Fire Commissioners, serving for many of those years as Chairman.

Doug was also a member of the Agway Council, the New York State Cooperative Extension, and enjoyed his more than 10 years as a security guard for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. 

He always enjoyed his many "ramming sessions" with people in the Valley. He will be fondly remembered by his children for always being supportive of them, especially by attending their many sporting events. 

Doug is survived by his four children, Patricia Rhyde, Michael Rhyde, Susan Sherman and Kelly Steele; four grandchildren, Sara Oetjen, Stacy Thoutt, Michael Rhyde, Jr., and Gabrielle Elizabeth Rhyde; one brother, Edward Rhyde; one brother-in-law, Jack Turner and his wife, Nancy; two sisters-in-law Violet Moshier and Gail Rhyde; and many nieces and nephews. He is further survived by his beloved dog, Annie. 

He was predeceased by his wife of 60 years, Helen T. Rhyde, who died April 9, 2015, and a brother, Donald J. Rhyde who died in 1975. 

Memorial Services will be offered beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, February 24, 2017, at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home, 82 Chestnut Street, Cooperstown. The services will begin at 6 p.m. with a Firefighter Memorial Service conducted by members of the Fly Creek Volunteer Fire Company. This will be followed by remembrances from Doug's children. A Masonic Memorial Service conducted by Brothers from Richfield Springs Lodge No. 482, F. & A.M. will follow. At the conclusion of services, Military Honors will be accorded by members of the Cooperstown Veterans Club and a contingent from the New York State Military Forces Honor Guard.

Friends may greet the family on Friday at the funeral home one hour prior to the services.

Burial will be private later this Spring, when the farmers are preparing their fields. 

For those who wish to make a gift in memory of Doug, his family respectfully requests that donations be made to the Fly Creek Volunteer Fire Company, P.O. Box 218, Fly Creek, NY 13337. 

Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.

If you would like to send condolences to the family, send an email to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth. We will forward your comments to the family. If you would like to send flowers in memory of the deceased, contact Mohican Flowers at (607) 547-8822, or A Rose is a Rose at (607) 264-3100.