In Memory of Thaddeus Egnaczyk





Share This Memorial

Thaddeus Egnaczyk

Thaddeus B. (“Ted”) Egnaczyk, 95, formerly of 114 Carol Ave Boonville, NY, passed away peacefully on October 3, 2020 at Bethany Gardens Skilled Living Center in Rome, NY where he had been residing for the last 2 years. For over 70 years Ted was a self-made, independent businessman with interests throughout central New York. He was born on September 18, 1925 after an early fall snowstorm, one of seven children to the late Anthony and Stefania (Klimek) Egnaczyk on the family dairy farm on Potato Hill just outside the Village of Boonville. His youth was spent working on the family dairy farm and early education was at a one room schoolhouse at the end of Potato Hill Road. He then attended Boonville Central High School where he participated in the Future Farmers of America (FFA), was elected President, and graduated in 1943. During high school he worked part time for various farmers in the area, and at the former Sheffield Milk Plant in Boonville. After graduation, he worked several different jobs in the area without long term prospects and started a lifelong interest in buying/selling/trading cars and trucks. Determined to leave farming and see some of the country, he traveled during several winters to Florida where he worked at the Altamont Springs Hotel in Florida - starting as a dish washer and working his way up to head waiter. This started a lifelong interest in the dining/restaurant business. By 1949 he had built and was operating a diner in Mexico, NY when his brother John was killed in an automobile accident. His father asked him to come home and take over his brother’s dairy business with his brother Julian. They continued to operate the Brown Swiss Dairy together until Julian was drafted into the US Army at which time, they decided to dissolve the partnership. Soon after, he changed the name to the Boonville Dairy. On July 18, 1954 he married the love of his life, Doris Dahlem in the Church of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Poughkeepsie, NY. They settled into the house and farm on 160 Ford Street and Doris continued her teaching career. As the dairy portion of the business started to grow, he sold the cows and moved the milk processing operations from the farm to the former Post House on 101 Ford Street. There he also opened a dairy store including food service and ice cream and one of the first soft ice cream serving machines in the north country. In 1957 to capitalize on the growing summer camp, hotel and restaurant business in the north country and expanding geography of his service area, he purchased Harry Hall’s Dairy in Inlet, NY. During this time, he changed the business name from Boonville Dairy to the Central Adirondack Dairy and expanded the milk processing facilities and Dairy Bar on Ford Street. Over the next several years he continued to expand operations purchasing the Mathis Dairy in Rome, NY, the Smolenski Dairy in Camden, NY, and the Sunnyside Dairy in Croghan, NY and established country stores in Remsen, Constableville, and Croghan. In the 1970s, he once again expanded and relocated the milk processing operations to the former Sheffield Milk Plant building on lower Main Street. In 1979 he sold the dairy portion of the business to Mercer’s Dairy where he continued working for several years during the transition. During this time, he also operated the Dairy Bar on Ford Street and started baking donuts and pies. He sold the Dairy Bar in the early 1980s and the building is now operated as Freddy’s Diner. Ted never really retired. Life to him was a never-ending opportunity and he constantly reinvented himself. In the late 1980s, and returning to his diner roots, he modified a small house trailer into a “Chuck Wagon”. Initially with his childhood friend Roman Charney and his son Gary they sold food and drinks out of the Chuck Wagon and in particular Polish food at the Boonville Fair. As their experience and following grew the rest of his sons and daughter and sometimes, Doris joined the staff as they expanded their schedule to include the Woodsman’s Field Days, the Boonville Winter Carnival Snowmobile races as well as many local field days, events and auctions. Over time he built a variety of self-designed and constructed Chuck Wagons for use at different events. The family continued this tradition for 18 years eventually including nephews and grandchildren putting their time in at the serving window and the grill. In 1981 Ted was appointed Justice for the Town of Boonville initially for a three-month term. He was re-elected and held the office continuously for 29 years. Periodically he also served as Justice for the Village of Boonville. Over the years, Ted estimated he had performed over 202 civil weddings, many times using wedding ceremony scripts he had written. Later in his life he started taking daily evening walks through the village and enjoyed stopping and visiting with people he met along the way. He also enjoyed the company of many friends over the years and always appreciated invitations to spend time playing cards at hunting camps. During his “final” retirement years, he continued to operate a small diner and ice cream store on South James Street in Rome, NY. For several years in the winter Ted also worked as the caretaker of the skating rink at the Kiwanis Youth Center on the Village Fairgrounds. He was a member of many local organizations during his lifetime including the Boonville Area Chamber of Commerce, the Knights of Columbus, the Boonville ELKS Lodge #2158, and the New York State Magistrates Association. Around the mid-1960s he volunteered to be the Director of the Boonville Snow Festival/Snowmobile races. He was then honored as the Grand Marshal of the 2014 Boonville Snow Festival II Snowmobile Torch Light Parade in recognition for the hard work, dedication and overall passion for the sport of snowmobiling. His family will treasure his love of life, family and friends, his laugh, sense of humor, and late-night snacks especially ice cream. In addition, his love of cowboy movies and any movies starring John Wayne and his ability to remember the make, model and color of every car he ever owned. His Polish heritage and both listening and dancing to polka music was also an important part of his life. Lastly, the value of hard work and determination he showed daily in how he lived his life. In addition to his loving wife Doris, he is survived by his children, Steven (Libby) Egnaczyk, Glenmoore, PA, Gary Egnaczyk, Albany, NY, Carol (Keith) Gauthier, Longmeadow, MA, Michael (Kathy) Egnaczyk, Pittsburgh, PA, and Douglas Egnaczyk, Jamesville, NY. Also surviving are his grandchildren, Thaddeus Michael Egnaczyk, Ian Xavier Gauthier, Hannah Elizabeth Egnaczyk, Madelyn Claire Egnaczyk, Emma Kathryn Egnaczyk, Michael Daniel Egnaczyk, John Dahlem Egnaczyk, Steven Benjamin Egnaczyk, and Julia Anne Egnaczyk, his good friend David (Kirby) Dorn and many nieces and nephews. Ted was predeceased by a grandson, Daniel Norman Egnaczyk and by his brothers and sisters Rudolph (and Josephine) Egnaczyk, John Egnaczyk, Clara (and Edward) Rashford, Florence Egnaczyk, Hela (and Leo) Harris, and Julian (and Jane) Egnaczyk, his cousin Andrew Klimek and many childhood and lifelong friends. His family wishes to extend a sincere thank you to the doctors, nurses and staff at Bethany Gardens Skilled Living Center for their excellent and compassionate care they provided to Ted. On his behalf, Ted’s family wishes to acknowledge his long-stated feelings of thanks and gratitude to the larger Boonville community and northern New York for their patronage to his businesses over many years and also for allowing him to be their local village and town justice. It was a great honor to him, and he always hoped he had treated people fairly. Calling hours will be held from 1-5PM on Sunday October 11, 2020 at Trainor Funeral Home, Inc., 143 Schuyler Street, Boonville. Funeral Services on Monday, October 12, 2020 will begin with a 10:00 AM prayer service at the funeral home for family followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 AM at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 108 Charles Street, Boonville, NY followed by internment at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Boonville. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in his name to the Boonville Fire Company Ambulance Fund, PO Box 164, Boonville, NY 13309, or to the Rome Polish Home, 415 South George St. Rome, NY 13440 or to a charity of one’s choice.