Guy Schaff

Obituary of Guy W. Schaff

LITTLE FALLS – Mr. Guy W. Schaff, age 90, “Your Reliable Valley Advertising Consultant from the Daily Press and Observer Dispatch,” passed away peacefully and always surrounded with loving care, on Monday morning, March 28, 2022, at Valley Health Services, Herkimer, New York. Spending time with Guy always offered an opportunity for a trip down memory lane and a chance to learn something new. Guy was born September 22, 1931, in Little Falls Hospital, the son of the late Guy A. and Elizabeth (Rumrill) Schaff. He grew up in Inghams Mills and attended St. Mary’s Academy in Little Falls. “For my mother and father, that was a definite,” he said, of attending the parochial school. “I had to hitch a ride on Phillips Transportation.” His brother, Loren, about five years his junior, also attended St. Mary’s Academy. The family attended St. Mary’s Church (now Holy Family Parish) and Guy sang in the choir during his years at St. Mary’s. He liked Father Noonan and considered Mother Rose Madeline, of the Sisters of St. Joseph, a major influence in his life. “I admired her,” said Guy. “She was a very smart woman. She taught history. She was an excellent teacher.” Guy’s mother, a devout Roman Catholic, also had a great deal of influence on his life. He graduated from St. Mary’s Academy, in 1950. He then served in the military briefly. After being drafted, he spent six months at Fort Leonard Wood as part of the 821st Engineer Aviation Battalion. He received a military discharge due to a pre-existing injury. In 1953, Guy enrolled at Utica College (now Utica University) and graduated in 1957, with a social studies degree. He started on a business track, but changed his major. “I took a lot of English courses,” he said. His education did not end with his graduation from Utica College. He continued by taking a number of classes at Mohawk Valley Community College. While he was taking an evening course, history teacher Hector Allen encouraged him to join the Captain Henry Galpin Civil War Roundtable. “My great-grandfather was in the Calvary in the Civil War,” said Schaff.” He got around. I got all his records from St. Louis, MO. He was in the 2nd Volunteer Calvary from Saratoga. He was wounded in Louisiana. I wish I’d known him. He added that there were a number of things he learned about his great-grandfather that his family never mentioned. “It’s surprising how many skeletons there are in the closet.” Guy became quite involved with the Civil War Roundtable. Activities included taking trips to Civil War Battlefield Sites. He also helped raise money to finance the restoration of the monument to the 34th Regiment, New York Infantry, at the Antietam National Battlefield. He had an interest in other history as well and wrote a history of his home community of Inghams Mills. In fact, a Google search of “Guy Schaff, Inghams Mills, NY” turns up an article on the history of that hamlet that draws heavily on Guy’s writings. Guy enjoyed skiing and was a member of several clubs, including the Tyrolean Ski Club and the United States Amateur Ski Association and traveled to White Face Mountain, Killington, Mad River Glen and other ski areas. “I went with the club,” he said. “Now it would cost you an arm and a leg. This was back in the 1960’s.” Highland games were among Guy’s interests and he traveled to Nova Scotia to see the games. He was also a member of the Little Falls Civic Club. Aviation was another interest. Guy enjoyed traveling to air shows, such as the one that was held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and taking photographs. “There are not many air shows anymore,” he said, adding that those shows gave the public the opportunity to see refurbished aircraft from World War II as well as other planes. “I took a million pictures,” he commented. Guy said he missed his friends, Steve Tooney, a photographer at The Evening Telegram, who shared his interest in aviation and air shows. Steve passed away several years ago. Guy worked in the advertising department at the Utica Observer Dispatch, for 27 years and retired from there “I got my gold watch,” he said. He also spent nine years at the Little Falls Evening Times and three or four years at The Evening Telegram in Herkimer. “You have to like people,” he said, of working in the advertising business. “If you can sell an ad, you can sell anything.” Advertising representatives were assigned monthly goals and were held accountable, he said. “You had to get out and pound the pavement.” As for sales, “I enjoyed that part of the business,” he said. Guy said he worked closely with the editorial staffs at the newspapers, letting the new staffs know if they spotted something newsworthy that they might not have heard about, like the day he found out Hillary Clinton was in Little Falls and no one had notified the local newspapers. “We all had to work together,” he said. Asked about the most rewarding part of his life, Guy was quick to speak of his son, Kevin, a computer specialist who lives in California and works with attorneys there. As for challenges, having to sell his home in Inghams Mills and give up some of independence was probably the toughest time. His brother helped him, but it was still a difficult time. He moved to Rockton Plaza and a year later came to VHS. Guy used to have sales goals to meet. Asked about a philosophy of life, Guy said, “Make the best of what you have at the particular time. Have a positive mental attitude and look on the bright side.” It was great to see Guy again and to meet his brother, Loren, who came in during the interview. Guy was my co-worker at The Evening Telegram for several years and used to stop by the news department to chat and to pass along information he thought we could use. He was surprised to hear about the changes that have taken place in the newspaper business in the years since the left, especially how much sales work is now done by computer, rather than face to face. When Guy ended his conversations with us before heading out to visit his customers, he would usually say, “Once more, into the breac.” It always sounded like a great way to face a challenge. Guy is survived by one son, Kevin Grant Goldsack, of New Hampshire; one brother, Loren Schaff, of Schoharie, NY; as well as many dear friends. Guy’s family would like to extend a sincere thank you to Donna Thompson for all her support. Friends and relatives are invited to attend visitation on Thursday, March 31, 2022 from 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM, at the Enea Family Funeral Home, 24 West Monroe St., Little Falls, NY (315) 823-2424. Guy’s funeral service will commence at 10:30 AM, at the funeral home and at 11:00 AM, at Holy Family Parish, in Little Falls, where his Mass of Christian Burial will be offered by Rev. Brian Slezak, Pastor. Procession will follow to St. Mary’s Cemetery, in East Herkimer, where Guy’s earthly remains will be laid to rest, with military honors. In lieu of flowers, consider donations in Guy’s memory to Holy Family Parish, 763 East Main St., Little Falls, NY 13365. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home. Guy’s final wishes were pre-arranged and entrusted to Funeral Directors Harry and Kevin Enea and Martin L. Ciaccia. Online notes of sympathy may be left at www.eneafamily.com.
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Thursday
31
March

Visitation

9:30 am - 10:30 am
Thursday, March 31, 2022
Enea Family Funeral Home Little Falls
24 W. Monroe Street
Little Falls, New York, United States
Thursday
31
March

Mass of Christian Burial

11:00 am
Thursday, March 31, 2022
Holy Family Parish
E. Main St.
Little Falls, New York, United States
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