Wesley D. Millspaugh of 5345 Curry Road, Trumansburg passed away at the Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, Pennsylvania on Saturday, November 9, 2002 at the age of 83.
Born on June 20, 1919 in Ithaca, New York, Wes was the son of Frank and Ethel Hatt Millspaugh.
With a hard work ethic and clear entrepreneurial vision Wes purchased his first saw mill at the age of 16. Forming a partnership with his brother Art, the two started a roofing and siding business which earned enough profits to invest in a second saw mill in the late 1930's. They relocated this operation from Odessa to Interlaken. In 1944 Wes joined the Army Combat Engineer Corp and served in Germany during WW II. While in Germany he was placed in charge of ordering materials and timber to rebuild bridges over the Rhine River. He received an Honorable Discharge from the US Army on June 1, 1946.
The brother duo continued to grow their businesses with the purchase of the Carmen-Pearsall Lumberyard and the development of a ladder factory, all in the late 1940's. In 1958 they opened a 4,000 square foot retail hardware store to compliment the lumberyard. Wes was never truly retired because long after his twin sons, Denny and Doug assumed day to day operations of the business he would regularly show up to help out and was often sought out for his vast experience and knowledge.
Wes could often be found in his own shop at home turning out beautifully handcrafted wooden household items and novelties. Over the years he has invented and built a few unique things including a waterwheel, a wood elevator and a wood splitter. His creative talents allowed him the opportunity to complete displays for the Ulysses Historical Society and the First Baptist Church.
Wes was a quiet, relaxed family man with a special brand of humor who was deeply involved in his community. He was interested in youth programs and formerly headed the Trumansburg Rotary Club's Student Exchange Program where he served as host to many students from foreign lands who came to study in the Trumansburg High School. In addition to Rotary, Wes was a member of the First Baptist Church in Trumansburg and held board seats for both the Tompkins County Trust Company and Grove Cemetery. He was also a life-member of the Arthur E. Bouton American Legion Post #770 in Trumansburg.
In 1997, The Trumansburg Area Chamber of Commerce named Wes the "Citizen of the Year" for his many contributions to the community coupled with his sincere kindness and generosity to others.
Wes was preceded in death by his devoted wife of 49 years, Lillian M. "Sue" Tomkins Millspaugh on February 1, 1997. He is survived by three sons, Stephen (Maureen Gallagher), Dennis (Janet) and Douglas (Diane) all of Trumansburg; one daughter, Mary (George) Berry of Trumansburg; nine grandchildren, Colleen (Thomas) Civiletto, Eric (Annette), Adam, Brian, Emily and Amy Millspaugh, Geoffrey (Cassie) Reed, Molly (Mike VanHorn) Reed and Damon Reed; one great-grandson, Kaden Civiletto; one brother, Arthur (Betty) of Trumansburg and many nieces and nephews. Wes also had a plethora of friends, several of which have maintained a close relationship and have aided the family in "checking in" on Wes over the past few years. For this the family is forever grateful.
Services will be held at the First Baptist Church on Seneca Road in Trumansburg on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 at 11:00 am with the Rev. Pete Hood officiating. Prayers of Committal, with full military honors, will follow at the Grove Cemetery.
The family will be present to receive their friends at the Ness-Sibley Funeral Home, 23 South St, Trumansburg on Tuesday from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm and from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Friends may also see the family, at the church, on Wednesday from 10:00 am to 10:45 am.
Contributions in Wesley's memory may be directed to the First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 686, Trumansburg, NY 14886, the Arthur E. Bouton American Legion Post #770, P.O. Box 456, Trumansburg, NY 14886 or to the Trumansburg Volunteer Fire Dept., P.O. Box 418, Trumansburg, NY 14886.
Additional information may be obtained by calling the funeral home at 1-888-534-5446.
Page Submitted By: Joseph L. Sibley, Director