2018-02-21 / Obituaries

B. Leighton Scudder

B. Leighton Scudder, 92 of Rt. 28, Big Indian died Saturday Feb. 17, 2018 at his son’s home in Vestal, NY. He was born November 6, 1925 in Margaretville son of the late Bruce and Ola Lehtonen Scudder. He was a life-long resident of Halcott, having walked from the dairy farm to the one-room school house on Portertown Hill, and eventually transitioning to the big school in Fleischmanns. He and his wife Katherine (Kay) met at a square dance, being called by Hilton Kelly. They married on Dec. 26, 1949 and enjoyed dancing in various venues and winning awards for many years.

Leighton was fourth generation of his family to operate the dairy farm, and his family was involved in the Delaware County Anti-Rent War rebellion in the mid-1840s.

He was very proud to have been named the #2 Rated dairy farm for his milk’s butter fat content in Delaware County.

Leighton was always evolving and re-inventing himself. Upon retirement from the dairy portion of the farm, he raised breeding heifers, which could be found all throughout the state. He was a life member of the Margaretville Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons and the Halcott Grange, where in 1940 he had become a sixth degree member of the NYS Grange. The Grange sponsored both bowling and basketball teams for which Leighton played.

He was a multi year member of the Halcott Cemetery Board, and the New York State AGWAY Board. He was a former member of the Fleischmanns Methodist Church, and attended the Shandaken Church after moving to Big Indian and he and Kay were members of a postcard club.

His farm upbringing gave Leighton a great appreciation for nature, and he was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed hunting and fishing. An award winning amateur photographer, Leighton’s credits included magazine covers for Kaatskill Life, and New York State Conservation. One of his photo entries to the Delaware County Fair was awarded the First Prize Blue Ribbon and the Best of Show. He had thousands of photos in his collection. Leighton had a hobby of collecting antique bottles that he dug up from all around the Catskills.

Leighton was a gentle soul, who was a natural at meeting people and making new friends. At age 70, when he relocated to his family’s home in Big Indian, he continued to develop new friendships by joining the exercise group at the Pine Hill Community Center.

Surviving Leighton are his son Dane and his wife Patricia Sellevold-Scudder, grandsons: Adam and Jeremy, and greatgrandson Roarke Stoop. He was predeceased by his wife of 67 years, Katherine, in May of 2017.

Leighton’s family will receive friends on Friday, Feb. 23 from 2-4 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the E. B. Gormley Funeral Home 87 Main St. Phoenicia. A Service to Celebrate the Life of Leighton will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday Feb. 24 at the Shandaken Memorial United Methodist Church with Pastor Lee Stowe and Rev. Ralph Darmstadt officiating. There will be a spring interment at the family plot in the Halcott Cemetery.

The family suggests memorial contributions may be made to the Shandaken Memorial United Methodist Church. Special memories can be shared on Leighton’s Memorial Page at gormleyfuneralhome.com

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