LAKE GEORGE - Hundreds of people from all walks of life paid tribute Tuesday to Wayde Earl, who for decades was a local civic leader, a successful entrepreneur and a community servant in Lake George.
Under sunny skies, mourners filled the Caldwell Presbyterian Church for a morning memorial service, then shortly after noon jammed the expansive village firehouse where a reception was held.
At the memorial service, members of the Lake George Volunteer Fire Department and the agency's Auxiliary, all in formal uniforms, lined the walkway to the church.
Giving eulogies were Denny Galloway, Vic LeFebvre, Bob McKinney, village Mayor Bob Blais, Todd Earl, and Chuck Wheeler.
Earl passed away Aug. 22 at his home at the age of 89.
Lake George Supervisor Lou Tessier recalled Earl's undying dedication to community organizations, noting that just hours before his death, he was selling T-shirts and raffle tickets in Shepard Park as a fundraising effort for the Lake George Fire Department.
McKinney noted that the Department was organized in 1891, and Earl had been a dedicated, hardworking member of the group for 59 years, or exactly half of the time the Department had been in existence.
"That's a tough act to follow," McKinney said, noting Earl's leadership in the Hudson Valley Volunteer Firemen's Association and the Firemen's Home in Hudson, NY.
Dan Rummel spoke about Earl's active service to Caldwell Presbyterian Church, for which he served as an Elder.
Blais talked about how Earl was the first person he met when he arrived in the village, and that he enjoyed working with him for many years in community government.
Larry Jeffords played bagpipes as the service concluded.
Afterwards, people flocked to the village firehouse, which was draped in black.
Inside, family members stood to talk with visiting mourners, who formed a reception line that stretched far outsdie the firehouse.