Harry G. “Papa” Burt 87, died Wednesday July 17, 2019, following a long courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Harry will be forever remembered for his strong love, and commitment to his family, his community, and the military.
In honoring Harry’s wishes, there will be no prior calling hours. A memorial service will be held at The Presbyterian Church in Geneva followed by a celebration of Harry’s “lust for life” in late September.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in Harry’s memory to one of the many agencies that Harry passionately supported: The Presbyterian Church of Geneva, Finger Lakes Community College Viticulture Program, Sampson Naval Base Museum, Canandaigua Veterans Administration, Hospice of Ontario Yates County.
Harry was born in Penn Yan Oct. 16, 1931. He was the only child of the late Ansel and Rosel Burt. He was a graduate of Penn Yan Academy “The Old School.” Harry then went on to serve in the U.S. Navy on the USS WASP Air Craft Carrier in the Korean Conflict for 4 years. In 1953, he married the love of his life; Ann E. Cleveland and they most recently celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary.
They together raised three children. Harry graduated from St. John Fisher College in 1959 with a Bachelor’s degree in Business. He then received his Banking degree in 1972 from Rutger’s Stonier Graduate School of Banking.
After 38 productive and dedicated years to Banking, Harry retired in October 1995. He began his banking career as an assistant manager in the Geneva branch office of Lincoln Rochester. He ultimately retired as President of the Ontario National Bank in Clifton Springs.
Harry proudly and passionately dedicated countless hours to multiple community organizations and outreach, spanning multiple areas: Health Care, The Arts, Youth, Disabilities, Government, Education, Military, and Community Growth and Development.
Harry served a 17 tenure as Trustee of the Finger Lakes Community College serving as Chairman from 1999-2002. He was very proud to have been the liaison to the FLCC Projects Committee during the most significant expansion and renovation of the main campus. His vision and leadership supported the creation of the FLCC Campus Center at the former Geneva MS; as well as the FLCC Viticulture Center at the Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park. Harry was past president and Honorary member of the Clifton Springs Rotary Club, Chairman of Geneva General Hospital Board of Directors, Chairman and member of the Geneva Historical Society, Coordinator of the Finger Lakes Social Ministry Soup Kitchen, Member and Secretary of the Independent Bankers Association of NYS, Geneva Chamber of Commerce member, member of the American Legion Geneva Winnek POST #396,
Member of the Hobart and William Smith Town and Gown Committee, Council Member of the Town and City of Geneva, Finger Lakes Forum member, Ontario ARC Board member, 50 year member (including Deacon and Elder) of The Presbyterian Church of Geneva, Lifetime member and past Commodore of The Seneca Yacht Club, member and Historian of the USS WASP Association CV-CVA-CVS 18, Military Book Club member, Board member of the Smith Opera House, Alumni advisor of the Delta Chi Fraternity at Hobart College, and many other community endeavors dating back to 1962.
Harry received multiple recognition awards for his community involvement, including but not limited to: 1994 Clifton Springs Rotary Club “Paul Harris Fellow”, 2012 FLCC “Donald M. Mawhinney Trustee Leadership Award, 2014 FLCC “Foundation Award,” and most recently the Geneva Chamber of Commerce “Citizen of the Year Award” with his wife Ann. Harry would also want it noted that one of his most meaningful experiences included his “Honor Flight Military Recognition” trip to Washington D.C. in June 2015.
Harry also had multiple personal talents and passions including painting, baking, running marathons, fly fishing, attending Watkins Glen car races, golfing, sailing, sports (“Go Giants”), photography, and most importantly his loving role as a father and grandfather (“Papa Burt”).
Harry is survived by his wife Ann; children, Geoffrey C. Burt of Omaha, Neb.; Jamison T. (Shauna) Burt of Hiram, Ohio; and Cindy Burt Mattoon of Penn Yan/Geneva; his grandchildren, Captain Geoffrey C. Mattoon who is currently working in the U.S. Embassy Cairo, Egypt and Rosel Burt of Hiram, Ohio; Sister-in-law Barbara Lauver (niece Sheri Silvaer and family) of Tucson, Ariz. He is also survived by cousins, extended family, and many longtime dear friends.
The Burt family would like to extend a special thank you to his caregivers and especially the Finger Lakes Ontario Yates Hospice team! Those who knew and cared for “Handsome Harry” will undoubtedly remember and hold dear his twinkling eyes, welcoming smile and zest for life…