On the passing of generations ….


Family is an interesting thing, both endearing, essential, and occasionally infuriating. Some of us have more family than others. Seems like I came from a family with huge generations before me, but quite small when it comes down to my generation, yet still big enough.

I have lost all four of my grandparents already, and now the aunts and uncles are on the list. First my dad passed away, and now this weekend his brother. With my uncle goes the last of the males of his generation in our family. Now it is my generation, though his son is the eldest of the generation by quite a bit.

I remember a lot of things about my uncle, both affectionate and infuriating over the years. But what I learned in the last few years, and even in his obituary (below), makes me realize there was a lot more I needed to learn. It is way too easy to let small feuds build fissures, or even just the drift of time, until we miss important things, and lose the people important to us before they are actually gone.

With that said, here is the obituary for my Uncle. I am one of the surviving nieces and nephews not named by name.


Obituary of Whiting Lightfoot

Whiting P. Lightfoot, age 95, of Caton, NY died Saturday, November 1, 2014 at Corning Centers (Founders Pavilion) of Corning, NY.

Whiting was born on March 1, 1919 in Corning, to James and Mary (Bennett) Lightfoot. He was predeceased by his first wife Arlene. He married Ruth Compton in 2004. Whiting was a graduate of Northside High School (1938). He had worked for Curtis Wright, Switzer Aircraft, and was an electrician and explosives engineer. He was a dairy farmer, logger, and sawmill operator.

Whiting was a member of Caton United Methodist Church, charter member of the Caton Fire Company, Sons of the American Revolution, Vigilanties, Refrigeration Engineer, International Explosives Engineers Association, NRA, American Kennel Club, and the Corning United Taxpayers Association. He was a past president of the New York – Pennsylvania Firemans Association and the Caton Grange. He had been the director and treasurer of Barnard Cemetery, and a Town Councilman for 29 years in Caton.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth; son, Frederick (Victoria) Lightfoot of Corning; two grandchildren, Susan Dagon of Poughkeepsie, NY and Frederick (Jacqueline) Lightfoot, Jr. of Corning; stepchildren; Michael LaMarche and Susan (Mark) Pierotti, step grandchild, Nicholas Branoff; sisters, Olive (William) Burch of Grand Island, NY and Elizabeth Ann (Earl) Wilde of Liberty, NY; sister-in-law, Mary Lightfoot of Corning; several nieces and nephews.

Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, November 5th from noon until 2 PM at Haughey Funeral Home, Inc., 216 E. First Street, Corning where funeral service will follow at 2:00 PM.

Whiting’s family entrusted his care to Haughey Funeral Home, Inc.

The web link can be found here.

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