COOPERSTOWN _ Longtime Cooperstown resident, Milo V. Stewart Sr., died Monday, Sept. 12, 2011, after a long illness, surrounded by family at his home on Eagle Street.
Milo was born Aug. 31, 1928, in Sharon, Pa. He was the son of George H. and Inez A. (Allebach) Stewart, and in 1942, moved with his family to Buffalo.
A 1946, graduate of South Park High School, he played trumpet in his school band.
Milo was active with the church youth group, attending conferences and retreats, and played basketball at St. Simon’s Episcopal Church. He graduated from the University of Buffalo in 1951, and then married his high school sweetheart, Ruth Elizabeth Cousins, on June 17, of the same year.
Milo taught English and Social Studies at Orchard Park Central School and quickly gained recognition. In 1961, Dr. Louis C. Jones, then Director of the New York State Historical Association and the Farmers’ Museum, invited him to come to Cooperstown to lead their education programs.
Over the next 36 years, he served as the Director of Education, Assistant Director,Associate Director and Vice President of both organizations.
As Associate Director and Chief of Education at NYSHA and the Farmers’ Museum, he ran the Seminars on American Culture for 20 years and launched “Image, Object and Sound” a 30-day multi-media workshop held each summer.
He taught teachers, museum professionals and grassroots historians how to create documentary productions and exhibits. In addition, he taught courses on interpretation through media and photography at the Cooperstown Graduate Program, and two generations of teachers and students developed their visual literacy, photographic skills, and understanding of multi-media presentation.
Milo’s passion for photography began when he was in high school and continued throughout his life resulting in a substantial legacy of work, much of which features New York State, as well as the Village of Cooperstown. He captured buildings, objects and people with a reverence that dignifies a subject and introduces the viewer to an old friend. His photographic books include: “Main Street, New York State,” “The Historic Courthouses of New York State,”
“Wood and Stone: Landmarks of the Upper Mohawk,” “The Monuments of Gettysburg,” and “Main Street, Cooperstown: A Mile of Memories.”
Exhibitions of his work include: “Temples of Justice: Historic Courthouses of New York State,” “Country Churches of New York,” “Fifty Faces: Informal Portraits,” “Cooperstown Moods,” and “Friends and Friendly Places.” His 2006, “At Home & On the Road” exhibition at the Fenimore Art Museum featured 70 of Milo’s photographs. A 50-year resident of Cooperstown, Milo considered himself a Native Son.
He loved sailing and boating on Lake Otsego and especially summers at the beloved boathouse at Mohican Farm. He shared the joy of cooking with his wife and prepared memorable Chinese feasts for family and friends.
Music was a passion, he collected music, spent countless hours listening to jazz and loved hearing his son perform. Milo loved the Buffalo Bills. Ruth and he enjoyed drives through the countryside nearly every day recounting stories of people they knew and places they had been.
As a father he exposed his children to the things he loved and they shared his enthusiasm.
As a grandfather to seven grandsons, he relished their stories and accomplishments and watching them grow up. He loved his home and the beautiful garden that Ruth created over the 47 years they lived together on Eagle Street, and they dined nearly every summer evening on the patio in the garden that he loved so much.
Milo is survived by his wife of 60 years, Ruth C. Stewart of Cooperstown; daughter, Ann and Russ Honicker of Cooperstown; daughter, Beth and José Solá of Long Island; daughter, Sarah A. Stewart and Robert Amore of Cooperstown and New York City; son, Milo and Jennifer Stewart Jr. of Cooperstown; seven grandchildren, Kyle, Troy and Hunter Solá, Weston Honicker, Noble S. Mattson and Henry and John Stewart. Milo was predeceased by his daughter, Cynthia AnnStewart.
There will be a private family burial.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011, at Christ Episcopal Church in Cooperstown.
Contributions in Milo’s memory may be made to Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care, 1 Birchwood Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820.
To send an online condolence, please visit www.cooperstownfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are under the guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home, 82 Chestnut St., Cooperstown.