Death at 88 saddens a grateful community
By Kevin E. Foley
A life-long stalwart of the village community, Stanley “Mackey” Budney, died after a struggle with cancer last Tuesday, June 11 in Cold Spring, where he was born. The 88-year-old Budney, husband of Philipstown Town Board Councilor, Betty Budney, was a well-known and well-liked figure whose deep immersion in civic and neighborhood activities made him a legendary presence over his nearly nine decades. The Budneys were married on June 30, 1951. They resided on Church Street.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, June 15, at 10:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Loretto Church, 24 Fair Street, Cold Spring, NY, followed by interment in Cold Spring Cemetery. Friends may call at the Clinton Funeral Home, 21 Parrott Street (corner of Parrott and Pine Streets) on Friday, June 14, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Cold Spring Fire Co. No.1, 154 Main Street, Cold Spring, NY 10516.
Besides his wife, Budney is also survived by three daughters; Catherine and John Greenough of Cold Spring, Mary Jo and Peter Knapp of Fishkill and Denise and Byron Brewer of Brewster, five grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
At age 16 Mackey had his first job with the River Stone Corporation and from there went on to work for Cold Spring Dye and Processing for 17 years until it closed. After working for Joseph Percacciolo and Sons Construction, he spent 27 years as grounds keeper and driver at Haldane School, retiring in 1986.
Cold Spring Mayor, J. Ralph Falloon, his voice cracking at times, paid tribute to Budney at the regular monthly of the Village Board Tuesday night. “How do I quantify the life and enormous impact that Mackey, Betty and his family have had on our community? I have known him my whole life from when my dad would bring me to the firehouse as a kid to when he would have to straighten me out at the school where he took an incredible amount of pride in keeping the grounds immaculate…We will truly miss a larger than life staple of our community.”
Budney served as chief of Cold Spring Fire Company No. 1 for two years (April 1968-April 1970) and was a member of the board of governors for over 38 years. “His stories of Cold Spring history and his vast knowledge of our company history will be greatly missed,” said Michael Bowman, president of the company in a statement on behalf of the company. On a personal note Bowman added, “Mackey was the reason I personally ran for a leadership position in the fire company. He asked me to take a seat on the fire company board back in 2006 and encouraged me to run for President.”
“He really took the Fire Company to heart. He ran carnivals to raise money; he was big in the annual appeal. He was always involved, always helping out in everything we did. He was a good friend of mine. I’ve known him since I was a little kid. I’m going to miss him,” said Steve Etta, a long time company member.
“He lived and breathed the fire company, even after he was a 50-year member. A lot of guys don’t do that. He helped out until the day he died,” said company vice president John Landolfi.
Church Street neighbors of Budney were quick to offer tributes when asked about him.
“It was always reassuring to drive home and find Mackie out on his front porch next door-an apotropaic (wards off evil) gargoyle-engaging tourists in conversation, or counting satellites in the evening,” said Felicity Campbell in an email.
“The night before I closed on my Church Street home Mackey began a 15-year friendship with me, talking to us for an hour and showing us his home and family pictures. I knew from that point forward that Mackey would be a big part of our lives and indeed he was.,” said Lara Demberg Voloto in an email. Voloto described how once Budney calmly walked through a swarm of bees to apply aspirin to stings she had received and that he had taught her “how to shovel dirt, mow grass and effectively deal with long snowy sidewalks.”
Vinny Cimino described in an email how Budney had helped several times with renovations to his home and also how Budney would use his snowplow to clear neighbor’s sidewalks as well that of the firehouse. But Budney’s friendly advice extended beyond the confines of the neighborhood. “After living in the village for a few years Mackey told me it was time for me to start giving something back. He was serious and I knew that if I decided not to do any of them there would be harsh words coming my way. He was very deliberate and gave me three choices: Lion’s Club, Democratic Club or volunteer fireman. I chose fireman and began to meet a whole new group of friends, which I thank Mackey dearly for,” said Cimino.
“I remember a weekend that my husband was out of town and I decided I wanted to expose the brick of the chimney that ran through the master bedroom. After conferring with Mackey on his porch, he lent me a sledge hammer and coached me through it!” said Lauren Carrigan.