Jack I. (Dex) Dexter, 87, of Parkland, Florida, and formerly of Beacon, died Aug. 8, 2019, at home, surrounded by loved ones.
He was born July 17, 1932, in Cortland, the son of William and Patricia (Morgan) Dexter. After his family moved to Beacon, he graduated from Beacon High School in 1950 and attended Rutgers University. He also served in the U.S. Army and was employed at Texaco Research Lab from 1954 to 1960 and in community relations at IBM East Fishkill.
While at IBM, he was granted a leave of absence for 1985 and 1986 to work with Lt. Gov. Al DelBello and Gov. Mario Cuomo on the early development of Stewart International Airport. From 1992 to 1996, he was appointed by Cuomo to the Stewart Airport Advisory Commission.
After retiring from IBM, Jack was a volunteer with the Dutchess County Hospice program. He also volunteered for the Hospice by the Sea in Boca Raton, Florida.
While in Beacon, he was a communicant of St. John’s Church.
Jack was active in many community activities. Among them, he was chairman of the Heart Fund and served on the Beacon Recreation Commission, the Howland Public Library board of directors and the Pop Warner board of directors. He was a life member of the Mase Hook & Ladder Fire Co. and a member of St. Rocco’s Social Club, the Beacon Elks, the American Legion and the Knights of Columbus.
Jack was elected to the Dutchess County Legislature for three terms. He served as both assistant majority leader and assistant minority leader of the Democratic caucus. He was also appointed to the Dutchess County Planning Board, serving from 1979 to 1987. He was master of ceremonies for countless banquets and award ceremonies, relying on his improvisational talents and quick wit.
In addition to his civic activities, Dex always found time for and excelled in sports. Baseball was his passion. After college, he played semi-pro baseball with the Beacon Braves, Newburgh Dodger Jewels and the Poughkeepsie Ho-Bo’s. In the 1960s and 1970s he played baseball in the Twi-light League for Knapp Builders and Wolf Sporting Goods. He also played for the Millerton Red Sox in the Inter-State League.
For more than 40 years, Dex played on many Beacon softball teams, both slow pitch and fast pitch, as well as on Over-35, Over-55 and Over-65 leagues in Beacon, Fishkill and Poughkeepsie. He served as President of the Dutchess County (DC) Old Timers Baseball Association for 10 years, and as a member of the DC Fast Pitch Softball board of directors.
He was inducted into the Halls of Fame for Beacon High School, Dutchess County Baseball, the Dutchess County Softball and the Dutchess County Sports Museum. He also coached a number of Beacon’s youth baseball teams.
Among Dex’s favorite annual Beacon events was attending New York Giant football games as a member of the LLABTOOF Club.
His mantra was “This moment is as it should be.”
Dex is survived by Ellie, his wife of 65 years, and their three children: Jeff (Ginny) of Sunderland, Vermont; Michele (Mimi) of Norwalk, Connecticut; and Sandra (Peter Versace) of Parkland. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Stephen Dexter, Andréa Stella (Maxime Van Melkebeke), Haley Dexter (Yev Teplitskiy), Gabrielle Stella, Natalia Versace and Julian Versace, and his great-grandson Maël Van Melkebeke.
A private service will be held at the beach near his Florida home. A celebration of his life will be held in Beacon in the near future. Memorial donations can be made to VITAS Healthcare Team 151, 5420 NW 33rd Ave., Suite 100, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33309; the American Heart Association, Hudson Valley Region, 301 Manchester Road, Suite 105, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603; or the Michael J. Fox Foundation (michaeljfox.org).
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