Anthony Scherer Megargee passed away peacefully at his home in Esopus, New York on April 2, at age 94. Tony was the second son of Henry Preaut and Berenice Caldwell Scherer Megargee. He was born in Philadelphia, Penn. on January 8, 1925. The family moved to Summit, NJ in 1927. After he graduated from Summit High School in 1942, Tony entered Princeton University with the Class of 1946, but World War II interrupted his studies; he was drafted into the army on August 30, 1943.
After basic training at Fort Bragg, NC, Tony was assigned to the 282nd Field Artillery Battalion. During the war he saw action in France and Germany as part of the US Third Army. His unit was one of the first into the Ohrdruf concentration camp, memories of which stayed with Tony for the rest of his life. He sketched a portfolio of wartime images, demonstrating his developing talent as an artist and the perceptions of a 19- to 20-year-old witness to the conflict.
After the war, Tony spent two years at the Yale School of Fine Arts. He began his professional career with a New York City publishing firm, doing general art design and layout production work, which in turn led to the advertising field and a job with Central Hudson Gas & Electric in Poughkeepsie, starting in 1952.
Tony worked for Central Hudson for the next 35 years in various management positions centering on advertising, marketing, and community relations. He retired as Advertising Director. He was best known to the public as “the voice of Central Hudson,” narrating the radio show “Almanac” for his last 3 ½ years with the company.
On July 4, 1953, Tony married Ann Mohan Cummins in Summit. In 1954, they moved to the Gate House of the former estate of Judge Alton Parker, on the banks of the Hudson River in Esopus, where Tony would spend the next 65 years.
Tony was a man of many talents and enthusiasms. He loved sailing and woodworking, and combined the two to build, maintain, and sail several vessels over the course of his lifetime. He could take a bundle of seemingly random pieces of wood from someone’s attic or barn and re-create a beautiful piece of antique furniture. He designed a fabulous addition for the house in Esopus, and did most of the interior construction and repair. Every Christmas, his family and friends would thrill to receive a woodblock print he had made of a local church or historic building, and he decorated many of his Christmas presents with whimsical illustrations that provided hints to the contents. He loved classical music and played the piano. He took great pride in the style and clarity of his writing, and he read voraciously. He loved to travel and spoke French fluently. In all of these activities, his family and friends were his focus; they were the people with whom he shared his loves, and to whom he passed on many of his skills.
Tony had a lifelong love of boats and history, and was named to the Board of Directors for the Hudson River Maritime Center in Rondout Landing. He volunteered for the organization for many years and served on the Board of Trustees of the Maritime Museum.
Tony was predeceased by his parents; his dear brothers Harry and Richard; his beloved wife Ann, who died July 2, 1991; his cherished daughter Laurie Jane Cummins, who died October 2, 2007; and the second love of his life, Ynes Jova Cline, who died June 3, 2011.
Tony is survived by his son, Geoffrey P. Megargee, Geoffrey’s wife Robin J. Frank, and their son Ruslan, of Arlington, Virginia; his stepson David B. Cummins, of Esopus; his stepson Gerald E. Cummins Jr. and his wife Martha Nickerson Cummins, of Colorado Springs, Colorado; several nieces and nephews; and Ynes’s children: Lisa and her husband Matt, Peter, and John.
Tony was a thoroughly decent, hardworking, and honest man, a gentleman in every respect. He was a loyal friend and a loving son, brother, husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, and uncle. He brought wisdom, humor, and respect to every relationship. We will miss him.
Tony’s remains will be cremated at Wiltwyck Crematory, Kingston; some of his ashes will be interred with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery, while others will be scattered around the land and river he loved so much.
The family will organize a memorial service in Esopus later in the year. The family suggests that any charitable donations in Tony’s name go to the Hudson Valley Maritime Museum, Hudson Valley Hospice, or the Town of Esopus Volunteer Ambulance Squad.
The family entrusted the Gilpatric-VanVliet Funeral Home, 339 Broadway, Ulster Park, Town of Esopus, with the care and cremation service arrangements for Tony. To send an expression of condolence, visit Tony's Book of Memories: www.GVVFH.com