James "Jim" H. Bilow, 85, of the Plank Road, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, March 25, 2017, at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, Vt.
He was born in Ellenburg on May 25, 1931, the son of the late Herbert and Antoinette (Bushey) Bilow.
Jim married the former Barbara Reynolds on Nov. 21, 1953, at St. Edmund's Church in Ellenburg by the Rev. Earl Taylor.
Jim graduated from the State University of New York at Canton and had served 15 years on the SUNY Canton College Council.
Jim worked as a Corrections Officer for the NYS Department of Corrections retiring from Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora after 25 years of service. Following his retirement, Jim continued to serve his community and state for several years. He worked for the NYS Dairy Herd Improvement Association and the NYS Department of Agriculture for over 20 years.
During this time, Jim also served his local community as Legislator for Area 2 and was Chairman of the Legislature when the current Government Center was dedicated to our community in 1976. Jim led his local government, serving as former Town of Ellenburg Supervisor and Tax Collector, and also had served as Commissioner of the Ellenburg Depot Fire Department when the new Fire Station was constructed. Jim was a member of the local Kiwanis, and was a former Lieutenant Governor and past President of the organization. He was also very active with the local 4H Club and the FFA. He was also a very large supporter of the Shriners. He spent numerous hours helping to raise funds for the Shriners Hospital in Montreal, and made several trips to the Boston Shriners Hospital transporting children in need.
Jim was a devoted man to his faith and lived his life helping and assisting others in need. He was a 4th Degree Knight and served as Master and Faithful Navigator, 3rd Degree Knight and served as Past Grand Knight of Council 4441 and was the organization's Treasurer for years. Jim served as District Deputy. He was an avid sponsor of the Catholic Youth Organization in Ellenburg, a Religious Education Teacher, and served as Chairman of the Bishop's Fund for over 30 years.
Jim could "strike up" a conversation with anyone and loved taking the time to talk about almost anything. No matter where he was or who he was with, he always took time to visit with others. Jim loved his time spent at their camp on Chateaugay Lake and enjoyed taking boat rides with family and friends. Above anything else in his life, was his love for his family. Nothing brought him greater joy than being with them, whether it was attending his grandchildren's sporting events, or just relaxing learning about their day, Jim always took time for his loving family. The memories they have will forever be cherished.
Those left behind to cherish his memory include his loving and devoted wife of over 63 years, Barbara Bilow of Ellenburg Depot; one son, Allan Bilow and his wife Darla of Ellenburg Depot; one daughter, Gail LeClair and her husband Stephen of Plattsburgh; four brothers and sisters-in-law, Lester and Lucy Bilow of Ticonderoga, Leon and Suzanne Bilow of Webster, N.Y., Roger and Sheila Bilow of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Russell and Darlene Bilow of Ellenburg Depot; four grandchildren, Cory (Erin) Bilow, Courtney (Nicholas) Trombley, Matthew LeClair (Crystal Bissette), Beth LeClair (Sevket Taskin); three great-grandchildren, Arianna LeClair, Carson Taskin, and a soon to arrive Baby Boy Bilow; and several nieces and nephews.
Jim was predeceased by infant twin sons, Scott and Michael Bilow and one brother, Louis Bilow.
Calling hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29, at the Rabideau Funeral Home in Ellenburg. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Thursday, March 30, at St. Edmund's Church in Ellenburg.
Donations in Jim's memory may be made to the Ellenburg Depot Fire Department.
Online condolences may be made to the family by visiting www.rabideaufuneralhome.com.
Arrangements have been entrusted into the caring hands of the Rabideau Funeral Home, 5614 Route 11, Ellenburg.
Published on March 27, 2017