Jeff  Kirschman
The word guide as a noun means "one who shows the way." As a verb it means " to lead, direct, conduct" and "to show the way." Throughout his life, Jeff Kirschman was a living definition of the word. Sadly Jeff recently lost his five month battle with cancer on Oct. 2, 2019, at sixty-five years young. Though his life was cut short, his influence on us all lives on and will be passed on for generations.
Guiding was inevitable for Jeff. As the first born of six children, he paved the way as to how to best maneuver and manipulate his mom and dad making things a bit easier for siblings Jill, Jon, Judd, Joellen and Jay. After discovering an innate skill as a downhill skier, Jeff persuaded his father, Joseph, to let the rest of the family give it a go. Eventually all 8 J's, as his mom Janet liked to refer to the family, held seasons passes to Gore Mountain for many wonderful winters. Jeff led the way impressively, getting up early to load the car so that his dad (never a fan of early rising) just had to wake up, roll out of bed, and drive. Once Jeff was a licensed driver, he became the family chauffeur. Jeff's guidance created so many wonderful memories for his siblings who in turn offered similar experiences to their children.
Growing up in a country home in Charlton, N.Y., sparked a love of nature in Jeff that burned bright for his entire life. He taught his siblings to fish in the pond. He learned to hunt and would often sit watch before heading off to school. He developed a strong work ethic working at neighbor Herb Smith's dairy farm. Each summer he accompanied his grandfather Ken Cowles on a fly fishing trip to Tall Timber Lodge in Pittsburg, N.H. These experiences compelled him to attend Syracuse University's Forestry School where he earned his BS. After graduating, he married Bonnie Gilday and together they owned and operated Our Place
Pub in Saratoga. An accomplished string bass player, Jeff had enjoyed playing in the BHBL jazz band in high school and this love of jazz music helped create a laid back ambience in the pub. He soon welcomed daughter Sarah into the world who later in life would bless him with two grandsons, Jeremiah and Isaiah, both ready and willing to try any challenge Bompa threw their way.
After divorcing, Jeff pursued his life dream of moving to the Adirondacks and landed in Lake Placid. He began by bar tending at Jimmy's 21 and The Laughing Loon. Soon, he would transition to his true calling of being a licensed Adirondack guide. This passion for fly fishing was soon shared with his soul mate of 37 years, Rachel Finn. The two of them spent many joyous years guiding together out of The Hungry Trout in their home town of Wilmington, N.Y. For several years they also guided week long fly fishing float trips in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska.
Fishing was not the only passion shared. Jeff also introduced Rachel to downhill skiing. They enjoyed this sport recreationally as well as professionally, working at Whiteface Mountain - Jeff as a ski patrol for 22 years and Rachel teaching children how to ski for many winter seasons.
After adopting two English Setters, Bella and Mister, yet another passion developed and Jeff became a bird hunting guide. Sadly Bella passed, but Jeff's battle with cancer was eased by the love and companionship of Mister along with two new gentle faces, Llewelyn Setters Riff and Nikki.
Jeff also guided upland bird hunting, which brought a series of wonderful dogs into his life. Setters Tippet and Bella who passed, and currently Mister, Nikki, and Riff . Their love and companionship were great comfort to him during his difficult illness.
Jeff pursued his passions and created an incredible life rich in love, kindness, compassion, and friendship. Modest to a fault, he would never acknowledge the positive influence he had on so many lives. His legacy is that his passion lives on and will be passed on and will bring joy.
Jeff wasn't big on funerals, so there will be no services. There will be a party next year at this time for friends and family. Jeff always loved a good party.
If you're feeling generous, donations can be made in Jeff's name to The Brigid Project, PO BOX 222, Saranac, NY 12981.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Brown Funeral Home, 29 Broad Street, Plattsburgh, NY 12901. Online condolences be offered at
Published on October 7, 2019


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Showing 10 of 11 posts

Sue McGraw (Gallup)
Oct 09, 2019
Jeff was a big part of our local color growing up in Charlton and at BHBL schools. Great guy, liked by everyone, and will be missed greatly. Rest easy til we meet again.
Barbara Lamb Urban
Oct 09, 2019
Wonderful obituary. A life well lived. Jeff, may you rest in peace. Condolences to his family from the Class of 1972 - Burnt Hills - Ballston Lake Senior High School.
Gary Bishop
Oct 08, 2019
Fond memories of Jeff and the whole Kirschman family. All the J’s. You all rock.
Susan Bennett Burin
Oct 08, 2019
the Kirschman’s were a part of my life, first through my mother, Esther Bennett. Then I babysat for them, thenJill babysat for my kids. I am so sorry for this family and their friends great loss.
It’s been many years, but I have memories of Jeff and his family..
Pete Sullivan
Oct 08, 2019
What a great guy that we will all miss. I was fortunate to work for Jeff at Our Place Pub on Broadway in Saratoga. Funny, witty, music savvy, and recreationally active was Jeff. He was always kind, calm and compassionate. We will all miss him!
Gary Cunningham
Oct 08, 2019
So sad to hear this.....Jeff was my "bass partner" in Orchestra, all through Junior & Senior High School......the shenanigans we were involved in! What a wonderful, gentle & kind man.
Aggie and Dan
Oct 07, 2019
Wonderful obituary for a great guy.
Joe Rine
Oct 07, 2019
Patrolled with Jeff at Whiteface since 1996. He always had a kind word and I never saw him lose his temper. I can only try to be the man Jeff was, and I will try in honor of him.
Jeff Webber
Oct 07, 2019
Many laughs shared with this hero while watching skiers make their way down Whiteface.. Rest easy my friend
Mike and Tish
Oct 07, 2019
Jeff was a big teddy bear loved by all who knew him. He will be greatly missed in the patrol family as well as his guiding family. Rachel our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. God bless you
bob zande
Oct 07, 2019
Tender Tribute was purchased for the family of Jeff Kirschman by bob zande.  Send flowers