Patrick Tynan Kress 1934-2017
There’s a Story Under Every Cowboy Hat
Patrick T. Kress, 83, of Chadwicks, avid horseman and loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather passed away on Friday, October 13th after a short illness at the Lutheran Home in Clinton with his family by his side.
He was born in Utica NY on March 23, 1934 and was the 3rd of 7 children of the late William “Bud” Kress and Angela "Angie" Luebbert Kress. The family eventually relocated to the Sauquoit Valley where Pat lived for the remainder of his life. He attended grade school at the Paris Hill two room school house and graduated from Sauquoit Valley Central School in 1953. After graduation, Pat operated K & K Shell gas station in Chadwicks in addition to a garage in Washington Mills. In 1960, he began his career at Central Steel Erecting Company as a mechanic and truck driver and worked his way up to Superintendent till his retirement. He was a member from the Millwright-Carpenters Local 277.
Pat enjoyed sharing stories of his youth. He was an extremely hard worker and began mowing lawns and washing floors at the age of 8 for 15 cents an hour. During the war years, Pat remembers being let out of school after lunch to pick potatoes for 2 cents a bushel. At 13, he milked cows for local farmers for $1.00 a day and gave his parents $2.50 of his $5.00 dollar a week paycheck. He had his first horse at age 6 and went on to spend the remainder of his life in the saddle. He rode with the Oneida County Sheriffs Mounted Posse for 50 years; 25 years as a Drill Sergeant serving under 7 Sheriffs. In his remaining days, his best pleasure was sitting at his kitchen table looking out at his horses in the pasture to which he fondly referred to his horse farm as the “lower 40” but officially the name is “Pine Kress Stables”.
Pat was a beloved member of the community and was best recognized when wearing one of his many trademark cowboy hats. He enjoyed socializing and making the rounds to meet up with his coffee cliques on a daily basis. He could be found at Joan's Diner, McDonalds, Willowvale Diner and Reilly's Dairy.
Every May, Pat enjoyed being part of the Annual Memorial Day parade where he loved showing off his infamous 1918 World War 1, 75 MM cannon that he restored and proudly displayed on his front lawn along with various restored pieces of farm equipment. He also restored various styles of horse drawn carriages of which he provided coachman services for many weddings. Other hobbies include fabricating steel sculptures with torches and welding equipment making such items as a replica of a great horned owl, horseshoe cowboys, and a “wrench rabbit” which was on display for a time at MWPAI. He could also play a mean Ukulele while his family gathered around him singing songs from the old days.
His memberships include the Sauquoit Garden Club, Mohawk Valley Hunt Club, Barneveld Horsemen’s Association, Honorary member of the Willowvale Fire Department, and (Honorary) 4th Degree Member of the William E. Burke Council 189 of the Knights of Columbus. In 2013, Pat was a 5 year appointee to the New Hartford Police Commission.
He was extremely proud of his Irish and German heritage and was fortunate enough to be able to enjoy a 10 day vacation to Ireland with Suzie.
Patrick married the love of his life, Suzanne Darling, on October 3, 1959 at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. They had a wonderful union of 53 years until she passed away on May 6, 2013. He will forever remain in the hearts of those he leaves behind; his son and daughter in law, William P. “Bud” and Robin Kress of Chadwicks and their children, Buddy and Alice Kress, Bryan Kress and Matt Smith, Katie Kress and Justin and Danielle Kress, his five cherished great-grandchildren, Budders, Aeon, Halie, Adelynn and Kylee. Daughter Deborah Kress and Gordon Kelly of Sauquoit and her children, James Patrick “JP” and Jaimie “Peanut” Smith. He was affectionately called “Pa” by his grandkids and great-grandkids.
He also leaves his sisters; Barbara Kress Roberts and MaryLou McEnroy, his brother; Karl Kress and Doddie Styles and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his brothers; Buddy and Danny Kress, and his sister and brother in law; Karen and David “Fibber” McGee and his brothers in law; Joe McEnroy and Stanley Roberts.
Pat leaves behind good friends Joe Spano, Jack Scott and Georia and Roger Weise.
The family is grateful to all the healthcare professionals who tended to Pat’s health and well-being with compassion, especially the nurses on the 3rd floor Neuro/Peds unit of St. Elizabeth’s Hospital.
The family will be receiving friends and relatives at the Smith Funeral Home, 3022 Oneida St., Sauquoit On Friday, October 20 from 4-7 and Saturday, October 21 from 10-11 followed by his Celebration of Life from 11-12. Visitors are highly encouraged to wear western attire and cowboy hats to the services in honor of Pat.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Spring Farm Cares, 3364 NY 12, Clinton, NY 13323.
The last goodbye’s the hardest one to say. This is where the cowboy rides away.