Ed Scharmer was born in Brooklyn and lived in Rosendale, a small Catskills community, throughout his childhood. He graduated from Kingston High School in 1951 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1952 until 1956, serving aboard destroyers. He later graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering. He was employed by IBM from 1956 until his retirement in 1989.
He is married to Barbara George, a Saranac Lake native. They have a son Eric, who lives in Wellesley, Mass. with his family, and a daughter Lory, who lives in Allentown, Pa. with her family. Ed and Barbara have five grandchildren.
In retirement they moved to Saranac Lake and designed and built their house, a three-year project.
Ed Scharmer walks up to the stage to be crowned at Friday's Winter Carnival Coronation at the Harrietstown Town Hall in Saranac Lake.
(Enterprise photo — Lou Reuter)
Ed has worked on a variety of boards and assisted many nonprofit groups on various projects over the years.
As a member of Rotary Club, he participated in its many activities including building and installing four service-group signs at each entrance to the village, and chairing the cotton candy fundraiser, a labor of sweet love.
He co-authored "Thinking Retirement? Think Saranac Lake," a brochure for the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce. He was a member of the Community Revitalization Group (under Rob Camoin) and extensively researched and promoted telecommuting as a means of attracting people to the area. He researched and presented tax-exemption proposals for property improvements to the boards of the village, town and county. He later served on the Harrietstown Board of Assessment Review for a five-year term.
He worked with the Sutton Group, prior to the opening of Saranac Village at Will Rogers, to communicate the needs of the community and assist in promotion of the project. He later served as a member of the Advisory Board.
He served on the board of Historic Saranac Lake and has continued to assist with the many needs of its restoration of the Saranac Laboratory. He also devoted many hours to building cure chairs to be used as fundraisers.
He was the recipient of the chamber of commerce's Citizen of the Year award in 2004.
He helps deliver food to the local food pantry twice a month, one of the many unheralded volunteer activities that takes place in Saranac Lake.
He continues to work on the Winter Carnival Ice Palace, which he joined in 1993, and was the Build Committee chairman for 12 years. He is still depended upon for design, layout and block count, maintaining tools, drying gloves and ordering equipment, and he is present at the site nearly every day. If asked what his biggest contribution to the Ice Palace has been, he will quickly respond, "building the retaining wall to allow use of an excavator to lift blocks from the ice field directly to the tractors."
Ed's interpersonal and leadership skills are evident to even the most remote acquaintance. His creativity and talent for problem-solving have facilitated the success of dozens of projects in Saranac Lake. Affectionately deemed a "flatlander" sometimes, he has nonetheless adopted Saranac Lake as his first hometown. He rarely misses a Saranac Lake High School football game.