John M. Samburgh

John M. Samburgh, 52, of 9360 state Route 30, Paul Smiths, died Friday, May 24, 2019, at Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake, surrounded by his loving family.

Born in Saranac Lake on Aug. 13, 1966, he was the son of Jerome and Carol (Boyea) Samburgh Jr.

John was employed as a caretaker for the past 34 years by the Trevor family at Wyndover in Paul Smiths. John lived his life outdoors fishing and hunting and was a champion sled dog racer, following in his father’s footsteps as part of a 60-plus-year sled dog racing legacy. One of the highlights in his racing career was to qualify for and win two medals in the IFSS World Championships in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 1993.

John, along with his father, was instrumental in creating the world-class racing trails for the ALPO International Sled Dog Races in Saranac Lake, Tupper Lake and Paul Smiths, beginning in 1989. He also was a key member of the local sled dog club that partnered with the Olympic Regional Development Authority in 1996 to host the IFSS World Championships in Lake Placid. If that wasn’t enough, John won the gold medal that year in the eight-dog class, racing against the best teams in the world.

John could be found in a canoe with a fishing pole every free minute he had … and he would gladly take you with him.

John is survived by his son Taylor and daughter Jordanna … the two most important people in his life. He is also survived by his mother Carol, sister and brother-in-law Cindy and Scott LaMay, and niece Jessica Adams. Also special aunts and uncles Kay and Ted Grenville and Norman and Barb Boyea.

He was preceded in death by his father and brother Michael Samburgh.

John also had another family of amazing people who cared deeply and helped him through his eight-plus-year battle with cancer — the Adirondack Medical Center oncology family: Dr. Pillemer, Sara, Heather, Patti, Kate, Gina, Matt and Mia.

Funeral arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake. A graveside service will take place at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 15 at the McColloms Cemetery in McColloms. A luncheon will immediately follow at the Red Barn at Tucker Farms.

Donations in John’s memory can be made to the Adirondack Medical Center oncology unit to recognize the outstanding care provided over the last eight years. Please send in care of Fortune-Keough Funeral Home.