Joseph M. Pickreign Jr.
(Update: Services have been rescheduled to Sunday, Feb. 9 due to a snowstorm Friday, Feb. 7. See below.)
Joseph M. Pickreign Jr., 83, of 60 Church St., Apt. 11A, Saranac Lake, died Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, at his daughter’s home, surrounded by family and friends.
Born in Saranac Lake on March 25, 1936, he was the son of Joseph and Lucille (Bushey) Pickreign Sr. Joseph married Shirley Shaw April 2, 1960, in First United Methodist Church in Saranac Lake.
Joe was a lifelong resident of Saranac Lake and had worked at various area businesses over the years, including D. Cohen & Sons and Sealtest in Saranac Lake, Pratt Whitney in East Hartford, Connecticut, and Oxford Precision in West Springfield, Massachusetts, Hyde Fuel Company in Saranac Lake and New York State Department of Transportation and Department of Environmental Conservation. He was a veteran of the United States Army, serving from 1953 to 1959, and the Army Reserves from 1959 to 1961. Joe was a member of the Saranac Lake Elks Club BPOE 1508, American Legion Post 447, Saranac Lake Moose Lodge #458 and the Masonic Whiteface Mountain Lodge #789.
Joe was very active in local, state and national politics for most of his life. He served as the chairman of the Franklin County Democratic Committee for 13 years. Joe was also the delegate to the 2006 state Democratic Convention in Buffalo, the delegate for Hilary Clinton in the 2008 National Democratic Convention in Denver and also served on the Executive Board of the New York Democratic Rural Conference and the New York state committee.
He was elected to the Harrietstown town board in 1989, where he served two four-year terms and also was the Harrietstown supervisor from 1999 to 2001. Some of the highlights of Joe’s political career included welcoming Hillary Clinton to Franklin County twice during her 2000 campaign for senator, once by herself and again in August of that year with her husband, then-President Bill Clinton, and their daughter Chelsea. In Joe’s own words, the biggest honor of his lifetime came in 2000 when he and his wife Shirley were invited to the White House for the first family’s annual Christmas celebration.
Joe also served on the Franklin County Solid Waste Management Authority and on the Executive Board of the Franklin County Association of Senior Citizens. He was also a member of the First United Methodist Church in Saranac Lake and was very active in the Saranac Lake Adult Center. He was instrumental in getting additional funding for Adult Center’s wellness center. In 2002, the Franklin County Democratic Committee named him Citizen of the Year for his contributions to the county.
He is survived by a son, Joseph Pickreign III, and a daughter, Luann Farmer; three grandchildren: Marisa Farmer, Cory Pickreign and Kierstin Pickreign; three sisters: Clemos Tanzini, Helen Chase and Donna (David) Tappen; and two brothers: Kenneth Pickreign and Edgar (Charlene) Pickreign. He is also survived by four sisters-in-law: Gloria Woodward, Jean McGill, Nona Miron and Renee Shaw; and two brothers-in-law: Robert Shaw and Dean (Susan) Shaw. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews. He was preceded by his sister Patricia Pickreign; five brothers-in-law: Joseph Chase, Gilles Miron, Garry Shaw, Jon Shaw and William Tanzini; and one sister-in-law, Roberta Shaw.
Calling hours will take place at the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake on Sunday, Feb. 9 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. A prayer service will immediately follow at 1 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will take place at the convenience of the family in the Harrietstown Cemetery in Saranac Lake.
In lieu of flowers friends wishing to remember Joseph M. Pickreign Jr. may make memorial contributions to the First United Methodist Church or High Peaks Hospice in care of the funeral home. Family and friends can also share their memories and sign the online guestbook at fortunekeoughfuneralhome.com.