I was deeply saddened yesterday to learn of the passing of Claverack's beloved friend and public servant Bill Blaauw.
Serving with Bill as a Town Councilman on the Claverack Town Board, I learned so much from him. He was a mentor. His demeanor, professionalism and common sense approach to every issue that came before us helped to teach me the right way to represent all town residents while serving on the Town Board.
Bill devoted his life to public service. He gave countless hours to his community as a volunteer firefighter, serving nearly 60 years with the Philmont Volunteer Fire Company. His leadership and service earned him the 2020 Lifetime Firefighter Achievement Award from the Columbia County Volunteer Firefighters Association.
In addition to his multiple terms on the Philmont Village Board of Trustees and the Claverack Town Board, Bill served many years as the Claverack Town Highway Superintendent and, after his retirement, as the Deputy Town Supervisor.
Bill will be sorely missed. We should all learn by his example. Be kind, be neighborly, be thoughtful, be understanding and be generous.
Godspeed, my friend.