Town of Fremont Councilman and Basket Historical Society President John (Jack) B. Niflot of Mileses, NY died on Saturday, June 22, 2013, at home. He was 78.
Jack was born on February 10, 1935 in Binghamton to Jack I. and Florence (Trudeau) Niflot. He attended schools in Long Eddy and Callicoon, NY, graduating from Delaware Valley High School in 1953.
He worked from 1954-56 at the Breakstone Company in Youngsville, NY before joining the U.S. Army. The veteran served in the Infantry Radio Signal Corps from 1957-59, stationed at Fort Richardson in Alaska during the time that Alaska became a state.
Jack was employed from 1964-1992 as an advertising designer and printing pressman for the Sullivan County Democrat newspaper. Among many special events during his 28-year tenure, he covered the 1969 Woodstock festival and also served as a freelance photographer for numerous local weddings and other occasions.
He was predeceased by his father in 1950 and his mother in 1955; and in 1976 by his wife, Madeline (Hummell), whom he married in 1965. Survivors include one nephew, Ralph Gott, of Mehoopany, PA; one niece, Lana Harlow, of Troy, NY; and many friends from all walks of life.
Jack was the founder, president, and editor of “The Echo” newsletter of the Basket Historical Society of the Upper Delaware Valley since 1980. The society, which operates a museum in Long Eddy, received an Award of Recognition from the Upper Delaware Council in 1996 for its historic preservation work in the river valley.
He was a charter member and past president of the Upper Delaware Heritage Alliance, and received that organization’s first-ever Merit Award in 1982 for his individual “extraordinary contributions related to local heritage.”
Jack was elected to the Fremont Town Board in 1994 and continued his public service as a councilman for 19 years.
He was appointed as the Town of Fremont’s alternate (1994-97) then representative (1997-2013) to the Upper Delaware Council, Inc., serving as secretary-treasurer of the non-profit organization for 10 non-consecutive terms, as well as chairing the Personnel Subcommittee and serving on the Operations Committee.
Jack was a trustee and member of the Fremont Center Community Church and previously served on the Long Eddy Fire District Board of Commissioners for several years.
He was the co-author with Robert R. Harris of “Dear Sister: The Civil War Letters of the Brothers Gould,” published by Praeger Publishers in 1998, and had collaborated on a pending book about local history figure Lucy Lobdell.
The Sullivan County Historical Society had recently announced that Jack would be the 2013 recipient of the “Sullivan County History Preserver Award” to be bestowed at their annual dinner on October 26 at The Rockland House in Roscoe.
As hobbies, Jack enjoyed collecting military miniatures and historic postcards, building dioramas, and photography.
Calling hours were held on Wednesday, June 26, and on Thursday, June 27, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Stewart-Murphy Funeral Home in Callicoon, NY. A celebration of life service will take place Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at the Fremont Center Community Church with the Rev. James O’Rourke officiating. Cremation will follow.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Fremont Center Community Church, c/o Treasurer Cheryl Porter, 57 Church St., Long Eddy, NY 12760 or to the Basket Historical Society of the Upper Delaware Valley, c/o Laurie Ramie, P.O. Box 43, Hortonville, NY 12745. Arrangements have been made by Stewart-Murphy Funeral Home, (845) 887-4900.