Robert Arsenault (1936 – 2016)
HUDSON—Robert “Bob” Arsenault passed away Sunday, May 15, 2016 at the age of 80 after a courageous battle with lung disease.
He was the son of the late Philip Arsenault and Gladys Ackert Arsenault. He attended Rhinebeck High School.
Mr. Arsenault enjoyed his career working for Fastracts Inc Excavating, Red Hook, as a bulldozer operator. He also loved and adored his three cats: Tigger, Tilly and Sarah. Even through his final days Mr. Arsenault had a very kind and loving soul with a wonderful outlook on life. He is going to be greatly missed.
He was predeceased by: his loving wife, Maureen Arsenault (2009) and recently by a sister, Ada Arsenault Barry.
Mr. Arsenault is survived by: his three sons, Robert Arsenault of Poughkeepsie, Brett Arsenault of Rifton and Michael (Christine) Arsenault of Saugerties; five stepchildren; his brothers and sisters, Bill (Louise) Arsenault, Philip/Butch (Gloria) Arsenault, Joseph (Maggie) Arsenault, Linda (Gerry) Russell, Barbara Borneman, Nancy Young; seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews.
Mr. Arsenault’s family expresses their heartfelt thanks to the nurses and staff at Columbia Memorial Hospital for their care and kindness to him. They showered him with attention and fulfilled his final days with love and joy, it was as he would say, “Unbelievable/Unreal I tell ya.”
To respect his wishes, there will be not be services and burial will private.
Arrangements are with the Sacco-McDonald-Valenti Funeral Home, 700 Town Hall Drive, Greenport.
GREAT BARRINGTON, MA–Dr. Gary Michael Cane, DVM, of Mount Washington, MA., Hillsdale, NY, Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia Canada and Gulfport Florida, adored son of Dorothy and Irving Cane was born May 11, 1940 and raised in Coney Island, Brooklyn, at which time the world became a brighter and kinder place.
He traveled on the wings of Angels April 28, 2016 to a higher plane after being tragically killed when his Jeep was hit by a Housatonic Railroad freight train in Great Barrington, MA. He took with him his legendary sense of humor, his kindness, generosity, love of music and grand appreciation of all things of beauty, including all living creatures.
At the time of his death, he had recovered beautifully from back surgery and was looking forward to renewed vigor in his daily life and career.
We know his arrival there is heralded by those gone on before, especially his beloved mother and father Irving and Dorothy Cane, John Mercer, his right hand for 20 years at the Hillsdale Animal Clinic, his dearest Mother In-Law, Mildred Coletto, Tinee Friedland and so many two and four legged family, friends and patients waiting at the Rainbow Bridge all part of the great celebration of his home-coming.
Dr. Cane is survived by his wife of 42 years, Mary Coletto Cane, partner and assistant in his 50 year veterinary career, and survived by his most precious treasure – his devoted daughter and champion Vaiana Cane, who worked tirelessly with him on his rehabilitation after back surgery, and by his loyal Havanese, Champion Moorea’s Hav T’Luv R Boy (Loverboy), all who will miss him every day of their lives carrying him forward in their hearts forever.
He is survived by his Aunt Charlotte Bart of California 103 years old, his brother Herb Cane and wife Andi Cane, of Boca Raton, Fl., his brother in-law and good friend, Frank Coletto of Holiday, Fl., his cousin Steven Neumann and Dick Kalfus, brokenhearted nieces, Lisa (Mark) Strauss, Jane Berkshire, Allison (Sammy) Bailey, Janine (John) Murray, Rishi (DeWayne) Stocks, and cherished Nephews Dr. Stephen (Wendy) Cane and Frank (Sue) Coletto, Greg, Derek and Shaun Coletto, as well as great nieces, Danielle Cane, Samantha Bailey, Harley Murray, great nephews, Adam, Eric and Michael Strauss, Dylan Cane, Devin and Jason Bailey and Joseph and Tristan Coletto and many beloved friends and family, his dear neighbors, especially the Garrett Family, Harry, Betsy, Orvie and Gail having a special spot in his heart and his childhood best friend from Coney Island Michael Rogers and his wife Judy, loyal and loving friends to the end.
His childhood was lived in an extended family compound in Coney Island, including his parents, his mother’s sister and second mother, Aunt Charlotte, his uncle Kal, his grandfather, Poppa (Max), the patriarch, his adored grandmother, Momma (Anna), her sister Aunt Sadie, his older brother Herb, and his cousins Dick Kalfus and Steven Neumann, the four raised as brothers. From his days there, his best friend, “Mike the Spike” Michael Rogers and his wife Judy remained ‘best friends’ over time and distance.
Gary won ‘The Cutest Kid” Contest at the local Tilyou Movie Palace in Coney Island when he was 5 years old, surely a sign of things to come. At 13 he spent an idyllic summer in Mount Washington at Camp Northrop Nature Camp, his interactions with wildlife including snakes inspiring his dream to be a veterinarian and subconsciously a yearning to return to Mount Washington to live out his lifetime.
His first real job was at the Coney Island Aquarium, parking cars and a task he never stopped bragging about, cleaning the tank of the ‘Olaf the Largest Walrus in Captivity’, with the famous ‘Olaf’ in the tank. Later he spent all of his spare time at Veterinary Hospitals and farms in preparation for his dreamed about career in Veterinary Medicine.
He Graduated with a B.S. from Brooklyn College in 1962, He was a talented basketball player (honed during his days in Coney Island with Mike the Spike) with his signature hook shot, playing on the College Varsity Team though he was but 5’8 “valuable to the team for his hook shot, his speed and as always his larger than life commitment and energy always giving his all, he also played on his college football team.
Around this time, he started another career as a Recording Artist for Shell Records, making it to the top 100 on the National Billboard Chart, being played by Alan Freed every hour on the hour in the 1960’s was his hit ‘The Yen Yet Song’, written by multiple Grammy winner Lou Stallman a cherished friend to this day. Tom and Jerry backed a few of his records, studio musicians who morphed into Simon and Garfunkel a few years later contributing to his 45 records being sought after as collectibles today. ‘The Fight’, ‘After Midnight’, ‘C’mere Baby Doll’ and ‘I’ll Walk the Earth’ a few of his favorites. He appeared on the Dick Clark and the Clay Cole show as well as appearing at the early pop/rock shows at the Palisades, NJ.
When he landed at Cornell Veterinary College in 1962, it was his dream come true, he was a character enjoyed and beloved by fellow students and professors alike graduating in 1966 with a degree as Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.
He began his lifetime of loving and healing all species of the Animal Kingdom, interning with top specialists in NYC eventually specializing in beloved family members/pets, his heart and soul in practicing the ‘art’ of veterinary medicine.
Gary was a featured attraction of the invitation to this summer’s 50th reunion of his Cornell Veterinary Class of 1966, and was so looking forward to the event.
He was “King of Park Slope Brooklyn’ owning the Prospect Park Animal Clinic for 15 years in the 70’s and 80’s, living in a cherished restored brownstone ‘614’ acquired from friends, Roy Blount Jr. the humorist and Ellen Pearson, ‘614’ a center of the celebration of life with creative personalities in the arts.
Gary then relocated with his wife Mary and his daughter Vaiana, his Polynesian Princess born in Moorea, Tahiti, Fr. Polynesia to Mount Washington, MA in the summer of 1984, opening the Hillsdale Animal Clinic in 1986 active until his passing.
This country life he moved to with Mary and daughter Vaiana was a new world for them all where he gave his all to the tri-state community’s family house and barnyard pets on a 24 hour basis and even some exotic and wildlife animals, doing much pro-bono work with shelters and others, still devoted to the healing of those who needed him until the day of his leaving this world.
Gary and his wife Mary joined the Southern Berkshire Volunteer Ambulance Service when they moved to the Berkshires and served for years overnight a few times a month. Gary served on the Mount Washington Conservation Commission and was the unofficial Town Road Crew Pizza Delivery Man for many years whenever they were up all night snowplowing to open the roads for the school bus.
His years as Hayride and/or Horse and Carriage driver for the Mount Washington Church of Christ Annual Fair, song leader extraordinaire to his passengers were a highlight of his life and a best experience for many a fair visitor.
He enjoyed his old cars playing the role of Wedding Day Chauffeur for neighbors, his life so enriched by the bonds with his special Mount Washington neighbors, local friends made through shared enjoyment of the old cars and with families of his patients at his Animal Clinic, including Sherwin and Phylis and Pam Fink, Joby Baker and Dory Previn R.I.P., Levon R.I.P. and Sandy Helm, Andy Gingras, Al Pecarillo, Ray and Bucky and Margaret Hosier, Bob, Bobby, and David Brennan, Charlie and Nancy Bonanno, too many to list individually, he made all who entered his domain know how very, very special they each and every one were to him.
Gary and Mary enjoyed travel early in their life together, including much of the US, Morocco, Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, South Polynesia, Fiji, and Canada. For 40 years they have had a home away from home in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia, which is, as is Mount Washington, a place of heaven on earth. He leaves great friends heartbroken there as well, including JoAnn and Terry Mackay and Dubravko and Dragica Gavric. In Gulfport, Florida, his other home away from home where he reveled in sunsets on the Gulf of Mexico with his feet in the sand and water and laughter and love with close friends, Stephen, Annette and Stella Ross and Hugo Porcaro as well as special neighbors on 56th st. S..
Wherever Gary landed, he was a hero, a comedian, a counselor, a helpmate, anything that anyone needed any time of day or night, his purpose to make those around him smile and know he had their back, commanding a loyal legion of fans, beloved friends and family. He would be furious if he learned that someone had NOT called him when they were in trouble, no matter how small or large the problem was. The stories of how he saved someone in a situation or lightened a small or a terrible burden are legion as well.
His was a life well lived he was greatly loved and respected and Heaven is lucky to have him. He believed “Life is Beautiful, Life is Wondrous’.
A Memorial Celebration of the life of the Amazing Gary Cane will be held at Crissey Farms, 426 Stockbridge Road, Great Barrington, MA on May 22, 2016 from 3 – 7 PM.
Donations are welcome through Finnerty and Stevens Funeral Home, 426 Main St., Great Barrington, MA 01230 to the ‘Dr. Gary M. Cane Memorial Fund’. To send remembrances to his family or sign the guestbook please go to www.finnertyandstevens.com