A perfect photo as Christmas approaches. Many of you will remember Gilbert Hough. His aunt, Katie Hough, was the long tenured librarian here at MRML and at one time Gilbert served as her assistant. In later years, Gilbert returned to the library under the Green Thumb program.
He was a lovely gentleman with a sly, quiet humor. Gilbert was a Mason and I was not above trying to get the rumored Masonic “secrets” out of him. I never learned a thing!
One Christmas he painstakingly cut out Christmas stockings from wax paper, securely taped them, and filled them with nuts and oranges for Marta, Caroline Eckler, and myself. They had to have weighed a couple of pounds!
Either Marta or I would drive him home at night. ALWAYS, when we got to the intersection of Kingsbury Avenue and Main Street, he would announce “All clear” and we would drive on. Even to this day, I sometimes find myself, when a passenger, proclaiming “all clear”.
Following is Gilbert’s obituary excerpted from the February 20, 1991 Courier-Standard-Enterprise. I hope many of you have kind memories of this gentle soul.
Mr. Hough was born December 18, 1908, in St. Johnsville, the son of John E. and Evelyn L. Perkins Hough. He attended grammar school in St. Johnsville, and in 1919, the family moved to New York City, where he graduated De-Witt-Clinton High School in 1927. He studied commercial art in New York and was employed at the Paramount Theater in Times Square.
In 1932, he returned to St. Johnsville and began his own poultry business. He also served as assistant librarian to his aunt, the late Katie Hough.
Mr. Hough was a veteran of WWII serving in the Army in the European Theater. He was discharged in 1945 and returned to St. Johnsville to resume his poultry business.
During the winter of 1938 to 1941 and 1945 to 1946, he built and conducted an ice skating rink in St. Johnsville.
For years, Gilbert also served as the treasurer of the Grace Congregational United Church of Christ.