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Jeff Kirschman

October 10, 2019
Lake Placid News

The word "guide" as a noun means "one who shows the way." As a verb it means "to lead, direct, conduct" and "to show the way." Throughout his life, Jeff Kirschman was a living definition of the word.

Sadly, Jeff recently lost his five-month battle with cancer on Oct. 2, 2019 at 65 years young. Though his life was cut short, his influence on us all lives on and will be passed on for generations.

Guiding was inevitable for Jeff. As the first born of six children, he paved the way as to how to best maneuver and manipulate his mom and dad making things a bit easier for siblings Jill, Jon, Judd, Joellen and Jay. After discovering an innate skill as a downhill skier, Jeff persuaded his father, Joseph, to let the rest of the family give it a go. Eventually, all eight J's, as his mom Janet liked to refer to the family, held seasons passes to Gore Mountain for many wonderful winters.

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Jeff led the way impressively, getting up early to load the car so that his dad (never a fan of early rising) just had to wake up, roll out of bed, and drive. Once Jeff was a licensed driver, he became the family chauffeur. Jeff's guidance created so many wonderful memories for his siblings who in turn offered similar experiences to their children.

Growing up in a country home in Charlton, New York sparked a love of nature in Jeff that burned bright for his entire life. He taught his siblings to fish in the pond. He learned to hunt and would often sit watch before heading off to school. He developed a strong work ethic working at neighbor Herb Smith's dairy farm. Each summer he accompanied his grandfather Ken Cowles on a fly fishing trip to Tall Timber Lodge in Pittsburg, New Hampshire. These experiences compelled him to attend Syracuse University's Forestry School where he earned his bachelor's degree.

After graduating, he married Bonnie Gilday and together they owned and operated Our Place Pub in Saratoga. An accomplished string bass player, Jeff had enjoyed playing in the BHBL jazz band in high school and this love of jazz music helped create a laid back ambience in the pub. He soon welcomed daughter Sarah into the world who later in life would bless him with two grandsons, Jeremiah and Isaiah, both ready and willing to try any challenge Bompa threw their way.

After divorcing, Jeff pursued his life dream of moving to the Adirondacks and landed in Lake Placid. He began by bar tending at Jimmy's 21 and The Laughing Loon. Soon, he would transition to his true calling of being a licensed Adirondack guide. This passion for fly fishing was soon shared with his soul mate of 37 years, Rachel Finn.

The two of them spent many joyous years guiding together out of The Hungry Trout in their hometown of Wilmington, New York. For several years they also guided week long fly fishing float trips in the Bristol Bay region of Alaska.

Fishing was not the only passion shared. Jeff also introduced Rachel to downhill skiing. They enjoyed this sport recreationally as well as professionally working at Whiteface Mountain - Jeff

as a ski patrol for 22 years and Rachel teaching children how to ski for many winter seasons.

After adopting two English setters, Bella and Mister, yet another passion developed and Jeff became a bird hunting guide. Sadly, Bella passed, but Jeff's battle with cancer was eased by the love and companionship of Mister along with two new gentle faces, Llewelyn Setters Riff and Nikki.

Jeff also guided upland bird hunting, which brought a series of wonderful dogs into his life -?setters Tippet and Bella, who passed, and currently Mister, Nikki and Riff. Their love and companionship were great comfort to him during his difficult illness.

Jeff pursued his passions and created an incredible life rich in love, kindness, compassion, and friendship. Modest to a fault, he would never acknowledge the positive influence he had on so many lives. His legacy is that his passion lives on and will be passed on and will bring joy.

Jeff wasn't big on funerals, so there will be no services. There will be a party next year at this time for friends and family. Jeff always loved a good party.

Donations can be made in Jeff's name to The Brigid Project P.O. Box 222 Saranac, NY 12981.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Brown Funeral Home, 29 Broad St., Plattsburgh, NY 12901. Online condolences be offered at www.brownfuneralhomeinc.com.

 
 
 

 

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