Donald "Burt" Pierce
Donald “Burt” Pierce, 70, passed away peacefully on May 2nd, 2018 at the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington, VT after a short battle with pulmonary fibrosis. He was a long-time resident and community member of Hoosick Falls, NY and was the husband of Bridget Pierce.
Don was born in Cambridge, NY on June 14th, 1947, the son of Alice & Carlton Pierce. He had fond memories of growing up on the farm and playing basketball with friends in his barn. Don was an intelligent, quick student at Cambridge High School, playing on the softball team and serving as class president for his graduating class of 1965. He pursued academics vigorously, attending Harpur College for undergraduate and receiving his Master of Science from the College of St. Rose. Don went on to serve with his numerous certifications as an environmental specialist at many institutions and organizations, including Albany Med, Rensselaer County Hazmat Team, the Department of Health and most recently the Department of Labor. He was a witty teacher and an archive of information on approaches to environmental regulations and safety training, delivering wisdom with humor in the field until his retirement this year at the end of February.
Don was a caring and giving soul who also led a rich life outside of his career. He was an avid fan of the Mets, Jets, Knicks & Red Wings, attending many games over the years. He served his community in many local organizations. As a Lion, he helped give the gift of sight, attending the Statewide conventions and supporting the Lions Youth Band, and serving in leadership roles in the Hoosick Falls chapter. He helped with his wife Bridget as a volunteer at the HACA Food Closet. He was a devoted Christian, attending the Catholic Church for over 40 years. Shortly before he passed on, Don was officially confirmed as a Catholic with his immediate family present, fulfilling a deep desire of his faith.
One of Don’s greatest passions and gifts was music. He took great pride in the number of legendary concerts he attended (including Led Zeppelin, Janis Joplin, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer), but his joy lay in making music for others whenever he could. Don marched for years with many different bands in the area, known for his bright brass tuba as the booming backbone for the Fiesta Band of Mechanicville, the Cambridge Community Band, & the Red Caps of New Baltimore. He loved playing for the Hoosick Falls Community Band concerts, filling the park air with sweet music on summer nights or warming hearts at Christmas with the brass choir. As a keyboard player, Don played with the Stardusters for many years and loved composing his own music. His love for music inspired all those whose lives he touched.
Don was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. Nothing gave him greater joy and pride than spending time with his children and grandchildren and seeing their accomplishments. He forged a great bond with his sons, strengthened by love, humor, sports, & music, and their laughter can be easily identified as “The Pierce Laugh”. He adored his grandchildren, and was delighted to be able to see and talk about their ever-expanding interests. He was a loving person, who had many good friends with whom he shared his sense of humor and talents.
Don is survived by his wife Bridget of 46 years, his sons Joshua Pierce (Leslie) & Nicholas Pierce (Julia), his grandchildren Ellery, Mira & Calvin, his sister-in-law Melinda Palisi & 3 nieces Stacey, Tara & Amy.
A funeral mass will be held on Monday, May 7th at 11:00 AM at St. John the Baptist Church, 3 Houghton St., North Bennington, VT, and a burial service will follow.
Relatives and friends may call at the Mahar Funeral Home, 43 Main St. in Hoosick Falls, NY on Sunday, May 6th from 3:00 - 5:00 PM. Memorial contributions may be made to either the HACA Food Closet, Lions Eye Institute, or the Lions Eye Bank at Albany.