Carl Longstreet Crego, 76, was born in Buffalo, NY, on January 6th, 1940 and was a person of strength throughout his lifetime that ended far too early on February 29th, 2016. He was where he wanted to be – with family at home in Birdsall.
Carl grew up in Buffalo but spent a lot of time in Hornell with his grandparents and uncle. He was close with his brother Russell and they enjoyed fishing together in the various waters throughout WNY. His mother Marjorie raised both with the help of extended family.
He was a member of the U.S. Army and then went on to the Bethlehem Steel Corp where he met many lifelong friends. Carl then started a history of being in business for himself doing small construction while simultaneously working at Lucidol/Atochem for many years in Geneseo. From somewhat a necessity and definitely a desire he used ingenuity to conserve resources and lived close to the land and sustainably before it was popular. He reused building materials for his home and projects, using wood to heat the home and water, growing full organic gardens and raising animals. He respected nature and the environment.
He came to Birdsall in the late 1960s and fell in love with the countryside and people. He moved there permanently with his wife Gail F. a couple years later and for a long time it was difficult to get him to venture too far from Birdsall. He was an excellent hunter and fisherman and for many years carried a duck call with him just because he liked the sound and practicing. He loved his Black Labs Satin, Silk, Sadie and Molly and would take them with him where he could. He also loved his many Beagles and rabbit hunting with Bolo, Jethro, and Freddie. He especially loved bow hunting for deer and had many favorite, productive locations. Carl also was known for his healthy lifestyle and could be seen running miles and miles around Birdsall. He ran 5 full marathons from Buffalo to the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C.
Besides hunting and fishing, Carl enjoyed rooting for the Bills, Jeff Gordon racing, the Yankees, playing along with Jeopardy with Josh and maintaining an understanding of world politics. Carl was also known to get very passionate at the euchre table as he loved the strategy, teamwork, and the competition. He enjoyed deep friendships and shared a loyal bond with them that one can only wish for.
He set a high standard for integrity and honesty, cared for family and community, and prepared his family for life’s challenges through his experience, knowledge and wisdom. He became an unspoken leader of the community and no doubt was the strong family patriarch.
Carl and Gail raised sons Samuel S. Crego, son Jeffrey Carl Crego, and daughter Catherine R. Crego. He was grandfather to Joshua and Dylan Crego and enjoyed their growth. Years after Gail’s death in 1999 – also due to cancer – Carl married Mary L. Vandewarker in January 2010. Carl and Mary continued his business side with successful ownership of the Birdsall Inn. He was known to be in many spirited games of pool there or at the Angelica American Legion – another place he also enjoyed having a beer with friends. Mary persuaded Carl to venture to Florida where they enjoyed a change of scenery with their place in Florida. They enjoyed many laughs, travels, and business success. Carl loved his Mary.
Carl was preceded by wife Gail F., and brother Russell. He is survived by wife Mary L. Vandewarker Crego, sons Samuel and Jeffrey (Megan Cruser), daughter Catherine (Joe Popp), and grandsons Joshua and Dylan.
To send remembrance please visit www.brownandpowersfuneralhomes.com.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 5th, at 2:00 p.m., at Brown and Powers Funeral Home in Angelica N.Y.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Gail Crego Memorial Scholarship Fund at: Crego’s Birdsall Inn 9011 County Road 15B Canasaeraga, NY 14822 Attn: Cathy Crego. Your voice will always be present.