Robert W. Purcell
Bob Purcell, a North Country native, joined the Board of Trustees shortly after TILT was formed. He was a business executive and philanthropist who brought to the board his enormous strength of character and assisted in conservation efforts through his many influential contacts. He loved the river and reveled in the story he told us of when, in his youth, he would ride for hours on Carleton Island - bare back and bare a** - with his boon companions.
Several months prior to his death, Bob donated a conservation easement on a 160 acre farm containing 2,000 feet of waterfront on Wilson’s Bay on Lake Ontario. He could have subdivided the parcel at any time during the many years that he owned it but, almost as his last wish, he kept it forever for agricultural use. Now it continues to provide open space and protects nearby wetlands.
At his memorial service, Dr. Frank H.T. Rhodes, then President of Cornell University, eulogized Bob as being like the variety of hybrid corn named after him by Cornell - high yield, high quality, bred to survive the ravages of the North Country winter, and particularly suited for New York State.