Pittstown- Robert E. “Bob” Luskin, 91, a well-known area dairy farmer and lifelong resident of Pittstown, died peacefully, Saturday, August 21, 2021, at his Big Oak View Farm residence surrounded by his devoted family following a short illness.
Born in Boyntonville, May 17, 1930, Bob was the son of the late Robert J. and Minnie Mae (LeBarron) Luskin and, for over 59 years, the husband and best friend of the late Betty Anne (Requate) Luskin, who predeceased him in 2012. Bob and Betty were married on September 26, 1953.
Bob attended the Southwest Hoosick District School, as tales would have it, walking each way with his sisters in all kinds of weather. While attending school, Bob became known to his friends as “Brother,” when his younger sister could not pronounce his name, but would say the word brother when referring to Bob. You can still tell Bob’s closest friends and relatives by the way they still lovingly call Bob “Brother” still today.
He began working at the age of 12, assisting with chores and the animals at area farms in both Potter Hill and Hoosick, NY. As an adult, he worked for 15 years at the former Behr-Manning Company in Watervliet as a production worker and also at one time, assisted with services at the Howard B. Tate Funeral Home in Raymertown. When he could afford it, he purchased his own farm in Pittstown and, with Betty, named it “The Big Oak View Farm” for the massive, ancient oak tree in his field that affords a commanding view of most of his property and much of the surrounding area. In addition to operating the farm and raising his family, he worked as a school bus driver for over 25 years for the Hoosic Valley Central School District, where his good natured personality and common sense understanding of kids helped him transport them safely from their homes to school and back each day. Bob retired from working outside his home in 1992 but continued to work every day on his farm.
Bob was a former member and past fire chief of the Pittstown Volunteer Fire Company, a past Commissioner of the Pittstown Volunteer Fire District, a member and former director of the Schaghticoke Fair Board, a member and past chairman of the Pittstown Republican Party, and a member of the Eastern Draft Horse Association.
Bob always had a love of horses, buying his children a pony for Christmas and raising ponies at his home in Pittstown. At that time he was pulling ponies with his father in competitions at the Washington and Rensselaer County Fairs. After moving to his own farm, he began raising Belgian draft horses. With his wife, he taught all of his children and later his grandchildren a strong work ethic that they carry with them and is his legacy for the future.
There are many stories and tales about Bob, (some getting better with the passage of time) and many harrowing episodes as well that thankfully he survived. He politely enjoyed listening to stories but loved it even better when he was the one telling them. He could often be found patrolling the farm from the seat of his Gator and enjoyed when the neighbors would stop on the road for a visit.
He loved taking car rides around the backroads and reminiscing about the area farms and people he knew when he was a young man. If anyone knew the real Bob, you knew he liked to be in charge, and he was in charge to the very end, making sure that his children took care of things that he couldn’t control for himself. Bob would have made a great teacher, he had an easy way with youngsters and led by hard work, example, and encouragement and with adults with a quick wit and good natured sense of humor when pointing out the error of one’s ways.
Bob is survived by his five children and their spouses, Marie and Richard Andrew of Valley Falls, Dawn Luskin-Carrier of N. Adams, Kenneth and Jody Luskin of Pittstown, Kim and Ron Micklas of Pittstown, and John and Jane Luskin of Pittstown, three sisters, Patricia (Mark) Priest, Mary (Robert) Gardner, and Kathy (Joseph) D’Allard, nine grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents and late wife, he was predeceased by two sisters, the late Dorothy Murray and Rita Martinoli, and a son-in-law, John Carrier.
A funeral service for Bob will be held on Wednesday, August 25, 2021, at 10:00 a.m. at the Howard B. Tate & Son Funeral Home Inc., 2237 NY Route 7, located in Raymertown. Burial will follow in Norton Cemetery in Pittstown. Relatives and friends may call at the funeral home on Tuesday, August 24, from 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Memorial contributions, if desired, may be made to the Pittstown United Methodist Church, the Pittstown Volunteer Emergency Corps., or the Schaghticoke Fair Association, in memory of Robert E. Luskin.
The Luskin family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Dr. Khwajia for his compassion and great care of Bob throughout all the years, “Thank you, my friend.”