HARTWICK – Douglas W. Robertson, Sr., 67, an X-ray technician at Bassett Hospital for three decades, died Saturday evening, May 26, 2018, at his home on East Hill.
The third of five children, he was born Feb. 13, 19511, in Herkimer, the son of Donald C. and Eleanor (Landfried) Robertson. Although he was raised and attended school in Herkimer, he spent most days in Cooperstown or at his family’s camp on Otsego Lake.
Following high school, where Doug was an outstanding competitive swimmer, he attended the SUNY Oswego on a swimming scholarship.
In 1972, he was drafted and entered the Army. After basic training he was assigned to the Third U.S. Infantry for the balance of his two years of active duty. That unit, traditionally known as “The Old Guard”, is the oldest active-duty infantry unit in the Army (established in 1784) and is the Army’s official ceremonial unit and the official Honor Guard and escort to the president.
An inveterate tinkerer and story teller, he had an incredible mechanical talent and was always helping someone fix a broken vehicle, machine or object, often accompanied by the recounting of one of his innumerable stories. He never ran out of projects or a good story.
Following military service he returned to the area and worked in a number of jobs, including as an auto mechanic at Cleveland’s Mobile in Cooperstown, a roofer for the NYS&W railroad, as the operator of his own service station in Hartwick, and as a cook at SUNY Oneonta.
In the late 1970’s he returned to school and obtained his license as an X-ray technologist. He was thereafter employed at Bassett Hospital operating X-ray machines both in the operating rooms and in the labs, a position he held for nearly 30 years.
Doug loved the out of doors and enjoyed hunting, fishing and observing nature. He was especially proud of his extensive vegetable garden which he would plant every spring. When asked if he also grew flowers, he would respond that he “wouldn’t plant anything he couldn’t eat”. He was self-reliant and, while he was always ready and willing to help others, he, himself, would rather work on a problem for hours rather than ask anyone for help. Before his health declined, he also enjoyed traveling with his wife, Lucy (Sapienza) with whom he shared the last 20 plus years.
Doug was a former member of the Hartwick Emergency Squad, volunteering as an EMT, and was a member of the Clark F. Simmons American Legion Post No. 579 in Cooperstown.
Predeceased by his parents and by his brother James, he is survived by his wife, Lucy; his son, Douglas Jr. (Shelby) and their two children, Chase and Shay all of Clifton Park; his brother Donald Robertson, Jr. (Robin) of Bainbridge; and by his sisters, Lynne Ryan of Suwanee, Ga.; and Susan Robertson of Rome, Ga. Doug is also survived by his constant companion Meggie, his 15-year-old beagle.
Graveside services with military honors will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 2, in Lakewood Cemetery, Cooperstown. Contributions in Doug’s memory be made to the Susquehanna Animal Shelter, 4841 State Highway 28, Cooperstown, NY 13326, or to the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka KS, 66675-8517.
Arrangements are under the care of Tillapaugh Funeral Service, Cooperstown.