CHERRY VALLEY – Francis Valentine “Jake” Rury, who with his father and, then, wife Helen operated Rury’s Food Store in downtown Cherry Valley for decades, passed away Aug. 5, 2018. He was 93.
Born Feb. 12, 1925, in Albany, Jake was the son of Walter and Alida (Eacker) Rury. He was a life-long resident of Cherry Valley, graduating from Cherry Valley High School, Class of 1943.
Following his graduation, Jake enlisted in the Navy. He was stationed in the Philippine Islands as a radio operator during World War II. On his return to civilian life, he married Helen Eckler from Middlefield Center.
Jake joined his father, Walt, in the operation of Rury’s Food Store. Their close partnership lasted until his father’s death in 1993. His wife Helen worked with him after she retired as the Cherry Valley School librarian. Jake ran the store until June 20, 2017. Many people still rave about the wheel of sharp cheddar cheese, the dried beef and the fresh holiday oysters.
Many area residents remember “Mr. Rury” as their first, and perhaps, their only school bus driver. He drove for Cherry Valley and then Cherry Valley-Springfield for 38 years.
Jake was dedicated to the Cherry Valley community. He was a charter member of the Cherry Valley Fish and Game Club. The store was the place to go to buy membership cards and raffle tickets!
Jake was a 47-year member of the Cherry Valley Fire Department. He also served as a commissioner of the Cherry Valley Joint Fire District. When the store was open and he couldn’t go to the fire, he would grab his yellow coat and direct traffic under the stop light. One of his proudest moments serving was riding with Helen as the Grand Marshals of 2013 Fire Convention Parade.
As a World War II Veteran, he was proud to be a member of the American Legion Post 1360 in Cherry Valley. He marched (or rode) in many parades during his 73 year membership.
Jake was baptized in and became a member of the Cherry Valley Methodist Church. The family would like to thank Pastor Theresa Grescheck for the support she gave him.
In his leisure time, Jake was an avid golfer, a dedicated camper, an accomplished clarinet player and a bowler.
He was predeceased by his wife, Helen, in 2013. They enjoyed a marriage of 66 years.
He is survived by his two sisters, Florence Reed of Illinois and Sylvia Boyce and brother-in-law Ken Bailey of Voorheesville, New York; sons, Edward (Karen) of Cherry Valley and Gregory (Rebecca) of Moravia, New York. He also is survived by his five grandchildren and six great-grandchildren as well as nieces and nephews.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at three o’clock in the Cherry Valley Methodist Church. Following the service, Military honors will be accorded by members of the American Legion Post 1350 at the Cherry Valley cemetery. A reception will follow at the Methodist Church.
Memorial gifts in Jake’s name may be directed to the United Methodist Church in Cherry Valley or American Legion Post 1360.
To send online condolences visit www.ottmanfuneralhome.com
Arrangements were entrusted to Ottman Funeral Home, Cherry Valley, NY.