HARTWICK SEMINARY – Paul L. Ingalls, a farmer, decorated Vietnam veteran and Christian minister, died unexpectedly Sunday night, May 19, 2019, at Bassett Hospital. He was 71.
Paul was a descendant of the first Ingalls who came to the new world in 1628 and settled in Lynn, Mass. A seventh-generation farmer, he was born July 6, 1947, at Bassett Hospital, a son of Rodney Howard Ingalls and Virginia Mary McGraw Ingalls.
Paul graduated from Cooperstown High School, Class of 1966.
On Jan. 19, 1967, Paul was inducted into the Army, and he completed his basic training at Fort Dix, N.J., in March 1967. He received infantry training at Fort Polk, La., and was stationed in Fort Lewis before going to Vietnam on Aug. 3, 1967.
After a year’s tour of duty with the 25th Infantry Division, Cu Chi, Vietnam, he returned home to his parents’ home in Hartwick Seminary. Following this leave, he was reassigned to Cu Chi for a voluntary extension of six months.
While serving in Vietnam, SP4 Ingalls received the Purple Heart for wounds received in action, the Combat Infantry Badge, the Vietnam Service Medal and the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious combat service in the Republic of Vietnam. Specialist Ingalls received his Honorable Discharge from the Military on Jan. 18, 1973.
Paul attended vocational school in Washington State where he studied welding. He used this skill often in his future farming career. During his time at school, he connected with a Campus Crusade for Christ group (now CRU), a ministry that was influential in his life and about which he often reminisced.
For many years Paul owned and operated Ingalls Farm in Hartwick Seminary. Farming was truly his passion. He especially loved growing fruit and enjoyed sharing the fruits of his labor. He raised his kids on the farm and taught them many valuable skills, some through his strengths and some through his faults. He gave many local kids a summer job and a safe, fun, family-oriented place to hang out. More recently he was teaching his grandkids how to plant and harvest because he wanted them to learn where their food came from and to value the work that farmers do to provide for them.
He attended Faith Baptist Church in Hyde Park for the past couple of years and participated in their ministries. One of his favorite Bible verses was Proverbs 11:30, which states, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.”
Paul is survived by his wife of 21 years, the former Deborah Ann Leonbruno, of Hartwick Seminary; their children and their families, Jesse and Amber Ingalls and their children, Connor and Grayson, and Justin and Ashley Ingalls and their daughter, Paislee, all of Cooperstown; Jenny Lynn and Charles Brett and their children, Dionna, Amy, Alexandrea, Makenzie, Hunter and Reuben of Afton; Joanna Ingalls of New York City; Robert and Chrissy Miron and their children, Tailynn, Gabrielle, Ava, Allison and Reilly in the State of Maryland; and Laura and Stephen Berg and their children, Ayla and Emerik of California. He is further survived by one brother, David E. Ingalls and wife, Darlene of Hartwick Seminary, and one sister, Marybeth Ring and husband, Jeffrey, of Baltimore, Md., as well as many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his mother, Virginia M. Ingalls, who died April 26, 2007, his father, Rodney H. Ingalls, who died Nov. 19, 2013, and a brother, Timothy H. Ingalls, who died at the age of 6 on Feb. 10, 1963.
Family and friends paid their respects 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, May 29, at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home (formerly Ingalls Funeral Home), 82 Chestnut St., Cooperstown.
At the conclusion of the visitation, a funeral service was offered at 5 p.m. at the funeral home, with Pastor Michael A. Glisson, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Hyde Park, officiating. Military Honors were accorded at the funeral home by members of the New York State Military Forces Honor Guard and the Cooperstown Veterans Club.
Arrangements were made under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.
Expressions of sympathy in the form of memorial gifts may be made to Faith Baptist Church, 4898 State Highway 28, Cooperstown, NY 13326.