Local News

November 15, 2013

Former Keene supervisor dies

ELIZABETHTOWN — Colorful and outspoken former Keene Town Supervisor Robert R. Purdy died Wednesday.

Purdy, 78, was also the former Essex County Disaster Preparedness director and former executive director of the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board.

Although he was a longtime resident of Keene, Purdy had moved to Elizabethtown several years ago, where he died at home Wednesday morning.

He had endured health problems, including heart disease, for many years.

A memorial service is planned for him at Keene Valley Congregational Church on Saturday, Nov. 23, at a time yet to be scheduled.


Former Schroon Town Supervisor John Kelly served with Purdy on the Board of Supervisors for many years.

“Bob and I were great friends,” Kelly said Thursday. “He was a good town supervisor, also very involved in the county government.”

Kelly said Purdy was good at securing grants for Keene, including one to rebuild the town water system.

“He was a good fire coordinator for the county. He was very active on the state level, with both the Association of Towns and Association of Counties.

“He was a good friend, and he had a lot of friends from all over the place, from all over the country.”

Kelly said Purdy was vocal on issues he thought would benefit his constituents.

“You knew where he stood. He wasn’t bashful.”


Purdy experienced some difficult times in his life, including fires at his home and barn. He faced questions about his use of expense accounts and an official credit card from the Review Board and Town of Keene, but no charges were ever filed.

He lost his job as Disaster Preparedness director after he didn’t pass the state Civil Service exam for the post. He said the test did not take his years of experience in the emergency services field into account. The position is now called Essex County Emergency Services director.

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