LOWVILLE, NY – Vinton G. “Vinny” Tarrant, 77, died early Tuesday morning, March 26, 2019, at his home.
Born April 14, 1941, in Watertown, NY, the son David V. and Ruth F. Hart Tarrant, he lived in the city of Watertown until 1945 when his parents purchased a small farm on the Middle Road in the town of Rutland.
He attended the one-room school house (Rutland District # 10) through the 7th grade and then attended Copenhagen Central School. He then successfully attended Albany State University for one year before deciding academic life was not his motivator.
He married Valerie J. Cymbalist in Albany, NY on August 4, 1961. Vin is survived by his wife and his three children: Veronica (Wayne) Sumner, Port Matilda, PA; Virginia (Thomas) Hovendon, Copenhagen, NY; and Vandy Gagliardo, Jacksonville, Florida. Vin is also survived by his three grandchildren: David Hovendon, Copenhagen, NY; Sara Hovendon, Cooperstown, NY and Julianna Gagliardo of Jacksonville, FL. He is also survived by a sister Janet (Tarrant) Wagner, Elkton, NC; a brother Stephen Tarrant of Florida; and he had several nieces and nephews.
Vin and Val decided Copenhagen was a great place to raise children. Vin was Valedictorian of the Class of 1959, daughter Virginia was Valedictorian of the Class of 1980 and granddaughter Sara Hovendon was Salutatorian of the Class of 2011, all at Copenhagen Central.
After trying several vocations, including a machinist at Black Clawson in Watertown, where he spent two years, he joined Niagara Mohawk Power Company in 1965. After various positions, mostly in the Lowville area as the Meter Reader, Line Crew Driver and Service Representative for 15 years, he took a position in Power Control at the former Northern Region Control Center on Main Avenue in Watertown, from which he retired in 1994. While there he had the opportunity
to train several younger operators as older co-workers had done for him.
He joined Lowville Lodge 1605 of the BPOE in 1973. He rose through “the chairs” and presided as Exalted Ruler in 1982-1983. He then filled many positions in the North Central District of the Elks as well as the New York state Elks Association, where he was State Chairman for Lodge Activities immediately after Hurricane Katrina. He organized a drive to send an entire tractor trailer load of “Toys for Katrina Kids” to Louisiana in time for Christmas. Each of the 113 lodges in New York donated toys. He served the Grand Lodge of the Order of Elks in 2000-2001 as District Deputy Grand Exalted Ruler.
But the Elks were not his only interest. He served as President of the Copenhagen Alumni Association, President of the Copenhagen Civic Club, who built the Medical Center building which is still in use, Treasurer of the Lewis County United Fund and President of the Watertown Area Niagara Mohawk Retirees Club.
Vinny loved people-talking with people especially! He enjoyed life, riding his motorcycle or snowmobile earlier in life, and buying tools. His “old cars” meant a lot also! Being at “a loss for words” was not in his vocabulary!
Vin and Val spent many winters in St Augustine and purchased a home there in 2011, which they greatly enjoyed. Vin was quite active in the St. Augustine Elks. They had many good friends in both areas. Vinton will be greatly missed by his
family, but he had the time of his life.
A graveside service will be held in the spring at Union Cemetery, Adams Center, NY.
A Celebration of Life will also be announced for family and friends.
Memorials in Vinny’s name may be made to: Vinton G. Tarrant Scholarship, c/o Copenhagen Central School, 3020 Mechanic Street, Copenhagen, NY 13626
An online message of condolence may be made at www.sundquistfh.com