Pleasant Valley icon dies at age 88

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Don Cady (seated center) and wife Pam, seated on right when Mr. Cady was honored by the town in 2021.

PLEASANT VALLEY – Don Cady Sr., a lifelong resident and icon of Pleasant Valley died on Sunday, July 31st at the age of 88. Cady was active in several organizations and was a 70-year member of the Pleasant Valley Fire District.

Cady left Arlington High School early, with his mother’s permission, to join the US Navy at the age of 17.  He served aboard the USS Siboney, was honorably discharged in 1955 and returned to his hometown of Pleasant Valley.  He married Pamela Williams in 1961 and the two raised a family together.

Mr. and Mrs. Cady opened the GE Masten Feed Store in 1981 and the popular store is a landmark in town.

In September of last year, the first Pleasant Valley Hometown Heroes banner was unveiled on the utility pole in front of the feed store and it bore the image of Mr. Cady who was honored by the community and elected officials from several levels of government.

Mr. Cady was a member of the Pleasant Valley Volunteer Fire District for the last 70 years, where he served in the positions of Lieutenant, Vice-president, President, and Commissioner.  He was also president of the Dutchess County Association of Fire Districts and was twice honored as “Fireman of the Year.”

In June of this year Cady, along with Marty Mills served as Grand Marshalls for the 75th Anniversary Parade for the Salt Point Fire Company.

An avid athlete, Mr. Cady was inducted into the Dutchess County Hall of Fame for fastpitch softball.

He was also a staunch promoter of the Walkway Over the Hudson.  He was in the inaugural group of Ambassadors on the Walkway and was the first volunteer honored at Starry Starry Night in 2018 as a Great Connector. He was also Santa on the Walkway for the last 10 years.  

Pleasant Valley Town Supervisor John DelVecchio told Mid-Hudson News, “Mr. Don Cady, represents the true spirit of what it means to be from Pleasant Valley. If I had to build a model of a great Pleasant Valley person, I would use Don Cady as that model,” adding “His thankless service, his tireless involvement and volunteering, and undying love of Pleasant Valley is what Pleasant Valley was built on. He was the epitome of what we all should strive to be in our communities.”

A firematic service will be held at Allen Funeral Home at 6:45 p.m. on Friday, August 5th. Attending firefighters are requested to wear their full dress uniforms, according to Pleasant Valley Assistant Fire Chief John Cronk.

On Saturday morning, a procession including fire apparatus, will escort Mr. Cady from the funeral home at 9:15 a.m. to Friend’s Upton Lake Cemetery in Clinton Corners where he will be interred with full military honors.