David "Wayne" DePew a life long resident of Kerhonkson, NY, lost his courageous year-long battle with cancer on Sunday, February 3, 2013. He was 62 years old. Wayne was born on May 2, 1950 in Ellenville, NY the son of David Sherman and Aileen (Twaddell) DePew.
In Wayne's teenage years, he played rhythm guitar in his band STP with some of his neighborhood friends and that's where he met Penny, the love of his life. He had graduated from Rondout Valley High School, Class of 1968 and on October 11, 1968 Wayne married Penny Campbell in Ellenville, NY. Together they raised their family in his favorite place on Earth, the Hamlet of Kerhonkson for the past 45 years.
As a young man, Wayne went right to work as a letter carrier for the US Postal Service in Ellenville, later becoming Post Master in Wawarsing and retiring after 34 years in 2005. In June 1989, Wayne was appointed a NYS Fire Instructor with the Office of Fire Prevention and Control, a division of the NYS Homeland Security and Emergency Services. For his entire adult life, he was dedicated and passionate about educating firefighters and the recruitment and retention of volunteers throughout the state.
Wayne was a Life Member of his beloved Kerhonkson Volunteer Fire Company. Along with being a Past Chief and Past President, Wayne was among the very few to have held every line officer and desk officer position within the company, and currently was a long time member of the District Board of Fire Commissioners. Wayne was a charter member and current treasurer of the Friends of Historic Kerhonkson. He loved the history of Kerhonkson, often being sought out for information as the "unofficial" Hamlet of Kerhonkson historian. Wayne was a charter member and the current president of the Town of Wawarsing Volunteer Firemen's Association, now known as the Southern Ulster Public Safety Association. He was a member of the Ulster County Volunteer Firemen's Association for over 25 years. As a long time member of the Hudson Valley Volunteer Firemen's Association, he currently held the positions of Vice Chair of the Hazmat and Homeland Security Committee and Chairman of the Website Committee. He was a proud member of the Royal Order of the Blue Vests of the HVVFA. Wayne was a member of the Firemen's Association of the State of New York (FASNY) where he was the Volunteer Program Coordinator in charge of the outreach program designed to promote the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters and every year volunteered as an Instructor for the Annual FASNY Youth Day.
Being the visionary that he was, Wayne's mission later in life was to secure funding and build a new training tower in the Town of Wawarsing for the safety and training of our local organization's firefighters and Emergency personnel.
You could always find Wayne on any Wednesday night at the firehouse. He was an avid camper and always looked forward to camping weekends, especially with the "old" Kerhonkson Camping Klub over in Ghanagote in Gardiner, NY. He was a long time dedicated manager and coach of the Indian Valley Little League and a very, very proud grandfather to his two angels and his prince, who knew him as "Papa".
Wayne is survived by his loving wife Penny. His son Christopher DePew and his wife Heather of Kerhonkson and his daughter Jennifer Bonelli and her husband Anthony of Kerhonkson. His grandchildren; Juliana Bonelli, David DePew and Olivia Bonelli. His brother Gerald DePew and his wife Helen of Kerhonkson, and his sister Patricia Panaccione of Raleigh, NC as well as his cousin, Joyce Bush of Poughkeepsie, NY. Also many, many nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. Wayne was predeceased by a brother, Carlton DePew.
The family will receive friends on Wednesday, February 6th from 2-4 and 6-9pm at H.B. Humiston Funeral Home, Kerhonkson. A Firematic Memorial Service will be held at 7:30pm that evening. A Celebration of his life is scheduled for Thursday, February 7th at 11am at the Federated Church of Kerhonkson. Burial will follow at Pine Bush Cemetery, Kerhonkson.
Contributions can be made in Wayne's name to the Kerhonkson Volunteer Fire Company, PO Box 62, Kerhonkson, NY 12446 and/or the Friends of Historic Kerhonkson, PO Box 421, Kerhonkson, NY 12446.