COOPERSTOWN — Howard Chase Talbot Jr., beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away with his family by his side Saturday evening, July 18, 2015, at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown. The Director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown from 1976 to 1993, he was 89.
Born Oct. 6, 1925, in New Berlin, Howard was the son of Howard C. Talbot Sr. and Gladys Jacobs Talbot.
Raised in Edmeston, “Juney,” as he was known to his parents, attended Edmeston Central School and later Manlius Military Academy. He spent many summers of his youth on the shores of Otsego Lake as an attendee and counselor of Camp Chenango. Howard would go on to share a lifelong enjoyment of the outdoors with his family and friends.
On Dec. 15, 1943, he was inducted into the United States Army and proudly served his country during World War II with the 426th Field Artillery Battalion. Upon receiving his Honorable Discharge from the Military on May 6, 1946, Howard returned home and obtained a degree from the Utica School of Commerce.
On Sept. 11, 1948, Howard married the former Alice Losee in a ceremony at the Second Baptist Church of Edmeston. They met in a youth choir and their shared fondness of music continued throughout their marriage. Soon after they wed, Howard and Alice moved to Cooperstown and made their home, raising their family on Pioneer Street. His role of “Sweetheart” or “Dear” to Alice, “Dad” or “Pappy” to his children, and “Grampy” to his granddaughter, Teresa, and great-granddaughter, Fiorenza, was the ultimate joy of his life.
In 1949, Howard joined the Leatherstocking Management Corporation in Cooperstown and served as an accountant in its offices until 1951, at which time he was named Assistant to the Director of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. In 1976, he became the Director and served in this capacity until retiring in 1993. During his tenure as Director, he supervised a 52-member staff, made education his main focus, and oversaw three major expansion and renovation programs, including the enlargement of the Hall of Fame Gallery and National Baseball Archive and Library.
While at the Hall, Howard also served on the Foundation Board of the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum and made many trips, often with his granddaughter, Teresa, to Williamsport, Pa. He also met three sitting Presidents of the United States, as well as many luminaries from the baseball world.
Always humble, he loved his work and felt it was a privilege to share responsibility for one of the most important sports related destinations in America. “The National Baseball Hall of Fame mourns the loss of Howard Talbot, whose leadership was instrumental in guiding the Museum in becoming the world class institution it is today,” said Hall of Fame Chairman Jane Forbes Clark. “He has always been an important part of our Village, and we will miss his wisdom and sense of humor.”
Howard was an active and dedicated member of the Cooperstown community and served in many capacities. For several years he was a Trustee of the Village of Cooperstown, served as Mayor in the early 1960s and was also on the Doubleday Field Committee and the local Draft Board. Since 1952, he was a member of the Rotary Club of Cooperstown and a Paul Harris Fellow. He was also a member of the Native Sons of Cooperstown, The Mohican Club, and the Clark F. Simmons American Legion Post No. 579 in Cooperstown. A Freemason, Howard was Raised in Farmers Lodge No. 553, F&AM in Edmeston on April 14, 1948, and a few years later affiliated with Otsego Lodge No. 138, F&AM in Cooperstown. He enjoyed volunteering at local festivals, serving Winter Carnival guests at the annual Baptist Church Soup & Chili Kitchen, and helping press apples for Cider Fest at the Fly Creek Cider Mill. Howard welcomed hard work and was not afraid to get his hands dirty.
He maintained a beautiful home at 95 Pioneer St., for his family for 60 years.
For more than 20 years, he volunteered, often in the gift shop at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, where he came to know and be known by many people. Howard never forgot his roots and enjoyed staying active in the Edmeston community as well. He served as Chair of the Pathfinder Village Foundation Board of Trustees from 1991 to1995. Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, Howard was the third generation of his family to sit on the Board of Directors of New York Central Mutual.
Perhaps most important to Howard was his Christian faith. Raised a Baptist, he was confirmed into membership in the Second Baptist Church of Edmeston. After moving to Cooperstown, he and Alice became faithful and dedicated members of the First Baptist Church of Cooperstown and through the years, he served as a Deacon and Trustee of the church and as a member of the choir.
A true gentleman, in every sense of the word, Howard will be fondly remembered for his kind and warm spirited nature and by greeting everyone he met with a smile. He cherished close friendships and will be greatly missed by all who knew him in the Cooperstown community and beyond.
Howard’s affection and love for his family was truly boundless. He is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Alice L. Talbot of Cooperstown; their three children, Julia T. DeLaurentiis and husband, Thomas of Morris, Judy Talbot of Liverpool and James C. Talbot of St. Petersburg, Fla.; one granddaughter, Teresa M. DeLaurenttis and her husband, William C. Burdick of Morris; a great-granddaughter, Fiorenza Marie Burdick; two brothers-in-law, Edward Losee and wife, Jean, and Graydon France; a sister-in-law, Nellie Losee; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
In addition to his parents, Howard was predeceased by a sister, Julia Anna Talbot, who died in infancy.
Howard was always there when he was needed. His legacy is one of genuine warmth, giving, generosity, enthusiasm for life and timeless love.
A visitation was held at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home, 82 Chestnut St., Cooperstown, from 4 to 7 p.m., Tuesday, July 21, when the Talbot family received friends.
A funeral service was offered at 11 a.m., Wednesday, July 22, at the First Baptist Church of Cooperstown, with the Rev. Robert S. Turner, Interim Pastor, the Rev. Betsy Jay, Chaplain at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown and the Rev. Douglas Deer, Retired Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Cooperstown, officiating.
Following the service at church, the service of committal and burial took place in Lakewood Cemetery, Cooperstown. Military Honors were rendered by members of the Cooperstown Veterans Club and New York State Military Forces Honor Guard.
In lieu of flowers, the Talbot family respectfully requests that memorial gifts be directed to The First Baptist Church Memorial Fund, 19 Elm St., Cooperstown, NY 13326, or Cooperstown Emergency Squad, P.O. Box 322, Cooperstown, NY 13326, or Pathfinder Village Foundation, 3 Chenango Road, Edmeston, NY 13335-2314.
Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.
Published on  July 23, 2015