Vernon A. Benjamin, Jr., 76, of Finger St., died Monday, June 6, 2022 at the Ulster County Infirmary. Born December 23, 1945 in Saugerties, he was the son of the late Vernon “Joe” and Alice Voerg Benjamin. A lifetime area resident, he was a graduate of Saugerties High School and went on to receive his bachelor’s degree from Siena College in Loudonville and his master’s degree from C.W. Post in Brookeville.
Vernon’s extensive career in public service included serving as Saugerties Town Supervisor from 1990-91 and as a County Legislator. For many years he served as a top aide to the late Congressman Maurice Hinchey in Albany until Maurice left for congress in 1993. Among his work was a focus on the Hudson River Valley Environment. In that regard he played pivotal roles in passage of the Hudson River Estuary Management Act of 1987 and the creation of the Hudson River Greenway. The Estuary Management Act involved nine state agencies, as well as the support of seven federal agencies and an advisory committee of nonprofit community and environmental organizations with stakes in the estuary’s health. The estuary focus was to include tributary streams and watersheds even when blocked by dams and other manmade structures in most of the valley below the Mohawk River. Hudson River Greenway was a NY State Legislative creation for conceptualizing the entire estuary as a biological region important for its cultural, heritage and recreational resources.
A writer of several history books about the Hudson Valley, he also wrote a weekly column in the Saugerties Post Star and Woodstock Times and was a founding member and contributing writer to Toodlum Tales. He served as an Adjunct Professor at Marist College and was currently employed by the Town of Saugerties as a special project grant writer from 2013 to present.
Survivors include two daughters, Stacey and her husband, Todd Butcher of Ohio and Rachel and her husband, Rick Bingham of Kentucky. Three grandchildren: Eric Bingham and Sydney and Claudia Butcher. Six great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews also survive.
His Funeral Service will be held 10:00 AM Friday at the Seamon-Wilsey Funeral Home, Inc. Cor. of John & Lafayette Sts., Saugerties. Interment will follow in Blue Mt. Cemetery. Friends will be received Thursday 2-4 and 7-9 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Esopus Creek Conservancy. Further obituary information and expressions of condolence may be shared with the family at SeamonWilseyFuneralHome.com.