In Memory of Stuart Root

Our friend and neighbor Stuart Root passed away this past Saturday. A memorial service for Stuart will be held this summer in the Beaverkill Community Church.

Below, members of the friends share their remembrances. An obituary that has been prepared by the family can be found on the website of Greico Funeral home.

Shared by Patricia Adams

Stuart started coming to the Beaverkill in the early 70s’s with his four children who were still very young. He married Pat, who had three children and their home here was filled with activity and visitors. They hosted some of the early Christmas Eve Open Houses.  Pat and Stuart were instrumental in establishing and carrying on the Labor Day Tennis Tournament.

From early on, Stuart worked with the Open Space Institute in the Beaverkill, identifying properties that needed protecting and helping with the legal issues involved in land preservation.

He also led us in the celebration of music. He founded our Beaverkill Community Church Choir. He chose the music, made copies for the singers, worked with Sean, our accompanist and was always on the look out for singers —whether young adults or retirees.  The music Stuart chose is still the choir’s  basic repertoire.

Stuart also produced a “Summer Musicale” for a number of summers in the church. He encouraged people who perhaps had never performed to join in and sing or play an instrument. These Musicales were always a great success and a wonderful way for the community to be together.

Perhaps Stuart is best remembered as the ‘Master of Ceremonies” at the Christmas Eve Service at the Beaverkill Community Church. He chose the carols, the Bible readings and led the services with humor and great warmth.

Most of all he was a great friend with a penchant for telling stories about his home town Chagrin Falls, Ohio—stories we all loved. He will be greatly missed.

A memorial service for Stuart will be held this summer in the Beaverkill Community Church.

— Patricia Adams

Shared by Ed Cerny

Even though inevitable and expected, the death of a friend is hard to take.

I knew him and worked with him in all the activities you mention over many years, I think it must be over twenty. He had a long and impressive pedigree in the practice of law in the City from which he acquired much wisdom about how things work and should work, a wisdom which I saw on display on many occasions.

When he was directing hymns, we were never allowed to sing “Amen” at the end, even when written in the music. I learned all kinds of things from him, including that when a piece we would sing for an anthem or introit suddenly ended in a different key it was called a “Picardy,” meaning a happy resolution to the piece. Stuart was fascinated by this musical device and never missed an opportunity to remark upon it. According to people who know about such things, “Western composers, expressing the ‘rightness’ of happiness by means of a major third, expressed the ‘wrongness’ of grief by means of the minor third, and for centuries, pieces in a minor key had to have a ‘happy ending’ – a final major chord (the ‘tierce de Picardie’) or a bare fifth.” On thinking about this, I am hopeful that Stuart’s life ended in a Picardy, but with an “Amen.”

— Ed Cerny