Dunkirk Town Bids Farewell To Walldorff

Dunkirk Town Councilman Henry Walldorff was presented with various gifts upon his departure from the Town Board, including a Town of Dunkirk jacket. P-J photos by Braden Carmen

At the end of a recent special meeting of the Dunkirk Town Board, longtime member Henry Walldorff shocked the rest of the board when he announced his intent to resign, with plans to move across the state.

Since the surprising announcement, the Board took the time to plan a proper farewell.

“On behalf of the Town and its residents, we’d like to thank you for your dedication, not only for your civic duties here, but also to the Fire Department,” Dunkirk Town Supervisor Juan Pagan said to Walldorff.

A lifelong resident of the Town of Dunkirk, Walldorff, 90, plans to move in the coming weeks to be closer to his children and grandchildren near Glens Falls, NY.

“I am honored to have served as a Town Councilman for the past 15 years. However, after much consideration, I have decided that, at 90 years old, I want to spend time with my older children and my grandchildren in eastern New York,” Walldorff stated in his letter of resignation.

The West Dunkirk Fire Department celebrated Henry Walldorff upon his impending departure from the Town. Walldorff has been a member of the West Dunkirk Fire Department for 72 years.

Walldorff exemplified a lifetime of service, as he was a 72-year member of the West Dunkirk Fire Department.

“My father said, when I was 18, join the fire company. That’s when it was formed, and he said join it,” Walldorff said. “So, I’ve been a member for 72 years.”

Walldorff was presented with a gift of a custom Town of Dunkirk jacket, along with a card and a coffee mug. Town Supervisor-elect Priscilla Penfold fondly recalled trips she and Walldorff took to New York City, as the Board thanked Walldorff for his dedication to the Town. Both of the residents who spoke during public comments, Sue Hazelton and Phil Leone, each thanked Walldorff for his years of service to the Town of Dunkirk, as well.

“I’ve always admired your ability, not only in the Council, but I was so impressed by your dedication to the West Town Fire District with all the years of service you put in there in protecting our West Town, so thank you,” Dunkirk Town Councilman Dr. G. Jay Bishop said.

A reception was held to honor Walldorff’s service at the Fire Hall across the parking lot at the conclusion of the meeting. He was presented a cake that read, “Thank you for all of your years of service. We will miss you!”

The reception was the punctuation of Walldorff’s lifetime of service to his community. His resignation caught everyone in the room off guard when he first shared the news, but the few shocked reactions at the time shared in a cheerful gathering at the Fire Hall filled with his soon-to-be-former constituents just a few weeks later.

“It’s going to be very hard to move. I’ve been a resident for 90 years, and I’ve lived in the same house almost all that time. The Town means so much to me. You will be missed,” Walldorff said.

The Town Board responded, in unison, “So will you.”


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