Local brothers celebrate longevity

GLOVERSVILLE – Local brothers Donald and Kenneth Canary recently celebrated milestone birthdays, a news release said. Donald turned 95 on May 2 and Kenneth turned 90 on June 22, the news release said.

The brothers recently attended the 37th annual Canary family reunion, held July 10. Donald still lives on the family farm where he and his late wife, Audrey, were the third-generation to farm.

Kenneth and his wife, Phyllis, live next door in the house they built 66 years ago. Donald was a dairy farmer all his life and Kenneth was a John Deere dealer all of his life. Along with their two sisters – Shirley Rose, of Fort Washington, Penn., and Marilyn Ottendorf, of Kokomo, Ind. – are the four surviving siblings of eight children born to Clayton and Estella Miller Canary. A brother, Merrill, died as an infant, twin sisters, Eileen Minkler and Arlene Mac Vean, passed away in 2005 and 2012. Their brother Warren, who also was a dairy farmer, passed away in 2014, the release said.

Donald and Kenneth attended the Frank’s District school house located on what is now Progress Road, just west of the Canary farm on Route 29. They later went on to graduate from Broadalbin Central School, Donald in 1939 and Kenneth in 1944, the release said.

Donald has two daughters, Evelyn (Mike) Sheridan of Amsterdam and Susan (Joe) Adamkoski of Gloversville. Two sons, John (Mary) and Charlie (Karen) Canary, both of Gloversville. His eldest son, David, died in a motorcycle accident in 1979. He has 15 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren with another on the way in September. His wife Audrey passed away in 2011. They were married almost 66 years.

Kenneth has three daughters, Lynda (Bob) Naske of Johnstown, Lois Dmyszewicz of Broadalbin, Laurie (Tom) Frederick of Northville and one son, Keith (Kelly) of Vail Mills. He has eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Kenneth and Phyllis celebrated 68 years of marriage on June 5, the release said.

According to the release, the two brother’s roots run deep in the community. The Canary family settled a farm on Steers Road in the town of Perth about 1800.

They later had a farm just around the corner, on Black Street, before moving to the Route 29 farm in 1922.

A dairy farm was operated there by Donald’s son, John, until just recently.

In addition to dairy, the Canary’s were a large producer of strawberry’s in the area at one time, the release said.

Donald and Ken’s great-nephew, James Canary Jr. is the seventh generation of Canary’s to farm in the Fulton – Montgomery county area, having taken over the Ephratah farm first operated by their brother, Warren, and then by his son, James Canary Sr.

Donald and Kenneth’s maternal grandparents had a large farm on Route 30, Perth, all of which has been taken down and developed, the reelase said.