DUTCHESS COUNTY, N.Y. -- Flags will be flown at half-staff across Dutchess County in honor of Stanley Mersand, 70, the county's longtime historian, who died Friday in Danbury, Conn.
Mersand was a lifelong political enthusiast, often involved with the village of Pawling at various levels. His last position was on the Village Board and as deputy mayor. He also ran the Thomas E. Dewey Center in Pawling, dedicated to the life and career of his political mentor, and served as Dutchess County historian for many years.
In addition to civic service, Mersand also spent more than 30 years as a history teacher at Carmel High School before retiring and teaching at various area colleges. As the titular head of "The Heart Gang," a band of patients from the Healthquest Heart Center in Poughkeepsie, Mersand loved to plan social events for the group.
As a young man, Mersand served in the U.S. Army as a forward observer and intelligence analyst in Vietnam. The second son of Julius and Hilda Mersand of Pawling, Mersand was predeceased by his sister Jennise, of Burbank, California and his beloved dogs King, Bootsie, Captain, Tootsie, Mollie, and Boo.
He is survived by his wife, Christine (Baresich); his son Michael; daughter Rebecca; dog Scout; his brother Barry; nephew Alex; niece Jenny; Aunt Mary "Dolly" Liffland, and numerous cousins throughout the area.
A memorial party in honor of his life will be held by the family in the near future. In lieu of flowers, he wished that donations be made to the Hudson Valley SPCA, Disabled American Veterans, The American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Horn & Thomes, Inc. Funeral Home, 83 East Main Street, Pawling, NY. To leave an online condolence, please visit www.hornandthomesfuneralhome.com .