John S. ‘Jack’ Pulver

NORTH EAST — John S. “Jack” Pulver, 84, passed away at home on Friday, May 31, 2019.

Jack was born on Dec. 13, 1934, and lived his life on Pleasant View Farm atop Winchell Mountain in Millerton. 

He attended Pine Plains High School, graduating in 1953. He played varsity basketball and baseball and is also remembered as Prince Charming in his senior play. 

Jack had farming and cows in his blood. He started exhibiting cattle with his lifelong friend Harold Miller in 1944. In 1951 he was member of the FFA Judging Team, placing second in the national contest at Waterloo, Iowa. In 1952 he was the high individual in the New York State 4-H Judging Contest. In 1955 he earned the FFA American Farmer Degree. After attending Cornell University, he returned to the family farm. 

Jack met Minajean “Jean”Ackert at the Dutchess County Fair in 1956; they were married on Nov. 24, 1957, and spent the next 60 years together. They attended over 50 New  York state Holstein Conventions together; their favorite vacations were driving the Maine Coast and treating themselves to lobster.

Jack was an active member of many organizations for decades. As a 4-H leader and more recently FFA advisor for decades he influenced hundreds of young people. 

At age 18 he was asked to join the Dutchess County Agricultural Society; his membership spanned 66 years with 45 years elected to the Board of Directors; and he served decades as Dairy Superintendent. He was Board President in 1989-1990 and honored for Life Achievement by the society in December 2018; his colleagues estimated he had attended over 1,000 meetings on the fairgrounds.

Jack joined the Pine Plains Lions Club in 1967 and in 2018 received a County Legislature proclamation for his 40-plus years of service as club treasurer following his presidency. Many will remember the friendly barbecue tickets sales competition with Brud (Anthony) Pulver; Jack and Jean were a fixture at the barbecue as ticket cashiers.

Jack’s membership in Eastern New York (ENY), New York State and National Holstein associations spanned more than 70 years. In the local club he held every office, was longtime co-chair of the ENY Sale, and chaired the ENY-USO Futurity Committee for 45 years. Jack and Jean joined the ENY Club Honor Roll in 1992. At the state level he served as director and chaired the membership committee for years, completing association service as chair of the By-Laws and Resolutions committee. Jack was the first person to receive the Friend of New York Holstein Award in 2007. In January 2018 he was honored with the state’s Retired Master Breeder Award.

Jack was on the NorthEast Milk Producers Co-op Advisory Board and was part of the group that organized the Millerton Agway Co-op. 

The family herd of cattle under Jack’s stewardship received nine Progressive Breeder awards from the National Holstein Association. He bred 36 Excellent Cows and six Gold Medal Dams. 

He took pride in maintaining farm grounds that befit its majestic views and promotion of agriculture, receiving Dairy of Distinction designation in its initial award year and each of the following 25 years.

Jack received two New York State Assembly Citations, the first with Jean for their service to the FFA upon their designation as honorary members in June 2014. The second in August 2016 was for his lifetime commitment to Dutchess County’s Farming Heritage and 72 consecutive years of exhibiting at the fair. 

Jack is survived by his children, Mollie of Little Falls, N.Y., Jeffrey and Linda of Millerton and Daniel and Lisa of North Reading, Mass.; his granddaughters, Amanda, Valerie and her husband, Max, Cecily, Laura and her husband, Paul, Emilia, Jennifer and Madeline and her companion, Rex; and by family members Connie, Bonnie and Scott Pulver.

Jack was predeceased by his parents, Stanley and Mary; his wife, Jean, on May 11, 2017; his son, Royce A. Pulver on Aug. 2, 1979; and his brother, William W. Pulver on Sept. 26, 2005.

Calling hours are from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5, at the Peck and Peck Funeral Home in Pine Plains.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 6, at the funeral home, the Rev. William Mayhew officiating. 

Interment will follow in the Evergreen Cemetery in Pine Plains.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Pine Plains Lions Club, P.O. Box 881, Pine Plains, NY 12567; or the Dutchess County Agricultural Society, 6636 Spring Brook Ave., Rhinebeck NY 12572.

To sign the online register, go to www.peckandpeck.net.