Densmore Church board
Densmore Church, Inc. is operated and governed by a volunteer board of trustees.
Jack was raised in Watertown, NY and Arcadia Park Fishers Landing, He graduated from Watertown High School, Hobart College, and Webster University with an MBA. Jack and his wife are 20-year residents of Wellesley Island, in the Jolly Oaks and Fineview area.
After serving 35 years in the USAF, Jack retired as a Lt. General, and then continued serving another 11 years as Senior Executive with Accenture Federal Services LLC. He has served on public and private boards as well as several not-for-profit organizations, including: TIERS Board Member retired, Fineview Methodist Church Board, AFCEA exec committee and board retired, Cisco Federal Board retired, EMS Technology Board retired, and is a life member of many community service organizations. He serves as President on the Densmore Church, Inc. Board of Trustees because of his strong belief in architecture preservation and his desire to promote the history of the Thousand Island region.
Rhonda was born in Watertown, NY and is a life-long resident of the North Country. She graduated from nursing school in 1981, along with marrying her husband, Calvin, the same year. After their son was born, Rhonda joined Calvin in his business. She soon learned that she really enjoyed dealing with people. Rhonda also has two daughters and nine grandchildren, which is where she is most days.
Since the early days, Rhonda has owned and operated over 30 businesses, start-ups and acquisitions, with many successes... most notably, as co-founder and partner in the Hi-Lite group of companies.
Rhonda retired from Hi-Lite in September of 2016 and moved to Wellesley Island. She is a year-round resident and lives just down the street from Densmore Church. Rhonda serves on the board of Densmore Church, Inc. as Vice-President because of her joy in giving back to the community.
Rhonda is also a member of New Life Christian Church in Watertown, serving on the board of elders and leading the Hospitality team, along with leading a small group, Marriage Matters.
Vera came to Westminster Park on Wellesley Island by way of marriage. She and Gary met as undergraduates at Cornell and were married on campus in 1966. They moved to Florida after Gary graduated from law school and lived there for over 40 years.
She taught English before their daughters were born, then got involved in the usual "Mom" things. She served on the Orange County Council of PTAs, as a Girl Scout leader, Sunday School teacher, in various positions in the South Orlando Rowing Association (her daughters rowed; she did not!), on the board of a local Furniture Bank and as treasurer of the Orange County League of Women Voters.
Vera and Gary now live in Ocean City, NJ, and attend St Peter's United Methodist Church. They are happy to be just a block from their two younger grandchildren and a few hours from their older two. Vera has spent part of every summer at the river since 1966 and now, in retirement, enjoys having the whole family at the cottage for as long as possible. She finds serving on the Densmore Church board an enjoyable way to connect with the river community.
Dick and his wife, Erin, live in T.I. Park year-round, in a cottage first built as a tent platform by his great-grandfather in 1877. Dick has two sons: Andy in Fishers Landing (Stephanie, Leo & Sam); Jeremy in Montreal & Grindstone (Eliza, Zavier, Amelia).
Dick grew up in Fayetteville, NY and has spent summer in The Park since age 6 weeks, as did his mother. He was a graduate of JD High School, attended college at Brown University and received his MBA at Cornell University.
Dick spent three years in the US Navy as a Lieutenant in the Medical Service Corps (Navy Hospital, Memphis, TN); five years as Assistant Administrator at Wesson Memorial Hospital, Springfield, MA; ten years as Associate Director/VP & COO/acting President & CEO at Emerson Hospital, Concord, MA; eight years as President & CEO of Rochester Health Network, Rochester, NY. Dick was also a consultant for several years before his retirement.
In retirement, Dick is involved in several organizations, including Densmore Church, Inc., T.I. Park Landmark Society, T.I. Park Preservation Board, Rock Ridges Nature Trail, Riverside Cemetery, Orleans Zoning Board of Appeals, Samaritan Medical Center's Patient & Family Advisory Committee, and Planning Committees for T.I. Park and Town of Orleans.
Manny was born in Watertown, NY, and raised in Sackets Harbor, NY. All of his summers have been in Fineview on Wellesley Island. He and his wife, Vicki, have three children - Rene, Rob and Russell. Manny was president and owner of Jerome Fire Equipment Co., Inc. from 1967-2002, and is now retired. Presently he lives on Wellesley Island for eight months of the year, and winters are spent in Marco Island, FL.
Annual Dinner Committee
Siobhan is a fourth generation River Rat who spends her time between Wellesley Island and New Jersey. She is also a board member of the Westminster Park Memorial Society and a volunteer for the Antique Boat Museum. She loves to share the arts and the history of the 1,000 islands with the community. Densmore is a great way to do this.
Buildings & Grounds Chair
Dick was born in Syracuse, NY and moved to Watertown, NY at the age of 12. His father, William Thomas, was foundry superintendent for the New York Air Brake Company. Dick obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in 1975 from Cornell University.
Dick married Linda in September of 1978 and they moved to Clinton, NY to raise a family of three children. He was a professor of biology at Mohawk Valley Community College for forty years. During this time, he served the community in a variety of ways. He was on the Library Board for quite a few years and volunteered on the Board of the local community pool. His largest commitment was as a member on the Clinton Central School Board for seven years.
Dick's great-grandfather first bought a family cottage on Thousand Island Park in the middle 1920's. His family has summered here since. His father bought his current house in Fineview in 1971, and Dick and Linda took over the home in 2010. They are now retired and live in Fineview from early May until the middle of October.
A few years ago, Dick's younger daughter asked him to officiate at her wedding ceremony. He became ordained as a clergyman in the Universal Life Church on the internet to make it a bit more official. He has only performed one other marriage ceremony -- at Densmore Church.
Don & Sheila Smith
Don was introduced to Wellesley Island during his college years and soon became a seasonal visitor and resident before relocating to the island in October 2014. He quickly immersed himself with the Wellesley Island Fire Department and local fire service and is currently an interior firefighter, WIFD President, and Commissioner for the Town of Orleans Fire District. Don played a key role in helping WIFD and the Town of Orleans Fire District build the fire hall on Cross Island Road after the loss of the T.I. Park station in 2014. He is self-employed at D.S. Electric & Contracting, Inc. and is the Operations Manager for Brandano Displays, Inc.
Sheila is a fourth generation River Rat with profound gratitude for her mom sharing Wellesley Island with her dad on their honeymoon. Sheila's dad immediately fell in love with the area (who doesn't ?!?) and her parents soon bought a cottage in Thousand Island Park. She summered in T.I. Park for over 40 years before fulfilling her life-long dream to live year-round on Wellesley Island in October 2014. Sheila has been Secretary for the Wellesley Island Fire Department since 2015 and was instrumental in helping WIFD and the Town of Orleans Fire District build the fire hall on Cross Island Road after the loss of the T.I. Park station in 2014. She works in Advertising Sales with Spectrum Reach and can often be spotted walking island roads and trails with her chocolate lab Murphy.
AnnMarie was born and raised in the North Country. She spent her childhood and early adulthood in the Adams/Adams Center area, and she graduated from South Jeff in 2008.
In 2012, she married her husband, Kurt, in Lake Placid, NY. Kurt and AnnMarie have 3 children, ages 6,8 and 11.
AnnMarie and her husband were searching for their forever home in 2018, and they were determined to stay within the South Jeff school district... That was until they looked at a house on Wellesley Island and fell in love with it!!! It also helps that her parents live just 2 miles up the road. They are loving the island life and raising their children to be true river rats.
AnnMarie helped out with setting up for the annual Densmore dinner in 2021, and that's when she starting thinking that being part of the Densmore board would be a great fit for her to get more involved withing the Wellesley Island community.