Note: From obituary:
Born October 18, 1915 on Avenue B in Schenectady, he was the eldest son of Arthur C Mengel, Chief Chemical Engineer, American Locomotive Company in Schenectady, and Maude Ethelred Thomas Mengel; he was elder brother of John Thomas "Jack" Mengel (deceased).
Salutatorian of BH-BL High School Class of '33 and in recent years an active member of Golden Grads; he graduated from Union College in 1937 with a B.A. in Economics & Statistics. He was thereafter a devoted alumnus and avid fan of the Union hockey and football teams. His various roles included Class President, Head Class Agent (until 2008) and ReUnion Chair. Member of the Garnet Guards, he never missed marching in the alumni parade with his class and in 2007 rode in state at the head of the line.
He enjoyed a long and distinguished career in industrial transportation and economic development. After his Union graduation he started regionally as a rate clerk for the D & H Railroad, dispatching barges carrying cargo on the Erie Canal and Hudson River. By 1939 he was Supervisor of Water Transportation and Rates for Republic Steel, the largest steel company in the world. In 1952 he became Assistant Manager of the Crane & Vessel Department for Columbia Transportation in Cleveland.
After several years in Chicago and Cleveland with Republic Steel and Ogilvie Norton, respectively, dispatching freight ships across the Great Lakes, he returned to his beloved Upstate New York as Director of Oswego Port Authority. He was pivotal in the Nelson Rockefeller administration's successful economic development in the region, including construction of the St Lawrence Seaway, deepening of the Oswego harbor.
Under his tenure, new storage facilities were built, allowing foreign ships to dock, store and ship cargo across the U.S., making Oswego the first major U.S. port on the St Lawrence Seaway. His recruitment of Aluminium, Ltd. to locate its new plant in Oswego provided hundreds of local jobs. While in Oswego he served as International Director of the American Association of Port Authorities and member of the International Association of Great Lake Ports.
In 1964, he began as a private consultant in industrial transportation management, based in Albany. He eventually became Executive Director of the Black River-St Lawrence Regional Development Board, overseeing economic development in New York's North Country, including the Mohawk reservation Akwesasne.
He retired in 1980 to his boyhood home in Ballston Lake, where he worked with Welbourne & Purdy Real Estate. For many years he served on the Town Ethics Committee and in January 2008 was appointed Chairman.
He was a longtime member of Calvary Episcopal Church in Burnt Hills, and Rotary International. He gave time to Community Human Services, Adult Literacy Volunteers, Ballston Concerned Citizens, and the BH-BL Library Board.
A lifelong student of history, a geneologist and born storyteller, he was fascinated with life in Colonial America and amassed a large collection of books that included many first editions. His brief history of Ballston was included in the Ballston Community Directory (2007); he was a favorite subject for middle school videographers contributing to the school's local history project.
He was known as a constant voice of reason and humor even in the midst of hard times. His family, friends and community will long celebrate his intelligence, love of family, community and the Adirondacks, and most of all for his unwavering loyalty and kindness. Calling hours for the community will be held 4-6 pm, Thursday, May 7th at Townley & Wheeler Funeral Home, 21 Midline Road, Ballston Lake.
A celebration of his life will be announced at a future date.
The family sends heartfelt thanks to the staff who cared for him at Maplewood Manor nursing home in Ballston Spa and at Saratoga Hospital, and to the many friends who visited.In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made in Mr. Mengel's name to The Union Fund, 807 Union Street, Schenectady, NY 12308; or to Calvary Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 85, Burnt Hills, NY 12027.
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