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SALEM – Paul W. Tomlinson, 90, of Salem, passed away on March 1, 2023, at his residence with his family, special caregiver, and loyal German Shepherd by his side.
He was born on December 21, 1932, in Fort Ann to the late Viola E. (Baker) Tomlinson and Walter Tomlinson.
Paul excelled in his studies and graduated as valedictorian from Fort Ann Central School in 1950. During high school, he worked for Fort Ann Sales, Inc., where he developed his passion for Farmall and International Harvester tractors and trucks. He assembled new equipment, welded, and delivered machinery. Upon high school graduation, Paul was offered a full-time position working in the parts department and eventually became a salesperson.
Paul purchased the former Reed’s Farm Equipment and adjoining homestead, located on Blanchard Street in the village of Salem, in 1953, with plans to start his own Farmall/International Harvester franchise. In March 1954, at the age of twenty-one, Paul was granted his franchise, which became known as Salem Farm Supply. In 1973, the business was expanded and relocated a mile north on NY Route 22 in Salem on what was known as the Bassett Farm. He sold the business and retired in 1988.
During his career, Paul served on multiple local boards, including Evergreen Cemetery in Salem, the Adirondack Community College Foundation, and as treasurer for the former Mary McClellan Hospital in Cambridge. He also served on the boards of First National Bank of Glens Falls, Banknorth, was President of the Trust Committee at Evergreen Bank and presided as Chairman of the board for Evergreen Bank. He was a fifty-year member of the National Grange of the Order of Patrons of Husbandry and a member of the Brotherhood Fund for the Masons.
Paul had a great love of antique and classic cars and tractors. He collected and restored many throughout his lifetime, starting with a 1907 International Harvester High Wheeler, which he restored with his father. His hard work and dedication have been awarded recognition and many trophies from car and tractor shows across the northeast. He hosted many antique car and truck clubs who came, from across the country, to see his collection. He proudly displayed some of his collection in local parades, weddings, and proms. His 1931 International Pickup was included in the 2003 movie Sea Biscuit, which was partially filmed at the Saratoga Race Track. He played an extra in the film and got to meet the cast, which was one of the highlights of his life. He also was an avid Chevy fan and enjoyed watching NASCAR races regularly.
Paul had great respect for the farming community and the Washington County Fair. He announced the annual tractor pull for well over fifty years and also sponsored some International tractors. He enjoyed contributing to the local community and was a proud resident of Salem.
Learning from his mother, Paul enjoyed gardening both vegetables and flowers. From Memorial Day through the fall, you couldn’t miss his beautiful gardens when driving by the family homestead, especially his favorite, yellow marigolds. While he has been unable to garden for the past several years, his family has continued maintain his flower gardens, including a garden in memory of his late wife, Florence.
In addition to his parents, Paul was predeceased by his wife, Florence E. (Hicks) Tomlinson in 2018, his three sons, Donald J. Tomlinson earlier in 2023, Paul W. Tomlinson, Jr. in 1964, and Charles S. Tomlinson in 1967, as well as his stepbrother Preston Combs in 2015.
Paul is survived by his children, William (Nancy) Tomlinson of Salem, Lori (Ken) Colombraro of Salem and Kathi (Paul) Gaudreau of West Rupert, VT; beloved grandchildren, Adam (Emily) Tomlinson, Katie (Stuart) Lapishka, Thomas Tomlinson, John Tomlinson, Paul Tomlinson, Donald Tomlinson, Amie Tomlinson, Ryan (Robin) Megna, Stephen Geraghty, Patrick Harrison, Jason Gaudreau and Nicholas Gaudreau; and beloved great-grandchildren, Oliver, Millie and Elsie Tomlinson, Ethan and Addalyn Lapishka, Mason and Halle Tomlinson, Hannah and Maria Lourie Tomlinson, Noah and Delilah Buck and Olivia, Miles and Saundra Megna; many nieces and nephews, and his German Shepherd, Jasmine.
Calling hours will be held from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM on Thursday, March 9, 2023, at the McClellan-Gariepy Funeral Home, 19 East Broadway, Salem.
A funeral service will be held at 10:00 AM on Friday, March 10, 2023, at the Salem United Methodist Church, 29 West Broadway, Salem with Rev. Debbie Earthrowl officiating.
Paul will be laid to rest next to his wife at Evergreen Cemetery in Salem in the spring.
Contributions in memory of Paul may be made to Salem Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 449, Salem, NY 12865; Salem Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 360, Salem, NY 12865; or Community Hospice of Saratoga, 179 Lawrence St, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866.
The Tomlinson family wishes to thank the incredible caregivers for their loving care and support of Paul for the past several years: Cindy, Angie, Katie, Chantel, Emily, Elaine, Susan, and David. They also wish to express their appreciation to his daughter-in-law, Nancy, for regularly preparing him delicious meals and Community Hospices, for care and compassion provided to Paul and his family.
Salem Vol. Fire Dept.
P.O. Box 449, Salem NY 12865
Salem Rescue Squad
P.O. Box 360, Salem NY 12865
179 Lawrence Street, Saratoga Springs NY 12866