5/8/2021 – Thomas G. Pancoast, Clayton

Thomas G. Pancoast was a man who traveled the world. On April 14th, he embarked on a final journey to join his wife, Genevieve, in Heaven, while a resident at Summit Village in Watertown. Tom was born in 1927, and his existence undoubtedly made this world a better place. He saw a lot, and did a lot. He was placed in an orphanage due to family circumstances during the Great Depression. He lied about his age to join the Navy in WWII at 17, and got away with it. Although he only finished eighth grade, he was blessed with an inexhaustible work ethic and a creative mind that never stopped—his knowledge of everything important far surpassed his level of education. He spent his working life at (Singer) Link Aviation, where he built both commercial and military flight simulators. This career took him all over the world. He spent any time he could spare in the 1000 Islands, where he experienced the St. Lawrence like only a true explorer-at-heart could. If he wasn’t at the cottage, he was either off helping someone or he was building something. A brilliant carpenter, he built everything from wooden toy cars to fully-finished houses. He even, along with a Kirkwood crew, built the Kirkwood Valley Park covered bridge, which is still enjoyed by everyone. As he got older, he started building log cabin bird houses; they were his pride and joy and can be found everywhere. Even at the very end of his life, he always had some project to put together, and there was always an old brush and some Minwax around to stain it with. He taught anyone who wanted to learn, and he was a wonderful teacher.

Thomas married his beloved Genevieve in 1949, and they remained together until she died in their home on April 13th, 2017. He never stopped missing her, and it left a hole in his heart that never healed. Tom is survived by his daughter, Debra Wdowiak of Clayton; his son, Thomas J. (Laurie); his granddaughter, Samantha; & his grandson, Cody of Clayton. Kallie & Hunter Root, though not related, made the last ten years more joyous for him with their constant care, devotion, and love. Tom’s second family was inherited from his brother, John. He loved his niece Donna (Mandy), and nephew Steve (Ana) like his very own. He spent many an early morning tapping his cane while waiting for coffee in Jamie and John’s kitchen—always too early. He found great joy in their children, Olivia, Autumn, & John. He also loved having any excuse to make his way to Butchy’s garage to share a dozen donuts and some coffee.

He has 3 generations of nieces & nephews whom he loved deeply and made many memories with over his long life. He was a man who made a great impression on many, and he will never be forgotten. Tom spent the last four years of his life in his Clayton cottage, enjoying the river view and surrounded by his immediate family. He is pre-deceased by his parents, Eugene & Florence; his brother, John, and sister, Shirley.

Due to COVID 19, the family will be foregoing a service at this time. He has been laid to rest next to Genny at Calvary Cemetery, Johnson City, N.Y. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to any VFW.


  1. Tom Hobart Posted

    Our condolences to the Pancoast family as well as our deepest Thank You for your graciousness in letting us stay at the cottage many years ago. The River has lost one of the best.

    Donna, Michael and Tom Hobart

  2. April Heyman Posted

    Tom , I miss you so much!!! Thanks for sharing your ending days with us at SSV! I miss you waiting at the table for your cup of hot cocoa!!! My deepest condolences to your family! You are truly missed….

    • Debra Wdowiak Posted

      We appreciated you so much. Not being with him was horrible and knowing he had a few who cared meant the world.

  3. Nichola Berry Posted

    Tom, SSV is on first floor is just not the same with out you. You were definitely one of my guys and every time I make a hot chocolate and do and always will think of you. You were my sweetheart! Love and miss you always, Nichola xoxo

    • Debra Wdowiak Posted

      This is the kind of sweet and loving stuff that made it a place that made it okay for Dad. Thank you so much!

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