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Kelsey D. Brock

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WADDINGTON — In the end, the only thing Kelsey D. Brock couldn’t fix was a worn out, but well-used body. Mr. Brock, 85, died peacefully in his sleep on the evening of Jan. 10, 2014 in the home he loved and cared for the past 53 years. He was born November 14, 1928 in Liberty, N.Y., the son of Annabelle and Harry Brock. He married Betty J. O’Brien on Feb. 26, 1952. He graduated from Malone schools and in 1951 he was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army. He also lived in Tupper Lake for a while. Mr. Brock was a welder/steamfitter and was a member of Local 117 for more than 40 years. He worked everywhere for the union, from Pennsylvania to Vermont, building everything from breweries to nuclear plants and where deep in the bowels of those plants, his legacy quietly lives on. He was taught to weld by his father, Harry, who was a welder at a shipyard and who also became a union welder for Local 117. The pair would later operate a welding and general repairs shop on Water Street in Watertown. If you brought it in, they would fix it. After toiling at his day job, Mr. Brock, who never took a vacation, would come home at night, and following a hearty meal made by his wife, Betty, he continued to work at his home on Waddington’s Maple Street.

Projects included two garages, a patio, a porch, a new foundation and a giant garden a block away from the St. Lawrence River that produced stacks of canned vegetables for his family and neighbors. He also worked on cars and refurbished furniture. Friends and associates would say he never talked much. But his mind was always spinning; crafting creative solutions to mechanical conundrums, at home and at work. For example, during the Oil Embargo of the 1970s, he designed, built and installed a hot water heating system for his house that used heat from a wood fireplace. He repaired all sorts of things around the house and for neighbors. His repairs had a certain reputation. His repairs would last, mainly because he somehow managed to weld most things he repaired. His work was as solid as his reputation. When he retired in 1991, Mr. Brock began to enjoy life without a daily grind and long hours of travel he had experienced since his early teens. Most notably, to fellow Waddington villagers, he began to walk. He began slowly, perhaps following doctor’s orders to lose some weight. That he did, and once that happened, a burden seem to also lift: He walked steadily and far on a daily route of three miles, finally taking time to enjoy nature and enjoying the air that wasn’t tinged with the workings of industry. He walked through all weather and all seasons. The sight of Kelsey walking through the village, from the beach to Whitaker Park, became a village institution and an inspiration to many. Mr. Brock is pre-deceased by his wife, Betty J. Brock, who died in 2008 and a son, Wayne K. Brock, who died in 2002 and a granddaughter, Callie Brock. The oldest of three children, Mr. Brock is also pre-deceased by a brother, Russell, and a sister, Evelyn.

He was a communicant of St. Mary’s Church in Waddington and also enjoyed camping in his retirement with his wife. For more than 60 years, he did the daily crossword puzzle in the Watertown Daily Times. He always found it important to have newspapers and magazines scattered around the house. He is survived by two sons: Steven of Waddington and his wife Cynthia; Chris L. Brock and his wife, M. Cecilia, of Watertown, a nephew Richard of Watertown, his wife Cathy and their son, Darien. Mr. Brock is survived by six grandchildren; Bryan Brock, Michael Brock both of Potsdam, Tracey Brock of Canton, Alex and Zachary Brock of Waddington and Thomas Brock of Watertown.

He is also survived by three great-grandchildren. Calling hours for Mr. Brock will be Thursday from 2-4 pm and 6-8 pm at the Phillips Memorial Home, Waddington. The Mass of Resurrection will be held Friday (January 17, 2014) 10:00 am at St. Mary’s Church Rev. Msgr. Harry Snow presiding. Interment will be in the spring at Brookside Cemetery, Waddington. Those wishing to honor Kelsey’s memory may do so at their local Humane Society. Burial will be in the spring at Brookside Cemetery. Arrangements are under the care and direction of the Phillips Memorial Home, Waddington. Online condolences may be shared at www.phillipsmemorial.com

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