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Sun., Oct. 4
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Gail H. Backus


Gail Howard Backus, 76, an Acton, MA resident since 1969, died peacefully Fri., Jan. 24, 2014 at his home surrounded by his family. He was the beloved husband of Marjorie (Richards) Backus, to whom he was married for 52 years.

Funeral services will be held Saturday February 8, 2014 at 12:00pm at the Fox & Murray Funeral Home, 528 Franklin St., Ogdensburg, NY with Rev. Walter Smith officiating. Calling hours will also be held on Saturday from 10:00am until the time of the service. A Reception will immediately following at the White Church Community Room, 9226 Five Mile Line Rd. Lisbon, NY. Burial will be in the spring at the White Church Cemetery in Lisbon.

Born and raised in Lisbon, New York, he was the eldest child of the late Kenneth and Helen (Glass) Backus. A graduate of the University of Vermont in 1960, he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and served honorably in the US Army Reserves. He met his future wife, Marjorie, while they were students at UVM, and following their marriage they settled in Massena.

A labor economist, Mr. Backus was first employed by the NY State Department of Labor for seven years in offices in Massena, Binghamton, and Utica. He then accepted a position with the US Department of Labor in Boston, retiring in 1998. Pastimes included cooking and gardening, and he especially enjoyed time with his family.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by four children: Carlie Holmberg of Eagle River, Alaska, Craig Backus and wife Maribeth of Portland, CT, John Backus and wife Laura of Webster, MA, and David Backus and wife Michelle of Sterling, MA; 8 grandchildren: Kenny & Mack Holmberg, Erica, Jonathan, Abigail & Michael Backus, Silas & Miller Backus; and two sisters: Ann B. LaDuke of Massena, NY and Faith E. Armstrong of Lisbon, NY and their families.

In lieu of flowers, send memorial donations to Brigham + Women’s Hospital Adrenal Fund AV’, c/o David Backus, 210 Chace Hill Rd., Sterling, MA. 01564 . Condolences can also be shared online at

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