RANSOMVILLE – Clyde Burmaster, a longtime Niagara County lawmaker and environmental advocate, passed away Monday. He was 78.
Burmaster’s wife of 33 years, Suzanne, stifled tears during a brief telephone call with the Niagara Gazette on Tuesday.
“I’ll always know he did the right thing,” she said before she was overcome by emotion.
Friends and colleagues that spoke to the newspaper following his death offered similarly reverent sentiments and memories of Burmaster, who served the legislature for nearly three decades before his passing.
In addition to his constituents, the longtime public official also served the country during the Vietnam War as a sergeant in the U.S. Army’s 4th Division, 22nd Infantry, 2nd Battalion and Headquarters Company.
Majority Leader Randy Bradt, R-North Tonawanda, said Burmaster’s departure from this life is a tragic loss for his family, the people he represented and the region as a whole.
“He was a champion, he was always with his constituents,” Bradt said.
Minority Leader Dennis Virtuoso, D-Niagara Falls, served longest beside Burmaster during the vast majority of his tenure. He will remember Burmaster as a man true to his principles who remained open to bipartisanship, a rarity in today’s political arena, Virtuoso noted.
“He was always an honest and upstanding guy,” he said. “A good friend, a good colleague.”
No small part of Burmaster’s legacy will be his…