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Earl Mastin of Canadice NY

Earl Mastin

1912 - 26 January 2011


Earl Mastin was a former school teacher and Canadice town supervisor.

Family and friends will remember Earl Mastin as a kind, hard-working man who was quick with a smile.

Mr. Mastin died Jan. 26 at the age of 98, in the same farmhouse where he was born in 1912.

“As a friend of mine who also knew Earl wrote me, Earl was a gentleman’s gentleman,” said nephew Don Mastin. “A grand life well lived.”

Mr. Mastin was born and raised in Canadice and attended Honeoye High School. Mr. Mastin, his brother Otto and sister Onolee traveled in a horse and buggy before upgrading to a 1917 Model T touring car.

After high school, Mr. Mastin worked on the family farm and installed poles and wires for the Canadice Telephone Co. In 1931, he attended a one-year teacher training class in Canandaigua, which enabled him to teach at the Gull School in Honeoye, his old primary school.

After teaching at the Gull School for a year, Mr. Mastin attended Geneseo Normal School, spent 10 weeks practice teaching at York Grade School and took a full-time teaching job at the Frost Hollow School. He taught there for eight years before moving on to teach 7th and 8th grades at Honeoye Grade School.

In 1942, Mr. Mastin went back to work on the family farm and soon married Helen, the love of his life, and began their 68 years of marriage.

“We worked together and if we had any differences, which we didn’t often have, we worked them out,” Helen Mastin said.

In 1945, the couple bought the Mastin family farm, which, at its peak, had 25 dairy cows and 700 laying hens.

Mr. Mastin then entered town politics and was elected supervisor of the Town of Canadice in 1959. In his 14 years in office, he was instrumental in getting the roads striped and providing the sheriff’s officers with uniforms, Helen said.

She said her husband was a plain-spoken straight shooter, attributes that served him well in politics.

“He was a man who said what he thought and meant what he said,” she said.

Richmond Town Board member Steve Barnhoorn recalled an incident in 1965, when Mr. Mastin bucked his political party to help his brother-in-law, the Richmond town supervisor, remain as chairman of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors. Barnhoorn appreciated what that said about Mr. Mastin’s commitment to family.

“When push came to shove, family loyalty trumped politics, and I will always admire Earl for that,” Barnhoorn said.

Mr. Mastin remained a beloved figure in the community and on his 95th birthday, the town board proclaimed that March 31 will be known as “Earl Mastin Day.”

Mr. Mastin also served on Canandaigua National Bank Board of Review for 35 years.

Helen Mastin said that she measures the impact her husband had on the lives of others through the messages on the more than 100 sympathy cards she has received.

“He was a wonderful man who meant a lot to almost everyone,” she said.

By Mike Maslanik - The Daily Messenger, 20 February 2011.