Jerome "Buster" E. Samburgh Jr., 77, of 9360 state Route 30, Paul Smiths, died Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 at Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake.
Born in East Greenbush on Feb. 19, 1936, he was the son of Jerome and Mary (Bowers) Samburgh, Sr. Jerome married Carol Boyea on Dec. 28, 1957, in Constable.
Mr. Samburgh had been employed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in Ray Brook for the past 46 years. Mr. Samburgh enjoyed everything outdoors including hunting, fishing and especially sled dog racing.
He was an instrumental member of the Saranac Lake Area Chamber of Commerce team that managed the ALPO International Sled Dog Races in Saranac Lake, Paul Smiths and Tupper Lake, beginning in 1989. He and his family also worked closely with ORDA to organize the IFSS World Championships races held in Lake Placid in 1996.
Although Buster raced sled dogs in the late 1950s and through the 1960s, he soon became the "manager" as each of his children became sled dog racers themselves. Some of his proudest moments were when his son John won the Laconia Sled Dog Derby Unlimited Class race in 1995 and again in 1997. He also was extremely proud to have qualified four teams from his small kennel for the 1993 IFSS World Championships held in Fairbanks, Alaska. This earned the Samburgh Kennel a great deal of respect in the international sled dog racing community, which meant a lot to Buster.
At that event, he was a proud dad as he watched John win Bronze Medals in both the six-dog and four-dog classes. His daughter Cindy also placed 13th in the six-dog class with with a "second string" of young dogs. To top off this trip of a lifetime, Cindy placed 3rd in the six-dog class in the renowned Limited North American race the following weekend. The icing on the cake for Buster came in 1996 when John won the Gold Medal in the eight-dog class at the IFSS World Championships in Lake Placid.
Buster became a mentor to many sled dog enthusiasts over the years as well.
He is survived by his wife Carol Samburgh of Paul Smiths; one daughter Cindy LaMay and husband Scott of Saranac Inn; one son John Samburgh of Paul Smiths; one brother Edward Samburgh of New York City; three grandchildren: Jessica Adams, Taylor and Jordanna Samburgh; and one great-grandchild.
He was preceded in death by his father, mother and one son, Michael Samburgh.
Funeral arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake. There will be no calling hours. A graveside service is planned for the Spring at the Brighton Cemetary in McColloms.
Friends wishing to remember Jerome E. Samburgh, Jr. may make memorial contributions to High Peaks Hospice or the Hope Lodge in Burlington in care of the funeral home. Family and friends can also share their memories and sign the online guestbook at fortunekeoughfuneralhome.com.