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Edward R. “Eggie” Abare

Man wearing a uniform holding an award in front of a school bus

Edward R. “Eggie” Abare

A beloved bus driver for generations of children attending South Glens Falls schools, Edward Ross “Eggie” Abare retired after 32 years as a bus driver. Known for his deep love of children, he and his wife Anna maintained an outdoor skating rink on Harrison Avenue for more than 25 years, hosting an annual party every year for the kids.

Eggie and his family flooded the rink, maintained the ice, and installed lighting so children in the community could skate. They even provided music from an old jukebox in the basement of the Abare home, across the street from the rink. “We had a lot of fun with that skating rink,” his wife, Anna, said. The family kept about 30 extra pair of skates in their basement, and Eggie remembered with a laugh that they would ask his wife, ‘Mrs. Eggie, would you help me put my skates on?’”

In a Chronicle story, Eggie recalled his days as a bus driver, when he would stop at the old Jacobie pig farm and “run and catch a pig and let them hold it.”

He said he would get a list of kindergarten students before school started and visit each of them in their homes “so they would know me when they saw me on the bus, and not be afraid to get on.”

Born in Plattsburgh, Eggie moved with his family to a farm on Burt Road in Gansevoort when he was eight. He and his 10 brothers and sisters attended the old one-room schoolhouse at the corner of Clark and Gansevoort Roads, which later became the Washburn home.

A United States Army veteran who served in World War II, Eggie was awarded the Victory Medal, the Purple Heart, European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Campaign ribbon with six service stars, the American Theater Campaign Ribbon, Good Conduct medal and the American Defense Service medal. He was seriously wounded in 1946 in Germany when he was hit by a mortar shell, and after 10 months in an Army hospital, was discharged in December of 1945.

Ten months later, he married Anna, and in 1947, was offered the job as school bus driver.

“Between Tink’s (friend Clarence Washburn) father and Don Myers, [who was instrumental in creating the South Glens Falls school district two years earlier, and is a fellow Hall of Fame inductee this year], “I got the job,” he told The Post-Star.

A lifelong member of American Legion Mohican Post 553 and the Disabled American Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6196, he was also a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the Fortsville United Methodist Church. He was named Saratoga County Legionnaire of the Year in 1990. In addition to his work with children, he was well known for helping senior citizens with small repair projects in their homes. “He never charges for his work and he never denies the needs of the elderly,” said then-Mayor Robert Phinney of Eggie.

He and his wife, Anna, had nine children, four sons — Bruce, Brian, Dennis and William — and five daughters — Nancy Smith, Sally Swinton, Cheryl Stark, Ellen Giunco and Carrie Gray, along with 20 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Mr. Abare passed away on Sept. 14, 1994.

Of his induction into the South High Bulldog Pride Hall of Fame, Anna said, “He would be so thrilled. He was always busy and always helping other people.”