Gary Adelson

October 12, 2021



Niskayuna, New York

Gary Adelson, 86, left us peacefully on October 12th, 2021 in the comfort of his own home surrounded by family.

Gary was born in Albany NY on Oct 11, 1935 to Sally and Maurice Adelson. He graduated from Albany High School before attaining a BS and MS degree from Teachers College of Albany in 1958 where he met his beloved wife Joan, and eventually earned his Doctorate of Education in 1972.   He dedicated his life to a career in education of which he spent 38 years of teaching and administrative leadership in the Shenendehowa School district which he considered his second family. He wanted to acknowledge his great staff, outstanding students, parental support, and leadership. For his leadership, vision, heartfelt encouragement, and commitment to the arts, Shen honored him with the creation of the Gary I. Adelson Auditorium in High School West. After retirement, Gary continued impacting the lives of young people through his involvement with Project Lead the Way; now a national outreach program offering STEM learning experiences to K-12 students and teachers.

Aside from the many hours spent during his career, Gary was passionate with philanthropic and volunteer work. Some notable committee’s and boards served in leadership capacities included many years with Agudat Achim Synagogue, the Schenectady JCC, and Daughters of Sarah Jewish Foundation.

For fun, Gary enjoyed bowling, tennis, and played golf late into his 70’s. He worked tirelessly to improve his game but remained a “duffer” until the end. Other joys included dancing with his wife, a nap on his outdoor swing, a good book, TV sitcom, home cooking, his nightly scoop of ice cream, and an occasion trip to the casino.

He is survived by his loving wife of 63 years Joan Adelson, 2 proud sons and their spouses; Marc and Alyssa Adelson, Alan and Kathy Adelson, and 4 grandchildren that were blessed to call him Pop-Pop; Rachael, Lucy, Sophie and Leah.

We all loved him dearly as did our large circle of friends and family. He was a loving giant of a man who made every second count and lived life the right way. Heaven got a great man who left us with countless wonderful memories here on earth.

Special thanks to our family and friends for all their thoughts and prayers, and to the many caregivers that dedicated their time and passion to making his final months and days as comfortable as possible.

Gary will be laid to rest at the Agudat Achim Cemetery on  Schermerhorn Street in Rotterdam, NY on Friday Oct 15 at 12  noon.  In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Adult or Youth Education Fund at Congregation Agudat Achim Synagogue (518-393-9211) in Gary’s name.

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You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Gary Adelson


Adult or Youth Education Fund at Congregation Agudat Achim
2117 Union Street, Schenectady NY 12309
Tel: 1-518-393-9211

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