Obituary: Edmund Joseph (Nick) Necrason Jr. | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Edmund Joseph (Nick) Necrason Jr. 

Engineer worked on projects to design and expand SUNY campuses

Published May 22, 2023 at 6:00 a.m. | Updated May 22, 2023 at 11:57 a.m.

click to enlarge Edmund Joseph (Nick) Necrason Jr. - COURTESY
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  • Edmund Joseph (Nick) Necrason Jr.

Edmund Joseph (Nick) Necrason Jr. of South Burlington, Vt., exited this life peacefully on April 17, 2023, at the University of Vermont Medical Center. Nick, or "Popi," as he was known to his grandchildren, was 81 years old.

Born in Kingston, N.Y., Nick was the oldest of four children born to Edmund Joseph and Charlotte Pierson Necrason. He grew up in Oneonta, N.Y., where he graduated from Oneonta High School. He then followed in his father’s footsteps and graduated with an engineering and management degree from Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y., where he was a member of his father’s fraternity, Sigma Delta.

Nick met his wife, Joanne, while they were college students. They married in Rochester, N.Y., in 1965 and began their careers in Boston, Mass. Nick’s first position out of college was offering technical assistance and management for new hydrocarbon products in the Esso Division of Humble Oil. After Boston, he continued with the company in Bayway and Bayonne, N.J. While working in New Jersey, he received his MBA from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck. He moved on to a national position with Valley Metallurgical Company.

In 1970, he and Joanne chose to bring their young family back to the Cooperstown and Oneonta, N.Y., areas, where Nick had grown up, had many relatives and where he could join his father’s company, Paragon Engineering. It was meaningful to him to come full circle, as he had grown up working — as a teen and during college summers — in the business. He began as a water truck driver and then became a mechanic’s helper, working on TD 24 Dozers, Westinghouse Earth Movers and P&H Cranes. As his surveying skills matured, he began laying out grade stakes on new road projects. Once Nick joined his father in 1970, Paragon Engineering incorporated and became Necrason and Sons, and he and his father expanded the company to include building new homes.

While raising his family in Oneonta, Nick was an active volunteer for the Boy Scouts and Planned Parenthood and coached Little League Baseball. He also belonged to the Elks Club. Nick loved golf and playing at the Oneonta Country Club, where he scored a hole in one at a tournament. Nick also enjoyed playing in tournaments all up and down the East Coast with his golfing crew, which he continued into retirement.

His next career move took him to the Albany office of the New York State University System, working in the division that designed and expanded SUNY campuses. He was privileged to work with several national and international architectural, structural and MEP firms. His projects included the Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse and many New York State campuses.

In 2002, he and Joanne moved to Lake Champlain in Vermont. Nick became the regional manager of the North Country section of SUNY campuses and established headquarters in Plattsburgh. After retiring to Vermont, he was active in Grand Isle County Democratic politics and served on town and state committees and traveled throughout Vermont for the Democratic party. He became a justice of the peace but was sad he never got to conduct any marriage ceremonies. He was also involved in the Alburgh Historical Society. He was especially proud of his role in fundraising and, then, with John Skutel, overseeing the construction of a new building for the Champlain Islands Parent Child Center located in South Hero.

Nick also played a supportive role in the 2005 creation of Vermont Shakespeare Festival, the theater company created by his daughter, Jena, and her husband, John. Nick cleared land, built sets, put up tents, sold tickets, housed and fed actors, and even did a cameo as Nell, the kitchen maid, in the 2008 production of The Comedy of Errors.

After 11 years in the Champlain Islands, Nick and Joanne moved to South Burlington, Vt. Nick served on the board of the Village at Dorset Park and was a member and supporter of South Burlington Land Trust. He continued to drive to North Hero for his weekly game with his bridge buddies.

Throughout his life, Nick was known for his sense of humor, his love of bird-watching and sunsets, and his telling of long, funny stories. He also liked to recite long poems. Robert Frost was his favorite poet, so it is fitting that his later years were spent in Vermont.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughter, Jena Necrason, and her husband, John Nagle, and grandson Jackson Nagle of South Burlington. He is also survived by his son, Adam Necrason, Diana Necrason; and grandchildren, Delilah Necrason of Portland, Maine, Dave Necrason of Kofu, Japan; Abigail Necrason of Williston, Vt., and Theodore Necrason of Jericho, Vt.

He leaves behind a brother, Tom Necrason, of Saranac, N.Y.; sister-in-law Patricia Necrason of Plattsburgh, N.Y.; sisters Charlotte Hanson of Oneonta, N.Y., and Christine Rabbia of Dunedin, Fla.; sister-in-law Meg Zoberbier of W. Va.; 12 nieces and nephews; maternal aunt Connie Fitzelle of Rhode Island; and a forever friend, Doug Layman, of Oneonta, N.Y.

A private service and celebration of life will be held for the family and friends in July. Arrangements are in the care of the Ready Funeral & Cremation Service in Burlington, Vt. To send online condolences to his family, please visit Memorial contributions may be made to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England.

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