Rest in Peace Irv Halvorsen


By Joyce Halvorsen Fiedler with Carl, Roy and Jim Halvorsen

To say that Irving Halvorsen (Poppy) loved Schroon Lake would be an understatement.  Irv and his bride Grace honeymooned at Burzees in Schroon Lake Village.  Their connection to the area was through Grace whose uncle, Magnus Andersen, was part owner of the Frontier Town.  Her Aunt Agnus also owned the Silver Spruce Hotel where Grace would waitress on busy days.  In the early years of their marriage and as four children completed the family, they would make the five hour trip up Route 9 from Staten Island once a summer and stay for a week at one of the rental cabins on the north shore of the lake.   It was glorious and yet, they dreamed of having a place of their own.
In 1973, they bought a piece of property on the east shore in the newly developed Blue Sky Estates.  Working with builder Cliff Tomlinson (who would become a treasured friend), they built their dream home.  It was a modestly sized, simple cabin with knotty pine paneling and a beautiful deck overlooking the lake.  During his working years at Con Edison, he would take the bulk of his vacation time during the summer to enjoy every possible moment at the lake house.
Irv retired in 1986.  They sold their Staten Island home and 23 Lakeview Drive became their main residence.  No more driving bleary eyed after a long week at work.  No more tearing himself away from Blue Sky late Sunday evening to face the slogging drive to Staten Island.  Irv immersed himself in cabin life.  He moved more Adirondack rocks than you would think humanly possible.  He maintained a manicured lawn and gallantly fought back the woods that dare encroach on his space.  He was a fixture on his deck with coffee in the morning and wine in the evening waving at everyone who passed.  Neighbors had an open invitation to stop by his well-stocked garage if they needed a particular screw, saw, light or doohicky.   He was a jokester and storyteller who reveled in cruising the neighborhood in his “gator.”  People who moved away from Blue Sky would show up periodically to rekindle friendships and remark on how Pop was a mainstay in that community.  He served on the Blue Sky Estates governing association and donated his time and energy to all the events and functions of that group.   
Grace died in 2008 and those years from his retirement to her passing were the happiest of his life. 
Poppy passed away on November 14, 2017.  In a voicemail to the family, his doctor noted that it was a privilege to care for him and that it was rare to have a patient live independently well into his 87th year.  It was only the previous month that we had begun discussing with Pop the possibility that maybe it was becoming too cumbersome for him to live alone at Schroon Lake.  In the end, his kidneys and heart just stopped functioning.  It’s not far-fetched to believe that with Grace gone and the prospect of not living at the lake likely, he chose a graceful exit.
Irv was an ardent supporter of ESSLA and all of their conservation efforts.  He recognized that subsequent generations would only enjoy the lake if current residents worked to ensure its livelihood.   He requested that any donations after his passing go to ESSLA.
By Joyce Halvorsen Fiedler with Carl, Roy and Jim Halvorsen