Watervliet, NY

Longtime Watervliet residents have donated a Christmas tree to City Hall.

Raj Guleria

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Longtime Watervliet residents have donated a Christmas tree to City Hall.

WATERVLIET, N.Y. — Longtime Watervliet residents Richard and Patricia Crinigan were remembered fondly at a special ceremony dedicating a bell memorial in their honor.

The memorial, featuring an 1872 Meneely Bell manufactured in the city of Watervliet, was constructed over the summer at a park located on Third Avenue, between Fifth and Sixth streets.

The Crinigans resided for decades of their 63-year marriage on the corner of Fourth Street and Seventh Avenue, where they raised two daughters, Peggy and Mary Patricia.

The couple volunteered and donated to many causes in Watervliet, especially when it came to education, St. Brigid’s parish, the Watervliet Public Library and American veterans.

Patricia taught math and science for more than 40 years at St. Brigid’s, where she regaled students with tales of attending games at Yankee Stadium in her beloved Bronx, where she was born in 1926 and raised. She taught and tutored hundreds, if not a thousand area youth before her passing in 2019.

She was a proud graduate of the Villa Maria Academy and the College of New  Rochelle before going on to graduate school at Columbia University where she met her husband.

Dr. Richard Crinigan, better known as Dick to those who knew him well, graduated from Columbia University College of Optometry and later received his doctorate from the Massachusetts College of Optometry. Prior to that, he graduated from Christian Brothers Academy in 1944. After graduating from CBA, he enlisted in the Navy and attended Officers’ Candidate School at Dartmouth College.

After receiving an honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy, Richard was a practicing optometrist in the Albany area for 50 years, retiring as chief of optometry at the Veterans Administration Medical Center. He was also active and revered in his community, serving as the president of the St. Brigid’s Holy Name Society. He was honored with the Christian Brother’s Academy Distinguished Alumni Award in 2003 before his passing in 2016.

In memory of the Crinigans, their community decided to dedicate a bronze bell manufactured by the world-famous Meneely company, which was located in Watervliet during the years of 1826 to 1951. The company manufactured more than 65,000 bells and shipped them via the Hudson River and Erie Canal to churches, firehouses and fire trucks, ships, academies, lighthouses, factories and monuments located all over the world.

At 185 pounds the newly dedicated bell has a diameter of 22 inches and is 18 inches tall. The bell was originally placed in a municipal building located in Richmond, Va. then later located on the estate of Horace Edwards, who served as mayor of Richmond from 1946 to 1948.

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