Preston Burl

Preston Burl, 80, of 60 Church St., Saranac Lake, died Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013 at the Adirondack Medical Center.

Born in Town of Franklin, on Oct. 1, 1932, he was the son of Preston and Helen (Shumway) Burl. Preston, married Barbara Clookey on Nov. 17, 1951 at St. Bernard’s Church in Saranac Lake.

Preston had been employed as an electrician for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union in Plattsburgh for many years until his retirement in 1995.

Preston was a member of the Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department for 29 years serving from 1957 to 1986. He held many offices in the Department including serving as the chief from 1966 to 1969. Preston was recently featured in an article in the Orlando Sentinel for his life saving action on Jan. 2, 1964 at the St. Regis Hotel Fire in Saranac Lake. Preston was precariously standing on a ladder when he caught a 4-year-old girl who fell from an upper-story window while trying to escape down a ladder with her mother. Preston was scheduled to receive a certificate of appreciation this September from the New York State Fire Chief’s Association for his years of service and heroic efforts on that day. He also was a member of the fire department bowling team for many years.

Preston was a member of the Saranac Lake Elk’s Club BPOE 1508, Saranac Lake Moose Lodge and a past president of the Saranac Lake V.F.W. Preston was an avid golfer and hunter.

He is survived by his wife Barbara Burl of Saranac Lake; three daughters: Thalene Bates and her husband Ric of The Villages, Fla., Robin Barnum and her husband Chris of Halfmoon, and Trista Marro and her husband Joe of North Carolina; two sons: Preston Burl and his wife Nancy of Apex, N.C. and Garvin Burl and his companion Robin Rassman of Saranac Lake; seven grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; one step brother Robert Martin; one step sister Betty Martin; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father, Preston Burl; his mother Helen Burl; his stepfather Robert Martin; one daughter Valerie Wales; one brother Albert Theriault, two stepbrothers: Donald and Pete Martin; and three sisters: Joan Ormsby, Dorothy Sexton and Virginia Bowen.

Calling hours will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 16 at the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake. A fireman’s’ prayer service will take place at 6:45 p.m. Monday. A funeral service will immediately follow at 7 p.m. at the funeral home, with the Rev. John Yonkovig officiating. Burial will take place in St. Bernard’s Cemetery at a later date.

Friends wishing to remember Preston Burl may make memorial contributions to Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department in care of the funeral home. Family and friends can also share their memories and sign the online guestbook at