GLENVILLE — A Glenville man who died while hunting in the southern Adirondacks last week was recalled as a lover of the outdoors with a great sense of humor and a hard-working employee for a local lumber company.
David C. Wanmer of West Glenville died suddenly at age 45 while out hunting last Friday in the town of Bleecker in Fulton County, but not far from a family hunting camp where he was staying in the Hamilton County town of Benson.
“He loved to hike, to hunt, to fish, do things outdoors,” his daughter Morgan Wanmer said on Thursday. “We’re just thankful that if he was going to die anyway he died in the woods, because the woods were like his sanctuary.”
“He was a good friend and a great employee,” said Doug Ford, vice president of sales and purchasing at Curtis Lumber in Ballston Spa, where Wanmer was a long-time lumber salesman, working directly with construction contractors and often visiting job sites. “He worked his tail off for his customers. He lived life to the fullest.”
Wanmer’s death has been hard on Curtis employees, Ford said, since he was well-liked and many of them saw him last Friday before he left for the weekend, fully expecting to see him again on Monday. Counseling is being made available to employees, many of whom are planning to attend his funeral virtually, through an online connection.
Wanmer’s body was found Saturday in a remote state forest near the Fulton-Hamilton county line, after a daylong search.
Last Friday night, state Department of Environmental Conservation forest rangers began a search after someone at the hunting camp reported him missing. The rangers found tracks and personal items, but Wanmer was not located until Saturday afternoon, his body found in a swampy part of the Shaker Mountain Wild Forest in the town of Bleecker.
Because the death was unattended, a state police investigation was begun. The investigation remains open, but a Troop G spokeswoman on Thursday said the preliminary finding is that the death was non-criminal in nature and did not involve a firearm. Family members said they wanted to keep the circumstances private, though the death appears to have been from natural causes.
Wanmer grew up in Glenville and attended Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School, where he was known as an “amazing athlete and the class clown,” according to his obituary. In his early 20s he survived a battle with acute myeloid leukemia.
Morgan Wanmer, 22, recalled going four-wheeling in the Adirondacks with her father when she was growing up, and how much fun he was to be around.
“I played sports growing up and he was always my coach,” she said. “He was a funny guy, all my friends loved him because he was always telling jokes. He was the funny dad that everyone wants to be around.”
Wanmer is survived by his parents, David E. and Beverly Wanmer; his wife, Leslie Wright Wanmer, and Morgan Wanmer, his only child. He also had two step-grandchildren.
Calling hours were Thursday. A funeral service at the Glenville Funeral Home will take place at 10 a.m. Friday, with COVID-19 guidelines. Burial will follow at St. Anthony’s Cemetery on Glenridge Road.
A celebration of his life will be planned for summer 2021, according to his obituary.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions in David’s name be made to Protect the Adirondacks Inc., PO Box 48, North Creek, NY 12853.
“He loved the Adirondacks and I think he would support anything we can do to help preserve them,” Morgan Wanmer said.