Robert Alexander McDade
Robert Alexander McDade, who served in the U.S. Army during three wars and later served the Sag Harbor community in several public roles, died October 14. He was 87 years old. His death followed a long battle with cancer.
Colonel McDade was one of relatively few officers to be in the infantry for three wars — the South Pacific in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam. He was wounded many times. Besides his combat assignments, he held important military posts in Washington, D.C., New York City, Germany and Panama.
Retiring from the U.S. Army in 1975, he and his wife moved to Sag Harbor. He was elected to the Village Board of Trustees in the 1980s. A voracious reader, he later became a member of the board of the John Jermain Memorial Library.
He and his wife, the painter Elinor Van Ingen, established and managed the Goat Alley Gallery for 23 years. With his help the gallery became well known for its annual “725 Show” of work created by artists living in the 725 telephone exchange.
He was an excellent storyteller with a wry wit, but declined on several occasions to write his memoirs. He liked to cook and to entertain. For several years he and his wife held White Elephant parties at which guests exchanged unwanted possessions. At their Christmas parties he delighted in giving inexpensive gifts to everyone, and at the annual Easter party, where guests competed to paint the most original or beautiful egg, he was a judge. He was a member of the Wednesday Lunch Club, which was attended by writers, editors and business executives.
He is survived by his wife, many cousins and many friends. A gathering to celebrate his life will be held at the Goat Alley Gallery at 200 Division Street, Sag Harbor, on Saturday, November 7, at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers or anything else, donations may be sent to East End Hospice, PO Box 1048, Westhampton Beach, NY 11978.