Home News Obituaries Archie C. Thames Passes At 87

Archie C. Thames Passes At 87


Archie C. Thames passed away peacefully on Tuesday morning, August 13, 2019, after three years of failing health. He was born on May 14, 1932 in Pittsburgh, PA, the youngest of four children of Benjamin and Annie (Eden) Thames. He is survived by Katherine (Kate) Griffin, his partner of 36 years, his sons, Eric Thames, and Allen Thames and wife, Karen (Gombas) Thames, and stepson David Geurtsen and wife, Melanie (Parker) Geurtsen. He has five grandchildren, with whom he cherished spending his time while they were growing up, AJ, Rachel, and Ryan Thames, and step-grand children, Benner and Ethan Geurtsen, as well as two great grandchildren, Robbie and Sofia Thames.

After serving in the U.S. Army during the end of the Korean War, he returned to the Pittsburgh area, graduating from Slippery Rock College in Slippery Rock, PA, with a degree in science. During a lengthy career as a school teacher, Archie’s first job was as a science teacher in Burgettstown, PA. In pursuit of better teaching opportunities, he and his family eventually made their way to central New York, where Archie taught his favorite science, chemistry, at North Syracuse High School, and then for many years at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. During his teaching career he also pursued graduate studies at Clarkson and Brown Universities. He retired from teaching in 1989.

During his mid-life years in New York, Archie added to his interest in tennis a passion for skiing and Hobie Cat sailing and racing. A couple of years before retiring from teaching, he took on a new challenge, the purchase and restoration of an early 1800’s home in Sackets Harbor, NY, where 10 years later, he and Kate opened the Jacob Brewster House Bed and Breakfast, now in its 23rd year of operation. Archie enjoyed hosting guests at the B & B, and lived by his slogan: “If I leave the dining room and they aren’t laughing, I haven’t done my job!”

Archie loved traveling, entertainment, culture, reading and the company of friends of many varieties. He enjoyed opera, live theater, and music of many kinds. He and Kate made ski trips to Austria, British Columbia, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and California, as well as most of the eastern states, skiing until his early 80’s. He also made journeys to Ireland and Peru during his retirement. He continued sailing his Hobie Cat into his early 80’s as well, touching many of the salt and fresh waters of the eastern U.S., and teaching his beloved hobby to his children, grandchildren, and many friends and acquaintances.

Archie loved the company of people but was comfortable in his many solitary pursuits. He had both a wit and spirit for life that he readily shared with all he met, and he carried an encyclopedia of stories and songs in his head. He is at peace, but he will be missed.