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The Telegram
  • Dreizler brought idea for Ilion parade

  • When the Doo Dah Parade steps off in July, some local residents may remember a man who helped get it all started.

    Robert Dreizler, 87, died April 6 in Sedona, Ariz.

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  • When the Doo Dah Parade steps off in July, some local residents may remember a man who helped get it all started.
    Robert Dreizler, 87, died April 6 in Sedona, Ariz.
    A moment of silence was observed for Dreizler, a former village trustee, during last week’s meeting of the Ilion village board.
    Ilion Mayor John Stephens remembers Dreizler.
    “He lived down here at the bottom of Barringer and Main Street in the old Sheppard mansion,” he recalled. “He was very instrumental in starting Ilion Days and the Doo Dah Parade.”
    Stephens said Dreizler and his wife, Ann, saw a Doo Dah parade when they lived in California. When they retired in 1985 and moved to Ilion, “they got the idea why not try it here?”
    The Doo Dah Parade in Pasadena, Calif., was started as an irreverent alternative to the traditional and formal Rose Parade, which is also held in Pasadena.
    This summer’s Ilion Days will mark the parade’s 27th year in the village.
    “He served as a village trustee and was very active in his community,” said Stephens. “He was very community oriented. He didn’t ever not want to speak to someone. He was involved in a lot of different things,” he added and emphasized, “He was involved.”
    Former Ilion Mayor Stephen Canipe appointed Dreizler to fill his seat on the village board after Canipe was elected mayor.
    “He was extremely fair,” Canipe said, adding, “He was fair-minded about the way he approached things. He was very compassionate and very committed whether it was Ilion Days or a difficult decision on the village board. I think that was contagious. It rubbed off on people.”
    He said Dreizler was extremely generous as well and often gave breaks on the price at the bed and breakfast to people because they were friends or relatives of someone he knew. “He say, ‘Because you’re my friend, I’ll give him a break,’ and he did,” said Canipe. “But I don’t think he ever met anyone who was not his friend. I think he very seldom charged full price at his bed and breakfast. Everybody was somebody’s friend. He was caring, compassionate and committed and he probably sacrificed lot in own personal life.”
    Canipe added Dreizler’s death was “a great loss to whatever community he was a part of.”
    After serving as an Ilion village trustee, Dreizler was appointed to the Ilion Housing Authority, according to village records.
    “He was active,” recalled Brad Haines, an Ilion resident. For a couple of years, he said, Dreizler helped organize games for local youngsters to help promote Herkimer County Habitat for Humanity. The games included such contests as how fast a contestant could drive a nail or saw a board, Haines recalled. “It was to promote Habitat,” said Haines. “He was very helpful.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Dreizler was born and grew up in Frankfort, graduating from Frankfort High School in 1943. He joined the Navy during World War II and served for four years before finishing his education at the University of Kansas. He then lived and worked in Pennsylvania, Indiana and California. In 1970, he married Ann Carrasco.
    After their retirement in 1985, the Dreizlers moved to Ilion and purchased the Sheppard mansion at the corner of Main Street and Barringer Road. They restored the mansion and operated it as a bed and breakfast called Chesham Place.
    In 2001, the couple moved to Sedona, Ariz., and had recently moved to Sedona Winds in Oak Creek, Ariz.
    In the meantime, Dreizler’s influence in Ilion continues. Ilion Days 2013 is scheduled for July 13 to 21 and the theme for this year’s Doo Dah Parade, according to the event’s website, is The Magic of Ilion.

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