A Voice from the Eastern Door

Warren Alan Potter

A Celebration Of Life for Warren Alan Potter, 61, of 997 County Route 34, Potsdam, will be held Sat. June 8, 2024 at 11 o'clock at the Potsdam United Methodist Church, 26 Main Street, Potsdam. Visitation with family will begin at 10:15. Burial will follow at Bayside Cemetery in Potsdam. A luncheon for friends and family at the church will follow the burial. Warren passed away unexpectedly at his home in Potsdam on January 21, 2024.

Warren "A" was born December 27, 1962 in Massena to Janet (McCleave) and Lowell Potter of Bombay. He was the first of 3 children, and grew up helping out on his father's small dairy farm. Never quite a "morning person," he left morning chores to brother Jim, and took care of the evening chores. As a child, he enjoyed playing sports, and each winter Warren and his brother and sister would skate and play hockey on a frozen pond on the farm. Warren was a Cub scout, and was active in music and Sunday school at the Bombay United Methodist Church, where his Aunt Norma Bergeron was the church organist.

Warren attended Salmon River Central School in Fort Covington (where his Aunt Norma was also the high school music teacher) and was a member of the chorus, band, and marching band, playing the flugelhorn. He participated in many All County and All State music festivals where he always made the top tier. He was also a member of the track and field team. During his junior year of high school, Warren was offered the chance to participate in the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid as a placard bearer, and was chosen to hold the "China" sign for the Chinese athletes, marching ahead of them at the opening and closing ceremonies.

After graduating from high school in 1981, Warren attended the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, studying Vocal Performance. He was involved in Collegiate Singers, Concert Choir, Crane Chorus, Opera Guild, and was on the Dorm Council. During his freshman year he began attending the Potsdam United Methodist Church, and joined the church choir under the direction of James Autenrith.

Warren got his feet wet in radio when he began working at the college radio station, WRPS, broadcasting Bears basketball and hockey games. He was involved in the excitement of the Bears 1986 NCAA Division III National Championship win. He also spent several summers in college working for radio stations in Gouverneur and Tupper Lake, as well as singing with the nationally known Greg Smith Singers.

Warren graduated from Crane in 1986 and started work at WPDM-WSNN radio in Potsdam as on-air talent. He began broadcasting college and high school games alongside Con Elliott. Warren would eventually become the host of the midday show on WSNN aptly named "Midday with Warren A." He would continue to cover sports with play by play and color commentary, and he covered college and high school games as well as many other sporting events including the Norwood Lake Regatta and the Van Dusen Track Meet.

In 1988, he met his future wife, Caroline Hamilton, when she began working at the radio station after moving up from the Hudson Valley where she had "dabbled" in radio. She would host the Drive Time program after Warren's Midday show. They were good for each other, and good to each other. Warren introduced her to the

Adirondacks, Canadiens and Clarkson hockey, Expos baseball, Crane, and SUNY Potsdam athletics, while Caroline was excited to show him the Borscht Belt, New York, West Point, Woodstock, and the Hudson River Valley that she dearly missed. She let him know right away of her father's love of history. Together they would go to battlefields and other historic places, as well as Beatles conventions, and concerts. In 1989, they began the first of many summer trips to Prince Edward Island, Canada where he proposed to her in 1990. They were married July 20, 1991 at the Potsdam United Methodist Church, and honeymooned on their beloved island.

Warren would leave radio in late 1995, working for Northwestern Mutual Life as well as substitute teaching. He held several merchandising jobs through the years as well, most recently as a 15 year Redbox representative. Still a member of the Potsdam United Methodist Church choir, as well as the men's singing group, Warren began filling in for then choir director Clive Henery, and took over the position in 2007.

In 2002, Warren returned to SUNY Potsdam to obtain his Masters degree, and received his teaching certification. He taught elementary and adaptive music through FEH BOCES. During the time when budget cuts severely affected music programs in schools, Warren was able to continue teaching by subbing in long term music positions at many area schools. He also assisted on nearly a dozen school musicals.

In 2011, Warren began teaching music at the St. Regis Mohawk School in the Salmon River Central School District. He had recently started talking about retiring after the '24 - '25 school year, and perhaps stepping back from other commitments, but Warren would never

have strayed far from the chance to call a high school or college game. He was a part of Section X sports for 37 years, and SUNY Athletics for 43 years, and he would have continued broadcasting games in retirement.

Warren was a lucky man in that his careers in music and radio were also his passions. After the Expos left Montreal, he became a Mets Fan through the urging of his wife. He loved listening to and watching sports. Warren was a prog rock fan, listening to groups such as Rush, Supertramp, Yes, Spock's Beard, and Kevin Gilbert. He composed music when the creative mood struck him, and loved dissecting Beatles music and other songs with his family. Warren enjoyed reading and had just started the latest Getty Lee book which he had received for Christmas. With son Julian, he enjoyed all things James Bond, Concours d'Elegance, and Formula 1, and was supportive of Julian's musical talent and songwriting skills. He and daughter Carrie Anne had attended many garden and home expositions when she was younger, and they still enjoyed watching HGTV together when possible. Warren loved traveling with his family, and they would continue traveling to their beloved Prince Edward Island many times as well as throughout the Canadian Maritimes. They also visited battlefields and historic sites, most recently Hildene and the Calvin Coolidge Historic site, both in Vermont where his daughter Carrie Anne would settle down. As life got busy and the kids grew up, the family traveled less, but Warren always enjoyed hearing about his daughter's travels including France and a summer study in Iceland. Warren enjoyed cooking, much to Caroline's chagrin as his cleanup skills were not up to her standards. He loved Flight Aware and meteorology. In fact, his family is quite sure that he is also a radio or television weatherman in his next life.

Warren was a dedicated husband and father. He lovingly cared for Caroline when she became seriously ill during their first year of marriage and in the years following when they struggled to have children. He helped coach many of his kids' youth sporting activities, and was a supportive son to his parents. His mother's 8 years with dementia weighed heavily on his heart. She died on February 27, 2024.

Warren is survived by his wife of 33 years, Caroline; daughter Carrie Anne of Montpelier, VT; son Julian, a senior at SUNY Canton; brother James (Amy) of Cortland; sister Jenifer (Shannon) Locklear of Antioch, IL; brother-in-law Paul (Barbara) Hamilton of Palmyra, NY; 10 nieces and nephews, 12 great grand nieces and nephews, and several uncles and cousins. He was predeceased by his father in 2009.

Contributions can be made in memory of Warren Potter to the Potsdam United Methodist Church or to the Salmon River Central School, where a scholarship will be created in his name.

The family would like to thank Canton Rescue, West Potsdam Fire and Rescue, and Brad and Marsha Clements.

 

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