Longtime Utica-area Congressman Sherwood Boehlert dies at age 84

Local News

Served 24 Years In Congress

UTICA, NY (WSYR-TV) – Former Congressman Sherwood Boehlert has passed away at the age of 84.

Boehlert, a Republican, was a political moderate who was known for his work protecting the environment, most particularly his work to reduce smokestack emissions from the Midwest that contributed to acid rain in the Adirondacks.

Boehlert was a graduate of Utica College and was elected as the Oneida County Executive prior to his terms in Congress. He began his political career as the Chief of Staff to Republican Congressmen Alexander Pirnie and Donald Mitchell. When Rep. Mitchell retired from the House, Boehlert ran for the open seat. Over his 24 year career on Capitol Hill, his Congressional District was reconfigured several times, making Boehlert the representative for New York’s 25th, 23rd and 24th Districts.

Well regarded in Washington, Boehlert was the Chairman of the House Science Committee for six years. He was also on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

New York State Senator Joseph Griffo (R – Rome), who also held the office of Oneida County Executive, had this reaction to the passing of Rep. Boehlert:

“Today we mourn the loss of a remarkable individual. Sherry was a dedicated and accomplished public servant who had an extraordinary career and proudly served his community and constituents with honor and distinction. He will be greatly missed and remembered fondly. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Marianne, his children and his family and friends who are grieving this loss.” 

Current Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente (R-Rome) had this response:

“I’m am deeply saddened by the passing of my long-time friend Sherwood Boehlert. Sherry was the epitome of what an elected official should be: dedicated, hardworking, effective and always willing to reach a hand across the aisle. During his long and distinguished congressional career he fought hard for the people of Oneida County, always giving us a strong voice with an emphasis on issues of science, technology and the environment. I was privileged to have worked on his first campaign for Oneida County Executive in 1979 and I owe much of my own career to his guidance. Eleanor and I’s thoughts and prayers are with his wife Marianne and their entire family during this difficult time. I have ordered flags on all county buildings to be lowered to half-staff in his honor.”

Following his retirement from government, Rep. Boehlert lived with his wife Marianne in New Hartford. His passing came one week shy of his 85th birthday.

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