Date of Birth July 31, 1930
Date Deceased February 18, 2022
Hometown Penn Yan
Home State N.Y.
Service Date March 12, 2022
Service Time 4:00 P.M.
Service Location Bishop & DeSanto Funeral Home, Hammondsport
Interment Location Bitely Cemetery, Branchport, N.Y.

Arthur Hugo Wilder

PENN YAN – Arthur “Art” Wilder, 43 Keuka Shores Lane Penn Yan, NY 14527, entered his final rest on Friday, February 18th, with family by his side. Art was born July 31, 1930, in Englewood, NJ to Hugo and Mary Botsford Wilder, and is survived by Kay Fye Bender Wilder, his wife of 48 years. Also surviving are children Sheryl (Bill) Campbell of San Diego, CA; Mary (Brett) Corwin of Ft. Meyers, FL; Steven Bender of Painted Post, NY; grandchildren Andrew (Jacqueline) Campbell of San Diego, CA; Michael Campbell of Oakland, CA; Ashley White of Ft. Meyers, FL; Emily White of Cortland, NY; Cameron (Victoria) Bender of Victor, NY; Cara Bender of Quincy, MA; and 3 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, John Wilder of Branchport, NY, as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins. Art was predeceased by son, Robert Wilder in 2013, and his first wife Barbara Snyder Wilder in 1971.

Art graduated from Mt. Lebanon High School in Pittsburgh, PA in 1948. He then went on to receive his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University in 1952, where he was coxswain of the rowing team and a member of the Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity. Following college, Art served in the United States Air Force from 1952 to 1956, stationed in Colorado and Maine. After his military service Art spent his working career with the Corning Glass Works where he was employed until his retirement in 1987. He then moved to Keuka Lake and formed Art Wilder Construction, building houses in the local area.

In 1992, Art became the head of the restoration shop of the Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, NY, and began his next chapter as the driving force behind numerous aircraft projects. Restorations included the construction and successful flights of the A-1, Model E, and America, among others. His latest project was the rebuild of a P-40N Warhawk. Art also attended many airshows and during his time in the Air Force and at the Curtiss had flights in the B-29, B-36, B-17, B-24 and B-51. Art was also a past-president of the OX-5 Club, Curtiss Wing.

Art was the longest living member of the Keuka Yacht Club and skippered an E-Scow in every decade from the 1930’s to the 2020’s. He was also an avid iceboater and spent many hours constructing Renegade and DN iceboats.

Art and Kay spent many winters in Marsh Harbor, Abaco, Bahamas, where they enjoyed countless visits from friends and family. After a full day of deep-sea fishing, they would often radio ahead to invite friends to meet them at Crosswinds for a fresh fish feast.

Calling hours for Art will be held at Bishop & DeSanto (formerly LaMarche) Funeral Home, 35 Main Street, Hammondsport, NY, on Saturday, March 12th, from 2 to 4pm, followed by a brief service after which friends and family are invited for a reception at the Curtiss Museum. In lieu of flowers, donations in Art’s name may be made to St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 187 W Lake Road, Branchport, NY 14418, the Keuka Yacht Club, PO Box 334, Bath, NY 14810 or the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, 8419 NY 54, Hammondsport, NY 14840.

The Bishop & DeSanto (formerly LaMarche) Funeral Home, 35 Main Street, Hammondsport, is honored to assist Art’s family with the arrangements.

To leave your own personal remembrance or condolence you may click on the link below or visit the Facebook page of Bishop-Johnson & DeSanto Funeral Home.

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3 Responses

  1. Our condolences to Kay and the rest of the family. Art was a good neighbor to us on Hickok Road, a good friend of our parents, a tremendous asset to the Curtiss museum and a great guy. We all enjoyed his company.

    Dave, Jim and Carl Turissini

  2. I always admired and respected Art for his many accomplishments and contributions to the sailing and aviation community in Penn Yan.

    One day a couple years ago I was telling him how much I wanted to get a ride on a seaplane. Since he knew everyone in the flying arena I knew he was the right person to make it happen for me. Sure enough within a few weeks he had me lined up for my first seaplane ride. There were three of us in the plane. Art and the pilot were in the front seat and I was in the back. We had a fabulous flight over the lake and across the bluff and we were beginning our descent when I blurted out that this was the exciting part. Art calmly turned around and told me that we do not want and exciting landing but rather an ordinary uneventful landing.

    Art was always there when something needed to be done and he got it done with amazing expertise and skill. I had always noticed that the Keuka Yacht Club did not have a trophy case and that there were so many beautiful and historic trophies being left out on open shelves. I mentioned this to Art and within a few short weeks he had a plan to build a trophy case at the Curtis and transport it to KYC.
    I am greatly saddened by the passing of this great man. There are not too many like Art Wilder. I will miss him.

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