LAKE GEORGE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Bill Dow has always been a champion for Lake George history. For more than 60 years, Bill kept a weather eye over the Queen of American Lakes and its village.

“After his stint in the Navy, he was trying to figure out where to go and what to do with himself. My grandfather said well why don’t you come home to Lake George and start to run [Lake George Steamboat Company]. He came here, he started running the boats, and he just fell in love with the lake, the people here. He was always a big history guy, so this place was swimming in history, no pun intended,” chuckles Luke Dow, Bill’s son. “He would always describe this place as Heaven on Earth. He said it’s the most beautiful place in the world.”

Luke, speaking exclusively with NEWS10 following his father’s passing, says Bill was always passionate about generosity to both the village and all its residents.

“He was true to his word, generous, kind. He treated everyone with respect. It didn’t matter who you were or what you did, if you treated him right, he would treat you right. Just such a fatherly or like grandfatherly figure to so many people,” Luke recounts to NEWS10’s Mikhaela Singleton.

When Bill Dow heard of a petition to dissolve the Village of Lake George and make it part of the town, he got to writing a letter to all the residents — something Luke says had also been a long-time habit of his dad’s.

“Everything, he would write a letter about everything. If I had a conversation with him, he’d write me a memo about what we talked about that day. We have filing cabinets so filled with letters and memos that we had to put supports underneath on the first floor of the building just to keep the whole floor from crashing down,” he says.

Even after he suffered a serious fall back in July, Bill put all his remaining strength into his pen, finishing his letter filled with both facts and a heartfelt plea to preserve the village.

“He sent it out to all 480 residents inside the village, and you could tell every time you read his letter, you could feel it — the heart and just how well thought out it was. It was 100 percent for my father, the turn out,” Luke says.

The dissolution failed, 269 against and only 59 for, ensuring the Village of Lake George is here to stay. Unfortunately, it was a result Bill never got the chance to see. He passed away early Tuesday morning, just hours before the vote, due to complications from his July fall.

“The time was drawing near, I leaned over to him, and I said dad your letter did it. You saved the town. You can rest now, you did it dad, and two minutes later he was gone. I kinda wish I had told him that earlier so he wouldn’t have had to suffer until that point,” Luke says through heavy emotion.

“I just said listen to everyone, he’s gone. He’s gone but he was holding out for this, so do him the honor and send him out with a win. I did not want to send him out with a lie,” he goes on to say.

Luke adds he’ll continue his dad’s passion if the possibility ever comes up again to dissolve or consolidate the village. He thanks everyone who voted and anyone who keeps alive the kindness and acceptance his dad showed to all.

“I’m going to keep on my dad‘s fight and crush it every time they come up just because this dissolution did not have the best interest of the village or the town at heart,” Luke says.

“It really meant a lot to him and it means a lot to us as well, so thank you,” he says to everyone who voted.