Eugene Francis Makl, a “driving force” and active member of the East Hampton Trails Preservation Society, said Richard Whalen, a co-vice president of the group, died on Aug. 9 at his apartment in New York City. Mr. Makl, who was 80, had been ill with cancer for four months.
Mr. Makl, who lived in East Hampton for 16 years until last year, served two terms as president of the trails society. As leader of the group’s trails maintenance crew, he was instrumental in completing the unopened sections here of the Paumanok Path, a 125-mile trail traversing Long Island from Rocky Point to Montauk.
According to Richard Lupoletti, a longtime Trails Preservation Society member who worked alongside him, Mr. Makl had the ability to motivate others to accomplish more in a day’s work than they believed could be done.
“He was a real go-getter, a real inspiration, and a real leader,” Mr. Lupoletti said. The trails crew, he said, worked five days a week for a year to get the Paumanok Path sections open in time for celebrations of East Hampton Town’s 350th anniversary — sometimes, only one bridge ahead of hikers taking the path. He also led many trail walks for the society over the years.
Mr. Makl was born in Southbury, Conn., on Feb. 9, 1933, to Paul Nicholas Makl and the former Caroline Grisgraber. He grew up there and eventually earned his master’s degree from the University of Connecticut.
Mr. Makl served with the Army during the Korean War and went on to a career with the I.T.T. corporation in New Jersey, where he was a manager. He lived in New Jersey for most of his adult life, but had a house in East Hampton from 1996 until 2012.
Mr. Makl is survived by his wife of nearly 32 years, Arlene Makl of New York City, and by four children, Glenn Makl, Janet Schiacchetano, Abby Dorn, and Julie Bannon, nine grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
There was no service for Mr. Makl.
Contributions have been suggested in his memory to the East Hampton Trails Preservation Society, P.O. Box 2144, Amagansett 11930.