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Bicycle Accident Kills Elderly Man Recently Reunited With Sister

July 11, 1985

CONSTANTIA, N.Y. (AP) _ Less than a year after a familiar piano tune reunited Albert Hyde with a sister he had not seen in 62 years, the 83-year-old man was struck and killed by a car while riding his bicycle home.

Hyde’s death devastated Mary McKnight, who was brought together with her brother after he recognized a tune she played on a piano at a senior citizens center. She had played for him in 1922 when she was 13 and he called her ″Pumpkinseed.″

The grief-stricken woman collapsed Monday and missed the funeral the next day. On Thursday she still could not bring herself to discuss her brother’s death.

″We just get to meet him a little less than a year. I think God give me him back and took him away from me,″ said Myrtle Nesbitt, another of Hyde’s sisters, who herself had not seen her brother since 1948.

Hyde was struck by a car Saturday near Constantia, a small village in Oswego County about 15 miles northeast of Syracuse. He was pronounced dead about 21/2 hours later.

Hyde had lived alone in a secluded cabin without running water since his wife’s death in 1976. He always wore a jacket and tie as he rode his bicycle several miles a day to fetch water and supplies.

Hyde said last year he thought he was alone in the world until he heard the strains of Mary McKnight’s piano playing at a senior citizens’ center in Central Square in October.

Mrs. McKnight, of Rochester, had been visiting her sister, Mrs. Nesbitt, who lives in Central Square, a few miles from Constantia. Also surviving Hyde are sisters in Madrid, N.Y., and Richmond, Va. The family had broken up when the parents were divorced in the 1920s.

About 100 people attended Hyde’s funeral Tuesday, including friends from the barber shop and restaurant in Constantia where he made daily rounds.

Ruth Lay, who gave Hyde free use of the secluded cabin, said she could not understand how he was killed. ″He always kept clear of traffic,″ she said.

″I think God set us together so he’d know he had a family,″ Mrs. Nesbitt said Thursday of her brother. ″I feel very bad over it. ... It’s a funny world.″

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