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Rick Fesko
Richard G. Fesko                                   1952-2011

Richard G Fesko, 59, died suddenly after a farming accident May 20th. He was born on March 25, 1952, in Syracuse, NY.

Rick was a 1970 graduate of Skaneateles High School and graduated from Cornell University in 1974. He was a lifetime farmer, owner of Fesko Farms, Inc. and Fesko Dairy, LLC. 

As a farmer, his love for the land can been seen all thru out Spafford and his love for his community can be seen from his service. 

Rick was a past fireman for Spafford Fire Department and served on many boards. He was currently a councilman for the Spafford Town Board. 

He was predeceased by his mother Marion Reals Fesko and grandson Cristian E. Fesko. 

He is survived by his wife of 36 years Chris, his three children Ben, Todd and Kimberly Brayman, his father George Fesko, brother Tim, sister Nancy Putnam, and four grandchildren with another on the way. 

Rick was an amazing husband, father, grandfather and friend. 

A Memorial service was held May 25th at Borodino Methodist Church. Memorial donations can be made to the Spafford Fire House, and the Borodino United Methodist Church in Rick's name.

What Happened?

Many of you may be wondering what happened? How could this have happened? And how are you doing?

So that we don’t have to tell the story a million times, and so we don’t miss an opportunity to share the story, we have typed this up to help.

So, what happened? On May 20th we lost Richard Fesko to methane poisoning. He had been pumping manure and transferring manure on two separate pits. One is an indoor underground pit in the barn and the other an outside pit. 

It was noticed that Rick was missing around 3:15 PM and he had been last seen at 2:45. It was not strange for Rick to be missing and off doing things by himself. What was strange is he had left both pits agitating and transferring without his supervision. He never left them unattended. 

The employees and his son-in-law looked in the pits, and when they did not see him, they proceeded to look around the farm. After an hour his daughter had the employees do a slow agitation on the enclosed pit and his body surfaced to one of the holes used to scrape manure in. 

It took two employees and his son-in-law to pull his body out. It was clear he had been dead for some time; he was cold and manure laden. His wife Chris was on the farm helping look for him and was there moments after his body was recovered.

How did this happen? It was hard to believe that this could have happened. Rick was such a careful man and had always lectured the employees about being careful around the pits. 

He was overcome from the methane that came out of the underground pit. From what they can gather he had kneeled down to take a floating 2x4 out and was overcome by the gas and fell in. Rick sustained a cut to his head where he hit the agitator when he fell. 

Methane is odorless, heavy and ironically your body prefers it to oxygen. It is simple chemistry; it is easier for your cells to bond with the methane than it is with the oxygen. Even when it is starving and dying from lack of oxygen, it will still choose methane.

How are we doing? Amazingly we are doing well. It is hard at times. Actually most of the time, but we manage thru. 

The farm had estate planning well in place thanks to Rick’s particulars for planning for the unexpected. It is a long road ahead but thanks to the support of family, friends, and especially the farming community we will come thru this. 

There is a huge feeling of responsibility to carry on his legacy. Rick was a great man and he was loved and respected by many.

The family and employees of Rick Fesko thank you for the support and caring that everyone has shown. You can pay honor to him by being a little extra careful when you are working around your farms.

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