Russell W. Frerichs, who grew up on his family's Bergholz dairy farm and became an advocate for the small farmer, died Monday (Dec. 29, 1997) in Sisters Hospital, Buffalo, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 54.
A Niagara Falls native, Frerichs helped develop local markets for high-value crops from small farms, including strawberries, garlic, herbs and spices. He was a charter member of the Garlic Seed Foundation of New York State.
He and his wife, the former Diane M. Haseley, grew strawberries and garlic on a small farm on Saunders Settlement Road.
Frerichs was a 1960 graduate of Niagara-Wheatfield High School. He graduated in 1962 from Greer Technical Institute, Chicago, with an associates degree in heavy-equipment maintenance and operation. He was certified by the American Welder Society as a core welder.
He was specially trained for hazardous materials removal and worked on local and state cleanups.
Frerichs was Vietnam-era veteran of the Army Corps of Engineers.
He was a member of St. Peter's Lutheran Church in Wheatfield, and Local 463, International Union of Operating Engineers.
Survivors include his wife, the former Diane M. Haseley; three daughters, Kelli Kaminska of North Tonawanda, Kristen Schuey of Youngstown and Kim DeVantier; three sisters, VeNorma Ascari of Paterson, N.J., Claire Knowles of Wheatfield and Pauline Rule of Washougal, Wash.; and four grandchildren.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in St. Peter's Lutheran Church, 6167 Walmore Road, Wheatfield. Burial will be in the church cemetery.