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RUSSELL W. FRERICHS, ADVOCATE FOR SMALL FARMER

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.

[N/Fischer].

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