July 13, 1955 — June 20, 2018
Richard A. Ferrino Jr. of Angola fought for about 18 months to attend the Aug. 25 wedding of his only daughter, Bethany.
When it looked as though that wasn't going to happen, the staff at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center brought the wedding to him.
Bethany, 22, married Austin Reese in the garden at Roswell Park on Sunday, June 17.
"It was one of the nicest weddings I've ever been to," said Mr. Ferrino's son, Rick III. "We had two hours to plan it. The people at Roswell were incredible. They brought us outside and we had the ceremony right there in the garden," where the couple's vows were heard by a family friend who is a judge in Fredonia.
Mr. Ferrino didn't dance with his daughter, which he wished to do, but he did hug her afterward and give his new son-in-law a firm fatherly handshake, his son said. He joined the family in applause after the couple was wed.
Three days later, Mr. Ferrino, 62, lost his battle with cancer in the hospital.
He was the son of Richard P. Sr. and Elenore (Hinca) Ferrino, and the brother of Randy, Robert and Debbie.
A graduate of Bishop Timon High School in South Buffalo, in 1988 he founded RAF Supply Inc. on Route 5 in Lackawanna. He served as the company's president until his death.
RAF Supply sold industrial supplies and power tools, and was on the cutting edge of online sales of power tools, starting in 1998 with a few hundred dollars worth of business. Today, the firm's internet business is about $3 million annually.
The company is one of the top distributors in the country of DeWalt, Makita, Stanley Bostitch and about a dozen other major brands, and is a wholesaler to dozens of other online retailers.
For about 20 years, Mr. Ferrino was known as "The Tool Man," operating one of the largest booths at the Erie County Fair and selling tools directly to the public. The company also organized tool auctions for charitable causes.
A few years ago, the business expanded to include a service center and retail location near Buffalo Niagara International Airport. The family plans to continue to operate the company with the help of Mr. Ferrino's three sons, Rick III, Mitchell and Nick.
Mr. Ferrino was an avid fisherman who participated for more than 25 years in the Can-Am fishing tournament in Dunkirk and was a longtime member of the Southtowns Walleye Association. He hunted the East Otto area for more than 45 years and was a member of the Blasdell Jaycees.
Survivors also include his wife, the former Maureen Mangan; two other sons, Mitchell and Nicholas; his mother, Eleanore; two brothers, Randal P. and Robert; a sister, Deborah Zembaty; and three grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday, June 25, in St. John Paul II Catholic Church, 2052 Lakeview Road, Lake View.