Ernest Norman Hesford 88 years old of Pulaski, NY passed peacefully surrounded by family on Saturday, September 12th, 2020. He was born in Hackensack, NJ on April 21, 1932 to Ernest B. Hesford and Rita (Schroeder) of North Arlington, NJ.
Upon graduating high school, Ernie joined the USAF as an airplane mechanic during the Korean Conflict, serving in the United States, England and Korea. After his military service, Ernie worked at Beech Aircraft and then as a chauffeur before moving his wife and three girls to upstate New York in 1968 to pursue his dream of owning a small hobby farm.
After a short stint working for a large dairy farm in Adams Center, he bought a piece of property on Ouderkirk Road near Sandy Pond where he started his first farm. Ernie and his family eventually settled on a Snyder Road property in Sandy Creek, where his determination and adventurous spirit revived an old dilapidated farmhouse into a cozy home. As a self-taught farmer, he raised various animals in addition to cultivating a wide variety of crops through organic gardening and sustainable land use practices. During this time Ernie also worked for the Fulton Boilerworks in Pulaski, NY and later became a member of the Oswego Boilermakers Union.
Once retired, Ernie continued his dedication to homesteading, whose projects included planting Christmas trees, building trout ponds and feeding the neighboring wildlife. He enjoyed sharing his passions with family, which included fishing with his grandsons, supplying garlic and dill for pickles and pints of blueberries for pies. Known as being quite the character, he even built a functional outhouse when he hosted a family reunion for his New Jersey “city cousins” who were curious about Ernie’s country lifestyle.
Ernie is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Mary Ann (Danby) Hesford of Wichita, KS, and three daughters: Sabrina Hesford and Jim Waterman of Pennellville, NY; Anna Hesford and Joe Hughes, Lacona, NY and Margaret (Hesford) and Tim Blodgett, Orwell, NY; six grandchildren: Ryan, Shane and Dustin Blodgett, Felix Bendzunas and Joseph, and Sam French; two great-grandchildren Dylan and Hunter Blodgett; one brother Daniel Hesford and one sister Denise Bailey; he is predeceased by his brother David Hesford.
Calling hours will be held Friday, September 18 from 2:00 to 3:30 pm with a service to follow at the Summerville Funeral Home in Sandy Creek NY. Masks and social distancing are required. Please share condolences at www.summervillefh.com
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