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Nature 14


Richard Fecura

December 20, 1972 ~ May 25, 2018 (age 45)

Richard Fecura, age 45, was surrounded by family and friends as he passed away Friday evening, May 25th, 2018, at Saratoga Hospital, after a short, tough battle with lung and brain cancer.

Born on December 20th, Rich always considered himself a Christmas baby – not because he loved Christmas so much, but because Christmas always interfered with his birthday! Being so close to the 25th, his birthday was often forgotten or combined with Christmas – one gift to cover his birthday and Christmas. Over the years, he learned to have a sense of humor about it. When asked when his birthday was, he would reply with the date, and a reminder that he accepts birthday and Christmas presents… but it did hit a nerve if he received a birthday present wrapped in Christmas paper!

As kids, Richie and I grew up spending most of our time outdoors. We built forts out of weeds; we ice skated through the swamp as we hopped from pond to pond; and we would build the best sled runs – complete with ice banks and jumps!

Richie was a fearless kid. At just ten years old, and with only one run down the beginner hill, he took to the top of Gore Mountain! As a natural-born skier, he continued to do runs the rest of the day until the lifts stopped! Our poor parents – they didn’t ski, so they would watch from the lodge and wait for him all day.

A few trips later he persuaded me to join him. Though I was nowhere near as good as he was, (he did black diamond trails) we did enjoy many beginner and intermediate trails together at most of the Adirondack and Green mountain resorts. In particular, Stratton in Vermont was his favorite.

Rich also loved the outdoors in summertime. Our family vacations were spent camping at Hearthstone in Lake George, and Fish Creek Ponds, near Saranac Lake. We would spend our days fishing, swimming, and water skiing. One time we got six of us up at once! Again, Rich was a natural at water-skiing, and a pretty good fisherman, too!

In the 1990s, Rich spent many summers with our cousin Tommy on Sacandaga Lake, and with our friends Herb and April on the north end of the lake. Our parents had a Sunline camping trailer, and they would run up after work and over the weekends. The family had some great times, and Rich had some funny stories. Our favorite story was when he decided to work on an electrical problem on his car in a wet bathing suit. When they turned the key, he was surprised…and fried! A little pain generated years of laughs!

Another one of Rich’s interests was travel. Over the years we had tons of road trips with our parents, and a family trip to Las Vegas and Tijuana, Mexico – where Uncle Steve gave him the nickname Slick. As adults we had some great trips to Montreal for the international fireworks competition, and to the Balearic Islands for some music and beach fun! Dad and Rich island-hopped Hawaii for two weeks, and their favorite trip together was to Spain and Italy.

Rich also travelled for work. As an IT Network Administrator for All Tel, he installed Networks across the country, and as far south as Argentina - where he acquired a love for the tango. Go figure: his favorite band was Metallica, yet he loved to dance tango!

In 2002 Rich was transferred to Jacksonville, Florida. To help him enjoy the outdoors, he bought a beautiful 28-foot boat with sleeping quarters. Immediately our Dad became a snow bird, and the two of them enjoyed countless fishing trips. One of our favorite trips together was down in the Florida Keys. We spent days bouncing around the Keys and having a blast! The fishing wasn't good, but the laughs and memories were priceless! Especially the time we got caught out in the shipping lane and we could not out-run two ships! They were so fast that Rich just cut his engine and waited for them to pass. We laughed all the way back to shore!

Most recently, we had some fun back-woods trips to Stillwater Reservoir. Everyone at the boat launch got a kick out of our “McGuyvered” catamaran! We took both of our canoes and temporarily connected them with 2 x 4s, wing nuts, and an electric motor at the rear. It gave us stability, and the ability to carry three of us and all of our gear. It was a couple of miles to our private, sandy site, but well worth the effort. Richie, Ralph and I had some great fishing and a load of laughs – especially when we were being rescued in high waves and wind and our canoe sunk as it was being towed! We saved everything but a towel and the worms, and we laughed all the way back to shore, again!

Rich also loved to restore old cars with our Dad. From engine to body work, he did it all! His first car was a 1981 Camaro. From that he moved on to a 1969 Cutlass Supreme (my favorite) and then to a 1948 Chevy Stylemaster – for which he won several trophies at local car shows. His most recent project – and our dad's favorite – was a 1970 bright-red convertible MG.

Richie was a good brother. Whether it was to fix my car, build me the fastest computer, or help me on countless construction projects, Richie was always there for me. So at the end, I made sure I was there for him, too. I moved myself and my office into his hospital room and we spent almost every minute of May together. Being limited in his mobility, we decided to watch things that made him happy. We watched our favorite childhood movies, like "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" and "The Princess Bride; we watched every episode of "Forged in Fire"; and we watched countless drag and Indy races - something he and Dad shared. 

At just 45 years, Rich’s life was too short. But, it was filled with fun, adventure, and a sister who loved him beyond comprehension. There is no doubt that he is greatly missed by all of his family and friends, and he will never be forgotten – especially on December 20th!

Per his wishes, Rich will be cremated and his ashes put to sea in the tropics. All family and friends are invited to celebrate his life at Sam’s Restaurant, Route 50, Burnt Hills, Sunday, June 3rd, from 4-6 pm. 

In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Rich to cover outstanding medical bills will be greatly appreciated and can be mailed to his sister, Pamela Bliss, 57 Appleton Road, Rexford, NY 12148. 


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