SALAMANCA, N.Y. - Dean F. Lefford, 74, of Fair Oak Street, Salamanca, N.Y., passed away at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, in the Heritage Village Rehab Center in Gerry, N.Y., after a short illness and missing his birthday by one day.
He was born on Feb. 13, 1938, in Portville, N.Y., the son of the late Francis and Lenora Washington Lefford.
Dean was a 1956 graduate of Falconer Central School with many achievements and known to many as a talented wrestler. He entered the U.S. Navy with his longtime friend, Bruce Taylor, serving his country proudly from 1956 to 1959. He received a hardship discharge when his father Francis died, and his help was needed in running their family dairy farm.
Dean was mechanically inclined, and worked for calculator companies, Smith Corona and Marchant prior to working for IBM in Buffalo, where he was a customer service engineer, and following retirement, returned to playing farmer on his small Napoli farm, raising beef cattle, putzing around with whatever caught his eye and enjoying it all with family and friends. Dean truly enjoyed the past 11 years in Cape Coral, Fla., where he spent his winters.
Dean loved everyone and doing whatever presented itself, no one could make pizza, spaghetti and meatballs or baked beans the way he could. He was a member of Elkdale Country Club and many veterans clubs and service organizations.
He is survived by his wife of 50-plus years, Twilla D. Knuth Lefford: sons: Brett Lefford and wife, Judy of Bucktooth Run in Little Valley, N.Y., and Brad Lefford and wife, Patty of Jamestown; four grandchildren: Adam, Morgan, Matthew and Sarah; his beloved great-grandson, Jamison (son of Adam and Samantha Lefford); and two brothers: Gary Lefford and wife, Barb of Falconer, and Arlen Lefford of Arizona.
At Dean's request visitation will not be observed. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date with a time and place to be announced. Memorials may be sent to a charity of choice.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the VanRensselaer & Son Funeral Home, 14 Church St., Randolph, NY 14772.
To leave a condolence for the family log on to www.vanrensselaerandsonfuneralhome.com.