Weekly News, 1.30.24
On Friday, January 26, our family and friends gathered to celebrate the life of Uncle Dick, who passed away on January 18 at the age of 99. Since Bob and Sue purchased their Cecil farm in 1984, Uncle Dick was there to help in so many ways, and was much like a grandfather figure to Russ.
Richard (Dick) Rostron married Ruth Bedner at Zion Lutheran Church in 1952. Ruth was the daughter of Steve and Elizabeth Bedner, the second generation of farmers to live and work the Bedner farm property in Upper St. Clair. Steve and Elizabeth had four children who all worked on the farm—Arthur, George (Robert), Ruth, and Russell. Art and his wife moved to Florida in the 1950s to start Bedner’s farm in the Pompano Beach area, which continues to be run by their three sons and grandson. Robert lived and worked the Upper St. Clair farm his whole life, including the Bower Hill Road farm market. Ruth was a hard working farmer who tended to their land with husband Dick in Mercer and Washington. Russ (Bob’s father and Russ’ grandfather and namesake) worked the farm as well before sadly passing away at the young age of 46.
Uncle Dick and Aunt Ruth have two children, Dave and Nancy, who own and operate the farm market on Bower Hill Road. Uncle Dick was a paratrooper in the Army during WWII, when he was wounded by a sniper. He was a skilled brick layer, plasterer and farmer who was always working and lending a hand. He helped Bob and Suzi with plaster work in their farmhouse, laid block and stone when they rebuilt the springhouse, helped clean and upkeep the beginnings of the Cecil farms fields, and helped plant in the greenhouses. It amazed me that even though he had a lot of other things to take care of on their own farm, and helped his kids Dave and Nancy at the Upper St. Clair property, he still came out to Cecil to help us, too. I enjoyed my time planting in the greenhouses with him, listening to his stories from the past. And even when he was slowed down by the pains that came from working hard his whole life, he showed up to help with his packed lunch that had an abundance of garlic, (his secret to great health he would say). He would sit on a bench and we’d set him up with a stack of filled pot trays or hanging baskets to plant. He’d use his cane to slide his finished work in place on the plant benches.
We’re grateful for the life of Uncle Dick. He modeled what it means to be there for your family and to use your God-given talents for the good of others. He made many people smile with his kind demeanor, wonderful memory and great stories.