Bernard Burris "Toby" Bessey, 91, of 4905 Maple Grove Rd., Friendhip, passed away Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at Olean General Hospital after a lengthy illness. Born September 26, 1926 in the Town of Wirt, he was the son of Sidney and Lillian Stoneham Bessey. On July 3, 1949 in Wellsville, he married the former Jean Ellen Gavitt, who survives.
Toby had resided all of his life in the Richburg- Friendship areas. He attended the Richburg Rural District School and had worked on the family farm in Inavale for most of his life. He worked in the oil fields in Bolivar for several years and later for Acme Electric Corp. in Cuba as a sheet metal press operator for 42 ˝ years retiring in 1990.
He was an avid hunter, enjoyed fishing, gardening, traveling and camping. He owned his own farm and even though he worked at the Acme, he planted a garden and raised his own pigs and cows. He will be remembered for his smile and laughter as he told the many stories about his youth and hunting experiences.
Toby was a member of the Friendship First United Methodist Church, member of the Friendship Eastern Star, the Friendship Rod and Gun Club, the Friendship Masons, the Portville Court # 19 Order of the Amaranth and the Friendship Rotary Club.
Surviving besides his wife Jean of many years are two sons, David A. (Keiko) Bessey of Newport News, VA and Paul E. (Phyllis) Bessey of Friendship; a daughter, Roxanne K. Burdick of Friendship; seven grandchildren, Clinton Burdick, Vicky Bessey, David Bessey Jr., Teresa Bailey, Benjamin Burdick, Sarah Burdick and Amber Ramsey; ten great grandchildren, Stephanie Mallory, Thomas Burdick, Gary Burdick, Joe Burdick, Robbie Burdick, Megan Bailey, Dylan Burdick, Dawson Bailey, Dustin Bailey, Lydia Bessey-Tolley, and Emery Bessey-Tolley; and several nieces and nephews.
Toby was predeceased by his parents; a son, Bernard "Dean" Bessey; a son in law, Gary Burdick; two grandsons, Abraham Burdick and Noah Burdick; five brothers, Llewellyn, Milford, James, Howard (Missing in WW2) and Harold; and two sisters, Bernice Osgood and Lorretta Hamilton.
Friends may call at the Treusdell Funeral Home, Friendship, 2-4 and 7-9 on Tuesday February 13, 2018. Funeral services will be held Wednesday February 14, 2018 at the Friendship First United Methodist Church at 2:00 pm. The Rev. Clara Wilder, Pastor will officiate and burial will be in Dimmick Cemetery, Town of Wirt. Memorials may be made to the Friendship First United Methodist Church or the Friendship Rod and Gun Club.
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