There’s no question, Richard Rugenstein left his mark on the Victor community. A Victor Schools employee for some 40 years, and a member of the Victor Fire Department for over 30, “Rugie” was a fixture all over town. So when he passed away two years ago at the age of 67, it bothered folks that there was no tangible evidence of his life and contribution left behind.

There’s no question, Richard Rugenstein left his mark on the Victor community. A Victor Schools employee for some 40 years, and a member of the Victor Fire Department for over 30, “Rugie” was a fixture all over town. So when he passed away two years ago at the age of 67, it bothered folks that there was no tangible evidence of his life and contribution left behind.


That spurred a handful of longtime residents, among them Al Pezzimenti, Nick Cretekos, Al and Nancy Ficarella, Mike Lucey, and Jon McConnell, to pool their resources and purchase a grave marker befitting their friend.


“He did his share for the community,” said Pezzimenti. “He had a wonderful personality — he loved to laugh.”


Receptacles were placed around town and residents and individual firefighters  pitched in, contributing a little over $700 toward the cause.


“When (Senator) Nozzolio got wind of it,” reported Pezzimenti, “he called me and said ‘I want to make a donation.’”


A little more than $100 was left over after the purchase of Mr. Rugenstein’s marker, according to Pezzimenti, who said that the remainder will be used to purchase Thanksgiving turkeys for deserving families in the Victor or Farmington communities.


“We were very thrilled with the nice community turnout,” said Pezzimenti. “This is what a small community is supposed to do.”