Frederick A. Rexford, 87, died early Saturday at his home in Canton surrounded by his family. Visiting hours will be held from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the Lawrence Funeral Home in Canton with a brief memorial service officiated by Pastor Donna Doig immediately following.
Mr. Rexford was born on October 1st, 1924, the son of Lee A. Rexford and Georgia Phillips. He attended Canton High School and St. Lawrence University before entering the US Army in 1942. During active duty in France and Germany, Mr. Rexford was awarded the bronze star and purple heart and reached the rank of sergeant. After returning home in 1945, Mr. Rexford obtained his civil engineering degree with high honors from Clarkson College of Technology in 1948. He then went to work for the Putnam Hawley Construction Company for the next several years during which he learned the business by working his way up from timekeeper to general superintendant on numerous projects, most notably as general superintendant for the construction of several hydroelectric dams along the Raquette River.
In 1954, Mr. Rexford, together with two partners, started his own company, which eventually developed into a valuable fixture of the Northern New York commercial construction industry. Over the next 50 years, Fisher-Rexford Inc. was responsible for the construction and/or improvement of hundreds of significant buildings across the North Country. The company's client list included major educational and service institutions like St. Lawrence, Clarkson, and numerous hospitals, banks and school systems, as well as large industrial companies such as Kraft, Corning, Alcoa and General Motors.
Mr. Rexford was actively involved in local building industry associations and was named as the Northern New York Builders Exchanges Man of the Year in 1972. Mr. Rexford was also a life member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and served as an advisor to the civil engineering program at SUNY Canton. He also served for many years on the Board of Directors of the North Country Savings Bank.
Mr. Rexford is survived by Mary Brown Rexford, his devoted wife of 63 years; five children, Linda Khamsyvoravong of Barrington, RI, Merideth Buxton of Royal Oak, MD, Alan Rexford of Canton, Kevin Rexford of Big Flats, and Clisson Rexford of Chicago, IL; and 10 grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his eldest son, Brian Rexford of Anchorage, AK; and two brothers, Sidney Rexford of Colton and Phillip Rexford of Canton.
Mr. Rexford became an avid golfer after accepting a membership in the Potsdam Town & Country Club in partial payment for building their clubhouse which still stands today. As an active member of the Inlet Outing Club and the Weller Mountain Fish and Game Club, Mr. Rexford enjoyed hunting and fishing and was a skilled bow-maker and arrow fletcher.
Memorial contributions are suggested to Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley, 6805 US Hwy 11, Potsdam, NY 13676 or to Canton Rescue, 77 Riverside Drive, Canton, NY 13617.
Condolences may be sent to www.lawrencefuneralhome.org. The calling hours and memorial are on Monday, January 16th.