The Troy Historical Society recently reported the loss of one of their volunteers, Rick Burguess.
In a statement, the Troy Historical Society wrote, “Rick Burguess was a reliable, hardworking volunteer, and a special friend. No job was beneath Rick. He would roll up his sleeves and get to work, no matter how dirty the job.”
It began one day in April of 2017 when the Historical Society was in its early days of reconstructing the old VanDyne building, located at Fenner Avenue and Exchange Street, into a community education center.
Two members of the Historical Society were having lunch at Moose’s when Rick came in recognizing the two men. Rick, being friendly, approached them as he was looking for some social interaction.
“What’s up?” he asked.
That was when the short walk to the location of the Troy Historical Society
Community Center took place, and from then on Rick slipped into a dedicated volunteer mode, according to the society.
The first day of work was daunting as Rick was a recovering double-transplant survivor. In the beginning he was not up to vigorous physical labor, and could only afford 20 minutes of work, the society wrote. The tasks at hand were formidable, but that did not deter Rick. He came back every day until his strength improved from the initial 20 minutes to a six to eight hour workday.
Bill Brasington, secretary of THS related, “Sometimes he would outwork the younger men. He was excited to turn the building into a center for the community with many youth-based programs.”
Janet Ordway, president of the Historical Society had good memories of Rick, stating, “He pitched in wherever the need was. He loved the opportunity to give back to the community. Rick felt that helping out gave him a purpose every day. If you asked for help, he was there to lend a helping hand with a positive outlook.”
Joie Brasington enjoyed Rick’s presence, and stated, “Rick was a disheveled kind of guy and clearly was intelligent. He was social and thrived being with people and he certainly was a talker. He was community conscious perhaps as a second chance in life as a transplant survivor. It struck me hard to hear of his passing and to think COVID has taken another good person. Such a needless tragedy.”
In a statement from the Troy Historical Society, they stated, “The Troy Historical Society is honored to have had Rick as part of their past as a volunteer in his last days. He will surely be missed.”