More detail on this person: Dick was born in Mooers, NY., the son of Dr. Homer J. and Mildred L. (Stevenson) Fero. At the age of 11, his parents moved the family to Houghton, NY. After graduating from Houghton Academy in 1954, he enrolled in Houghton College. In 1955, he decided to join the USAF. Upon returning from his tour of duty, Dick enrolled in Alfred University, where he was a member of the ROTC. He earned a BA degree in sociology, and was commissioned into the US Army. As a young man in Houghton, Dick raced stock cars at the various western NY tracks. In later years, he greatly enjoyed watching car racing, especially the Indy 500. In 1964, he married Annette "Anne" M. Densmore, the daughter of Dr. Alvin and Edith Mae (Davis) Densmore of Perry, NY. The following article was printed in 2015 in the Shelbyville, Indiana Newspaper, when he retired form politics. "Much should be said about Dick Fero's decades of service in Shelbyville, but long-time fellow Republican Rodney Meyerholtz captured the essence: "(Fero) was a dedicated and thoughtful city councilman that always put the interests of the citizens of Shelbyville first," he said, before adding, "Dick was, and still is, the premier ticket seller of all time." With his countless commitments in the community, Fero always had a non-profit event to promote and a mission to accomplish. His service in the military, which brought him to Shelbyville, eventually extended to the community as a whole. Since Fero and his wife, Anne, are moving to an Indianapolis retirement community over the next few days, the Addison Times spoke with community leaders about his local contributions. The New York state native served in the Air Force "for three years, seven months, and 21 days," where he worked as a crew chief for B-52 bombers before finishing college at Alfred University, Fero said. He then joined the Army ROTC, and was stationed in various places. He and Anne married in 1964 shortly before he headed to Vietnam. "I just needed someone to write to," he said with a smile. Their parents had attended Houghton College together. They now have two adult sons, Steven, who lives in Fishers, and John, in Broad Ripple. Fero served two one-year stints in Vietnam and then he and his family were transferred to Korea. The next stop, in 1974, was Shelbyville, Ind., where he was an advisor to the National Guard. They purchased a home in Beech Brook, but after retiring, Fero sent out resumes nationwide. The best offer, though, came close to home. Frank Learned, a former Army member himself, offered Fero a job in personnel at Major Hospital. "The day that Dick Fero and his wife decided that they would stay in Shelbyville after his retirement from the military was a great day for Shelbyville," local attorney and Republican J. Lee McNeely told Saturday Shelby in 2015 when Fero's final term in city council concluded. Fero remained at the hospital for nine years. He also worked at Shares, Inc. for 22 years and served a brief stint for the county as election deputy. As his career progressed, so did his involvement with local non-profit initiatives and boards. The long list of agencies that Fero has served and positions held include Chamber of Commerce president, SCUFFY board and drive chair, Boy Scout financial committee member, Shelby County Public Library board and Library Foundation, Rotary, American Legion, Aviation Board, Senior Services, and Recycling District board, to name a few. The local Republican Party soon recognized his contributions and asked him to pursue office. He started as a precinct committeeman and later became Shelby County Republican Party Chairman before serving three terms as First Ward Shelbyville Common Council representative. "I just always wanted to help everybody as much as I could," Fero said in an interview at The Bookmark coffee shop earlier this month. "I don't think I've ever been real smart and never been particularly successful, but I like to have my hand involved," Fero said. His friends and associates vouch for his strong leadership. "(Fero) served on many boards, where he gave his all to improve our community," former Shelby County Republican Party Chairman J.R. Showers said. He noted that Fero was known for recruiting quality candidates as party chair and working diligently to get them elected. "And he always worked hard on any party and other Shelbyville and Shelby County organizations in promoting events or selling tickets, and getting the word out." Fero recalls those political days fondly. "We've always been friends," Fero said of Showers. After 12 years in city council, Fero was defeated in 2015 by Democrat Joanne Bowen. Despite the loss, he and Mayor Tom DeBaun discussed his willingness to continue to serve the community. "Because of my respect for (Fero) and his character, I asked him to stay on both the Board of Aviation Commissioners and the Redevelopment Commission," DeBaun said. "During his tenure, the city has made great progress in a number of areas that required him to participate actively via both boards." That active leadership has come to a sudden slow-down in recent weeks, as Fero has stepped aside. Although he said he's at peace with the decision, local leaders hate to see him go. "I can respect his desire to move on to the next chapter of his life, however, I will miss him both professionally and personally," DeBaun said. Showers agreed. "(Fero) will be missed as a civic leader and a good friend to many." The above newspaper article was written by Kristiaan Rawlings. Dick is survived by his wife Anne (Densmore) Fero: two sons: Steven Fero and John (Ilyse) Fero of Indiana; a granddaughter, Ellen Fero (daughter of Steven); three sisters: Mrs. Nancy (Arne) Dahl, and Mrs. Deborah (Dr. Paul) Young of Houghton, NY, and Mrs. Virginia (Martin) French of Manassas, Va. and numerous nieces and nephews. He was a kind, and loving person who will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Burial information: Freedom Cemetery, Freedom, NY
This information was last updated 11/27/2020
Please send additions or corrections to: HQ@vhpa.org VHPA Headquarters
Return to the Helicopter Pilot DAT name list
Return to VHPA web site
Date posted on this site: 04/14/2021
Copyright © 1998 - 2020 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association