Deputy who ran sheriff's sales aided homeowners
By Kate Wilcox and Debra Erdley
Published: Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Sgt. Richard Fersch, a longtime Allegheny County sheriff's deputy who oversaw sheriff's sales, is remembered as a popular and dedicated worker.
Richard F. Fersch of Oakland died on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. He collapsed from an apparent heart attack on a bus on his way to work. He was 64.
A sheriff's deputy for 41 years, Sgt. Fersch had been in charge of sheriff's sales since 2004.
While his job title put him charge of the sales, Sheriff William Mullen said Sgt. Fersch took it upon himself to help people save their homes from sheriff's sale.
“The perfect example was four years ago. There was a woman who had become a little senile and was losing her home in an affluent sector of Allegheny County. Her son was a doctor in San Francisco, and he (Sgt. Fersch) tracked down her son, contacted him, and she was able to stay in her home. He's done that multiple times,” Mullen said.
“And he was known to help young lawyers who filed writs wrong. He'd help them get it right rather than make them refile,” Mullen added.
The sheriff said Sgt. Fersch always arrived at the office around 5:30 a.m., even though his shift didn't start until 7 a.m. But he never put in for overtime.
“He'd have the paperwork ready and be out in front of things. He was very knowledgeable. He's been conducting sheriff's sales since 2004 and has not missed one or had one overturned,” Mullen said.
Mullen said his co-workers are mourning the popular sergeant.
“He was a decent guy and a great public servant. He certainly was a cornerstone of this office and a go-to guy for a lot of people,” Mullen said.
Sgt. Fersch helped to mentor new colleagues, the sheriff said.
“He had a sense of humor and ... he was always trying to help people,” he said.
Mullen said Sgt. Fersch loved his family and always talked about his wife and children.
“He did an excellent job of raising his family,” he said. “That was his main source of pride.”
Sgt. Fersch is survived by his wife of 43 years, Valerie; children Dawn Burns, Brenda Renner, Richard J. Fersch and Jill Brose; and four grandchildren.
Visitation will be held from noon to 8 p.m. Friday in Slater II Funderal Service, 1650 Greentree Road, Scott Township. Mass of Christian Burial will be 9:30 a.m. Saturday in St. Regis Church, 3235 Parkview Ave., Oakland. Interment will be in Queen of Heaven Cemetery.
Kate Wilcox and Debra Erdley are staff writers for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Kovacevic: Got proof on Tomlin? Let’s hear it
- Ex-Penguins winger Kennedy ‘emotional’ about return
- Ex-Steeler WR Wallace: It was a ‘challenge’ for Haley to use me
- 3 accomplices to plead guilty to murder, torture of Mt. Pleasant woman
- Sandy Hook 911 calls fuel sensitivity debate
- Schmotzer resigns high-paid administrative job with Baldwin-Whitehall
- Allegheny Township man accused of gashing girlfriend’s face with scissors
- Film about former Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis in prestigious festival
- Pirates’ Snider talks about surgery, rebuilding swing
- Afterschool Buddy shares message in Duquesne
- Penguins notebook: Sill thrives on penalty kill