The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

January 31, 2014

Community rallies for family after father's death

By Joe Mahoney Staff Writer
The Daily Star

---- — Donations have begun to trickle in to two funds set up to assist the family of Westford farmer Daniel Banks, a father of five young children who was killed in a sudden mishap while working in bone-chilling weather.

The second fund was set up by Barbara Hosier of Oneonta, who said Mae Banks, the farmer’s widow, is struggling to keep the farm going while tending to the children grieving over the Monday night death of their 40-year-old father.

“Keeping busy helps her keep her mind off this terrible tragedy,” said Hosier, whose daughter and son-in-law own the farmland rented by Banks. He was killed in a machinery mishap while making bedding for his cows with a corn chopper.

Hosier said checks for the family could be made payable to the Benefit Fund for the Farm Family of Daniel Banks and mailed to 1670 Southside Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820. The funds collected will be deposited into an account set up at the Delhi branch of Delaware National Bank, she said.

Contributions for the Banks family are also being collected by the Westford Fire Department. Deputy Chief Kevin Ritton, who also serves as Otsego County’s emergency services director, said all the money collected will be turned over to Mae Banks.

Those wishing to send donations can do so by sending the contributions to the Westford Fire Department, Post Office Box 24, Westford, NY 13499.

“Something like this always hits close to home in a small town,” said Ritton.

He said several Westford volunteer firefighters were acquainted with Daniel Banks and some volunteers had worked at the farm in years past.

“There has been an overwhelming response to what we want to do for this family,” said Ritton.

A memorial service for Banks will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Westford Memorial Church.

Calling hours are from 6 to 8 p.m. this evening at Heller Funeral Home, 25 Arch St., Schenevus.