Richard "Rich" Jerome passed away unexpectedly on August 17th, 2020 at the age of 71. Rich was born in Canandaigua to the late Ralph & Carol (Potter) Jerome on August 25th, 1948.
Rich was a life-long resident of Naples and a graduate of Naples Central School. He attended Cornell University and participated in ROTC. Finding a passion for farming, he returned to Naples to join his father on the family farm; he married the love of his life, Mary, and carried on his family's legacy by becoming the 7th generation farmer for Jerome's U-Pick. He loved connecting with customers, old and new, each Fall during grape season. Rich was active in the community as he loved to be involved. He served on the Naples Town Board, School Board and Planning Board. He was also active in the Ontario County Farm Bureau and NYS Farm Bureau serving in various positions over the years. He served on the Grape Extension Advisory Committee, Assessment Board of Review and the Board of Directors of Cooperation Extension. Most of all, Rich loved spending time with his family, often following the activities of his grandkids or spending summer weekends at the cottage.
Rich is survived by his wife of 48 years, Mary, their 3 children: Katy (James) Eichinger, Scott (Alissa) Jerome, & Julie (Ronald) Zalone; his grandchildren: Emily, Sara, Zachary, Samantha, Zoey, & Jordyn; his sister, Carol (Bill) Mead & nephew, Bennett; along with many special cousins.
A celebration of the life of seventh-generation fruit farmer, Rich Jerome, is planned from 1 to 5p.m. September 12th at Jerome's U-Pick Fruit Farm, 8936 Route 53 in Naples. Given the pandemic, the family requests that social distancing be maintained and that visitors wear masks. There will be no formal program, allowing friends and family to stop by any time.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial contribution to the NYS Farm Bureau Foundation for Agricultural Education (159 Wolf Road, Suite 300, Albany NY 12205) or the Naples Community Park (P.O. Box 272, Naples NY 14512).