Services held for Thomas Stefka

By NEWSChannel 2 Staff

HERKIMER, N.Y. (WKTV) - Services were held in Herkimer on Wednesday for lifelong Herkimer County resident Thomas Stefka, one of the victims in last week's tragic shootings.

Stefka, 62 was born in 1950 in Little Falls, where he was raised and graduated High School. Attending SUNY College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill, he received an Associate Degree in Business Administration before attending SUNY Brockport to study Economics.

For more than twenty years Mr. Stefka was a social welfare examiner for the Herkimer County Department of Social Services, retiring in, 2001.

Known as someone who liked to always remain active, Stefka was a lifelong car enthusiast and described as a people person. He he sought part-time employment at Gaffeys Fast Lube in Herkimer where he remained until his death last Wednesday.

According to his obituary, Stefka was well known for his musical talents and was an exceptional drummer, guitar player and song writer. In the 1970s he was the drummer in the band, Sea Breeze, which was popular up and down the East Coast. Locally he played music engagements with friends as members of the band Fanfare. In more recent years he sang and played guitar at various churches, most notably at the Church of Saints Anthony and Joseph, and the Herkimer Reformed Church.

Calling hours were held Tuesday at Fenner Funeral Home with a funeral service at the Church of Saints Anthony and Joseph in Herkimer.

The family has asked that expressions of sympathy be made with memorial donations to the Mohawk Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross. His family says that they are deeply grateful to all of the law enforcement agencies and first responders who risked their lives, and FBI K-9 dog, Ape, who lost his life, on March 13, 2013.

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