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Eric Bresee Memorial Header Photo

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When Eric first joined Farnham, I worked upstairs with Colleen on West 2nd  Street.  At the end of the day everyone would kind of gather by the back door and leave at once when someone set an alarm and turned off the lights.  That day as I headed out of the door at the bottom of the stairwell, Eric and I ran in to each other in the dark.  We both apologized and I realized that I had spilled my coffee on his nice coat because I could feel the wetness on his coat and smell the coffee in the dark when we crashed.  I was so embarrassed being the “consultant” and him being the new Executive Director.  But Eric was not phased by the spill.  I never knew if he had to get his coat dry cleaned but he never brought it up and I didn’t either out of my embarrassment.  Instead, he greeted me the same as everyone else when he would see me.  On the rare occasion when we were in a meeting together, he treated me like part of the Farnham family, being happy to see or hear me (when camera was off) and tell me that he valued my input.  He was always so humble and made others feel like they mattered.  He was such a great leader, getting it done in such a meaningful way. A great role model.

Prayers for his family, for FFS and the community.

Chris Harp

In the Before Times before Covid Eric would cook breakfast personally for whomever group or person won the trophy for the success stories that were shared. 

When the peers got the trophy Eric set up shop in the old Fulton office by Price Chopper and was cooking away. However the appliances he was using was tripping a breaker and killing some of the power. He still finished us breakfast and we got eggs and pancakes.

Eric understood the importance of peers and how much we've added to peopl's services at FFS. He made me feel welcome as one of the earlier ones on board 5 (?) years ago, and was genuinely excited there would be peer supports available. He was always checking in or just jumping in, like with yoga through Zoom.

The last conversation I got to have with Eric was positive and down to earth, just another day.  I thought "I'll catch up with him next week", which is now this week. 

My heart goes out to all my colleagues at FFS and everyone who loved Eric.


So, I knew Eric a few years before I came to Farnham, but nothing prepared me for the two things that happened my first week here.  For those that don’t know I am “coca cola” fanatic…my first day, Eric brought a 12 pack out of his office (as he was running out the door to another meeting, in a rush but had to make sure I got it at Erie street.   I knew I found my new home then, even with my trepidation.  The second was when Eric S., Eric B. and I met for lunch, we all piled into Eric B’s car to go to a Korean BBQ food truck, Eric B had been talking about this food truck before I joined the Farham Family -  so, we load up in the car, Eric S. in the front seat and Eric B says straight faced as ever to Eric S “since you are in the front seat, when you hear the bang in my car, you have to rap a song”  and sure enough, mid conversation the car bangs and Eric B. stops the conversation,  looks right at Eric S. and says “you’re up” – Eric S. laughed, I, of course, in the backseat started recording (since been deleted) and Eric B. says again straight faced “that rapping about our jobs should be our new recruitment method for the work force.”  

It is through these memories and laughs that we will find peace. 

Megan Walradth

I was very very fortunate enough to be a part of a "30 plus" skate league with Eric. I got invited in and as the new guy who honestly wasn't that good at skating I did a lot of sitting around and talking. I must have talked with Eric for a solid 30 mins like we were best friends after our first interaction. He was fully engaged but also fully immersed in watching his son. He would be sure to pause our conversations as needed to be there and support him as he was trying something new.  We took that friendship into moving some ramps around and going to Woodward a couple times together- This was at a time before I worked for Farnham or ever thought it was even a possibility. I remember we both woke up early and got coffee before anyone else was awake yet and our first conversation was "Hey Eric, what's good this morning"  and even being away in a different state his response was still,  "ohhh not much just answered a few emails and signed some paychecks to make sure everyone gets paid"  I was fortunate enough to see him lace up his rollerblades and blade around while the rest of us used our skateboards, but unfortunately never got to see the younger "trickster" Eric in action. Nevertheless, that changed my image of what I thought an executive director was. I always had this uptight impersonal,  only cares about the bottom-line view of that position. Until I met Eric. 

Fast forward to our first interaction when I began working at Farnham a year ago today. He was the first one to greet me at the door with a big smile and a firm handshake with a genuine we're so glad you're here in the family. Eric, you have no idea how happy I am to be a part of the Farnham Family. You have no idea how much you'll be missed. Thank you for taking the chance on me.  Thank you for leading by example and being out in the field always interacting with everyone to show what leadership and community is all about.  Thank you for the few short years I knew you even if it was only the occasional interactions.  Here's to hoping we can do our very best to carry on your legacy, in the office but most importantly in the community.

Thank you, Eric. You'll be missed dearly and thank you Farnham for allowing us to this avenue to process what happened.

Travis Bulluck

I know I haven’t been with Farnham for a long time like some but any interaction with Eric was always so positive, he always made everyone smile , always so positive on every aspect in life , never did I feel nervous going to talk to him. He will be truely missed by all , I will miss coming into the office and erie street and him waving at me thru his office window every morning he also brought us some chocolate covered cherries that we actually very yummy , so very thoughtful kind of guy . My heart hurts for his family and our Farnham family . We all have to be in this together and be here for one another as he wouldn’t want it any other way ❤️


To have an Executive Director who knows every employee by name, is rare. To have an Executive Director who not only knows everyone’s names, but their stories, their goals, their families, is even more rare. At Farnham, we were so incredibly blessed to have that EXACT Executive Director in Eric.

Just last week, while Eric was coming into the Oswego office to support us during the current changes and transitions, he showed that he never put himself above us, despite his title.

Eric joined into the United Way Campaign, wearing a fun hat and taking a selfie w/ Shonna, this was in addition to plans to throw a pizza party for the department who had 100% participation. Eric had a passion for cultivating a happy, supportive, and healthy work environment, and this is just one of the examples of that.

When COVID first hit, and schools closed, Prevention was at risk of being laid off. Eric met with the entire team to talk to us about any ways we could think of to stay working. Eric listened to us and how a lay off would impact us, he personally pulled me aside after seeing how upset I was and talked to me until I felt okay. That night, Eric lost sleep, but he came up with a plan.. he came up with the Social Media Campaign, and as much as we ended up hating it haha, it saved our jobs and we have Eric to thank for that, because he refused to accept defeat and he refused to put us all in that position. 2x a year, Eric collects success stories from staff and clients, and then personally makes, delivers, and serves homemade breakfast to thank them for the difference they make at our agency and in our community. Each time, without fail, Eric would end up in tears at one point during these stories, because it meant that much to him to see the changes, we were making in the lives of others each day.

Eric had a passion for this work that went so much deeper than a paycheck. Eric cared personally and deeply for every person who walked in our doors, whether it be staff or client.  If ever we needed anything, Eric truly was a message away. I am so grateful for that.

I looked up to Eric in many ways, as a clinician, as a leader, but mostly, as a human. Eric made a difference in the lives of all who knew him, whether he realize it or not.

I know things will be hard, and probably a little messy and confusing at times, but now more than ever is a time to come together. To care for one another, to listen and hear what each of us is going through. It is the time to be passionate and relentless in our fight against  stigma, our fight again SUD and MI. Now is the time to come together.

For Eric, a man who dedicated his life to helping others. A man who inspired others to be kind, empathetic, understanding, an advocate, an ally, and most important, a friend.

Thinking of everyone during this time, sending love, comfort, and healing ❤


This is beyond heartbreaking.

Eric was a wonderful leader for Farnham and for our community.  He was involved in our community in so many ways, the lives that he touched is immeasurable.

Eric was a visionary.  He saw that Farnham had so much potential and that we could provide services and Hope to our entire community and beyond.  There were times when we would state “whoa, slow down boy” but there was so much Eric believed we could do. He believed we could have successful agencies in Mexico and Auburn, and he spearheaded the George Street office location. He had so much faith in his Farnham Family, with Eric’s leadership, direction and guidance we really pulled it off and made his vision happen.

I am thinking of something we can do as an agency to commemorate Eric and his accomplishments.  He put his Heart and Soul into Farnham and that needs to be recognized and celebrated.  I was thinking of a bench dedicated to Eric outside the agency with a picture and plaque of him when entering.  These are just thoughts and would love to hear others ideas.

We have a wonderful Farnham Executive Leadership team that will continue to guide and direct us to be the wonderful team that we are, but we will be missing a major player in that leadership and that will be Eric.  I know in my heart Eric will be watching us and guiding us from above.

Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts with you. 

Colleen Sharkey

This is just absolutely devastating, I have so much sadness for his family. Eric was just an amazing, kind, gentle, soul, I remember him as far back as the second grade.  What a huge loss not only for Farnham but for the entire community.

So hard to even write an email.

It was such a pleasure working with Eric. So compassionate with the clients we serve along with each and every employee. Eric had such a great view on what was to come for Farnham, and I know Farnham Family will continue to make Eric proud each and every day.

Thank you


This is absolutely heartbreaking news to hear. Not only was Eric a wonderful executive leader, being so involved within the community and the development of Farnham, but he truly cared about his employees. Although I did not work closely with Eric every day, whenever I did see Eric, he would always

stop and chat. He would genuinely ask how you were doing, how your family was doing, significant others, pets, etc. and he listened. The next time I would see him and chat, he would remember details I told him 6 months ago, and would ask how things were going. He wanted the best for all his employees, and strived to give us that.

It is a terrible thing to have lost a person so genuine, but I am choosing to be grateful to have known and worked with an amazing person like Eric.

Thank you


I am hoping this comes off as sharing Eric’s kindness and sweet heart

On Wed, I was in a medical appt w/ Jim for almost 2 hours – so I shared pics of Wed = hat day – one of them was the picture of Eric posing w/ a staff member

When I took a pic of Jim in his Salvation Army hat and sent it to Eric, this is what Eric texted back
Eric Thumbs Up

Please know that his spirit will continue through Farnham and all the wonderful work done by all of you. I have known Eric for close to 20 years and I have heard from a few of this group similar stories as mine – I came to Farnham because of Eric.  He will be missed.  Feel free to share this as applicable – his gift to Jim that can be shared with others

While I am scheduled for vacation this week (was last Friday too but my needing to get some work done allowed me to have 1 more conversation w/ Eric that evening – I will miss his coming in from the garage or leaving saying “Hi Deb!  …  Bye, Deb!”) – please let me know if there is anything I can do to help.

If I could share what Jim said to me as he processed things (he knew “Derek” for over 16 years Eric reminded me just a week or so ago, before Brayden was born) – Jim asked:
  • Will Eric grow back hair upstairs?  (Jim’s word for heaven)
  • He pointed out clouds he thought Eric was on (and said he can ride on top of the airplanes now
  • and go where he wants
  • Does he have wings already?
  • How will he have Thanksgiving dinner?  I said that God always provides

Thanks for letting me share (and begin to process myself) – take care of you as you take care of others - Debbie

Deborah Daby

My heart is heavy and my head spinning at this terrible news.  Just know and pass on to his family if I could be of service to them I will proudly offer my availability. Eric was a great leader, visionary, person and friend to me and all Farnham employees. He cared so much about building loyalty as well as the best possible working conditions for his people. He took our issues to heart and was open to all for suggestions. I personally will miss Eric tremendously and if I can be if assistance to carry on his vision I am willing to assist as needed.

Butch Tolles

Of all the duties of your office, this may be the hardest and most heartfelt, bringing the word of Eric’s passing.

Eric has brought so much to so many people – staff and clients alike.  And he did it with a grace and a humble spirit and all the while you knew you were with someone special.   As you put together that impossible message, take care and know many people we many never know were touched by someone like Eric B. 

Sharing in your grief,

George F. Valentine

I am deeply saddened to hear of your sudden and tragic loss. Although I never had the opportunity to work directly with Eric, I know his contributions to your cause and community were immeasurable, and his wisdom and dedication were a guiding light. My sincerest condolences go out to his loved ones and your fantastic teams. Please know that the entire Netsmart team is here for you during this difficult time. We are ready to support and honor Eric's memory and continue the important work he was so passionate about.

With deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences,
Christian Sanchez

All: With a very heavy heart I am reaching out to all InUnity Alliance (The Coalition and ASAP) members to share news about the tragic loss of Eric Bresee, Executive Director of Farnham Family Services in Oswego NY and Treasurer of InUnity Alliance's Transitional Board of Directors. Eric is survived by his wife Amy, his son Brayden, and his mother Julia. Eric was only 44 years of age when he passed.

The InUnity Alliance Board of Directors and staff learned on Monday morning that Eric Bresee had passed away suddenly, at home, over the weekend on Saturday, November 18th. As the word spread, so did the shock, disbelief, and anguish. Eric was a valuable member of ASAP's Boards of Directors, serving as Treasurer on the Boards of both ASAP corporations and then served the same important role for the InUnity Alliance Transitional Board. He was a vital member of our team, who was deeply appreciated and loved.

We relied on Eric's smart approach to a wide range of challenges and were consistently impressed with his uncanny ability to help us get where we needed to go. Eric had a magnetism and approach with us all that drew us into a professional relationship with him characterized by honesty, trust, and success, and a personal relationship characterized by true friendship and love. Hearing the news that we lost our ability to reach out to our trusted peer and dear friend has been devasting for us. The immediate sense of loss we experienced when we heard about Eric's passing has permeated every day since.

The InUnity Alliance Board of Directors and staff stand together in support of Amy, Brayden, and Julia; Eric's extended family and friends; and his Farnham family. We will be in Oswego to support Eric's loved ones and to convey our deep sense of sorrow and loss as well as to share warm stories of how blessed we all have been to have had Eric in our lives. Services for Eric will be taking place on Saturday, November 25th at the Nelson Funeral Home (11 West Albany Street, Oswego, NY 13126) beginning with Visitation at 1:00 p.m. and Funeral Service at 4:00 p.m.

For those of you who are able to join us on Saturday, we welcome the opportunity to be there with you to represent our InUnity Alliance community. For those unable to attend, we will carry your thoughts and prayers with us and convey our collective thoughts and reflections to Amy, Brayden, and Julia.

We are sorry to share such distressing news with you during this time of celebration, but we do have much to be Thankful for and celebrate ..... we have been blessed and are thankful for all that Eric was for us. He will be remembered, and we will celebrate his life on Thanksgiving and on Saturday in Oswego.

Please see the Obituary and information about services at the following link: https://www.nelson-funeralhome.com/obituary/eric-bresee

John J. Coppola 
InUnity Alliance (previously ASAP)

The words of loss have not come easy, but I would like to share a few memories where I was able to connect with Eric.

⁃ When Farnham had first started their lounge era, I remember Eric promoting them and being available in the lounges. He would make his rounds and stay for a few hours to really hear his employees out. During one of his visits, I decided to sit down and talk with him and within that short period we had many “small world” moments/connections to people in our lives. He asked about my position and my future hopes, he listened, and he cared.

⁃ The second encounter I will never forget was at the end of an executive leadership meeting that was held in Fulton. Eric had shown me the blueprints to the George street facility. The absolute passion and excitement in his eyes put everything into focus that this man was entirely dedicated to Farnham, dedicated to patients, and his colleagues. If the time allowed, I’m sure he would have told me every last detail. I will never forget his enthusiasm towards the future of Farnham. I will forever miss seeing him walk into the office with his signature hat and illuminating smile.

  Thank you.
Jordan K

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Thank you for your thoughtful message. We review submissions every week for quality control, approve, and update the site.