Dustin Norman Groat

February 2, 1999June 19, 2018

Dustin Norman Groat, 19, of Richfield Springs passed away unexpectedly Tuesday, June 19, 2018.

He was born on February 2, 1999 in Cooperstown, the son of Eric Groat and Evelyn Seward.

Dustin graduated from Richfield Springs Central School in the class of 2017.

Dustin and his dad had a special connection and he loved spending time on the farm with him. His favorite place to be, and where he was happiest, was outside. Whether he was working on the farm, mowing lawns, or just hanging out with family. He enjoyed operating heavy farm equipment in the fields. He had a strong work ethic, and his generosity and pure heart made him extremely loved by everyone. His enormous smile and willingness to help touched the hearts of many people.

Dustin worked on the family farm as well as many local farms including Bee Line Farms (the Guzick family), Gary and Sue Culbertson, Martin Branigan, Mayper Farms (the Treen and Mower Family), AJ’s Lawn Care and Property Services, LLC, which he really enjoyed, as well as Bobnick Enterprises (Kevin and Stan Bobnick).

Dustin is survived by his father, Eric Groat, Richfield Springs; his mother, Evelyn Seward, Otego; brother, Derrick Groat, Richfield Springs, sister, Alexis Seward, Oneonta and brother, Aaron Seward, Oneonta; maternal grandmother, Lynda Crawford, Wells Bridge; paternal grandparents, Norman and Doris Groat, Jr., Walton; paternal great grandmother, Vivian Groat, Franklin; three maternal uncles, John, Charles and Cecil Wyckoff; paternal uncle Lincoln (Melinda) Groat; nephew, Logan Seward as well as several cousins. He also leaves behind his beloved dog, Jenna.

He was predeceased by his maternal grandfather, Cecil Wyckoff; paternal great grandfather, Norman Groat, Sr.

Calling hours will be held on Friday, June 22, 2018 in the Kenneth L. Bennett Funeral Home, 425 Main Street, Franklin from 12:00-2:00 PM. Graveside services in the Ouleout Valley Cemetery, Franklin will immediately follow at 2:00 PM. Dustin’s family will be hosting a celebration of Life in Richfield Springs at a later date.

In lieu of flowers expressions of gratitude may be made to Hartwick, Exeter, West Exeter, Richfield Springs and Schuyler Lake Fire Departments for all their life saving efforts. Online condolences may be made by visiting

Arrangements are by the Kenneth L. Bennett Funeral Home, Franklin.


  • Calling Hours Friday, June 22, 2018
  • Graveside Service Friday, June 22, 2018
  • Celebration of Life Saturday, July 14, 2018

Dustin Norman Groat

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Rick and Donna Hulse

June 23, 2018

Dear Evelyn,
We are deeply saddened by the news about Dustin, our hearts are heavy. He, and your entire family, will be in our prayers from now on. Though we may not have known him personally his loss affects our community as such a wonderful life has ended so early.
With deepest sympathy,
Rick and Donna

Sheila Jones

June 22, 2018

Evelyn and family,
So sorry and you are in my thoughts through this difficult time. Love Sheila and family

Kayla Stevens

June 22, 2018

I remember the first day we met each other and became friends. He used to be so nice to me and I used to say hi to him in the hallways when I saw him. He was a great teen and great friend. I wish I could have saw him for the last time of his life. I really miss him and that I am in total grief for him. If his life only gave him a chance to live longer. I liked the way he talked to me, calm, helpful, kind... he was a sweetheart. I miss his smile and his content eyes. This a the hardest time of my life and that I will never forget ab out him. He went to the same school that I went to and that there was always something nice to say about him. He was a true friend to me. I will keep him and the memories in my heart and mind. I will also never forget the fun times we had together as friends. I hope that he is with Jesus in heaven and that he is with his family, watching over them and letting them know that he is still watching over them.

Karenlee Seamon

June 22, 2018

To Eric , Derrick and Family,
Please accept our deepest and heartfelt condolences at this difficult time. If there is anything we can do to lessen this burden please let us know. With all our thoughts and prayers,

The Seamon Family
Karenlee, Kane & Katie

Bev and Steve Petriski

June 21, 2018

Dear Eric, Derrick, and family,
Steve, Annie, and I are so sorry for what you are going through. We can't even begin to know how you feel, but we are here if you need anything, especially a listening ear. Steve always enjoyed talking to Dustin, and said he just saw him on Osley Road just last week, having fun and a huge grin on his face. He will be missed by so many, but none more than you Eric. Hold him in your heart and cling to the memories of the fine young man that you shaped him into over the years.
We love you, Bev, Steve, and Annie

Donna Fitchette

June 21, 2018

My heart goes out to the family. Praying for strength and courage for each of you. Please feel free to call if you need to talk. I am so sorry for your loss of this handsome young man.

Jennifer Stewart

June 21, 2018

Groat Family—

While I didn’t know Dustin, there hasn’t been a day this week I haven’t thought about him or your family. I have two sons of my own, one the same age and I can’t imagine the pain you must feel. Offering you all my deepest condolences, light, and peace.

Most sincerely,
Jennifer Stewart and family

Mitzi Wirtz

June 21, 2018

Evelyn, Eric, Alexis, Derrick, Aaron and family,

Sharing your sadness in the loss of Dustin and hoping you find comfort in those around you during this difficult time and for the days ahead... Dustin will forever remain in your hearts and memories. Keep faith, strength and peace in mind and remember you are in our thoughts.


Mitzi, Chip, Jordan and Ryan

Beverly Liebing

June 21, 2018

In the short time that I knew Dustin at work(walmart dc) he grew on me.I was his trainer and he had a great personality and a awesone so sorry for your loss and you all are in my parayers

Lissette Stefanec

June 21, 2018

Our Condolences to the Groat and Seward family,
We are praying for your family. That God may bring peace and comfort in a time of sorrow.
Keith, Lissette, Melanie and Conner Stefanec