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Auctioneer Meissner's Auction 518-766-5002
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New Lebanon, NY
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I have tried to write this several times, but I can’t seem to find the right words.  My husband, Keith Sr, died Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013 trying to save our horses from an intense barn fire.  We had 8 horses in the barn, and when the fire started we both ran in. I was only able to save 1 horse…. Keith saved three. He died a hero.

Four horses perished in the fire as well as Keith.  It only took less than 5 minutes to change a lifetime. We all still find it hard to believe and expect him to come thru the back door from an auction or perhaps an antique show as he always did. Our lives will never be the same. I don’t know how I will go on, neither do our sons, extended family or friends, but go on we must.  Keith Sr. taught us about love, strength and courage and that’s what it will take. 

 I married the boy across the creek and we have been married almost 40 years.  My mother picked him out for me when I was almost 16.  We have worked together all our lives, doing odd jobs on the side when we were young.  We worked together with my brother in an auction business, prior to starting our own business in 1988.  Since 1988 we have worked day and night together from our auction house to our farm with our horses. 

It sounds funny but we are fortunate to have an incredible family, supportive friends and even supportive strangers.  One woman came to the wake and told me she didn’t know either of us, but after reading about Keith in the papers, she knew she had to come and pay her respects.  The funeral director said Keith established a record as far as number of people especially on a storm night.  The church was filled to over capacity, with people standing in the halls and closets.  It was a full house, standing room only and very little of that. Keith would have thought it’s a fine day to have an auction. 

Our 7 year old granddaughter, Sophia, said it perfectly, “Papa is in heaven and he’s riding Midnight and Midnight has wings like a Pegasus”.  Perhaps she is right.


A Sample Clip From the Times Union Newspaper in Albany NY;

A local auctioneer perished Thursday night when he rushed into a burning barn in an attempt to rescue his four horses, the Rensselaer County Sheriff's Office said Friday.

Keith Meissner Sr., 60, of 214 Thais Road was trapped inside the barn with the horses, who also died in the fire, deputies said.

Meissner lived with his wife, Dolores, on the 16.6-acre horse farm along the Wynants Kill in West Sand Lake. The couple are the owners of Meissner's Auction Service in New Lebanon.

"He died saving his horses. He loved his children and his grandchildren," Dolores Meissner said about her husband in a statement given by a woman at the family home.

More than 10 fire departments from the area responded to the fire call, which was reported at about 7:50 p.m., Thursday, deputies said.

The fire trucks and other emergency equipment went rushing up Thais Road to the Meissner residence, neighbors said. The firefighters then drove up a long, curving driveway to reach the barn.

Meissner and the four horses were found in the barn, deputies said.

Due to the extensive damage to the barn, authorities have not determined the cause of the fire. County arson investigators continue to seek a reason for the barn catching fire. The arson investigators were at the scene until Friday morning.


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