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Remembering “Mr. Lyons” - Jim Fabino

by WayneTimes.com
March 6, 2021

Although he made a huge impact on his hometown of Lyons, James A. Fabino outlived many of his friends and colleagues. His mark is clearly embedded on so much of his beloved town. Jim once mentioned that the only time he was away from Lyons was his three years in the service.

Jim died on February 19, 2021, at the age of 96. 

He was born in Lyons, July 28, 1924, son of Raniero “Jerry” (Fabiani) Fabino and Grace (DeVito) Fabino. He had five brothers: Mike, Angelo, Albert, Belmont and Joseph (who died at the age of was 21), and one sister, Constance. Jim served in the US Army during WWII, as a Master Sergeant, before  returning home to learn the masonary trade.

In 1954, Jim began his career with the Lyons Central School District as head of maintenance and grounds for over 40 years. He was very involved with youth sports as he coached softball, baseball, and American Legion baseball.  In 1994, Jim received the DeWitt Clinton Masonic Award for Community Service and, in 1995 he was named the Lyons Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year. In 2008, Jim  was inducted into the  Lyons Athletic Hall of Fame because of his passion for youth sports, eye for perfection when it came to the appearance of the teams, and excellence of all sporting facilities.

Jim began his long political career in 1970 where he served as a politician for 40 plus years as a Trustee, Police Commissioner, Mayor, Town Supervisor, and on the County Board of Supervisors. He served also on boards and committees too numerous to mention.

 “Jim was a great friend and an inspiration for us all. Jim knew most all of the employees and visited the different departments on a regular basis. Jim always wanted what he thought was the best for the COUNTY and the community. I really miss him,” said Butler Town Supervisor Dave Spickerman.

Jim was also a member of many organizations including the American Legion Post 227 where he was Post Commander & Treasurer, the V.F.W., the Wayne County Republican Committee and the Phelps Street Cemetery Crew. He was an honorary member of the N.Y. State Troopers and a longtime member at St. Joseph the Worker (St. Michael’s) Catholic Church. He graduated from Lyons High School in 1943. All his brothers had already joined the Army, so that is what he did too. 

After construction on the Lyons school was done, the school hired Jim to do maintenance jobs. He helped build the football field, the scoreboard, the press box and the concession stand. 

Jim and his wife Josephine, who were married over 70 years, had two children: James and Jeanine, and grandsons Matthew and Brian Fabino and Justin Daniels. His wife Josephine (Cinelli)  predeceased him.

Lyons Cemeteries were a big source of concern and care for Jim. He started working on them back when the two cemetery associations went out of business and turned them over to the Town of Lyons -  the Rural Cemetery and the Elmwood Cemetery.  He was proud of his cemetery worker.

Jim will be remembered as Mr. Lyons - a man who loved his town, village, county and the people; who dedicated his life to the school district and to the numerous projects/accomplishments he achieved as a proud politician. He continuously exercised fiscal restraint to insure that the village, town, and county remained in sound financial condition. 

A mass and celebration of life for James and his late wife, Josephine, will be held on May 8. Memorial donations may be made to the Wayne County Nursing Home (Activities Department), the Lyons Ambulance Service, the Lyons Community Center, or St. Joseph the Worker (St. Michael’s) Catholic Church.

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