Albion school district honors the late Ed Fancher as a Friend of Education

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 July 2020 at 8:35 am

Photos by Tom Rivers: Ed Fancher speaks during the 50th anniversary celebration of Community Action of Orleans & Genesee on Oct. 1, 2015. Fancher the executive director of the agency. He started with Community Action in 1987 as the fiscal director when he was 22.

ALBION – The school district on Monday evening honored the late Ed Fancher as a Friend of Education.

Fancher, an Albion graduate, passed away at age 54 from cancer on May 24. He was the director of Community Action of Orleans & Genesee. He was also very active with the Albion Alumni Foundation and the Albion Rotary Club, organizations that have assisted Albion students.

With Community Action, he welcomed a statistics class to pour over local demographic data. He welcomed interns in the district’s school-to-work program and also helped distribute tens of thousands of produce collected by the FFA each year in a food drive.

Fancher typically would help unload a tractor trailer with heavy boxes and bags of produce. This December, he was still there for the unloading, but physically wasn’t able to help move the boxes. He thanked the FFA students for their work in lining up the donations from farmers, and then packaging the food and delivering it to Community Action.

The agency would share the food with other local food pantries and churches. Community Action would store many of the boxes and bags of food.

The FFA food drive started out at 3,000 pounds in 2010 and reached a new high of 40,000 pounds in 2019.

Ed Fancher, Class of 1983, fills a bag of popcorn during the Homecoming football game on Oct. 4, 2013. He works in the booth with Jean Shervin, Class of 1953. Fancher was a proud Albion graduate.

“We were never discouraged by them or turned away even as the numbers increased exponentially,” said Sue Starkweather Miller, the district’s school-to-career coordinator and public information officer. “He always helped unload until couldn’t lift. This December he was there in rain, cheering us on and thanking us.”

Starkweather Miller is on the Alumni Foundation Board of Directors with Fancher, where he was the treasurer. The Foundation in June distributed about $90,000 in scholarships to Albion High School seniors.

With the Rotary Club, Fancher cooked the hams for the annual Rotary St. Patrick’s Ham Dinner, with the proceeds going to the Rotary-sponsored Interact Club at the school. The Rotary Club also gives three scholarships annually to Albion seniors.

“He was a true servant leader, he was a proud Purple Eagle and he is a friend of education always,” she said during the Board of Education meeting.

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