Fancher memorial will be rededicated on Saturday

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 August 2021 at 10:45 am

Several improvements at monument with clock on ‘Fancher Curve’

FANCHER – The top image shows the program for the rededication of the Fancher memorial this Saturday at 2 p.m. It is mostly a replica of the program from the original dedication exactly 72 years earlier on Aug. 14, 1949.

The Fancher community built the memorial out of local Medina sandstone as a tribute to 10 local soldiers who died in World War II. Those soldiers include John Christopher, Joseph Christopher, Cosmo Coccitti, John Kettle, Jr., Leonard Licursi, Martin Licursi, Richard Merritt, Camille Nenni, Floyd Valentine and Richard Vendetta.

Provided photos: The monument includes a new plaque mounted on the north side of the property.

Representatives from some of those families will be at the rededication on Saturday to lay a commemorative wreath.

The memorial on the “Fancher Curve” on Route 31 is a four-faced clock in a stone monument made of local sandstone. It gradually deteriorated over 72 years and recently was overhauled. The crumbling mortar was chipped out and replaced with new matching green mortar.

New movements for the clocks and new electrical service were installed. The flag pole was painted. New sandstone pavers were added as a walkway on the north side of the property.

And a new bronze plaque was mounted on the north side near the flagpole. The original plaque remains, but it is on the west side facing the guardrails and wasn’t in an easy-to-see location for most people to know the true purpose of the monument.

Town Supervisor Joe Sidonio said it should be clearer now that the site isn’t a municipal clock, but is a war memorial dedicated to local soldiers who died serving the country.

The project was funded with a donation from Fred Fiorito, a former local resident who now lives in the New York City area. He would typically home a few times each year to see family, including his brother Ted Fiorito. Fred noticed the memorial gradually deteriorate.

Sometimes the clocks didn’t work. The mortar was crumbling. The site wasn’t a great showcase or memorial for the 10 who in World War II, he said.

“I knew some of those families,” Fiorito said in a recent interview. “The monument’s condition was distasteful.”

Saturday’s rededication will include comments from State Assemblyman Steve Hawley and Congressman Chris Jacobs.

The Brockport Symphony Orchestra will perform “To Reap The Blessings of Freedom,” the national anthem, “America the Beautiful” and “Brother James’ Air.” Mary Wojciechowski will be a vocalist with the orchestra.

Father Richard Csizmar, pastor of Holy Family Parish in Albion, will give the invocation. Matt Passarell, commander of the VFW Post 4635, will read the names of the soldiers and a bell will be rung with each name. That bell is from the former American Legion Post in Fancher.

An Honor Guard from the local American Legion and VFW will fire three volleys and Taps will be played.

Sidonio encourages people to either park at the Post Office in Fancher on Route 31 or north of the railroad tracks on Fancher Road. Route 31 at the Curve will be open to traffic during the rededication program but fire police will be out urging people to slow down during the service with the crowd of people close by.