School 22

James E. Fahy

July 14, 1938 ~ November 2, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old
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James Fahy Obituary

East Herkimer - James E. (Jim) Fahy, 85, a longtime resident of East Herkimer, passed away peacefully at the Foltsbrook Center on Thursday, November 2, 2023, with his loving family by his side.

Our beloved dad was born on July 14, 1938, in Adams, MA, the son of the late Thomas P. and Anne (Burns) Fahy. He was a graduate of Utica Free Academy and earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Syracuse University.

Dad married the love of his life, our mom, Joan Emhof, on June 4, 1960, at St. Thomas's Catholic Church in New Hartford, NY. They went on to create a beautiful family of three daughters, Patricia Cormier and husband Robert, Mary Miller and husband Brian, and Chrissy Miller and husband Mike: two sons, James Fahy and wife Kiyomi and Michael Fahy and wife Janice: 14 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. Dad has one surviving sibling, our lovely Aunt Margaret “Peg” Hyland. Jim was pre-deceased by his kind and gentle brother, Thomas Fahy.


A highly regarded teacher in Ilion High School’s English Department, where he also served as chair, our father taught 9th and 12th grade English, created a “Great Ideas” course for college-bound students, and in his later years, a sign language course. He excelled and enjoyed participating in athletics as well. After being a student athlete in high school and a fencing instructor in college, when employed by Ilion Central School, he served as a bowling coach, a tennis coach, a baseball coach, and a referee for basketball. He was also an avid cross-country skier, fly fisherman, tennis player, and golfer.

After 33 years, our dad retired from Ilion, but continued his teaching career in new capacities. He taught a three-level sign language course to adult learners and was a private tutor to younger students. One of his greatest joys over his final twenty-five years was the “Pen in Hand” Writer’s Conference held each year in Little Falls, NY for select high school junior and senior level writers from many of the area high schools. He created and taught the course for young poets, as well as compiled a handbook of fresh poems each year.

A conservationist who built solar panels to heat our household water in the summer and a wood stove to heat both our home and water in the winter, our dad was a true Renaissance man: a sportsman, a singer, an instrumentalist, a painter, and, his life’s work, a poet.

Dad had a deep love for nature and a deep appreciation for life. He “cracked dawn” many a morning to witness the day’s birth. He wrote hundreds of poems in reverence of the glory of Mother Nature and the wonder of the universe. He wrote thousands of poems over his lifetime, most about family, life, and love.

Our dad loved well and was well-loved. He will be missed beyond measure. We want to warmly thank the staff at the Foltsbrook Center for the loving care our father received.

We will receive relatives and friends on Wednesday, November 8, 2023, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Vincent A. Enea Funeral Service, 527 E. Albany St., Herkimer, NY (315-866-1500). A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Sts. Anthony and Joseph, South Main St., Herkimer on Thursday, November 9, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. Reverend Thomas Babuich (Father Tom), will officiate. The burial will follow at St. Mary's Cemetery, Town of Herkimer. All memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude’s, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, YN 38105. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.

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