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James A. Farley

Sept. 9, 1929 – July 11, 2016

James A. Farley, of Williamsville, a retired Buffalo teacher and school administrator, died Monday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst. He was 86.

Born in Buffalo, he attended Annunciation Elementary School and was valedictorian of his class at Annunciation High School. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from Canisius College and took additional studies at Columbia University, Fordham University, the University at Buffalo, Niagara University and Buffalo State College.

Mr. Farley began teaching in 1955 at Seneca Vocational High School, where he was senior class adviser and student government moderator. He founded the first National Honor Society chapter to be established in a vocational school there. An eloquent speaker, the students he coached in public speaking won city and county awards.

He went on to serve as assistant principal at Riverside High School and assistant principal and acting principal at City Honors School.

He was elected four times as president of the Buffalo High School Teachers Association, increasing membership to more than 1,000, and established the Buffalo High School Teacher of the Year Award. He retired in 1988.

Mr. Farley was active in politics, working on the campaign staffs of State Sen. Walter J. Mahoney and Erie County Comptroller Alfreda Slominski.

Active in Catholic church organizations, he taught religion classes, was a member of the former Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish and in recent years attended St. Aloysius Church.

He served for more than 10 years on the board of managers of Coventry Gardens Condominiums and was a member of the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society for more than 40 years.

Survivors include nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Friday in St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 224 Franklin St., Elmira. Visitation will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. Thursday in the Amigone Funeral Home, 8440 Main St., Clarence.

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