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Eugene F. Fahey, Buffalo police captain, WWII vet; June 30, 1927 -- April 16, 2011

Eugene F. Fahey, a retired, highly decorated Buffalo police captain, died Saturday in his Buffalo home. He was 83.

Born and raised in the Old First Ward, Mr. Fahey was a 38-year veteran of the Police Department and a captain at Precincts 11 and 12 on the city's East Side. He also served as a lieutenant at Precinct 3 after scoring what was then the highest grade ever recorded on the lieutenant's test.

Mr. Fahey became known over the years for his share of heroic actions, including giving first aid to a worker gravely injured as a result of an explosion at a Thruway rest stop near Angola. The man survived.

On another occasion, just days before Mr. Fahey's retirement, a mother ran into his precinct house carrying a breathless infant. Mr. Fahey dislodged a piece of candy from the child's throat and revived the infant.

Mr. Fahey, a lifelong city resident, also was a 60-year member of the International Union of Operating Engineers and worked as a bus driver for the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda School District.

He also was a decorated World War II Navy veteran who served as a gunner on the aircraft carrier Bunker Hill. He was involved in the battle of Okinawa and was on the Bunker Hill when it was struck by two Japanese kamikaze planes. Nearly 400 crew members died in the attack.

Married to the former Barbara Bodkin for 49 years -- she died in 1997 -- Fahey enjoyed spending his summers at the family cottage in Hanford Bay. He also enjoyed reading, listening to music and spending time with his three dogs, Pita, Kelly and Ginger.

His survivors include his two sons, Patrick and State Appellate Justice Eugene M. Fahey; three daughters, Joanne Fenton, Mary Kay Whalen and Colleen P. Fahey; a sister, Mae Carr; and his longtime companion, Joan Flanagan.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday in St. Joseph University Catholic Church, 3269 Main St., following prayers at Dietrich Funeral Home, 2480 Kensington Ave., Amherst.

[FAIRBANKS]

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