Laverne Francis “Lee” Fassl, retired director of student activities and associate dean of students at Canisius College, died Tuesday in his Buffalo home. He was 80.
Born in Buffalo, he was a graduate of Bennett High School and Canisius College, where he received a bachelor’s degree in history in 1957.
A Reserve Officer Training Corps distinguished military graduate, he attended the U.S. Army Joint Staff College and had a 20-year career in the Army, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel. He commanded a special missile unit during the Cuban Missile Crisis and earned a Bronze Star for his service in the Vietnam War.
Returning to Canisius, he earned master’s degrees in arts in history and physical education and, as an administrator, inspired a generation of students through his concern, his energy and his catchphrase, “Don’t be a zero.” He retired in 1998. An award for outstanding student organization at Canisius is named in his honor.
A parishioner at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, he served on the finance committee.
Survivors include his wife of 56 years, the former Maureen Cavan; a son, Mark; two daughters, Deborah Hornberger and Sheila Krieger; and six grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial was offered Friday in St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, 200 St. Gregory Court, Amherst.