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Neal V. Fatin III, 61, corporate and health care executive

Feb. 12, 1957 – March 15, 2018

Open heart surgery was not only a life saver for Neal Fatin, it was a career changer.

“From that experience, he got involved in the medical world from a business basis,” his wife, Peggy, said. “That was his passion.”

It prompted Mr. Fatin to leave a position he held for 10 years as president and chief executive officer of TR Services, the telecommunications equipment company that installed the phone system in what is now the KeyBank Center, and become CEO of the medical group whose doctors performed his surgery in 2001, Buffalo Cardiology and Pulmonary Associates.

“It’s almost like that old Remington razor commercial,” he told The Buffalo News in 2002, “where the guy was so impressed with the product that he bought the company.”

He oversaw an expansion of Buffalo Cardiology and a move into new offices in Amherst.

He went on to become chairman of the board of managers at Erie County Medical Center in 2003 after serving on the board’s operations and cardiac care committees. Later that year he was appointed to the full-time post of executive director of strategic planning.

Then, in the late 2000s, he served for several years as executive director of external operations for Brylin Hospital.

He died March 15 in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga, after battling cancer for almost a year. He was 61.

Born in Buffalo, Neal Vincent Fatin III was a 1975 graduate of Nichols School, where he played on the hockey team. He interrupted his studies at Hobart College when his father died, returned home to support his mother and younger sister and resumed taking classes at the University at Buffalo.

He began his career as a banker with M&T Bank in the early 1980s, then went to Marine Midland Bank in 1983. He became vice president for sales and marketing manager in the bank’s Investment Services Division in 1989, then was made vice president and team leader for the Regional Corporate Banking Division.

He left in 1991 to become head of TR Services.

Later he established a financial services company, AP&T Inc., and served as president and CEO.

In Bay Beach, Ont., where he built a summer home, he and a partner formed RN West Shore Limited, which developed properties. He was president of Abino Dune Association.

He served on the boards of directors of the Jewett Refrigeration Co., Russlander and Sons Inc. and IPLogic Inc. He also was a member of the advisory board of Dopkins & Co.

He was a board member of Child & Family Services, a sustaining board member of the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation, vice chairman of the Millard Fillmore Health Foundation and Research Foundation and a member of the Millard Fillmore Hospitals Finance Committee.

He served as president of the Nichols School Alumni Board and was a member of the Board of Deacons at Westminster Presbyterian Church.

He was a section leader for the United Way and a committee member for Kids Escaping Drugs.

In 1995, he was co-chairman of the World Veterans Games in Buffalo.

He was a longtime member of the Buffalo Canoe Club and the Saturn Club, where he served on numerous committees.

He also was a board member at the Cherry Hill Club and a member of the Bertie Boating Club.

Since he was in his 20s, he coached in the Old Shamrock Hockey Association and the Buffalo Bisons Hockey Association.

“He coached his sons and all of their friends,” his wife said.

He also enjoyed golfing, boating, squash, chess, water skiing, photography and walking his dogs on the beach.

He was a member of the inaugural group of Buffalo Business First’s 40 Under 40 honorees in 1992.

In addition to his wife of 29 years, the former Margaret “Peggy” Hughes, survivors include two sons, Neal V. IV and Geoffrey L.; and a sister, Deborah Fatin Burke.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. March 24, in Westminster Presbyterian Church, 724 Delaware Ave.

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