March 9, 1946 – Aug. 29, 2021
For decades before Howard M. “Hub” Frawley Jr. was elected mayor of Angola, he was active in civic affairs, leading the Jaycees and the Chamber of Commerce and later serving on the planning board and as a village trustee.
But after he became mayor in April 2005, he relished that role, said his niece, Lisa Plukas. If he spotted a stranger in a restaurant, he would welcome them to Angola.
"He loved meeting people, shaking their hands and marching in parades," Plukas said. "Everybody knows him as the mayor."
Mr. Frawley, who served 16 years as mayor, was stricken at Autumn View Heath Care Facility, where he was undergoing rehabilitation, and died in Mercy Hospital of Buffalo. He was 75.
His achievements during his terms included the opening of a senior housing complex operated by People Inc. in Angola. He also campaigned for Lake Shore Hospital and against "zombie houses" abandoned by the banks that had foreclosed on them.
Mr. Frawley was jovial and literally colorful, known for wearing a bright yellow blazer that had other mayors jokingly asking where they could get their own "mayor's jacket."
Mr. Frawley was born in Angola, the second child and only son of Howard M. and Mildred Dickinson Frawley Sr. His father was nicknamed "Hub," so his son became "Hubba," shortened to "Hub" after his father died in 1965.
Mr. Frawley was a member of the class of 1964 of Lake Shore Central High School, where he competed in basketball, baseball, volleyball, and track and field.
After graduation, he moved to Detroit, where he served an apprenticeship as a ceramic tile and marble setter. He returned home to Angola in 1970 and worked as a tile setter, for a time operating a storefront on Commercial Street in the village.
Soon after returning, he became active in the Evans Jaycees and the Angola Moose Lodge, as well as other social and community organizations.
He married Margaret M. Zaranski on May 19, 1973.
In 1983, Mr. Frawley was appointed to an unexpired term on the Village Planning Board. He joined the Village Board as a trustee in 1997, and in 1998 he headed the village's 125-Year Quasquicentennial celebration.
In 1999 and 2003, he was re-elected to the village board, and in 2005, he was elected mayor. At his first meeting as mayor, Mr. Frawley told the crowd of 80 people, "I believe that the people have the right to have open government. I will do everything I can so that the people of the Village of Angola and Town of Evans get to hear and see everything that is going on."
He was re-elected to a four-year term as mayor in 2009. During those early terms, he served on the executive board for the New York Conference of Mayors and as president of the Erie County Association of Government.
As his political responsibilities increased, Mr. Frawley eventually sold his tile business, said his niece, although he continued to work occasionally.
In 2011, after defeating incumbent Francis Pordum in the Democratic primary for Town of Evans supervisor, Mr. Frawley lost to Republican Keith Dash.
He was re-elected mayor in 2013 and 2017. He ran for a fifth term in 2021, but lost to challenger Thomas M. Whelan.
In 2017, Mr. Frawley was named to the Lake Shore Central School District's Wall of Fame. His citation said, "Mayor Frawley has worked hard with his 'Friends of the Village' to bring the Village of Angola back to life as a quaint yet viable community hub maintaining and introducing new restaurants, amenities, retail, fitness and culture ..."
Mr. Frawley was president of the Evans Jaycees from 1973 to 1974, and in 1980 he was elected director of the 25 Western New York Jaycee chapters in Region VIII.
A life member of Angola Moose Lodge 1613, he served as governor from 1983 to 1984.
He was a member of the Sturgeon Point Sportsman’s Club and the Evans-Brant Chamber of Commerce, which awarded him its Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.
He was a founder of the Old Ford Athletic Club and part owner of the Old Ford Lanes on Main Street for several years in the 1980s.
As mayor, he was active in decorating the business district with lights every Christmas, and was known for his booming greeting, "Happy holidays!" in every place he entered in November and December, his niece said with a chuckle.
Besides his niece and his wife, Margaret M. Frawley, Mr. Frawley is survived by in-laws and two nephews.
A funeral will begin at 10:30 a.m. Thursday in the First Congregational United Church of Christ. 132 N. Main St., Angola.