A bittersweet farewell

Dear Editor:

Learning of Stephen Fay’s retirement and his moving back to the Berkshires is bittersweet. We all are so glad, as he has more than earned his “time in the sun,” but having the Fay family leave Ellsworth will leave a void of epic proportions. Stephen, Martha and children have made more than their mark on this community and beyond.

Stephen has been a co-worker, a mentor, an advisor and, more importantly, a true friend of mine. I remember vividly asking him (upon a suggestion) to join our YMCA board in the mid-’90s. He enthusiastically accepted and it was nothing more than a home run for our YMCA. I truly believe the Down East Family YMCA might not exist today if not for Stephen, his passion, thoughtfulness and tireless work. I know for sure the Y summer camp would never have been a reality without Stephen. He did not join the Y organization to simply build his resume as a newcomer to Ellsworth. He did so because he knew how much the Y meant to Ellsworth and the youth of our community. He was the Y chairman for not just one tenure but two, and that just might be equal to Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak — a record that will never be broken. But it was his deep love of Ellsworth, people and the YMCA that drove him. Nothing else.

All of us who worked with and know Stephen will miss him, his wit, humor and most of all, his compassion. I think the best compliment one could say about Stephen is that he is leaving Ellsworth a much better place and leaving us as better people than when he arrived. We all are extremely grateful for that and will be forever.

Good luck, dear friend.

Cooper Friend


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