James Michael Fay

Michael Fay

Tuesday, December 18th, 1945 - Sunday, June 7th, 2020
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In Loving Memory of J. Michael Fay
J. Michael Fay was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Dec 18, 1945 and died in Minden, Ontario on June 7, 2020. He was a loved and loving husband, father, brother and son. He will be forever missed by his family: his life partner, Fay Martin, daughter Krissa Fay, step-daughters Heather McLeod (Arno Kalbus) and Kirstie McLeod (Scott Martin); grandchildren Michael P., Bec, Ria, Ben, Maura-Jane, Sam, David, Katie and siblings Kathy, Peggy and John. He was predeceased by his parents Walter and Mary-Grace, siblings Mary Anne, Patty and Tim and grand-daughter Ella.

Michael was a force for change, a tireless cheerleader for causes and individuals, a gifted organizer and communicator, committed to social justice through-out his life. Before he left the USA for Toronto in 1970 he was a Volunteer for America in Chicago and dedicated advocate for civil rights, including working on Robert Kennedy’s 1968 campaign. He continued to organize and advocate for social justice in Toronto, spearheading several community organization initiatives and a key part of CommonAct.

In 1975, he moved to Alberta and became a freelance journalist and published author, studied at the Banff School for the Arts and Bread Loaf Writers Conference with W.O Mitchell, Alice Munroe and others. He founded the Alexandra Writers’ Centre and edited the Dandelion. He was twice president of the Professional Writers Association of Canada, and as such negotiated creators’ rights in Canada’s initial agreement to reimburse writers for reproduction of their work (Access Copyright).

He became a health promotion worker with marginalized and immigrant populations in Toronto from 1982 to retirement in 2002 – some of his key accomplishments of this time include the Speak Out! And Count me In! initiatives and the documentary Salud.

In retirement he moved to Minden where he gave leadership for better library services, the Arts Council, Minden Cultural Centre Foundation, and became a playwright. He founded Conjurors of County Town which produced several original plays, his and others, based on local history and performed outdoors. In later years, he returned to writing short-form fiction, a collection of which: Tenderness and other Stories, was recently published. And Michael continued daily efforts to inspire and engage until his very last days through his FaceBook posts.

The world is a better place because of J. Michael Fay. He touched so many. The family would welcome written letters and cards from those with memories and stories of Michael to share, in lieu of flowers. Those stories are the best tangible tribute and comfort we could receive. Please mail to Fay Martin, 1166 Horseshoe Lake Road, Minden, Ontario K0M 2K0.

Memorial Donations to Places for People would also be appreciated by the family and can be arranged through the Gordon A. Monk Funeral Home Ltd., P.O. Box 427, Minden, Ontario K0M 2K0.

Cremation has taken place. A celebration of life will be announced later.
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Private Condolence

Sid Tafler

Posted at 07:27am
Michael worked long and hard on behalf of the Periodical Writers Association of Canada, the national group of freelance journalists, to ensure that they maintained and earned benefits from their legitimate copyright in the works they wrote. Hundreds of writers benefited from his achievement in forming a copyright agency and directing funds to writers. He was a pleasure to work with, his humility and determination always at hand. Condolences to friends and family. He lives in the hearts of writers across this country.

Norm and Elaine McLeod

Posted at 06:00pm
With love and gratitude for all you have contributed to the world.
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Ray and Judy Feldman

Posted at 10:53pm
“Judy and I extend our deep sympathy to the family and friends of J. Michael Fay.
Mike and I first met 69 years ago in the first grade at st. Teresa Avila Grade School, in Cincinnati, Ohio. We were in the same classrooms throughout grade school. Mike graduated from Elder High School in 1963. And then entered St. Gregory Seminary.
After the seminary, mike moved to Canada.

Eternal rest grant unto Michael Fay, O Lord, and may he shine in the perpetual light of Jesus.
May he rest in peace.
May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, Rest in Peace.
My his soul and the souls of he rest in Peace. Amen. ”

Ray and Judy Feldman Posted at 10:59pm

Sorry, That last line of my condolence "My his soul and the souls of he rest in Peace. Amen.” is a typo mistake that wasn't intended. Sorry for not proofreading more carefully..

Neil Campbell

Posted at 05:44pm
Michael and I sometimes talked about the hometown heroes of his boyhood, the Cincinnati Reds, but he grew past Ohio to become a great Canadian. He was a true gentleman and a lover of all things literary. His hard work on behalf all of the arts changed our community in the 21st century. I will surely miss him even as Fay and his family mourn their loss.
But there's time left from mourning for happy memories, like the one in the photo below, taken by Sheryl Loucks. On a New Year's Eve afternoon, Michael plays host and best man to Sandra and I for our wedding. Time for a champagne toast to the bride and groom and Michael struggles to free the cork from its glass prison until suddenly it pops out to hit the ceiling. A happy memory . . .
Neil Campbell

Sheryl Loucks

Posted at 10:48pm
This was from a River Needs To Run at the Minden Hills Cultural Centre - Michael giving a thumbs up under the tent.

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