Remembering Ed Fancher, A True Purple Eagle

Ed Fancher dishing popcorn.

Ed loved dishing popcorn in the Alumni booth during homecoming football games.

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Ed Fancher, Class of 83′.

Our Foundation has suffered a great loss with the passing of Ed. Not only did he serve as Vice President, President and Treasurer across nearly 20 years, but he was one of the visionaries that helped build our Foundation into what it is today.

I will forever be grateful for the guidance he has given me these past several years. Ed is the gold standard for how we should treat one another, and what we should strive to be. His kindness and compassion went far beyond our organization and touched our community in more ways than I can count. His impact was most felt by those who needed it most. For decades children opened Christmas presents, families shared thanksgiving dinners, graduates bought school books and paid tuition in no small part thanks to the time and efforts of Ed Fancher.

These past couple years when I would stop to visit, I would go into Ed’s office feeling sad that such a wonderful person had to endure this battle with cancer, sad that this day might eventually come, and sad because none of it was fair. But he never made me feel that way. He always had the same smile, the same optimistic outlook, and the same commitment to helping those in need, regardless of what he went through. I always felt better after talking with Ed, and I’m confident most people share that sentiment. If you knew Ed, you were a better person for it.

I will miss Ed a great deal, our Foundation will miss him, our community will miss him.

In this day and age when our society is so divided, and people are so quick to anger and quick to judge, Ed just wanted to help. The best way we can honor him is to try and show the same kindness that he always did. In regards to the amount of positive impact one person can have on their community, Ed sets the bar very high. That doesn’t mean we can’t reach for it. Our community will miss Ed, but we don’t have to miss what he stood for.

Steve Hicks, President
Albion High School Alumni Foundation


Ed embodied our motto, “Making a difference for a lifetime.”  

Ed.  What a special guy.  Always a smile, always a welcoming hug.  He loved life and he loved this community he proudly called home. 

We all have special memories of Ed.  One of mine that I will always hold dear is homecoming.  And popcorn. 

During our summer Foundation board meeting we would always plan homecoming.  We had the usual questions – What prizes and trinkets should we sell; How will we welcome our alum when they come back for the game; Who wants to work at the booth; Who wants to run the popcorn machine? 

The dreaded popcorn machine. Everyone would look around the table. Silence. Furtive sideways glances. Heads bowed. Inevitably, the first person to volunteer would always be Ed.  “I’ll run the popcorn!” Phew! Thank goodness for Ed. 

Now, I must share with you, the popcorn machine is a messy, messy job. And tiring.  You stand the entire time, shoveling popcorn in bags as fast as you can make it.  I think Ed was the only person who actually enjoyed popping the popcorn!  He would start popping from 6pm – halftime.  Nonstop.  And when he was done, and everything was cleaned and put to bed, he wouldn’t want to rush home to change out of his greasy popcorn smelling sweatshirt (like the rest of us).  No, he stayed in the field house, standing at the window watching the rest of the football game, cheering on our Purple Eagles. When the game was over and the crowds were dispersing, Ed would smile and comment on another homecoming success.

Even though Ed wasn’t able to man the popcorn machine the last couple of years, he was always with us in spirit at homecoming and he always will continue to be.  

Thank you Ed for all you have done for so many people here in Albion and our community.  Your willingness to serve others above self should be an inspiration to all. 

Next time someone asks you to volunteer, or to give just a little bit of your time to help someone else, ask yourself, “What would Ed do?”  You know the answer.  I promise, you will be better for it.  Let’s all try to be a little more like Ed and make a difference in our lifetime. 

Once a Purple Eagle, always a Purple Eagle.  Fly high, my friend.