Richard F. Fabend, 79, formerly of LaFargeville

WATERTOWN, NY — Richard Frederic Fabend, 79, formerly of Cuyler and then LaFargeville, passed away on June 26, 2022, in Syracuse.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Cleveland Funeral Home Inc., Watertown.

Richard was born May 3, 1943, in Brooklyn, the son of Ernest and Ione Schier Fabend.

He grew up in Nyack, NY, and graduated from Nyack High School and SUNY Cortland. Richard was a teacher for over 30 years in the Truxton, DeRuyter and South Jefferson school districts. He also worked for a short time with the New York State Division for Youth. He taught history and later health at DeRuyter and served as varsity basketball coach for several seasons. At South Jefferson, he was a special education teacher. In addition, he originated, constructed and facilitated a project adventure course for the school. He was a mentor, father figure and touched the lives of many students throughout his tenures at all schools he taught at.  A former student posted the following: “(Richard) was an amazing man! The world and so many of us in it are better because of his positive impact on us.”

After his injury in February 1999, he continued to enjoy the outdoors, teach and inspire others. He never let his injury slow him down as he continued to kayak, hand cycle, lead seminars related to outdoor activities for persons with disabilities and continued to pursue his favorite hobby, turkey hunting, where he continued to achieve success in the field. He also created a web page to share his thoughts, struggles, inventions and ideas with others who were similarly abled.  In addition, he took up fishing and was an avid fan of Syracuse University sports, particularly the lacrosse team. He was an inspiration to all whose lives he touched.

Richard is survived by his wife Margaret Burton Fabend, his son Mark Fabend, his daughter Diana Tafoya; three grandchildren, Nathan (Crystal) Hitchcock, Tyler Fabend and Kaitlyn Fabend; eight great-grandchildren. In addition, he is survived by a sister, Carol Watrel, a brother, Carl (Firth) Fabend; and several nieces and nephews.

Richard was predeceased by his parents and his granddaughter Desirae Fabend.

Calling Hours will be held 2 to 5 p.m. Friday, July 8, with a prayer and eulogies at 5 p.m. at Cleveland Funeral Home Inc., 404 Sherman St., Watertown.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Northern New York Community Foundation, 131 Washington St., Watertown, NY 13601, or at, designated to establish a scholarship in Richard’s name.