Friends and colleagues of James Fahy describe him as a kind, friendly man and a dedicated member of the Fort Lauderdale Gay Men’s Chorus (FTLGMC).
Fahy, 75, was killed Saturday, June 19 by a fellow member of the chorus in a tragic automobile accident at the start of the Stonewall Wilton Manors Pride Parade. Two other chorus members were hurt, one of whom was seriously injured. He was discharged from the hospital Monday.
In a statement following the incident, FTLGMC President Justin Knight said Fahy was “a longtime, valued member of our Chorus family and he will be deeply missed.”
“I don’t want to use a cliché, but we’re all a family. It does apply in this instance,” said chorus member Tom Cusack. Fahy, a second tenor, “was a quiet guy, always smiling. He loved Christmas music and especially the Christmas concert.”
Another chorus member, Bradley Bush, recalled Fahy’s beautiful voice and noted, “Jim never needed to be out in front with solos. He was happy doing what he was doing.”
Both credited Fahy, who joined the chorus three years ago, as a committed volunteer who helped whenever needed and never missed a rehearsal.
Bush noted that many gay men’s choruses across the country were formed in the 1980s to sing at the funerals of AIDS victims. FTLGMC performed at hundreds of services since and said of those lost friends, “They’re never forgotten and Jim won’t be forgotten.”
Cusack added, “We want to come back and sing to show we can overcome anything and honor Jim by singing again. He will always be in our memory. We can’t stop.”
Outside of the chorus, Fahy worked as a port cruise agent for Royal Caribbean and Princess Cruises and as an activity specialist for AHRC, a nonprofit organization that provides services to people with developmental disabilities, according to his LinkedIn profile.
He studied at Loyola Universities in Chicago and Baltimore and completed an advanced certificate in disability studies from the City University of New York in 2013.
SFGN Publisher Norm Kent remembered Fahy coming into the newspaper’s office each week: “He would come by the office every Thursday to take two bundles of the paper to his building at the Galt Ocean Mile. He just wanted to make sure everyone in his building got the newspaper.”
Realtor Anthony Michael Kulp met Fahy shortly after he moved to South Florida and socialized with him often at Fort Lauderdale Prime Gentlemen social club events and Matty’s Wilton Park.
He said, “From the very beginning Jim engaged with the community and the people he met. Jim was so passionate about the chorus. He was always handing out information for the next concert and, in only the way Jim could do, he made you feel like you would be missing the most important event of the year.”
Summing up the feelings of many who knew Fahy, Kulp added, “I know without a doubt Jim will be an angel looking over the chorus during every event.”
Funeral arrangements for James Fahy are pending and will be announced at a future date.
James Fahy (left) in Pompano Beach. Credit: JR Davis.