Edward F. Fanning, age 98, of Horseheads, NY, formerly of Brown Road in South Corning died Thursday, October 19, 2017 at Arnot Ogden Medical Center in Elmira.
Ed was born in New York City to Edward and Evelyn (Mulhall) Fanning. He married Helen Crowley on November 11, 1950 in Ithaca and was predeceased by her on October 20, 2014.
Like many in his generation he experienced the hardships of the depression years with his family. Ed was graduated from Mamaroneck High School in Larchmont and while working nights at Western Electric making radio parts, he attended Columbia University's engineering school during the day. After World War II broke out he served his country in the Army Air Corps as a First Lieutenant flight engineer aboard B-29 bombers stationed in Saipan. Flying 35 missions with several crews he fought in the campaign against the Japanese main Islands. His final few missions were to drop supplies to American POWs following the surrender of Imperial Japan.
Upon returning home from Saipan, he completed his engineering degree at Columbia and was hired by Corning Glass Works. Ed rode into Corning on the train from New York City to start his position as a mechanical engineer designing furnaces to melt specialized glass and ceramics. While serving the company with dedication into the 1980's he was sent on many business trips to South America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. After China opened its doors to American business, Ed was among the first to be sent there. Perhaps his proudest accomplishment came after his retirement when he worked as a consultant on the design of the glass furnace that was used to create the enormous glass disc that forms one of the largest mirrors ever created for a telescope. That mirror is now in the Japanese owned Subaru Telescope on top of Mauna Kea in Hawaii.
Among his many hobbies and interests were skiing, sailing, photography, fishing and building things. He bought the design for the house that he and Helen had built on Brown Road and modified the design to suit their needs. Then he personally wired the house and after the first floor was completed, he finished the second floor during nights and weekends. From Heathkits he constructed his own HIFI stereo equipment. One winter he bought a radial arm saw and plans for a sailboat which he built and sailed many summers thereafter on the finger lakes with his kids. Skiing was Ed's winter passion which he passed on to his children. With them and Helen he spent many weekends at local ski resorts. Helen and Ed cherished the multiple ski trips they took together in Europe.
Ed's thirst for knowledge was unquenchable. The house was always full of books, newspapers and magazines that he was reading. Over the years he enrolled in multiple courses at Corning Community College just for the sake of learning. He studied geology, foreign languages and computer programming among other things. Often he brought home dinner guests working with Corning Glass Works who came to Corning from other countries.
In retirement Ed volunteered his service to several organizations. One of them, which he especially supported, was Habitat for Humanity. It was his wish that upon his death contributions in his honor be directed to that worthy charity.
He is survived by two daughters, Eileen Fanning of Corning and Barbara (Jesse) Fanning-Dowdell of Syracuse; two sons, William (Mary Ann Niles) Fanning of Londonderry, NH and Robert (Suzanne) Fanning of Madison, WI; grandchildren, Keith, Brent, Gabrielle, Brendon, Walker, and Laurel Kate; several nieces and nephews. Ed was predeceased by his sisters, Joan Ells and Elizabeth Fanning.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 12:00 Noon on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at St. Mary's Church, 155 State Street in Corning with Father John Forni officiating. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery.
Memorial donations may be made in Ed's name to Steuben County Habitat for Humanity, P.O. Box 800, Corning, NY 14830.
Ed's family entrusted his care to Haughey Funeral Home, Inc.