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Times of Wayne County

Remembering County Patriarch, Don Colvin

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On Friday morning (4/27/14), former Savannah Supervisor Donald Colvin passed away at the Wayne County Nursing Home. Don was Chairman of the Wayne County Board of Supervisors from 1966 until 1972, serving as a member of the board for 48 years and 1 month. Don was the longest continually serving Town Supervisor in New York State (1959-2007). He was a Korean veteran, having served for 15 months during the Korean conflict. He was a member of the Savannah American Legion Post and the Montezuma Veterans of Foreign Wars Post.

Don was born on January 18, 1927 in Butler, New York. He married his wife Lynn in 1949.

In 1957, Don purchased his first funeral home in Savannah and in 1973, he bought the Robertson Funeral home in Sodus. He would eventually sell both funeral homes to Norton Funeral homes in 1997.

Very involved in community service, Don was a member and past Master of the Savannah Lodge 764 F & AM (Masonic Lodge), a member of the Royal Arch of the Masons, a member of the Commandry and the Damascus Shrine.  Don served for 56 years as a member of the Savannah Fire department, and was on the Board of Directors of the Butler-Savannah Cemetery Association, and the Board of Directors of the Newark Wayne Community Hospital, He was also a member of the Savannah Chamber of Commerce and Wolcott Rotary Club. In 1966, Don founded the Wayne County Action (WAYNECAP) program, and was a past Director of the program and Board member Emeritus. He retired from the Wayne County Board of Supervisors in 2007.

Butler Supervisor, Dave Spickerman said of the man with whom he served for 20 years,”Don  remembered everything. If I asked him about some   event that happened on the board, he wouldn’t even hesitate; he would just say, “Oh, yeah, I remember that.”

Spickerman had known Colvin even before their time serving on the Board of Supervisors. “He grew up in Butler.”

A few long time friends and colleagues were at Don’s bedside on Friday when he passed, including Dave Spickerman and close friend, former Planning Director Sharon Lilla.

“He was in the Nursing Home recovering, but he expected to go home soon. I will miss him very much. “Don was a surprising man, in that he was very thrifty, and yet he would always make sure people in need were helped,” Dave mused. “He never would let someone lose their home for back taxes. He would bend over backwards to help them find a way to keep their home. He was a very caring man.”

Assemblyman Bob Oaks said: “Over 48 years as Savannah Town Supervisor, Don Colvin used his energy, time and talent to serve the Town of Savannah and all of Wayne County. I worked with Don for many of those years and witnessed his ability to come up with a rational option when others saw no solution. Wayne County has lost a political icon and one who dedicated most of his life to public service.”

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