WATERTOWN, NY — At the age of 100, Theodore Fibison (Ted) passed away peacefully at 22035 Sunset Ridge, Watertown, NY, surrounded by his loving family and caregivers.
He was predeceased by his beloved wife of 74 years, Elizabeth (Betty) Rolli Fibison, who died in July 2017.
Ted is survived by three daughters: Deanne Canty Scanlon (widow of Daniel J. Scanlon, Jr.) of Chaumont, NY; Dr. Wendy J. Fibison (widow of Samuel J. Watson III) of Alexandria, VA and Chaumont, NY; and Ellen Fibison (married to James Saynor) of Mallorytown, Ontario. Ted, also known affectionately as Baboo, has four grandchildren (Krista Canty Atwater, Jay Canty, Peter T. Watson and Lee Saynor) and a great-grand child (Liam Jack Atwater).
Ted had deep roots to the tailoring and fabric care business. His father learned tailoring in Lausanne, Switzerland, as an apprentice before immigrating to the United States and establishing P.T. Fibison, Inc. in Syracuse. The Fibison business soon became the premier tailoring business in Syracuse. When Ted was in high school, he suggested to his family that it was time to start a dry cleaning plant to clean the tailored garments. Thus, Fibison Cleaners of Syracuse was born and became one of Syracuse’s largest independently-owned dry cleaning services.
After high school, Ted attended Cazenovia College and Syracuse University. As soon as the United States entered World War II, Ted joined the Army. With a deep love of flying, he served as a flight instructor for the Army Air Corps. Training cadets on a Fairchild PT-19 at Cimarron Army Airfield, Oklahoma, he helped his students master aerial maneuvers such as loops, Immelmann turns and snap rolls. His personal favorite was a “falling leaf” in which the plane swoops in a U-shape toward the ground.
After the war, Ted continued to pursue his deep love of flying as a pilot for United Airlines. He spent four years piloting DC 3s mostly on the Denver-Chicago route.
In the early 1950s, Ted and his young family moved to Watertown where Ted established his own business, Parkview Cleaners. The Watertown businessman grew his business over the years from its humble origins across from Thompson Park to a State Street location with several expansion projects. After almost seven decades of making friends and growing his enterprise, the Watertown entrepreneur sold Parkview at the age of 98.
Ted was known for his love of people, his ability to tell a humorous story fitting any occasion, his bring the house down Boogie-woogie, and his Christian faith.
He was one of the founding members of the Wednesday Coleman’s Corner lunch bunch where jokes and stories flowed amidst the greatest of friends.
Ted will be remembered as a fine gentleman, always warm and gracious. He was often seen riding his lawn tractor in tie and coat at his family cottage in Clayton. Ted loved the water as an avid swimmer, boater and fisherman.
A family graveside burial is being planned for this spring.
Memorial contributions in Ted’s name may be made to Hospice of Jefferson County and United Way of NNY with a memo for the Association For the Blind.
Online condolences may be made at www.reedbenoit.com.