William Fais moved here in 1985 from Mentor, Ohio. He taught 6th grade for 25 years in Ohio. William has a wide variety of interests from making violins, canoe building, and stained glass. He started to work in stained glass just because glass is beautiful. One of the other teachers was teaching his students how to make stained glass sun catchers. During this time a lot of people were interested in having stained glass objects in their homes. William became interested in stained glass. There was a store in Mentor that had a huge variety of glass. William fell in love with glass at that time.
He has made several windows for churches (one is in the Cazenovia Baptist Church) and lamp shades.
Many people in New Woodstock were donating their talents and skills to make the new library beautiful. William thought that the belfry window on the front of the building was quite ugly. So he decided to design a stained glass window to fill the space.
The window had 4 sections, each section has a different theme:
The first panel shows children and the wonder of reading. It features a little girl reading to the Cheshire cat.The scientific world is represented in the second panel. Einstein’s equation, math symbols, and 2 quark symbols are all incorporated in this window.
The third window panel features the world, the Constellations Hydra, and the Red apple for Newtons Law of Gravity.
Outer space-the world beyond the earth is shown in the fourth window. The sun’s corona, Horsehead Nebula and assorted stars fill the space. (The stars were faceted zircons from an old bracelet that belonged to Mrs. Fais’s mother.)
William and Marilyn worked together in their garage and it took all of the summer of 1996 to complete the job. Marilyn said that that was one of the happiest summers that they had spent together.
They started with a hand drawn cartoon (a blue print of the design), the 500 glass pieces were cut and ground to fit and assembled. Copper foil was applied to the edges of the glass. Then the solder was melted on to the foil. The solder won’t adhere to the glass. That is why copper foil is used. The best part of the project was choosing the pieces of glass and making sure that the palette was right. Marilyn and William spent a lot of time deciding which piece of glass would be perfect for the specific spot.
On October 26, 1996 the instillation began.
Gary Foster and William had to scale the belfry ladder. This was no easy feat. They had to remove a large beam to install the window.
The men were looking at the back side of the windows. This made the job even harder.Gary completed the job by installing back lighting.
Now the stained glass windows are illuminated for all of us to enjoy. Please take a few minutes to stop and take a look at this beautiful work of art.
You may have to crane your neck, but it will be well worth your time.
F. William Fais
Frederick William Fais, 88, of New Woodstock, passed away at his home on July 22, 2013, with his wife of 63 years and daughters by his side.
He was born on July 26, 1924 to Nina Green and Oscar Biddle Fais in Spencer, Iowa, in “the best state in the land,” as he always claimed. He served in the United States Navy, in the Pacific Theater of World War II, from 1943 until 1946, and graduated from Cornell College, Iowa, in 1948. While studying at Columbia University, New York, for his master’s degree in American Literature, he met his future wife, Marilyn Jean Chrisman whom he married on September 2, 1950. Professionally, he was an elementary school teacher whose sometimes unorthodox approach to education inspired the love and respect of his students. But his true interests lay in woodworking and stained glass. He built everything from houses out of recycled barn timbers long before that was the fashion, to stately corner cupboards, to finely crafted violins, violas and a harp. His daughter Mary Heather has played one of his violins and viola in her time with the Syracuse Symphony, and still plays his instruments in her performances. His stained glass windows grace churches in Painesville, Ohio; Corning, New York; and Cazenovia; as well as the New Woodstock Free Library. His stunning stained glass Holocaust memorial window is installed at the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching, Cullowhee, North Carolina.
William was also an adventurer, who built his own canoes to follow the Lewis and Clark journey down the Missouri River with his young family. Having spotted a tiny island in the South Pacific also named “Fais,” he took two trips there, flying from Japan to Guam, to Yap and finally to Fais. He was an avid naturalist and reader, whose curiosity, knowledge, and sense of humor opened up the world to his daughters and his granddaughters. He worked in the Salvation Army soup kitchen and was a lifelong contributor to animal welfare organizations. He was raised in the Congregational United Church of Christ and was most recently a member of the Cazenovia Village Baptist Church.
William leaves behind a wife who loved him unflinchingly, Marilyn Jean Chrisman Fais; three daughters: Jennifer Green Fais (Noel Sylvester), Laurel Catherine Fais (Eric Vatikiotis-Bateson) and Mary Heather Fais (Charles Shatzkin); five granddaughters: Caitlin Vatikiotis-Bateson (Michael Harrell), Amelia Fais Harnas, Malia Vatikiotis-Bateson (Matthew Gauthier), Adriana Fais Kramer (Holger Kramer), and Indiana Vatikiotis-Bateson; and two great-grandchildren, Akina Gauthier and Axton Harrell. He was predeceased by his brother, Oswill.