Joyce Lobene – forever remembered for making “Spencerport – Someplace Special”

By on October 31, 2016
The plaque commissioned by the Canal Days Committee which now is displayed in front of the flagpole outside the Village of Spencerport Office. Photo by Maggie Fitzgibbon

The plaque commissioned by the Canal Days Committee which now is displayed in front of the flagpole outside the Village of Spencerport Office. Photo by Maggie Fitzgibbon

Joyce Lobene will forever be remembered as a woman with an incredible spirit who was loved by many, and was someone who made “Spencerport Someplace Special.”

The Canal Days Committee recently commissioned a plaque noting Lobene’s service to the Village of Spencerport. A ceremony was held as this plaque was presented to the Lobene family members.

Lobene’s commitment to the Village of Spencerport was evident in her work. Her committed efforts with the Spencerport Chamber of Commerce included not just a term as president but also many years as a board member. She served as the mayor of Spencerport from 2009 until 2014 when she retired due to health reasons. During her tenure, she was a driving force behind the economic development of Spencerport.

At this ceremony, many reflected upon Lobene’s contributions to the Spencerport community.

Canal Days Committee member Alba Alonci, owner of Grandpa Sam’s, explained how Lobene paid attention to the area businesses owners.

“Joyce always tried to promote the area businesses. We would often see her walking up and down Union Street and she would stop in to the businesses to speak with the owners,” Alonci explained. “My favorite memory was watching her as she dressed up as Santa’s helper during Christmas on the Canal and how she loved to talk with the children.”

During the ceremony, Jane Dry thanked the Canal Days Committee for honoring her long-time friend.

Pictured left to right: Mary, Mike and Jim Lobene accept the plaque from Canal Days Committee members Becky Daniels and Alba Alonci. Photo by Maggie Fitzgibbon

Pictured left to right: Mary, Mike and Jim Lobene accept the plaque from Canal Days Committee members Becky Daniels and Alba Alonci. Photo by Maggie Fitzgibbon

“I became friends with Joyce 55 years ago. She was a dedicated, devoted, determined and very special lady. Her accomplishments are many. I remember when she talked to me about running for mayor.  She told me, “My heart is in this village and I want to see it prosper.’  She saw her vision come true,” Dry said.

During this ceremony, many others spoke about Lobene.  Ogden Town Supervisor Gay Lenhard listed Lobene’s achievements including beautification of Spencerport, and the Hometown Heroes project. Lenhard credited Lobene for the results of a recent New York state survey.

“A recent survey was released that noted the best places to live in New York state. The survey listed Spencerport as 18 out of 275 municipalities. We know our friend Joyce played a role in the ranking of our village. She is remembered for her enthusiasm, collaboration and for making Spencerport special,” Lenhard said.

Alonci along with Becky Daniels, Canal Days Committee member, presented the plaque to Lobene’s three children, Mary, Jim and Mike Lobene.

“When Jane Dry approached the Canal Days Committee about doing something to honor Joyce, we knew that this was the right thing to do. Everyone was on board to do this. Joyce worked very hard and was so passionate about Spencerport. This plaque is our way to honor her courage, vision and love of this community,” Daniels said.

The three siblings spoke about their mother and in turn presented the plaque to Gary Penders, the Mayor of Spencerport.

“Mom believed that Spencerport was a giving community. So many people invest their time to make Spencerport what it is, which is why she loved our village. She was a cheerleader for our village and supported anything having to do with Spencerport,” Mary said.

Gary Penders installs the Joyce Lobene plaque with the help of Mary, Jim and Mike Lobene. Photo by Maggie Fitzgibbon

Gary Penders installs the Joyce Lobene plaque with the help of Mary, Jim and Mike Lobene. Photo by Maggie Fitzgibbon

“Mom was someone who liked to get things done. Her actions spoke louder than her words. She made our home in this community and worked to make Spencerport a community we all can be proud of,” Mike added. “Mom was so patriotic, so she would be absolutely ecstatic that this plaque is located in front of the flagpole,” Jim noted.

Penders echoed similar words as those who spoke about Lobene at the ceremony.

“Joyce was instrumental in so many village projects and events, the development of the Heritage Trail, the 9/11 ceremony and most importantly, the removal of the CSX Railroad Bridge. I always knew her door was open and I could speak to her about anything,” Penders explained.

As the ceremony came to a close, Jill Cordts, President of the Spencerport Chamber of Commerce reflected upon Lobene’s contributions to the Village.

“Joyce loved everything about Spencerport and everyone who lived here – our residents, children, seniors, veterans and schools.  She promoted, cultivated and protected our businesses.  She was a champion for Spencerport,” Cordts said.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, the plaque was installed in front of the flagpole located outside the Village of Spencerport Office. A reception was held immediately after the ceremony.

by Maggie Fitzgibbon

for the Canal Days Committee