Oxford Selectman Jeff Haney dies after battle with cancer
OXFORD — For the third time in a month, the Valley has lost another municipal leader.
Jeff Haney Sr., a longtime member of the Oxford Board of Selectmen has died following a battle with esophagel cancer.
“We had a political marriage,” said First Selectman George Temple. “Now I’m a widow.”
Haney, who owned Jeff Haney and Sons Builders as well as Haney’s Academy of Karate, served as Temple’s Republican running mate in each of the last four victorious elections.
“We weren’t afraid to argue for what we thought was the best approach for the town,” Temple said Tuesday. “When it was over things were back to normal.”
Temple said the John T. Bennett Funeral Home on 91 North Cliff Street, Ansonia is handling arrangements.
“This is a huge loss for our town,” Temple continued. “He did so much and was always willing to volunteer his time and building skills.”
Haney is the third Valley official to die in recent weeks. Ansonia Alderman Frank DeLibero died Feb. 13 after battling pancreatic cancer for seven years. On March 8 Seymour Selectwoman Karen Stanek died.
Temple said Haney helped build the animal shelter and got area contractors, electricians and plumbers to volunteer their time.
“He built the gazebo at Center School and the bocci courts at the Senior Center all on his own time and at no cost to the town,” Temple said.
Temple said he spent part of Monday night with Haney and that “he suffered.”
“The town lost a wonderful friend today and he will be deeply missed,” said Joanne Pelton, a former Connecticut Post reporter who moved to Oxford and went on to serve in Temple’s administration.
Pelton said Haney also helped build the Lily Park Playscape on Great Oak Road.
The Republicans will chose the replacement to fill out Haney’s term which would have ended in November.