on May 13, 2013 - 10:42 PM
, updated May 13, 2013 at 10:45 PM
March 8, 1936 – March 12, 2013
A memorial service for Marcus Richard “Dick” Mabee, a well-known Buffalo real estate agent and longtime Elmwood Village resident, will be at 2 p.m. May 24 in Church of the Ascension, North Street at Linwood Avenue.
Mr. Mabee died March 12 in Stuart, Fla., after a two-decade battle against Parkinson’s disease. He was 77.
Born in Albany, he was descended from early Dutch settlers in the upstate area, a proud distinction that inspired his lifelong love of New York State history. Before moving to Florida in 2001, he donated much of his extensive book collection to the 1700s-era Mabee Farm Historic Site in Rotterdam Village, the oldest standing home in the Mohawk Valley.
After moving to Buffalo as a child, he attended public schools, graduating from Bennett High School in 1954. He attended the University of Buffalo. During the 1960s, he was a salesman for Rugby sportswear in New York, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas, and trained new sales employees in those and other states. He served in the Army Reserve.
Mr. Mabee later owned Scrimshander Antiques in Allentown, which featured folk art, including furniture, painting and sculpture, and was especially known for its American glassware.
In 1972, he joined the Gurney Becker & Bourne real estate agency, where he reconnected with childhood friend James Bourne and, over a nearly 30-year career in residential and commercial sales, developed a reputation as an expert in architecturally significant properties. He retired as a vice president in 2001.
He was a past member of the Buffalo Board of Realtors and the city Landmark and Preservation Board, where he headed the committee that set boundaries and guidelines for preservation districts. He served on the Buffalo & Erie County Historical Society members advisory board.
Mr. Mabee was a board member of Forever Elmwood, which grew into the Elmwood Village Association. A collector of Mark Twain early editions, he also focused on state history and his family’s genealogy. He was a member of Friends of the Mabee House and, after moving to Stuart, became a docent and storyteller at the Elliott Museum.
His many interests included music, travel and fishing, particularly in Ontario’s Temagami region.
“Dick was easygoing, entertaining and knowledgeable,” characteristics that attracted a wide range of friends, James Bourne said.
A lifelong Episcopalian, Mr. Mabee was a vestryman and senior warden at Church of the Ascension and was a lay representative of the Western New York Diocese at a national church convention.
Survivors include his wife, Johanna Koch Mabee; a son, Marcus Jacob “Jake”; and a sister, Nancy Mabee Flagg.