May 20, 2020

Remembering Michael Fairbanks


Mike Fairbanks, a dedicated employee of Hamilton County Developmental Services for more than 20 years, passed away far too soon at the age of 55. Mike worked as a custodial aide at both Franks Adult Center and Margaret B. Rost School.

Mike was an outstanding basketball player, and first got involved with Special Olympics Hamilton County at the Rost gymnasium in 1985. Over the years, he helped win multiple championships at the Special Olympics state games, participated in the Special Olympics international games, and competed successfully in Unified Special Olympics basketball competition. The Rost School gymnasium was his home court for many of the games he played throughout his life.

Most importantly, Mike never let his superior talent get in the way of being a supportive teammate and leader.  This was true in every sport in which he participated: basketball, volleyball, softball, and bowling. He was encouraging to athletes of all abilities, both his own teams and those on competing teams, and volunteered as a chaperone for the state summer games.

He derived great joy from competition and, in turn, became a wonderful friend to countless Special Olympians, coaches, and family members.  In 2018, Mike won the Special Olympics Hamilton County Ethel Luken Dedication Award, honoring him for the contributions he made for more than 30 years. 

His coworkers at Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services recognized those same qualities in him. Mike valued the friendships he developed with his fellow employees, as well as the students and individuals he supported through his hard work.

In honor of Mike’s service and his contribution to Hamilton County DD Services and to the students at Margaret B. Rost School, the gym at Rost will be officially named in his honor. We are all better people for having known Mike.  We mourn his loss and honor his memory.
View all news articles