Dr. Robert J. Fabiny
Robert John Fabiny died in the early hours of the morning on December 28, 2022, at the age of 90 surrounded by family who had gathered for the holidays in Eau Claire, WI. He was preceded in death by his wife of sixty-four years, Phyllis. He is survived by his three daughters, Anne, Sarah, and Kathleen, and their families.
Born on May 22, 1932, in Hazelton, Pennsylvania, Bob was the only child of John and Helen Fabiny. He dedicated many years of his life to academic study, earning a bachelor’s degree in biology from St. Peter’s College in 1953, followed by a master’s degree from Marquette University in 1955. He then completed a Ph.D. in zoology from Iowa State University in 1957 and pivoted to medical school receiving his M.D. from Western Reserve University in 1965.
Bob completed his obstetrics and gynecology residency in 1970 at University of Wisconsin-Madison and practiced in Madison for two years, before relocating to Eau Claire, WI. He practiced at the Midelfort Clinic and Luther/Mayo Clinic Health System for the remainder of his long and successful career. There are many inhabitants of Eau Claire who were ushered into the world by Bob. After retirement, Bob continued providing care as a Mayo STEP Force volunteer.
Bob met Phyllis Gleason while teaching biology at St. Catherine’s College in St. Paul, MN where she was the Dean of Admissions. They were married in 1957. Daughter Anne was born in Ames, IA while Bob was getting his Ph.D., Sarah was born in Minneapolis, MN while Bob was doing research, and Kathleen was born during his internship in Ann Arbor, MI. Bob ended his medical career in Eau Claire, the community the entire family still considers home.
Always active, Bob was an avid tennis player. He loved baseball—both watching games and a regular weekly practice of playing catch with a friend. He loved jazz music and enjoyed a cold beer. He traveled often, visiting Europe (specifically Oktoberfest in Germany) on many occasions. Sailing adventures and trips to Mexico with friends provided many other joyful memories. He was an active member of Newman Parish where he served as a Confirmation sponsor.
Bob will be remembered for his wry humor, his quiet politeness, and his dedicated grandparenting, including his annual tradition of hosting princess camp with Phyllis for his three grandchildren, Emma, Bailey, and Celia. A memorial service will be held in Eau Claire in the spring.
Friends and family may offer condolences online at www.hulkefamilyfh.com. Hulke Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements.
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