At 88 years old, a Lewistown legend, Joseph Robert Fabian, better known as “Bob”, passed away in the Central Montana Health & Rehab Center on Tuesday evening, from a long battle of illness. Bob was born in Lewistown on January 18, 1929 as the son of Joseph Alexander and Vinette Adele (Campbell) Fabian. He began his lifelong career with welding in high school when he worked for John Zacker at Zacker Machine & Welding. He was a graduate of Fergus High School in 1947 and entered the United States Army in 1951, serving during the Korean War. Following his discharge in 1953, Bob returned to Lewistown resuming work at Zacker Machine & Welding. On September 11, 1954, he was united in marriage with Margaret A. Storfa, in Lewistown, where they made their forever home. In 1958, on 1st Avenue North, Bob built and opened Fabian Machine & Welding. He retired from the operation of this business 30 years later, in 1988, when his son Mark bought the machine shop. Retirement didn’t stop his love for welding and building things. With his free time, he restored a 1914 Harley Davidson Motorcycle which sparked the opening of Spring Valley Arts, where Bob was then a Metal Artist and Machinist. He then designed and built many metal art masterpieces that are all around Central Montana.
Bob & Margaret enjoyed many adventures with traveling and their regular cruise trips, with their favorites being to Alaska and on the Eastern Seaboard. They traveled to many old car shows and bike shows, going yearly to the Rally in Sturgis. Every summer, He & Margaret would enjoy going to Flathead during Cherry harvest. They loved water skiing and snow skiing with their family and friends. Then in 2003, Margaret passed away, but Bob continued with his many hobbies. Bob loved to hunt, loved to play pool, never missed a day of coffee club, adored his dog Cocoa and most of all loved being a part of Central Montana.
Bob was a member of many organizations supporting his love for Lewistown. He was a member of St. Leo’s Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, Eagle’s Lodge, American Legion Post #16, Central Montana Flywheelers, Silver Mountain Ski Club, as well as being a Life Member of the National Rifle Association. Bob was also a founding member of the Central Montana Traildusters.
Bob is preceded in death by his parents, his wife, his 3 sisters, and Cocoa.
He is survived by one sister Geraldine “Gerry” Soike of Seattle; Mark (Susie) Fabian of Lewistown, MT; Leslie Fabian of Great Falls, MT and her three children Chris, Chase, and JoLee; Joe (Amy) Fabian of Bozeman, MT and their four children Andrew, Cayman, Ava, and Jasmine; as well as several nieces and nephews.
The celebration of Bob Fabian will be held on Saturday, December 2, 2017 at 1:00 PM in St. Leo’s Catholic Church with the committal to follow at the Mount Calvary Cemetery. The Vigil Services will be Friday, December 1, 2017 at 7:00 PM also at St. Leo’s Catholic Church. The family is being assisted by the Cloyd Funeral Home.
Friends are kindly asked to make memorials to the Veteran’s Memorial Park, Hospice of Central Montana, or the charity of their choice. All memorials may be left at the Cloyd Funeral Home. Condolences for the family may be posted online at www.cloydfuneralhome.com.