Fabry, John J.|
John J. Fabry, 74, Green Bay, WI, passed peacefully from this life on November 4, 2013 with family by his side.
A man of great character, integrity, and passion to all he put his mind to, he led his family and business with these traits. He lived by the motto "God, Family, and the Green Bay Packers - In That Order". And with that he was able to accomplish many successes throughout his lifetime.
John's deep faith in the Catholic Church was instilled by his parents and reinforced throughout his life - always making it a priority. He attended parochial grade school and Premontre High School where he was a stellar athlete in football, basketball, and baseball. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates, but chose to attend the University of Minnesota where he studied and played football for one year then transferred to his real love, the University of Wisconsin where he studied and had a storied career playing football with the Badgers. His college football career culminated with his senior year playing in the 1963 Rose Bowl - one of the most famous Rose Bowl Games of all time.
Following his college career, he returned to Green Bay where he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers. After a short time he joined his family's business - Fabry Glove & Mitten Company (now Saranac Glove Co), the company his father founded. He worked closely with his father and within a short time he found he could use his knack for leadership, product innovation, and marketing. Under his leadership the company flourished into one of the most recognizable and respected sports companies in the country with his invention and marketing of baseball and football gloves for athletes to help take their games to "the next level". The Saranac Triangle logo became widely recognized from pro to youth athletes. John led the company for 40 years when he retired and served as Chairman Emeritus until his passing.
His love for sports and his connection with the Green Bay Packers continued in 1980 when he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Packers - at that time the youngest director ever elected. Within a year, in 1981, he was elected to the Packers Executive Committee. He was always honored to contribute to that great organization with his time and talents. In 1989 he was elected Vice President and Lead Director and held that position for 19 years. He became Director Emeritus in 2009 and held that position until his passing. During his tenure on the Executive Committee, the Packers underwent major changes in structure, in 1996 won their first Super Bowl in 30 years, and underwent a major renovation of the stadium and growth of the organization that ensured their success for generations to come.
John strongly believed in giving back to his community. He shared his time with a wide group of community, business and charitable organizations as well as many friends gathered through all his affiliations. As President of the local NFL Alumni Chapter for 30 years, he worked tirelessly with alumni and others in the community to raise millions for the local charities, primarily the Boys' and Girls' Clubs of Green Bay. He was on the Founders Club of that organization- always believing strongly in helping young people. He worked on many charity events for youth throughout the community as need arose, often doing things for children on his own, providing them with opportunities to enhance their abilities and further their growth potential. He served on many Boards of Directors both locally and in the sports industry throughout the country including The Boys' and Girls' Club, National "W" Club, M&I Bank, Ski Industries of America, and numerous others. He was recently honored with the 2014 Founders Award from Notre Dame Academy. One of his greatest joys was being able to help others just by giving when and where needed.
Greater than all of his accomplishments was the love for his family and friends. John greatly enjoyed any and all outdoor activities at his cottage in Door County from biking through Peninsula Park to boating with his family on the Bay of Green Bay. Always an avid sports enthusiast, he loved playing racquetball with his friends every week followed by a relaxing beer afterward. He was an entertainer and loved to host gatherings for those close to him, celebrating anything from holidays to little league championships. He was a coach in both sports and life, giving whatever he could of himself to others.
John's family meant the world to him and he was immensely proud of his 3 sons.
He is survived by his loving wife and best friend, Victoria, by his sons Andrew, Nicholas, J.R and his wife Laura with their 2 children Lawson and Emerson. He was preceded in death by his parents Edmund and Margaret, Green Bay, WI, by his father and mother in law James and Lois Schmid, St. Peter MN.
John's life will be celebrated with a visitation from 4:00pm until 8:00pm on Friday, November 8, 2013, at Resurrection Catholic Church, 333 Hilltop Drive, Green Bay, with a parish prayer service at 8:00pm presided by Rev. Richard Getchel. Visitation will continue at 11:30am until 1:15pm on Saturday, November 9, 2013, at Resurrection Catholic Church. CORRECTION: A MEMORIAL MASS WILL BE HELD AT 1:30PM with Bishop Robert Morneau officiating and Rev. Jim Baraniak, Rev. Mark Schommer and Rev. Richard Getchel concelebrating. Online condolences may be expressed at NewcomerGreenBay.com. Newcomer Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to all John's friends and family who blessed his life with such exceptional joy and good memories. They would also like to thank those who were so helpful during these times including Megan Gracyalny, Susan, and the many others who cared for him and his family.
A memorial fund will be established in John's name with proceeds to continue to benefit the Boys' and Girls' Club of Green Bay.
Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette from Nov. 6 to Nov. 9, 2013