Fabian Joseph Spogis, aka. "Joe," "Fabe," "F.J.," "Pap," "Pappy," "Grand Pappy," "Uncle Joe," 87, of Bozeman, passed away peacefully May 2, 2012. He was born March 16, 1925 in Calumet City, Ill. to Ignatius and Anna (Gapszewicz) Spogis.
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His early years were spent in the Chicago suburb where he was the son of a railroad switchman, explaining his lifelong love of trains.
Fabian was drafted into the Army and served our country well in Czechoslovakia and France, serving under General Patton. While on leave hitchhiking through Toledo, Ohio, he was given a ride by two women on a bet; one of whom was to become his lifelong wife. He married Lillian Rose on Oct. 28, 1950 in Toledo, Ohio.
He worked as an electrician at the LOF Glass Factory and he and Lillian made their home at the Rose family estate in Toledo. There, he enjoyed hobbies including raising dogs, parakeets, and other birds.
In 1965, Fabian moved his family to Woodville, Ohio to realize a dream of living in the country and farming while he was still working at LOF. They worked the farm until 1988.
Most of their lives, Fabian and his family had been vacationing in the West. In 1988 he and Lillian were able to realize another dream of living in the mountains and being near their children and grandchildren. They moved to Montana to live in a Log Cabin up Brackett Creek in the Bridger Mountains.
Fabian and Lillian loved to travel and toured all over the country; one of their favorite trips was to Alaska via the Alcan Highway in a motor home with three big dogs onboard. Exploring the forests and back roads of Montana was always a distinct pleasure for the family.
He was a lifelong Catholic and was a member of the Clyde Park Catholic Church and Resurrection Parish in Bozeman and Knights of Columbus.
Fabian was very social and loved being around people and animals, dogs in particular. He loved going out for coffee and conversation. He took up baking later in life under the watchful eye of Lillian.
Fabian loved the land and outdoors and helping family and friends on various farms and ranches. He had great love and respect for all life. He was a gentle, kind caregiver that touched many lives. He gently cared for Lillian during her 17-year battle with Parkinson's, even while she was at Mountain View Care Center. He was also a great help to the residents and staff there during her stay.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Lillian; brother, Frank; sister, Lucille; and son-in-law, Dennis Simard.
Survivors include his daughter, Lorna Simard of Bozeman; son and daughter-in-law, Christopher and M.E. Spogis of Bozeman; grandchildren, Tom Simard of Colorado Springs, Colo., Anna (Jason) Volkersz of Belgrade and Eliza Spogis of Bozeman; two great-granddaughters, Tristin and Baillie Volkersz; many nieces and nephews in the Midwest; and his dog, Nick.
A Vigil Service will be held at Dahl Funeral Chapel, Wednesday, May 16 beginning with a 6 p.m. Rosary led by The Knights of Columbus, followed by the service at 6:30 p.m.
The Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, May 17 at Resurrection Parish, with military rites to follow at Sunset Hills Cemetery in front of the Vietnam wall.
Memorials may be made in his name to the Gallatin Valley Land Trust, P.O. Box 7021, Bozeman, MT 59771 or www.gvlt.org; or the Resurrection University Catholic Parish All Are Welcome Building Fund (matching fund), 1725 S. 11th, Bozeman, MT 59715.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on May 13, 2012