It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Father Andrew C. Fabian. A legend at Saint Mary’s, Father Fabian taught for nearly 50 years. His legacy will live on in all those whose lives he touched. Please pray for Father Fabian, his family and friends, and all those who will miss his presence.
Rev. Cyril Andrew Fabian, OP, AFSC
The Rev. Cyril Andrew Fabian, OP, AFSC, long-time, beloved, and inspirational educator at Saint Mary’s University, passed away Friday, July 14, 2017, at Saint Anne of Winona. He was 90.
Andrew Joseph Fabian was born Nov. 27, 1926 in Mingo Junction, Ohio, to Michael and Anna (Krizan) Fabian, and was the ninth of 12 children. As a young boy, he already knew he would enter the priesthood. He graduated high school in 1945, then attended Providence College in Rhode Island from 1945-1947.
In September 1949 he entered the novitiate for the Dominicans, Province of St. Albert the Great at St. Peter Martyr Priory in Winona, Minn., and was given the religious name of Cyril. One year later, on Sept. 30, 1950, he professed his first vows, then continued with his studies at Aquinas Institute of Philosophy in River Forest, Ill., from 1950 to 1953; and studied theology at the Aquinas Institute of Theology, Dubuque, Iowa, from 1953-1957. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 26,1956 by Bishop Leo Binz.
Father Fabian taught at DePaul University from 1957 to 1962 and was transferred to Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa from 1962 to 1964 before coming to Saint Mary’s in 1964, where he continued teaching for the remainder of his career.
Although he retired in 2013—after nearly 50 years of teaching philosophy at Saint Mary’s—he was named a Lasallian Scholar in Residence and continued to counsel and guide students until shortly before his passing.
In 1982, he was honored with the Saint Mary’s Brother Charles Severin Award for Excellence in Teaching; in 2002, he was bestowed Letters of Affiliation by the De La Salle Christian Brothers; and in 2011, he was awarded the Presidential Award for Outstanding Merit at the university’s Chicago Centennial Celebration.
Father Fabian was as highly respected as he was frequently imitated. Armed with an unwavering faith, a dry sense of humor, and countless one-liners, he taught his students many valuable, lifelong lessons. He encouraged students to follow their dreams, he made them think, and he impressed upon them that there can be more than one correct answer.
A man with a photographic memory, Father Fabian also taught students the importance of always remembering someone by name. He was renowned for giving roll call the first day of class, without ever referring to a list.
His words of wisdom will live on through the generations of alumni who can recite his mantra: “Good, Better, Best. Never let it rest. Until the good becomes better and the better becomes best.”
He was preceded in death by eight brothers and sisters. Survivors include a brother, Peter; two sisters, Kathryn and Margaret; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 1 p.m. Wednesday, July 19, at Saint Thomas More Chapel, located on Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s Winona Campus. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 18, as well as one hour prior to Mass at Saint Thomas More Chapel. Interment will be in the Dominican Section of All Saint’s Cemetery, Des Plaines, Ill. A public graveside service will be held in Des Plaines, and details will be provided for Chicago-area alumni as soon as arrangements are made.
Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Father Andrew Fabian Endowed Scholarship, Saint Mary’s University, 700 Terrace Heights #21, Winona, MN 55987.
Alumni and friends are invited to share memories of Father Fabian on Facebook.