James Fabian passed away peacefully and surrounded by his family on Sunday August 16, 2020, after a long battle with cancer. He was 72 years old.
Jim was born on July 29, 1948, and grew up in Lake Ronkonkoma on Long Island. He was the eldest of Frank Jr. and Bernice Fabian’s six children. Jim went to Sachem High School where he was a star athlete in football, basketball, and baseball. After high school, Jim attended Oberlin College in Ohio where he majored in mathematics and played football and lacrosse, graduating in 1970.
Not long after returning home from Oberlin, Jim met his soulmate Pat after his sister Ellen secretly set them up on a first date. Married in 1971, Jim and Pat spent the next 49 years by each other's side, raising three children together. Although both from Lake Ronkonkoma, Jim and Pat took a chance in 1978 and moved with their two children, Marie and Dan (Billy would come along a few years later), to Croton-on-Hudson. They put down roots in the little town by the Hudson River, making their life together there for over 40 years. Not only did all three of their children attend Croton schools, but Pat taught at Carrie E. Tompkins Elementary School and Jim served on the school board.
After teaching and coaching at schools on Long Island for a few years after college, Jim found his calling: the law. He received his Juris Doctor in 1978 from St. John’s University School of Law. Over his long career as an attorney specializing in health care law, Jim worked first as an associate at Condon & Forsyth and Kelley Drye, then as in-house counsel at New York Hospital, and finally as a partner at Nixon Peabody. Beloved and respected by his many colleagues, Jim was cherished for his wisdom, loyalty, integrity, and wit.
Above all else, though, Jim was devoted to his family and friends. Although he worked hard his whole career, he always made time for his family and never missed games or school plays or other important moments in his children’s lives. He was a doting Pop-Pop to his four grandchildren, and nothing gave him more joy later in life than watching them grow up. Jim’s many friends loved him for his warmth and humor. And while he had only a few years in retirement before he became ill, he made the most of them, whether that was enjoying dinners with his friends, taking vacations with his brothers and sisters, or playing golf with his buddies at Hollow Brook Golf Club. He will be sorely missed by all.
Jim is survived by his wife Pat; children Marie, Dan, and Billy; daughters-in-law Genie and Kate; grandchildren Maddie, Annie, Angie, and Jimmy; and dogs Yogi, Maisie, and Rosie.
There will be a celebration of Jim’s life in the future once conditions allow his many family and friends to gather together.
In lieu of flowers or other gifts, the family asks that instead people make a small donation in his name to the Eye Bank of New York where Jim volunteered so much of his time over the last 18 years, serving in many capacities including on the board, as vice-president, and as president.
Updated: September 14, 2023
Curator: Ed Moore