OBITUARY

Robert "Papaw" Fabian

October 1, 1936April 29, 2021

Robert "Papaw" Fabian of Knoxville, Tennessee passed away on April 29,2021 after a brief illness. The only son of Edward and Adelaide Fabian, he resided in the Bearden area until his passing. He graduated from UT with a degree in Civil Engineering but his heart led him into a teaching career that lasted thirty-six years. His love of Dollywood, camping, German shepherd dogs, cooking and Christmas will leave an imprint of memories on our hearts for years to come. Though a quiet man with few words, he made an impression on everybody that he met and thrived watching children learn the brilliance of Science through the Science Olympiad program that he created at Bearden Middle School. He leaves behind his only son, James A. Barger, daughter-in-law, Paula Barger, grandsons Aaron Barger, Marcus Barger and one great granddaughter, Summitt Barger.

As per Mr. Fabian's request he will be cremated and entombed with his parents at Berry Highland Memorial Cemetery. Please consider making a donation in his memory to Small Breed Rescue of East Tennessee or to Smoky Mountain Children's Home.

The Dash by Linda Ellis

I read of a man who stood to speak at a funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone for the beginning...to the end. He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears, but said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years. For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth. For it matters not, how much we own, the cars...the house...the cash. What matters is how we lived and loved and how we spend our dash. So think about this long and hard; are there things you'd like to change? For you never know how much time is left that can still be rearranged. To be less quick to anger and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we've never loved before. If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile...remembering that this special dash might only last a little while. So when your eulogy is being read, with your life's actions to rehash...would you be proud of the things they say about how you lived your dash?

Services

No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Robert "Papaw" Fabian

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Karen and Dennis Jones

May 4, 2021

We first met Bob in 1998 when our oldest son, Josh, joined the BMS Science Olympiad team. We went on to help coach events, travel to and chaperone the team at invitational, regional, state, and national tournaments through 2011, so we got to know Bob pretty well through the years. Our daughter Lynsey also competed on the BMS team about 8 years after her brother. Bob's patience, guidance, and leadership helped my children win national medals--something they will remember and be proud of because Bob spent his time working diligently with his teams. My sons Josh and Matt, as well as my daughter, were influenced by Bob giving of his time to help students succeed, so they volunteered as coaches and even traveled with the BMS team when they were in high school and college. All three of them went on to earn college degrees in scientific fields, and I believe Bob's leadership in Science Olympiad helped influence their choices. Bob was indeed a quiet man, but when he spoke with his deep voice, people listened. He truly devoted his life to his students and his teams. He set expectations high and the kids wanted to do their part to make him proud of them, and he was! I continued to call him on the phone for several years after he "retired" from working with the team, just to check on him. He talked about teaching homeschoolers and how he enjoyed that. He was an educator at heart, and a good man all around. He will definitely be missed by the many, many students, parents, and educators whose lives he touched. We hope he knew how much he meant to so many people in this community even though he was humble and didn't want to be recognized for it. I just want his family to know that too!
Karen and Dennis Jones,
Josh, Matt, and Lynsey

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