Rev. Dr. Joseph P. Fabry

September 26, 1929March 28, 2021

It has pleased the Lord of life to call unto Himself in heaven the soul of our dear brother in Christ, Joseph Paul Fabry, who was born on September 26, 1929, in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Joseph and Mary (Vydra) Fabry.

He was brought into God's kingdom of grace through the Sacrament of Holy Baptism on October 13, 1929 at Zion Lutheran Church in Chicago. He renewed his baptismal vow in the Rite of Confirmation at Zion on May 31,1942. 1 Timothy 6:12

Upon the death of their pastor, Joseph's mother spoke to him about the need for pastors and encouraged him to consider the Holy Ministry. He was further motivated in that direction by Zion's new Pastor, John Bajus, and his son, Luther who had also decided to prepare for the ministry. In September, 1943, at age 13, Joseph enrolled as a ministerial student at Concordia High School, Ft. Wayne, IN, a preparatory school of the Lutheran church - Missouri Synod. In those years, the school had dormitories for out-of-town students. Joseph lived on campus for his four years of high school and two years of Junior College, graduating in 1949. He also participated in the four year ROTC program.

In the fall of 1949, he entered Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO to continue his studies, receiving his theological diploma on June 4, 1954. Summer vicarages (internships) were spent at Zion Lutheran Church, Chicago, and St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, Dickson City, PA. He vicared at Dr. Martin Luther Church in Gary, Indiana, 1951-52.

Joseph's parents emigrated from the present-day Slovak Republic to the United States in the early 1900's. He and his sisters, Vera and Blanche, were reared in a bi-lingual home and this blessing made it possible for him to conduct worship services in English and Slovak throughout his ministry.

Pastor Fabry was ordained into the Holy Ministry at Zion Lutheran, Chicago, on June 13, 1954. He accepted the solemn call to Dr. Martin Luther Church, Gary, IN, serving the congregation until April, 1963. During his pastorate in Gary, he conducted church services in two languages. He also served the Slovak community in Stevensville, MI, A Mighty Fortress Lutheran Church.

On August 25, 1957, Joseph married the former Shirley Ann Mizerak of Gary, IN. The Lord blessed their marriage with four children, all of whom survive, Joel Steven, married to Kathryn, Downington, PA, Mark Joseph, married to Cecilia, College Park, TN, David Paul, married to Nancy, Grosse Pointe Park, MI and Ellen Marie, married to Todd Hoyer, Plymouth, MI.

On June 2, 1963, he was installed as Pastor of St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, in Smithville, Ontario and Missionary-at-large in Dunnville, Ontario. Under the blessing of God, Faith Lutheran Church, was organized during his pastorate. A new church was dedicated to God's glory in March, 1968. He concluded his dual-parish ministry in Canada in 1972.

On January 16, 1972, he was installed as pastor of Christ the King Lutheran Church, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI. During his pastorate a preschool was begun in 1986, which, by the grace of God, continues to flourish. From 1979 until his retirement he also served as interim pastor for the Slovak congregation of Nativity Lutheran Church in Kingsville, Ontario. He was active in church work at both district and local levels.

Upon retirement in 1995, Pastor and Shirley Fabry moved to Lexington, KY, becoming active members of St. John's Lutheran Church, however, most Sundays were spent doing work at area congregations.

In August, 2000, to be more centrally located to their family, they moved to Findlay, Ohio, becoming members of Concordia Lutheran Church. Joseph and Shirley were actively involved with International Friends of Christ, a program for Japanese women that helped them with English and American culture. They were volunteers in the reading program for students at Lincoln School. During the ten years in Findlay, he was privileged to serve as interim pastor for several congregations in the greater Toledo area.

In September of 2010, he and Shirley moved to Livonia, Michigan, and were happy to be much closer to family. They became active members of Christ Our Savior in Livonia.

On May 14, 2014, Joseph was awarded the Doctor of Divinity title by the English District of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, "The Rev. Dr. Joseph P. Fabry."

Mourning his death with the hope of the resurrection are his beloved wife, Shirley with whom he shared home and family life for 64 years, son Joel and wife Kathryn, son Mark and wife Cecilia, son David and wife Nancy, and daughter Ellen and her husband Todd. Dear to him were his eight grandchildren: Christopher, Ellie, Danielle, Adam, Andrew, Madelyn, Matthew and Luke.

He is survived by his sister, Blanche Grapatin of Oviedo, Florida, and brother in laws Rev. George D. Plvan, Al Mizerak, David Boswell and Walter Serynek. He is remembered by a host of friends and fellow-believers in our Lord Jesus Christ. His mortal remains will be interred at Glen Eden Memorial Park in Livonia, MI, to await the glorious resurrection of all flesh at the coming of the Lord.

A visitation for Dr. Fabry will be held Thursday, April 1, 2021 from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM at Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church, 14175 Farmington Rd., Livonia, MI 48154, followed by a funeral service at 11:00 AM.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Fabry family.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church, 14175 Farmington Rd., Livonia, MI 48154 as well as, Christ the King Lutheran Church, 20338 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48230


  • Visitation at Church

    Thursday, April 1, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Thursday, April 1, 2021


Rev. Dr. Joseph P. Fabry

have a memory or condolence to add?

Larry Lasayko

April 3, 2021

Pastor Fabry and Shirley are my Godparents. I have comfort the Lord has a dedicated servant. I was young when he was part of my life, but with the Glory of God we will be united in Heaven.

Preston Madler

April 1, 2021

He was my pastor through confirmation classes. Grew up with his kids at church. He was a great person whom was a shining light.

Louise Lasayko Cox

March 31, 2021

Pastor Fabry was my pastor for nearly ten years of my childhood. I have fond memories of his presence and leadership at Sunday School, VBS sessions and then Luther League meetings. most importantly, I was blessed to receive two+ years of confirmation instruction from this knowledgeable and dedicated servant of God (I was one of those students who actually liked memory work! ). He truly laid the foundation for my life’s faith journey. Pastor Fabry will always be “my pastor” and I rejoice that God has healed him all the way to heaven and that one day we will meet again. ✝️

Kenneth Kochajda

March 29, 2021

I have very fond memories of the entire Fabry Family from the 1970s when I attended St. Thomas Lutheran School and all four of Pastors attended the school at the same time . I was a classmate of his Mark and we spent quite a bit of time together outside of the classroom . Pastor did a great job serving as the officiant of my grand fathers funeral in. 1973 . Pastor was a very skilled preacher and a totally dedicated called and ordained servent of the word . My thoughts prayers to the entire family . May God grant you strength peace and comfort knowing he is in eternal bliss and glory - Sincerely Yours Kenneth Kochajda

Jean Van Den Bossche (Koshik)

March 29, 2021

I first met Paster Fabry when I was too young to remember. He drove out to Stevensville, Michigan to hold a monthly Slovak Lutheran service. I didn't understand any of it except "Ježiš Kristus Amen". I remember when he brought his fiancee Shirley several times. They all had Sunday dinner at our house often. He was a big part of my sister Irene's and my childhood.
Here is an old photo in front of our house in Baroda, Michigan. Our Grandpa, Jan Kubik is in the middle. Pan Farar Fabry to his left, then our mom Ann Koshik. My sister Irene is in front of mom and I am the younger one. We don't remember who the other people are. Pastor Fabry must have been around 23 years old then!
Rest in Peace, Pan Farar Fabry.