Lloyd Gerald Fabri
August 19, 1933 – January 8, 2019
Lloyd Gerald Fabri was born on August 19th, 1933 in Smith Valley, Nevada.
His Dad, Guy (Guido), ran the general store in Smith Valley and Yerington, selling, in those days, everything from condensed milk, to fancy hats and John Deere tractors. Mom, Susie (Assunta), was a devoted home maker to Lloyd and his sister, Rita. The family moved to San Francisco right after the war and settled in the Marina District of San Francisco, where Lloyd attended St. Bridgid grammar school and then Saint Ignatius Jesuit Preparatory School. The friendships he formed during those years have lasted until these last days with John Mallen, Jim Halligan, Chris Mullarkey, Louis Felder, the brothers Paul and Gordon Getty, and Bill Newsom, and family.
But Lloyd was an adventurer and even though San Francisco was and will always be his favorite city, he yearned to see the world, and see the world he did. First, on his own, traveling through Europe after reading Eric Ambler’s spy stories, and then, professionally joining McCann-Erickson Advertising in San Francisco. After a few short years of traveling and working in the U.S., he was asked to move to Geneva, Switzerland, where he met Nina. A year later they were married in Bangkok where Lloyd had been transferred, and then they moved to Hong Kong. From there he covered most of the Far East in his capacity of artistic director; his love of foreign countries, art (he was a painting and sculpture collector all of his life) and food was daily satisfied, but there was always another country waiting to be discovered. His first child, Christopher, was born in Hong Kong (during the Great Leap Forward), and a few months later Lloyd was transferred to New York, awaiting his next assignment. Puerto Rico was it, and Lloyd loved it; there, he made, as always, lifelong friends, (John and Heather Luard, and Oscar and Vicky Castro Rivera, amongst many) and from this home base covered all of South America for special projects. Brazil, Colombia (where he had friends from high school), Chile, Equador, Argentina, Peru, you name it, he would find a way to solve the problem, enjoy and travel the country, meet the people and eat the food! His second child, Nicole was born in San Juan, and both children spoke mostly Spanish, English being their second language. Lloyd encouraged everyone to learn foreign languages and to enjoy new things and be curious about the world. His life as a mentor was recognized and so appreciated by all who worked with him and many agree that their lives and careers were dramatically transformed because of Lloyd’s efforts and sponsorship. In the meantime life progressed and his third child, Elena-Mélanie was born (unexpectedly in Switzerland) as he was preparing for his next endeavour, one of his favorite places to work, Brussels, Belgium. Again a new language (though his French was always quite good) and new challenges but such a stimulating environment, again covering many countries in Europe. Then he moved to Paris (his second favorite city) and lived on one of the great boulevards, and ate his way through every restaurant in Paris and the provinces. He made a number of “pilgrimages” to Vienne in Isère, to eat at his favorite place, Monsieur Point’s “La Pyramide”, one of the greatest restaurants in the world.
But at some point, Lloyd decided that it was time to return to the Unites States, in order to give his family a more settled life. Lloyd had experienced significant success in all of his assignments; with his enduring charisma and charm, he truly built the business in every office that he worked in. He had developed a strong reputation for three things: creative genius, mentoring, and winning accounts. The change that happened upon his return to the United States (San Francisco, Los Angeles, then Portland, Oregon), was that Lloyd continued to recruit, sponsor and actively mentor the lives of young creative colleagues around him. He had the knack for hiring creative geniuses, and developing them into world-class leaders in the industry. Among his many devoted friends are people who say, “it was Lloyd who pushed me to go for that first international assignment”, “Lloyd made my life extraordinary with how he encouraged me to travel and live overseas,” and “I cannot imagine what my life would have been like without Lloyd’s incredible influence.” Many people were hired by him and went on to have distinguished international careers because of his encouragement and continued mentoring, among them Dan Wieden and David Kennedy, of Wieden and Kennedy renown, Gerry Genteman, Paul Lundy, Craig Briggs, George Singleton and many others. “Lloyd launched my career but then even when he wasn’t my boss any more, he would call me and check in to see how things were going; always there with advice on how to deal with any of the challenges I was going through.” Lloyd had turned from someone who took in the joys of the world, into someone who gave back that joy to others through mentoring and encouragement.
In his next move to Atlanta, Lloyd continued his creative work for Georgia Pacific and the Coca-Cola Company and many other Atlanta-based firms, including The Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Six Flags Over Georgia, Bank South, Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau / 1996 Olympic and Chick-Fil-A, to name but a few. Lloyd helped build McCann Atlanta into one of the fastest growing agencies in the Interpublic Group, as McCann Worldwide lauded the Atlanta Agency for growth right from the mid 1980ies until his 1995 retirement.
Few people knew that Lloyd was an accomplished musician, jazz pianist and loved to listen as much as he loved to play. Some of his favorite lyricists / composers will be heard during mass and the celebration of life (Marc Aramian, Jack Turner and Gordon Getty.) But for most of you who have known him for years, he will be remembered for his wicked sense of humor and quick wit.
Lloyd’s love of traveling continued into his retirement years; back to Asia, again Africa, South America, and of course, Switzerland (Nina’s home country that Lloyd loved) and Italy where he would so enjoy the travel and the views and … the food and wine.
Unknown to most, Lloyd worked for years for homeless shelters as a server, cook, distributor of breads and desserts, vegetables and fruits, and all around good guy. Giving back to the community was important to him, and it also included his love of seeing people happy with good food.
Was he an ordinary man leading an extraordinary life … or an extraordinary man leading an ordinary life?
AVE ATQUE VALE
Memorial Contributions may be made to: “worldvision.com.” – Lloyd’s favorite is soccer balls for youngsters in Africa, but any gift selection will be very much appreciated. – Or – “smiletrain.org” to bring smiles and joy to the world.
See the links below
- Memorial Mass Saturday, January 12, 2019