Celebration of LifeBainbridge Funeral Home
Herman, MN 56248
A Joint Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, June 9, 2018 from 9:30 a.m. until noon with a 10:30 a.m. Time of Sharing at the Bainbridge Funeral Chapel in Herman, Minnesota.
James (Jim) Allen Fabian born 1-4-49 and Bonnie Mae Wilke born 9-12-49 met when they were teenagers. They fell in love and were married at St. John's Lutheran Church in Donnelly, Minnesota on 4-27-1968. They remained best friends for the next fifty years and passed away peacefully in their home on 5-31-18 and 6-1-18 (respectively).
Jim was the son of Raymond and Margaret Fabian. Bonnie was the daughter of Lawrence and Pearl Wilke. Jim grew up in Herman, Minnesota and graduated from Herman High School. Bonnie grew up in Donnelly, Minnesota, attended grade school in Donnelly and graduated from Morris High School.
Jim and Bonnie started their married life in Herman in a cozy apartment above the Sinclair Gas Station on Hwy 9. Their apartment was often filled with family and friends, laughter and good food. Through the years they would continue to enjoy entertaining family in their home.
Jim began his career working for his dad at Jordan Outdoor Advertising. In the early 1970's they moved to Fargo where Jim worked for Newman Outdoor Advertising. Later they moved to St. Cloud where he graduated from St. Cloud Technical College with a degree in Architectural Design. He was employed by Tri-Cap Community Action and West Central Community Action. He continued in the housing industry in various management and contract positions until his retirement. In the late 1990's as Jim's health began to fail they bought a hobby farm in rural Herman and later moved to the home of Jim's youth in Herman.
Bonnie started her career at Fingerhut in St. Cloud. She spent the last 30 years with West Central Community Action - Head Start. She retired in October 2017.
Bonnie and Jim were devoted grandparents and always had toys and fun things to do when the grandkids came to visit. They enjoyed the simple pleasures in life: grocery shopping, garage sales, cooking and baking together, drives in the country, going to horse races, and visits from family. Their coffee pot was always on and treats were on the table as soon as you entered their door. They were known within the family for their Christmas goody packages filled with homemade jellies, smoked meats and cheeses, crackers, and many delicious sweets.
Jim was a gifted artist and poet sharing many verses that will be treasured. He was especially known for his study of "the horses" and his picks on race day. Bonnie was a pillar of strength, grace, and eternal optimism. She will be remembered for her infectious smile and her caring heart. They completed each other. Throughout their fifty years Jim set the direction and Bonnie made it happen.
They are survived by one son Jeffrey (Jessica) Fabian; one daughter Michele (Chris) Gessford; and five grandchildren: Caleb, Kaden, and Reese Fabian, Payton and Prestyn Gessford. They also leave behind loving mothers Margaret Fabian and Pearl Wilke/Anderson; siblings: Fabian - Rick (Judy), Tom (Sandy), Rosemary (Stan Collins), Joan (Rick Strand), Sherry Greger, Raymond Jr (Patricia); Wilke - Larry (Peggy), Jody (Coleen), Sue (Gary Wilke); as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
They are preceded in death by their fathers Raymond Fabian, Lawrence Wilke, and
Stepdad Lawrence "Larry" Anderson; siblings: Nancy (Wilke) Fier and Gary Wilke; brothers-in-law Gary Greiger and Harold Fier; and one nephew Jamie Collins.
They will be dearly missed by all who loved them.