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FABCO Equipment founder Fabick dies

FABCO Equipment founder Joe Fabick grew up around heavy machinery and eventually became the Catapillar dealer for Wisconsin and the UP. (Photo courtesy of

FABCO Equipment founder Joe Fabick grew up around heavy machinery and eventually became the Caterpillar dealer for Wisconsin and the UP. (Photos courtesy of FABCO Equipment Inc.)

Joseph G. Fabick, the founder of FABCO Equipment Inc., Milwaukee, died at his home in Elm Grove on Thursday at the age of 82.

Fabick’s company was the lone Caterpillar dealer for Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. He served as president and chief executive officer of the company from its inception in 1982 until his retirement in 2002 when principal ownership of the business was acquired by his son, Jeré.

A native of Missouri, Fabick grew up around Caterpillar machines. His father was a tractor dealer in St. Louis, which later evolved to become among the first Caterpillar dealerships in the world when the Caterpillar Tractor Co. began operation in 1925.

As a teenager, Fabick spent summers as a dozer and scraper operator. After graduating from Campion Preparatory High School in Prairie du Chien, he joined the family dealership full-time.

Joseph F. Fabick

Joseph G. Fabick

Years later, while working full-time and raising a family, Fabick attended classes at Saint Louis University and went on to earn his college degree. He continued with Fabick CAT in St. Louis for 38 years before leaving his position as president of that company to pursue new opportunities with a dealership of his own.

In May of 1982, Caterpillar Inc. awarded Fabick the Cat dealer territory for Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.

Fabick’s accomplishments include a planning role in the interstate highway system and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. In 1962, he helped establish of Wings of Hope, a non-profit organization that brings life-saving air transportation to isolated parts of the world.

Fabick’s visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday at Hoffmeister South County Chapel, 1515 Lemay Ferry Road, St. Louis. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church, 3014 Oregon Ave., St. Louis. Interment will follow at Resurrection Cemetery.

A “Life Celebration” for Fabick will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 3, at the Westmoor Country Club, 400 South Moorland Road, Brookfield. Customers, co-workers, associates and friends are invited to stop by and honor Fabick’s life.

If desired, please make expressions of sympathy in Fabick’s memory to Wings of Hope Inc., 18590 Edison Ave., Chesterfield, MO 63005.

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