When Helen Fabie first saw her future husband, she thought he was conceited.
"I was really wrong," she said. "He just had very good posture and walked so well. He was just an upright man. We realized, as we got on in our marriage, that we were highly blessed of God."
Helen was married to Theodore Fabie for 53 years. He died of natural causes Tuesday, April 1, at their New Salem home. He was 82.
'Faithful man': Theodore Fabie taught English from 1961 to 1970 at West York, York Catholic and William Penn Senior high schools. Then he owned and ran Ted Fabie Associates Painting until his retirement in the early 2000s.
"He had a wonderful personality," said Helen Fabie, 76. "He was really a servant to all. He was a faithful man to God and to people. The theme of Ted's life was to lead people to the savior. He just wanted people to know and love God and know God's love."
Theodore Fabie also leaves seven daughters, Dorothy Negash and Renee Everly, both of York, Mary Helen Oliver, Biloxi, Miss., Maureen Wardrop, Austin, Texas, Connie Cornell, Mesa, Ariz., Anne Portelles, Dover, and Jessica Justice, West Manchester Township; two sons, James Fabie, York, and Benjamin Fabie, Atlanta.; and 22 grandchildren.
A funeral service for Theodore Fabie was held Monday at First Assembly of God in Manchester Township, where he taught Sunday school, played clarinet in the orchestra, served in the men's and prison ministries and was a commander for the Royal Rangers, an activities program for boys.
His legacy: Though Theodore Fabie was active in his church and community, he didn't forget about serving his family at home, said Negash, 53. She added that her father often took each daughter out on dates to spend quality time with them.
"Whenever he came home from work, all of the kids ran (to him) to get the first kiss, but he said, 'I have to kiss your mother first,'" she recalled. "Then he asked, 'Helen, what can I do to help you?' We knew all fathers and husbands weren't like this."
Theodore Fabie was a faithful Christian and an honest businessman who left his family an inheritance that can't be measured by dollar amounts and possessions, said Justice, 40.
"He truly adored my mom and treasured us," she said. "We truly had a father like the heavenly father. The legacy that my dad left was his life, and his example will truly live on in us."
—Reach Eyana Adah McMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org.