Thomas Lester Fabry passed away peacefully at his home in New Rochelle on Thursday August 19th, 2021 at the age of 84 after fighting progressive illness for over a decade. Born Tamás Laszlo Fuchs in Budapest, Hungary on May 30th 1937 to Lucy and Leo Fuchs, he came to them late in their lives and was an only child. From 1944-1945, Thomas’s family escaped the mass deportation of Hungarian Jews by staying hidden through the support of Raoul Wallenberg and others. Later, during his first year at the Technical University of Budapest, the family fled in the middle of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 with false passports that would forever change their last names to Fabry, inspiring an inside joke that their name was fabricated.
After emigrating from Hungary, Tom finished his studies at St. Andrews University in Scotland, earning a Bachelor of Science in 1961. Soon after, he traveled to the United States where he was reunited with his parents in New Haven and attended Yale University, earning a Masters of Science in 1963 and PhD in Biochemistry in 1964. From 1965 to 1969, he was an instructor and researcher at the IBM Watson Labs at Columbia University. Fulfilling his lifelong desire to become a doctor, Tom attended Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he graduated in 1973. He practiced Gastroenterology and Hepatology as a solo private practitioner for 35 years, being named to the Best Doctors list in New York Magazine multiple times. In addition to his private practice, he was also a beloved educator and member of the Mount Sinai Hospital community for many decades. While there he co-wrote and published a book, ‘Guide to Liver Transplantation’, in 1992.
In addition to his passion for work and family life, Tom enjoyed gardening, spending many weekends at his country house in Spencertown tending to his plants and trees, and spending time in the woods hiking. He spent a lot of his personal time at Galleries and Museums and amassed a noteworthy collection of American ethnic art and prints.
Thomas is survived by his wife Ilona Papp Fabry, his children Stephen, Susan, Jeannie, Gregory, and Andrew, and his grandchildren Alex, Jonathan, Madeline, Leo, Ollie, Harper, Beatrice, and Ella, as well as Leslie, Lothar, Tony, Eva, Mary, Vera, George, Lillian, and Juliette; all of whom loved him very much and hold memories of him dear to their hearts.
Tom will be remembered for his smothering bear hugs and bristly bearded kisses, his uncontrollable laughter (especially during any movie made by Mel Brooks), his very very long dad jokes, and always reading the New York Times. He had a love for travelling that took him to every corner of the world, but he was always true to his roots, returning to Hungary often and keeping close ties to the Hungarian community in New York.
Funeral Service at Hawthorne Funeral Home on Tuesday, August 31, 2021 at 11:30 AM, Interment to follow at Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Hawthorne, N.Y. at 1:00 PM.
HAWTHORNE FUNERAL HOME
21 West Stevens Ave.
Hawthorne, New York 10532
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas Lester Fabry, please visit our floral store.