Max H. Fabricius, 90, of Independence, died Tuesday morning, Dec. 10, 2013, at the ABCM Rehab Center's West Campus in Independence. Funeral services are at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Independence, with Rev. Kurt Bockoven officiating. Burial is in the Union Prarie Cemetery, Decorah. Friends may call from 3-7 p.m. Friday at the Reiff Funeral Home and Crematory, Independence, and from 9 a.m. until services Saturday at the church. For more information or to leave an on-line condolence please go to reifffuneralhome.com under obituaries.
Max was born Feb. 6, 1923, in Bartelsdorf, East Prussia, the son of Franz and Maria (Maruhn) Fabricius. He was one of 17 children. Max served in the German Army in World War II; he fought on the Russia Front until being wounded, then was transferred to North Africa with the Afrika Korps under General Erwin Rummel, "the Desert Fox." On May 13, 1943, he was captured and brought as a POW to Kansas. At the end of the war he was returned to Northern Germany, where he met and married Julianna Frieda Ratz Oct. 6, 1950, in Buchholz-Aller, Germany. In 1951 they applied as displaced persons under the sponsorship of Art Kitner to come to the United States and on June 12, 1952, the couple arrived in New York City aboard the Flying Tiger Airplane. The couple then took a train to Cedar Rapids. Max farmed in the Independence area from 1952, till his retirement in 1992 due to farmer's lung.
Max loved his family and spending time with his grandchildren; he loved rose gardening, building various things and helping his daughter's family with projects. He loved music, spending many hours listening to old-time German music. He was a great storyteller, and had a great sense of humor.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Julianna Fabricius; a son, Dietrich (Elaine) Fabricius, Hendersonville, N.C.; a daughter; Renate (Gordon) Hunter, Decorah; four grandchildren: Erich (Stephanie) Fabricius, Anne Fabricius, Max Hunter and Lucas Hunter; three step-grandchildren: Paul (Janet) Hunter, Gordon J. Hunter and Sara Hunter; three great-grandchildren: Kaitlyn, Samuel and James Fabricius; three step-great-grandchildren: Aidan, Brendan and Tristan Hunter, a brother, Paul Fabricius, Schwarmstedt, Germany; and two sisters-in-laws, Johanna Volz, Edmonton, Canada and Lydia Krasprek of Poland; and many nieces and nephews in Canada, Germany and Poland.
Max was preceded in death by 15 brothers and sisters: Gertrude, Robert, Richard, Anna, Ernest, Paul, Otto, Emil, Fritz, Albert, Erich, Elli, Christa, Heinz and Adolf; his parents, Maria and Franz Fabricius; his mother- and father-in-law, Johann and Frieda Ratz; and three brothers-in-law: Herbert and Edward Ratz and Heinz Volz.