U.S. Navy Veteran of West Orange Dies at 74; Funeral for Michael Fabiano to be Held in Livingston


WEST ORANGE, NJ — Michael Fabiano, Sr., 74, of West Orange, died on Monday, July 11 at St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston.

Born and raised in Newark and a longtime resident of West Orange, Fabiano was the Chairman of the West Orange Democratic Committee, a member of the West Orange Planning Board, the past president of the Sons of Italy, a member of UNICO, former Deputy Mayor for the Township of West Orange, and was inducted into the Essex County Democratic Hall of Fame in 2002.

Fabiano was also the aide to Assemblymen Leroy Jones, the owner and operator of F. Fabiano and Son Contractors in West Orange and served his country in the U.S. Navy and as a member of the Tin Can Sailors.

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange Mayor Robert Parisi said that Fabiano was well-versed in the community and also knew what it took to run for office. Friends and family, as well as Parisi, say Fabiano was respected by anyone who knew him and anyone who has been involved in local politics.

"As someone doing this a long time, local politics won't be the same without Mike,” said Parisi. “We certainly offer our prayers to Patty and her family and the Fabiano family."

When he first started in politics, Parisi said people suggested he reach out to Fabiano, who quickly became someone Parisi sought advice from on a number of local issues.

Apart from being the face of the West Orange Democratic Party, Fabiano also liked being "a bit behind the scenes" and not always out front, according to Parisi. For example, Parisi said, if a friend was having financial issues, Fabiano took it upon himself to reach out people and secretly raise money for this friend.

Sal Anderton, the current Chairman of the Democratic Committee and a former West Orange councilman, echoed Parisi by saying that Fabiano was the friend that local politicians and beyond went to for advice. Anderton said that before computers, Fabiano managed to develop and maintain strong relationships throughout the community simply by creating and memorizing index cards with the names, addresses, phone numbers and family members of every voter in town.

“He was basically a database before there were databases and that’s how well he knew the community—that’s how well he knew West Orange,” said Anderton. “Mike taught us a lot about how to relate to West Orange and how to relate to the people in town, and I know I for one, and a lot of other folks are better off because we knew him.”

West Orange Board of Education President Laura Lab said that West Orange lost a true icon on Monday. She said the most surprising of Fabiano’s qualities was that he was a true feminist who firmly believed that women “not only should but must have a seat at the table as government progressed.”

"Mike Fabiano touched and mentored so many of us,” said Lab. “He was a proud veteran who fondly recalled his time in the service. I will miss my friend but take comfort in that fact he is no longer in so much pain and is in a better place. Rest in peace, my friend."

Fabiano is survived by his wife, Patricia (Lombardi) Spango Fabiano of West Orange; his step children James Spango and his wife Dawn of Livingston, Ralph Spango of West Orange, and Tricia Spango of West Orange; his children, Michelle Fabiano of Forked River, NJ, Wayne Fabiano of Henderson, NV and Michael Fabiano of Madison, NJ; his siblings Ronald Fabiano and his wife Patricia of Bayville, NJ and Eileen Abate and her husband Frank of Marlboro, NJ; his step grandchildren Brooklyn and Madison; his grandchildren Katie, Caroline, Michael and Noah and many loving nieces and nephews—especially Ronald Fabiano.

Family will receive friends on Wednesday, July 13, from 4-8 p.m. at the Dangler Funeral Home, located at 340 Main St. in West Orange.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Thursday, July 14 at 10 a.m. at St. Raphael’s Church in Livingston. Entombment will follow to Gate of Heaven Cemetery in East Hanover.

Timothy E. Ryan Home for Funerals, located at 145 St. Catherine Blvd. in Toms River, is in charge of the arrangements. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the COPD Foundation at Condolences may be sent by visiting

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Local Children Invited to Register for Essex County Summer Camps

February 19, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Children of all ages are invited to participate in spring and summer camp opportunities at the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, Essex County Codey Arena and the Essex County Environmental Center.

The zoo has several weeklong camp adventures that will introduce children to the extraordinary world of animals, nature and science. Campers and their parents/guardians are ...

How Do I Decide Which College to Attend?

Now that college acceptances are rolling in, how do I decide which to attend?

Your hard work in high school has paid off. You took your SAT/ACT exams, got the best grades you could, and filled out as many applications as you needed to. Acceptance letters are starting to come in and you need to make a decision on where you will go in the fall. It's hard to decide!! Here are some tips and ...

NJ Governor Signs Executive Order to Fly Flags at Half-Staff to Recognize Parkland Florida Victims

February 20, 2018

New Jersey Governor Phillip D. Murphy signed Executive Order No.1 on Monday ordering the flag of the United States of America and the Flag of the State of New Jersey to be flown at half-staff to recognize and mourn the passing of the victims in Parkland, FL.

The order is for all state offices, agencies and municipalities, including schools for Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Upcoming Events


Wed, February 21, 10:00 AM

Estelle Finkel Center for Learning, Livingston

Estelle Finkel Center for Learning Presents ...


Wed, February 21, 6:00 PM

Livingston Public Library, Livingston

Free CASA Essex Volunteer Information Session

Giving Back Law & Justice


Sat, February 24, 4:00 PM

Lobby - Office Building, Livingston

Gun Violence Prevention & Congressional Candidates


Livingston Public Library Prepares for NJ Makers Day

February 12, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Livingston Public Library will host its third annual Makers Day on Saturday, March 10. Last year, 350 people attended Livingston Library’s Makers Day and enjoyed a variety of interactive activities ranging from sewing and paper crafts to robotics and circuitry.

Makers Day is a statewide initiative designed to celebrate, promote and introduce ...

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  


The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...

In the Driver's Seat

Honey, I am going to take the Roadster out for a quick spin around the sun. I’ll be back in a few million years.


That’s nice dear. While you are out, could you pick up a gallon of milk?


In what has to be the greatest road trip of all time and space, Elon Musk, the visionary inventor, engineer, and billionaire investor loaded his very own red Tesla ...