John Fabian died suddenly in Melbourne, Australia in May 1981 aged 72.
Mr Fabian was born in 1909 and studied law at Victoria University College, graduating LLB in 1933.
He was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in 1933 and worked in legal practice at the Napier law firm Mason, Dunn, Fabian and Peach (now Carlile Dowling) where he became a partner.
Mr Fabian was a Flying Officer in the Royal Air Force during World War II and flew in many bombing raids as a Navigator. He was awarded the DFC on 2 November 1943 while flying with 75 Squadron. The citation read: "Flying Office Fabian is a navigator of outstanding ability and his skilful efforts have contributed materially to the success of many sorties on which he has flown. He has taken part in attacks on a wide variety of targets including Hamburg, Berlin and several industrial centres in the Ruhr. Flying Officer Fabian has displayed great determination and devotion to duty."
On his return to New Zealand after the war Mr Fabian continued in legal practice until his appointment as a Stipendiary Magistrate in Wanganui in 1968. He retired in 1977.
A shorter version of this obituary was published in LawTalk 128, 12 June 1981.