By far the youngest member of the Packers Executive Committee when first elected in the early 1980s, John Fabry died Monday night at the age of 74.
Originally elected to the franchise’s Board of Directors in 1980, Fabry was elected to the Executive Committee the following year at the age of 42, at least 20 years younger than every other member of the group.
Fabry became Vice President in 1989 and served in that role all 19 years of Bob Harlan’s tenure as President and CEO of the organization.
“He was probably the start of a turnaround of that committee,” Harlan said in brief phone interview with packers.com. “He was a very valuable companion. We went through some significant times together, and I had to bounce a lot of ideas off him as we moved forward.”
Some of those ideas Harlan recalled were the decision to leave Milwaukee and move all of the team’s home games to Green Bay in 1994, the stock sale in 1997, and the referendum to support the initial Lambeau Field redevelopment, which was completed in 2003.
A major move before all of that came in 1991, when Harlan wanted to remove Tom Braatz as general manager in the middle of the season and hire Ron Wolf. The timing was out of the ordinary, but Harlan wanted Wolf to process everything going on with the football operation before the season ended, to get a jump start on turning the team around.
Harlan went to the Executive Committee for approval, and he got a strong vote of confidence in front of the group from Fabry.
“John stood up and said, ‘Bob feels he needs to do it now if he’s going to change football situation,’ and I got a unanimous vote out of the Executive Committee,” Harlan said. “He fought for me on something that was very unusual, and it was. John supported me very strongly on that and it paid off.”
President of the Saranac Glove Co. of Green Bay when he became a Packers executive, Fabry was a native of Green Bay and a multi-sport star at Premontre High School. He went on to play quarterback and defensive back for the Wisconsin Badgers in the early 1960s and even had a tryout as a quarterback with the Packers under Vince Lombardi in 1963.
Fabry’s run as Vice President ended in October 2007 and he became Director Emeritus in 2009.
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James A. Temp, a former Green Bay Packers football player and member of the organization’s board of directors and executive committee, died on Sunday at the age of 79.
A native of La Crosse, Wis., Temp played college football at the University of Wisconsin and was drafted in the second round by the Packers in 1955. A defensive end, Temp played in 43 games for the Packers over four seasons (1957-60).
He was elected to the Packers’ board of directors in 1987 and then to the executive committee in 1993 before reaching emeritus status in 2004. Former Packers President/CEO Bob Harlan told packers.com that Temp replaced Hall of Famer Tony Canadeo on the executive committee.
“I always tried to keep somebody on the executive committee who could give us some football input in the decisions we were trying to make,” Harlan said. “I thought Jim would be a great guy to replace Tony, and he was that.”
Temp’s time on the executive committee spanned some major developments in Packers history. The team left Milwaukee and moved all its home games to Green Bay in 1994 and got a referendum passed to renovate Lambeau Field at the turn of the century.
“He was a valuable guy who helped us through a lot of major decisions,” Harlan said. “He was with us through some very important times.”
A baseball and football player before his professional days, Temp was inducted into the University of Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007. In 1993, he was named the Milwaukee Journal’s first-team defensive end on its all-time all-state high school football team, spanning 100 years of prep football in Wisconsin.
Among many charitable endeavors, Temp served as the UW-Green Bay Founders Association president in the early 1980s, heading a key philanthropic arm of the university.
“I admired him as a friend, and he was a great community leader, a very charitable person,” Harlan said. “He always wanted to contribute and give back to the community. I admired him as a man as much as I admired him for his help on the executive committee. He was that kind of person.”
Tags: executive committee, jim temp, packers board of directors
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