Julius Fabos Obituary (2022) – Amherst, MA

Dr. Julius Gy. Fabos

Amherst, MA – If you were ever a guest at Dr. Julius Gy. At Fabos in Amherst, you might have been asked about the top five wine regions in the world, lectured on the benefits of yogurt over granola or you were asked about your five-year plan. An urban planner himself and professor emeritus of landscaping at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Julius was a generous man who welcomed countless guests to his Amherst home over the years, pouring wine with one hand free and inviting everyone to taste the gulyás. (sweet, warm and hotter) cooked in special kettles over coals on its “gulyás terrace”.

Gyula “Julius” Fábos was born in 1932 in Marcali, Hungary to Istvan Fábos and Gizella (Vajda) Fábos. He died on February 18 at Cooley Dickinson Hospital at the age of 89, leaving his wife Edith (Häusermann) Fabos, children Anita Fábos (Karim Sumun), Adrian Fabos (Colleen Jennings) and Bettina Fabos (Chris Martin ), and four granddaughters, Olivia Fabos. Martin, Sabine Fabos Martin, Maya Jabrallah and Arianna Roeder Fabos (he liked to say he “specialized in granddaughters.”) Julius is also survived by his sister and best friend, Aranka (Ari) Hévizi, his nephew László Hévizi (Nóra Gál) and their children Dorottya, Márton and Lilla Réa.

Julius came to the United States as a 25-year-old refugee after fleeing the uncertain conditions brought about by the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. He arrived in New York on New Year’s Day in 1957, married Edith Häusermann in New Brunswick , New Jersey in 1959 while studying horticulture at Rutgers University and began to rebuild his life. He and Edith moved to Cambridge, MA so he could pursue graduate studies in landscape architecture at Harvard (he received a doctorate from the University of Michigan in 1973). Julius accepted a job offer at UMass Amherst in 1964, even though his Harvard professors considered Amherst a “town of cows,” and stayed there on the faculty of landscape architecture and regional planning. until his retirement in 1997. He was a prolific researcher and author of numerous books, articles and research bulletins. His many academic accomplishments included a 1968 book reintroducing Frederick Law Olmstead as America’s premier landscape architect, advocating computer-aided design, GIS technology, and “paperless” landscape architecture and regional planning, and promoting the development of greenways. He received the best awards and honors in his field, as well as an honorary degree from the Hungarian University of Horticulture.

But perhaps what most people remember of Julius is how he supported his students and guided them in their career development. Beyond mentoring UMass graduate students, he has had appointments in Australia, Portugal, and Hungary where he nurtured new faculty and their burgeoning landscape architecture graduate programs. . He continued to stay in touch with his students around the world after decades of teaching and had a way of bringing people together through lectures, trips and parties. Julius embodied a mixture of politically incorrect and meaningful support for women, office staff and new colleagues. He never went on a trip without bringing home gifts to the secretaries who turned his sissy handwriting into academic papers. Although he championed the use of computers in his field early on, Julius never learned to type, turn on a computer, or use a smartphone. He was, however, an early adopter (and a larger-than-life enthusiast) of Nikon cameras, Hawaiian shirts, and sweatpants. In fact, Julius was one of Amherst’s first joggers, running two miles around his Amherst neighborhood every morning wearing Bermuda shorts, dress socks and low-rise Converse sneakers. Later, he discovered (and enthusiastically embraced) New Balance size 13 running shoes.

As he pursued his version of the American dream, Julius never lost his emotional connection to Hungary. His unmistakably Hungarian-accented English was a quirky, lovable part of his personality and a mainstay of his jokes (when asked where he was born, he inevitably replied “New JOY-sey”). He convinced Edith to paint their house the color of Hungarian paprika (with green shutters). He self-published a nostalgic memoir about his life titled Son of a Kulak: How a Hungarian Farm Boy Survived World War II and Escaped Stalinist Oppression for a New Life in America. And despite a rewarding college career, Julius cultivated the goal of regaining the many acres of land his family lost to the communists. “Land” meant “home”, and Julius was an avid investor in rental and forest properties. He also invested in the property and safety of his family back in Hungary, planning, as always, to avoid uncertainty at all costs.

His exuberant life was further enriched by his 62-year-old wife, Edith. Julius was a staple of Edith’s many musical performances. He also had a lasting relationship with his children and grandchildren, who came to call him Gyuszi, a diminutive of his Hungarian first name, Gyula. And he loved his cats, Chippy, Spike, Kibbles and Bits (and they loved his generous knees!). A man of many favorite sayings, Julius liked to end every conversation of his later years with the exhortation “Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!”

He will be buried in a private ceremony at Olmstead-inspired Wildwood Cemetery in land he chose for its view to the east – towards Hungary. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family appreciates donations to Fisher Home, Pioneer Valley Symphony or a charity of your choice. Memorial Guest Book at www.douglassfuneral.com

Published by Daily Hampshire Gazette on 26 February 2022.

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