By Elaine Van Develde
The news of the sudden death of Umberto’s Silvio Fabbri on Nov. 26 was met with an outpouring of sadness.
Fair Havenites have since mourned the man they knew as a friend to the community who never forgot a face, a name or a nugget of information about pretty much everyone who walked through the pizzeria’s doors.
On Friday night, the front of Umberto’s was adorned with flowers, cards, posters, candles and all sorts of tokens of appreciation and remembrance. As tradition holds true in the borough, there was a special farewell posted on the marquee at the Fair Haven Firehouse: “Rest in Peace Silvio … Hanga Loose.”
Inside, the place was bustling with mourners paying their respects to the family as Silvio’s son Anthony flipped dough and gave out pizza for free. It was his way of honoring his father while showing appreciation for the outpouring of love.
Below is a glimpse into one piece of Fair Haven’s sad goodbye to Silvio. Click on the photos to enlarge.
The following is an edited version of Silvio Fabbri’s obituary from the Thompson Memorial Home website:
Silvio Fabbri, 59, of Shrewsbury, died Wednesday Nov. 26.
Born in Monte di Procida Italy, Silvio immigrated to the U.S. in 1976. He served in the Italian Navy on the Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian training ship.
From 1976 to 1984, Silvio worked in various pizzerias along the Jersey Shore honing his pizza making skills. In January of 1984, Silvio began working for Umberto’s Restaurant in Fair Haven.
He and his brother Michele purchased the business in 1991 and operated it along with his family until the time of his death. Silvio married his beloved wife MaryRose (nee) Katzer in 1987.
He was a avid soccer fan continually following his favorite team Internazionale from Milan. Silvio had a knack for creating his own poetry which always put a smile on people’s faces.
He also had a unique gift of remembering peoples last names and upon entering Umberto’s, that’s how many where welcomed. He was a kind generous man who gave to all who expressed the need. A special town event or a family or friend in need, Silvio was there and did so without wanting anything in return.
He loved the many friends he had made over the years at Umberto’s, and that love was reciprocated by all. One of his great joys was teaching children the art of pizza making.
During Superstorm Sandy, Silvio and Michele remained open without electricity and using only gas to ensure that the people of Fair Haven, and surrounding towns and all emergency personnel had a hot meal when it was needed.
Silvio was known as the unofficial welcoming committee to the newcomers of Fair Haven. Many have recognized him as the first person they met after moving to town. He was a devoted husband, father, brother and uncle to dozens of nieces and nephews.
Silvio was predeceased by loving parents, Antonio and Filomena Fabbri. He is survived by his wife MaryRose; his son Anthony and future daughter-in-law, Melanie DeFranco; his brother, Michele and his wife Lucia and his devoted nephew Tony.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at The Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad St., Red Bank. Mass of christian burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, 11 a.m. at The Church of The Nativity, Fair Haven. Burial will be private. Donations to Friends of Silvio, PO Box 8097, Red Bank , NJ 07701 are preferred.
Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect will be posting a memorial tribute to Silvio.