August 8, 2019

Clara (Bailey) Fabal

Clara (Bailey) Fabal


7/24/29 – 8/3/19

Clara (Bailey) Fabal, born in Knoxville, Tennessee, was the “It Girl” to all who knew her — family, friends and community alike. From Knoxville, Clara moved to the Miami area and shortly thereafter to Key West.

She proudly graduated from Key West High School in 1947, where she was involved in team sports and was the sports editor for The Snapper.

It was while in high school that she met the dashing Eugene Romeo Fabal with whom she shared a wonderful life and marriage of 56 years until his passing in June 2003.

Clara relished her role as wife and was a perfect match for Gene. Their marriage was a union of strength, unity, understanding and true love. During their marriage they shared much, but it could easily be said of both that nothing mattered more than their two children, Mark Douglas and Sheri Lyn, whom they adored. Unconditional is often used to describe a mother’s love and if so, Clara must have invented the word.

Clara was a very modern woman of her time. As a young woman she began working at a popular downtown dress shop, but her self-defining career was with the telephone company, where she rose to the position of Chief Operator.

A mere 35 years later, she ended her tenure at Southern Bell but her time there provided a lifetime of stories and experience. Retirement, however, was no place for her; so she continued to work for years as the front desk clerk at The Galleon and later as receptionist for the Monroe County Tax Collector’s office.

Through life she continued to greet everyone with a smile and a kind word. Clara had a wonderful ability to turn anyone she met into friends … and friends into family. Clara enjoyed her work, whatever it was, and always took great pride in her efforts.

It’s easy to see how an entire community got to know and grew to love her.

Clara always had a twinkle in her beautiful hazel green eyes and could be seen a mile away with impeccably done hair, signature glasses, and dressed in brightly colored shirts. But, her ability to stand out was not just because of her appearance. She enjoyed people. Clara could talk to anyone about anything for hours. She enjoyed life. Fridays were always spent with friends and family either visiting or dancing … and did she ever love to dance! Clara B. Fabal danced through life and invited everyone she came in contact with to join her on the dance floor.

As dedicated as Clara was to community and friends, she will best be remembered as KK, a name given to her by her grandson, who even as a baby must have known that she was no mere grandmother and needed a name all her own. KK was blessed with seven adoring grandchildren: Sarah, Joseph, Kali, Brittani, Jason, Kendal and Zachary and five precious great-granddaughters: Kaylin, Trinity, Leah, Zoe and Clara. KK was a life-force. She was colorful and caring. She loved deeply and with no apologies for doing so. Clara would always say when introduced to anyone new, “Please call me KK, all of my favorite people do.”

Clara may have left us to be with those who have gone before her, whom she so deeply missed, but our hearts will continue to dance to the beat of our KK’s love.

Funeral services will be held at noon on Saturday, Aug. 10, at the Key West United Methodist Church (Old Stone).

Burial will be in the Key West City Cemetery. The Dean-Lopez Funeral Home is entrusted with all funeral arrangements.