Rotarian keeps rolling with 48-year attendance streak

Tom KingFarragut

Do you know of anyone who has not missed a weekly meeting of their civic organization of choice for 48 years and counting?  Meet Dr. Jack Faber, a Rotarian since 1969 and a member of the Rotary Club of Farragut since September 2009.  That translates into more than 2,304 weekly club meetings without a miss.  Boggles the mind!

His “home” club that he joined in 1969 is in Neenah, Wis., just 40 miles from Green Bay and his beloved Green Bay Packers. For 50 years he and wife Jeanne have had four season tickets to Lambeau Field, home of The Pack.

Since 2009 the Fabers have lived here for eight months of the year.  They’re snowbirds.  They leave in June for their cottage on Fox Lake in Wisconsin and return Oct. 1 to escape the Wisconsin winters.  A fall on ice and a broken hip was all the convincing it took for Jack to become a snowbird. Thankfully, they landed here.

Last week Dr. Faber was honored with a Perfect Attendance certificate by the club honoring those 48 years without a miss.  He took it in stride.  “When I first joined Neenah Rotary I met an attorney who was telling me about his perfect attendance and I thought if he could do it, so could I,” he says. And he has.

His relationship with Rotary goes back to his high school days in Rochester, Minn., where he was reared. He spoke to the Rochester Rotary Club and he thought to himself that someday he’d like to be in a club like this one.  Rochester is home to the famed Mayo Clinic, where his Dad was a physician.

After medical school at Northwestern University in Chicago, Jack set up his practice in 1968 and had offices in both Neenah and Appleton.  He was a dermatologist.  The next year he became a Rotarian and in 1974-75 was president of Neenah Rotary.

During the four months back in Wisconsin he does meeting makeups at two Rotary clubs – in Beaver Dam and Columbus/Fall River.  He never misses a beat.  He loves Rotary and Rotarians.  Why?  “There are just so many wonderful people in Rotary.  I feel it’s a privilege to be a Rotarian,” he says.

Jack is a member of the Farragut Club’s infamous back table that includes his buddies Bill Nichols, Sam Mishu, Wayne Davis, Terry Kerbs, Sam Taylor, Ron Lawrence, Eddy Ford, Fred Beaver and Brandon Hackett.

Jack was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis while he was in medical school. It was in remission for 35 years and returned several years ago.  It does not slow him down at all.  He keeps on keeping on, as the saying goes. He and Jeanne swap the driving chores during their 14-hour, 700-mile trips back and forth to Wisconsin.  On Halloween he will celebrate his 80th birthday.

“He’s a very special man and friend,” says Bill Nichols.  “As good as they come.”

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