Sonia Fabian

Obituary of Sonia Jacqueline Fabian

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Sonia Fabian on Tuesday, July 12, 2016, of natural causes. Sonia was predeceased by her parents, Jack and Lillian Martin; sister Dianne Martin; and son-in-law Frank Eichorn. She is survived by her children, Terri Eichorn, Randy Kissel (Leila), Lori Lund, Lisa Wilde (David), and Jacquie Fabian-Kissel (Paul Sterry); sister Maureen Johnson; grandchildren, Robert Eichorn, Wrahnda Eichorn ( Scott Dyson ), Danielle Kissel, Miranda Tataryn (Michael), Kayne Kissel (Tiffany), Jorden Kissel (Darci Blocka), Shandall Kissel, Michael Leppke (Sheria), Valerie Leppke, Andrew Leppke, Heather Leppke (Jason Jans), Amanda Witow (Colin), Stephanie Wilde (Justin Mozel), Jennifer Wilde, and Lillian Sterry; great-grandchildren, Jake, Beau and Nash Gummow, Alexander and Jaymee Lynn Tataryn, Jaymee and Shayla Eichorn, Kaylin and Alyssa Leppke, Austin Leppke, Cory and Anthony Nikoleychuk, Grayson Duncalf, and Jocelynn Jans; nephew Jeff Johnson (Karla); great nephew Matthew Johnson; great niece Nicole Johnson; as well as numerous cousins. Sonia dedicated her life to the art of dance and the lifelong journey of excellence and education for herself and the students she coached and mentored. Her love of dance began as a young girl in Regina, when she started taking dance lessons with a local dance studio. With her sister Maureen, she performed regularly at community events in Regina and received numerous requests to teach. The sisters decided to open a dance studio and in September 1953, Martin School of Dancing was established. From the basement of their parent’s home, the sisters taught classes in tap, ballet, acrobatics, Highland dancing, and baton twirling. During the early years of the studio, the sisters travelled to many dance competitions and workshops in Canada and the United States, which helped Sonia to develop the superior programs and instruction that she taught to her students for the next 42 years. In 1963, Sonia sold her interest in the studio to Maureen and decided to broaden her horizons and bring her style of dance to Saskatoon and open a dance studio there. She was in Saskatoon for several years, running small satellite schools at various times in small towns around Saskatchewan. The children of North Battleford, Allen, and Davidson were fortunate to benefit from Sonia’s dance programs and mentorship throughout those years. While in Saskatchewan, Sonia Fabian and her dancers participated regularly in dance festivals and competitions. She also started a very successful competition based in North Battleford, which still showcases jazz, ballet, tap, and modern dance in yearly competitions. In 1974, in answer to a plea from a former student from North Battleford, she relocated to Prince George, BC and started the Sonia Fabian Dance Studio. While there, she began the Prince George and District Dance Festival, which has grown immensely in size and scope over the years. In 1999, the Arts Council of the city of Prince George inducted her into their Gallery of Honour, crediting her with the legacy of dance that she built there, with many of her students going on to become dance professionals themselves. In 1995, she retired from teaching dance and moved back to Regina and in 1997, not content to stay even partially retired, she opened up All About Dance, a retail dancewear store serving studios and dancers in and around Regina. Sonia's first stroke was in December 2010 and her second one was in May 2011. She then moved to Maple Creek, SK to live with and receive fulltime care from her daughter Lori Lund. Sonia lived with Lori up until the time of her passing. Sonia loved to attend dance recitals and competitions and took great pleasure in the life-long discussions she had with her sister Maureen about their adventures during their long careers and the evolution of dance and the sport of baton twirling. Sonia was a hard working woman who was passionate about her family, her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and dance. An avid baseball fan, Sonia knew all the Blue Jays players, their statistics and standings in the league, and enjoyed spirited discussions about her favourite sport. She also greatly enjoyed following the ups and downs of her favourite football team the Saskatchewan Roughriders. She leaves her children with a legacy of strong will, passion, determination, and … just a bit of stubbornness! A Memorial Graveside Service will be held for Sonia at Riverside Memorial Park, 815 Assiniboine Avenue East, Regina, SK on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. Cards and condolences may be sent to the family care of Speers Funeral Chapel.