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College & OF History: 1975-2000
Into the Third Millennium
Framlingham College...
By John Maulden

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Brian Earl Mabie (G71-73)

1957-2004

Around October 2004 near Syracuse, New York, USA, aged 47, after a long fight with cancer. He leaves a wife, Sue, twin daughters, Pauline and Margaret, a son, Dan; and his elder brother and business partner, O Paul Mabie (G71-73).

Rob Giles (G66-75) writes:

Unfortunately I have to report the sad death of a good friend that I met whilst we were at Fram together. Brian Mabie (G71-73) died around October 2004. Brian was the younger of two brothers who went to Fram for only two years, 1971 to 1973. They were in Garrett House. Their mother was from the Tuck family in Burston near Diss. The Tucks used to run the feed-mill company there. She married an American fellow and moved to New York state where they ran a family agricultural engineering business with a Massey Ferguson dealership near Syracuse - www.mabiebrothers.com. Brian's elder brother, Paul, still runs the business.

Brian was in the same class as myself and his two years were lower 5th and 5th forms so we did our O levels together. Since leaving Fram, he returned to the States and studied electronic and electrical engineering. He returned to Burston to work for Tucks for a year (1980 I think). Since then he and Paul ran Mabie Bros. My wife, Jane, and I visited him there in 1993 with our first daughter, Anna, who was then only a few months old. We had kept in touch over the years and he told me nearly two years ago that he had had his stomach removed through cancer. He battled bravely on with chemo and radiotherapy.

Last year he arranged a trip to the UK to visit his family in Norfolk and to see my family. Brian came over in July with his wife, Sue, his twin daughters, Pauline and Margaret, and his son, Dan. During their visit we toured the College and were all impressed by the new facilities and the progress that has been made since we left. Brian recalled many teachers and mischievous acts including seeing how much water needed to be poured through the floorboards of one dorm before it emerged through the ceiling of the one below! He was fond of English with Bob Gillett and recalled how every time a USAF Phantom jet from USAF Bentwaters went thundering overhead, Bob Gillett would have to stop talking for a while. During the entire pause, Bob would sneer at Brian by curling his lip in mock anger against the “American intrusion”. We also recalled that after a summers' evening of carpark attending in the grounds of Fram castle for visitors to a College performance of Yeoman of the Guard, we visited the Railway Inn for refreshments. On return to the College, our Housemaster, Philip De Whalley, wanted to know where we had been. He interviewed Brian and myself separately. Brian was first in. I followed after, without time to exchange notes on our alibi. I stuttered away for a few moments about how we got lost walking back to the college, or how we had been to the library to do some reading. De Whalley insisted that Brian had told him about something else that I had missed out. Caught by the trap, I admitted that we had been to the pub, assuming (wrongly) that Brian had told the truth. I know we were both beaten with the cane but can't remember how many "across" we got.

Brian's wife, Sue, and his brother, Paul, did everything possible to seek a cure for his cancer, but unfortunately the cancer won the battle. I know that Brian very much enjoyed his 2004 tour of Fram, and was delighted to have shown his children where he had been schooled in Suffolk.

Brian visiting the College in July 2004

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