Jack Ray Rabe
Jack Ray Rabe, age 73 of Marengo, formerly of Blairstown, died from complications of a stroke on November 16th, 2022. Funeral Service: 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, November 22, 2022 at Grace Lutheran Church, Blairstown, with Pastor Jeff Schanbacher officiating. Visitation will be 4 to 7 p.m., Monday, November 21, 2022, at Kloster Funeral Home, Marengo and 10:00 a.m. until service time at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, November 22, 2022, at Grace Lutheran Church, Blairstown. Inurnment will be at a later date in the Marengo Cemetery. Memorials may be contributed to the Marengo Public Library, or the Blairstown Public Library.
Jack was born in Belle Plaine on September 7th, 1949 to Lewis Frank Rabe and Helen Opal Pease (Rabe) growing up on the family farm between Blairstown and Marengo. On November 13th, 1971 Jack was united in marriage to Peggy Joyce Shively. Jack and Peg were blessed with two wonderful children, Adam and Amelia.
Jack was well known for his carpentry talent and knowledge of the construction trades. To his family Papa Jack was known as a great father and grandfather who was very proud of his children and grandchildren’s accomplishments.
Jack graduated from Iowa Valley High School with the class of 1967. After graduation, Jack started working at Collins Radio. In 1968 Jack joined the United Brotherhood of Carpenters & Joiners of America, Local 308, and worked for Loomis Brother’s Construction until 1979. Jack obtained his Journeyman’s Certificate in 1972 and won the state carpenter contest that same year. In 1979 Jack and his brother Leo started Rabe Hardware in Blairstown. In 1980 Jack and Peg started Rabe Lumber which they operated until 1989. During this time they had lumberyards in Blairstown and Van Horne, and also Rabe Appliance in Belle Plaine for a few years. In 1990 Jack started Benton Building & Design where he enjoyed teaching Adam and his friends much about construction, and his daughter Mimi on occasion. Jack had a couple of special employees/friends that he enjoyed working with over the years, Tom Petrzelka and Rick (Spider) Voss. Whenever he needed several extra hands the Rabe Hardware crew or Fisher boys were always willing to help out, and in turn he always provided them free expertise when they needed it.
Jack loved his work and making his customers dreams become reality, whether a new home, remodel/addition, custom cabinets, or special masonry work he could do it. He also enjoyed serving his community on the Blairstown City Council and Sauerkraut Committee, and was the head hot dog cooker for 10 years. Jack hung up his tool belt in 2017 and turned his shop into a model railroad town. In retirement he also enjoyed fishing at the Pond, watching his grandkids activities, reading, and drawing up house plans on occasion for friends and family. In 2020 Jack was a proud survivor of Kidney Cancer. Recently Jack had moved into a one level house in Marengo to be closer to his children and was extremely happy to be back in his own place after living at Adam’s for a year.
Jack is survived by his wife Peggy, son Adam (Annie) Rabe, daughter Amelia (Jerimy) Eggert, grandchildren Aiden, Alivia, Asher, Elijah, and Ellison, his brother Leo, brother-in-law David Jones, brother-in-law Jerry (Jo Ann) Shively, and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Lewis and Helen, his sister Janet, and his in-laws Bill and Virginia Shively.