Donald K. Laabs, 78 years old, a father, husband, teacher, veteran, patriot, and friend of hundreds was called home to Heaven to be with his Savior on Monday, July 6, 2015, after three years of cancer, with his loving family surrounding him at Hillside Manor in Beaver Dam.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, July 11, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at First Ev. Lutheran Church in Beaver Dam, with the Rev. Terry Larson officiating. A visitation will be held on Friday, July 10th from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. at Koepsell-Murray Funeral Home in Beaver Dam, with the Beaver Dam AMVETS to meet at 6:30 to pay their respects, and also on Saturday, July 11th from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m. at the church. Military honors will conclude the funeral at church. Entombment will take place at Oakwood Cemetery at a later date.
Don’s greatest blessing was really a gift when his parents brought him to faith and was made a child of God through baptism. Don found his true calling in his Christian faith to use his talents to live a life of service to family, church, community, and country. Don’s gifts brought many people together to serve for the good of all. That faith that led Don to be an obedient and faithful servant of the Lord will bring him safely to his Savior.
Don was born on October 26, 1936 to Robert and Agnes (Neumann) Laabs in Dale, WI. He was proud to have four brothers, especially his twin brother Dennis. He was a 1954 graduate of Hortonville High School. Donald was a 1963 graduate of U.W. Oshkosh with a B.S. Degree in Social Science. He was a veteran in the U.S. Army, serving in Korea from 1957 – 1958. He proudly served six years in the U.S. Army Reserves, beginning in New London in 1956 and ending in Appleton in 1963.
Donald was united in marriage to Janice Pagel on June 6, 1959. They have been soulmates and best friends for over 56 years. He taught social studies in the Beaver Dam Unified School District for 30 years, teaching over 3800 students. He also served as Student Council advisor for 15 years. During that time, he also sold real estate in the Beaver Dam area for 16 years.
Don was very active in the community for many years. He was a charter member of the Exchange Club from 1976 – present. Don was the founder of the Beaver Dam Lake Improvement Association, Beaver Dam Lake Days for 22 years, and the Beaverland Must-Skis for 21 years. He had been on the board of directors for PAVE and Green Valley Enterprises. Don was the owner/operator of D & D Bay Marina from 1991 – 2003.
Don loved his family, especially his children and grandson Joshua. He loved writing, reading and listening to music. He loved his flowers, pond, yard, and bird watching. He was an avid Brewer, Badger and Packer fan. His passions also included boating and playing cards.
Don is survived by his wife, Jan of Beaver Dam; his children: Dan (Kathy) Laabs of Beaver Dam and Dawn (Joe) Aliota of Mequon; his grandson, Joshua Aliota of Mequon; his brothers: Melvin Laabs of Las Vegas, Willard (Marion) Laabs of Menomonee Falls, his twin brother, Dennis (Caroline) Laabs of Hortonville; his sister-in-law, Carol Heinz of Appleton; and further survived by nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Don was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Gilbert Laabs.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to First Ev. Lutheran Church – Mortgage Principle Fund, the Beaver Dam Area Community Theatre, the Beaver Dam Senior Center, or Hillside Hospice.
The family would like to give a special thanks to the doctors, nurses and staff of Hillside Manor for all of their wonderful care and support through this difficult time.
Koepsell-Murray Funeral Home in Beaver Dam is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at www.koepsellfh.com