Gerald A. (Jerry) Kabe passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 23, 2020. A private family burial will be held at Immanuel Lutheran Cemetery in Emerald Township. A public memorial service will be planned for a later date.
Jerry was born on March 29, 1939, in Blue Earth, to Albert and Rachel (Groff) Kabe. He was the first of their five children, followed by Delores, Gloria, Linda, and Gregory. Jerry attended country school in Pilot Grove Township and graduated from Elmore High School in 1957. He enlisted in the United States Air Force shortly following graduation and served until 1961. While in the Air Force he served as an Air Policeman at Ashiya Air Force Base in Japan, and at Malmstrom AFB in Montana.
After his service, he returned to Blue Earth and worked at the Elmore elevator and Hodgman Construction. In 1963 he was asked by then Sheriff, Bernie Imm, to consider working with him as Deputy Sheriff for Faribault County. Jerry accepted, and for several years following Jerry and Bernie patrolled all of Faribault County, just the two of them. This was at a time when officers were responsible for purchasing their own patrol cars. Jerry loved having a car that could go as fast as (legally) possible and “tested the equipment” often. As additional deputies were hired Jerry moved into the role of Chief Deputy Sheriff, a title he would hold under the next Sheriff, Roger Fletcher, until both retired from law enforcement in 1991. Jerry then secured his Private Detective License and opened Kabe Investigations, where he used his considerable investigative skills to help both companies and individuals. In 1995 he re-entered law enforcement, albeit on the “other” side. He was hired as an investigator for the Public Defender’s office of the 5th Judicial District serving Martin and Faribault Counties. Jerry worked in that capacity for twelve years, retiring in 2007. He retained his investigator’s license and continued to work as a process server for local attorneys and county human services staff until January of 2020.
Jerry married Evelyn (Lutz) on January 24, 1964, at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Blue Earth. The couple had one daughter, Paula, and made their home in Blue Earth. Jerry and his family enjoyed going out west camping on summer vacations, and spending time at their year-round cabin on Bass Lake, north of Winnebago. Jerry was among the first owners of Jay’s North Shore at Bass Lake when he and Evie purchased land in 1970. Chances are, anyone who learned to waterski on Bass Lake during the 70s likely learned from Jerry. He was particularly fond of slalom waterskiing, especially when tethered to a kite that was pulled behind the boat.
In addition to serving and protecting his community in an official capacity, Jerry also served many volunteer roles as a member of: American Legion Post #89 (two-terms as president, and military honor guard); Blue Earth Lions Club (president); St Paul Lutheran Church (elder and life-long member); Snow Rovers (a founder and president).
Jerry is fondly remembered as never having missed a meal, or a coffee hour. While in law enforcement he enjoyed having breakfast with other officers which offered a chance to catch up on the latest events at other departments. This morning ritual continued after his retirement. He was a regular at Country Kitchen/BE Hometown restaurant where he could often be found solving the world’s problems with his friends. Jerry also never missed a Wednesday poker game with his card-playing buddies.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Evie, and his daughter, Paula, both of Blue Earth; his brother Gregory and sister-in-law, Kathryn, of Bloomington, Indiana; his aunt ElVera, of Albert Lea; and brothers- and sisters-in law, cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and sisters.
Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be sent to the UHD Foundation, in honor of the compassionate care Jerry received while there.