Eldon “Fritz” Gabel of Akron passed away Saturday, September 14, 2013, at his home in Akron surrounded by his family.
Funeral services were on Wednesday, September 18 at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church – Preston Township, rural Akron. Reverend Sarah Nye and Minister Joel Nye officiated. Burial followed in the church cemetery. Expressions of sympathy can be extended to the family through www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.
Eldon Ernest Gabel was born October 13, 1929, on the family farm in Preston Township, rural Plymouth County, Iowa, the son of Ernest and Minnie (Langelett) Gabel. He was baptized and confirmed at St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church – Preston Township. He attended country school in Preston Township and one year of high school at Central High School in Le Mars until he stayed home to help his family on the farm.
He was united in marriage to Viola Hasenbank on November 22, 1953, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Akron. They farmed in Preston Township for many years. In 1988, they moved to Akron. Fritz continued to farm until his health began to fail.
Fritz was a lifelong member of St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, having held several church leadership positions through the years. He served as the head funeral usher for many years. He served on the Southern Sioux Rural Water Board for over 20 years. He and Vi enjoyed traveling locally and abroad. He enjoyed a three-week mission trip to Tanzania through the S.T.E.M.M. program in Sioux City. Through the years, Fritz enjoyed participating in bowling leagues in Akron. Family, farming, and his John Deere tractors were Fritz’s greatest joys. He also enjoyed reading, especially his farming magazines. Fritz enjoyed tractor pulling with his antique John Deere tractors. He loved the times spent visiting with his family and friends, especially his grandchildren. He and Vi supported all of them in their activities and events. Recently, Fritz helped with fundraising for the new Akron Care Center. He will be greatly missed.
Survivors include his wife of over 59 years, Vi of Akron; his children: Ernie (Deb) Gabel of rural Akron; Michaelene (Duane) Behrens of Sioux City; Carl (Lori) Gabel of Le Mars; Sharon (Carl) Harry of Hawarden; Carrie (Curt) Frerichs of Sioux Falls, S.D.; and Mary (John) Wilken of rural Akron; 18 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; one great great grandson; a “special” grandson: Colt Witt; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers: Donald and Virgil Gabel; a sister: LaVonne Rolfs; a grandson: Aaron Minor; a great-grandson: Alan Minor; and two half-brothers and two half-sisters.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made in Fritz’s name to the Akron Care Center Building Fund.