David L Schaberg
Saturday, September 4, 1937 - Sunday, May 16, 2021
|On Sunday afternoon, May 16th, 2021, St. Gall, the Patron Saint of Birds, invited our remarkable dad - the man, the myth, the legend - David Lee Schaberg, 83, to fulfill his greatest dream…to fly like a bird. |
A modern-day renaissance man with a boisterous laugh you could hear a quarter of a mile away, Dad was a lover of life and family. He could quietly hold you in a hug for an hour or fill all the space in a conversation while barely even taking a breath.
After serving in the Marines, Dad began pushing a broom at an aluminum company in Michigan. His quick wit, keen social skills and overall joie de vivre helped him move rapidly up the ranks, to sales (the man could talk!), sales manager, district manager and to eventually owning the company. He and the love of his life, our mom Annette (née Lefbom), married in 1964. In 1966, they relocated to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, where they eventually bought a bucolic chunk of property that they lovingly turned into a picturesque gentleman’s farm, where they raised the three of us (Robyn, Tracy + Danny). We’ll always think of our dad when we set foot outside as he was a true nature buff, and sometimes even buff in nature, tanning by our ponds from time to time.
Practically inseparable, mom and dad were entrepreneurs, owners of Mid-States Aluminum (which they sold in the mid-eighties). Dad adored our mom and sparkled in her presence no matter what they were doing, whether entertaining family and friends or excitedly setting up their Christmas tree soon after Halloween. We can all say theirs was an admirably long and love-filled marriage of 57 exquisite years.
Dad encouraged us kids to boldly pursue our passions and to live life to the fullest - to always explore to our hearts’ content. He set a beautiful example, doing just that in myriad ways. While most of us suffer from a misguided hatred for pigeons, Dad loved them. He raised and raced them with an unrivaled passion for years, winning multitudes of highly acclaimed races (in the pigeon world, anyway). Known to deep dive down the rabbit hole with any new passion, he would thoroughly exhaust all available resources on the object of his focus. And he avidly explored a wide variety of interests: cattle, horses, swans, ponds, woodworking, koi, orchids, antique toy trains and more - things of beauty that caught his eye and tickled his zest for life. You could often find dad five cups of coffee in with layers of pedigrees and books spread across the kitchen table. The man would leave no stone unturned in his quest to learn everything.
Dad was also the sort of gent who could saddle up and make friends with anyone, anywhere. Dad - AKA Mr. It’s-five-o’clock-somewhere-in-the-world – could often be found behind a bar encouraging his guests to join him on a “trip around the world”, imbibing country-specific cocktails, all while spinning yarns in that country’s accent.
Dad’s many superpowers included his love of family, his adoration of our mother, his embrace of the holidays and, especially, his long, flowing locks (Richard Gere had nothing on him). He could also adorn a Honey Baked ham like a parade float. He was exceptionally fluent in pig-latin. He taught us kids dandy parlor tricks when needed. His exceptional knack for decorating would make even the most seasoned HGTV fan rubberneck at his work. And most notably, he was quite well known for inventing words, which we won’t go into….
But you can bet a couple, two, three dollars he’s smiling right now, salt-and-pepper hair blowing in the wind, sipping a brandy old fashioned seltzer while rocking the speedo (we hope) on a beach humming to Bob Clampton (as he was apt to call Eric Clapton).
You were a lovely, bigger-than-life gent who we’ll hold in our hearts forever. We’ll feel your presence with every cocktail we raise, every sparkle we spy on the Christmas tree, and every bird that flies over head. You own a massive chunk of our hearts and we are ever grateful to you for being the soulful mentor and father that you were to us, and for showing us how to live life with gusto and full loving hearts.
Dad was born in Kalamazoo Michigan on September 4, 1937, to Carol and Henry Schaberg. He is survived by our spectacular and equally passionate mom, Annette Schaberg; his brother, Tom Schaberg; the three of us, his kids - Robyn Mockus, Tracy Porter and Dan Schaberg; nine fantastic grandchildren; and, his cat, who will not leave his bed (and is making our mom a little nuts).
A celebration of life will take place at a later date.
Please visit www.butzinmarchant.com to send online condolences.
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