Judith Irma Rabas (Reckelberg), age 73 of Kewaunee, died in the early morning on Tuesday February 7, 2012 at Aurora BayCare Hospital. She was born July 1, 1938 the 7th child in a family of 10 to the late Julius and Helen (Krueger) Reckelberg at the family farm in the Town of Montpelier, Kewaunee County. She attended High Bluff School and St. Paul Lutheran grade school before graduating from Kewaunee High School with the class of 1956.
Judy married the love of her life, Leo Rabas, on June 8, 1957. Leo preceded her in death on January 28, 2009. They lived on the Rabas farm which has been in the family name since 1919. A devoted mother and grandmother Judy was very involved with her children during their younger years as they took part in community activities. She was very involved in 4-H, where she served as a long time leader and helped run the food stand for years at the Kewaunee County Fair.
Judy loved sports, especially basketball. In high school she once made 25 consecutive free-throws, but this was before girls played organized basketball. She was also a league bowler with her Kewaunee friends for years, and loved playing cards as a member of the Schafskopf marathon group of Kewaunee.
Judy truly enjoyed following her children’s sports involvement, both home and away, never missing a game. She was sometimes called the ‘bleacher ref’. She signed up for Packer season tickets when her children were born and a few years ago became a ‘Gold Package’ ticket holder. Judy also attended the 1994 Rose Bowl to watch her beloved Badgers with a close group of friends, and during the baseball season rarely if ever missed a Brewers game on TV. As a working member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church Ladies Aid she served the organization in various capacities. She was also a 50 year member of the Kewaunee County Homemakers. Judy and her husband Leo were members of the Czechs of Norman and Wisconsin Czechs singing groups that performed at social gatherings throughout the Kewaunee area. They also served as the organizations treasurers for many years. Judy and her husband were also members of the Kewaunee County Farm Bureau. Judy loved flowers both in her garden and as a professional flower arranger. Many people still recognize Jeanie and Judy’s Flower Shop. Her beautiful work was exhibited at weddings, funerals, banquets, and graduations.
Survivors include one daughter and son-in-law Kate and Tom Meier of Dalton, OH and grandchildren Clinton of Memphis, TN, Crystal of Seoul, Korea, and Curtis of Dalton, OH; four sons and three daughters-in-law, Ken and Ginger Rabas of Wellman, IA and grandson Ethaniel; Mark and Pam Rabas of Mishicot, WI; Lee and Dawn Rabas of Appleton, WI and grandchildren Chancellor and Avery; Dean Rabas of Appleton, WI.
Other survivors include: Audrey Reckelberg (sister-in-law) of Kewaunee, Wilma Rehbein of Mishicot, Alvira (Wayne) Petersen of Green Bay, Ludwig Reckelberg of Luxemburg, Adolph (Mary) Reckelberg of Kewaunee, Anita (John) Schuller of Kewaunee, Joyce Lemke of Marshfield, Vernice (Maynard) Ihlenfeld of Montpelier, Bernice (Bruce) Hanson of Madison, Margie Vogeltanz (sister-in-law) of Kewaunee, and a dear friend and neighbor Jeanie Hlinak of Luxemburg.
Judy was preceded in death by a brother Fred Reckelberg, brother-in-laws Don Rehbein, Mike Lemke, Ottmar Rabas, Sylvester Vogeltanz, and sister-in-laws Dorothy Rabas, Mayme Rabas, and Lulu Jakus (Rabas).
Friends may call from 9:30am-1:30pm on Saturday February 11, 2012 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Kewaunee, Wisconsin. Funeral services for Judith I. Rabas will begin at 1:30pm on Saturday February 11, 2012 with Pastor Michael Sullivan officiating. Burial will be in the Forest Hills (Town of Carlton) Cemetary.
A memorial fund has been established in her name at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Kewaunee, Wisconsin.