Burton Frank “Jim” Reabe of Beaver Dam, formerly of St. Germain, passed away peacefully on May 31, 2018 at Charleston House in Beaver Dam.
Jim was born June 9, 1923 in Horicon to William and Esther (Johnson) Reabe. He attended Horicon High School where he played football, baseball, basketball, and ran track. During this time, Jim unselfishly rescued two children that had fallen off a bridge in Horicon into the Rock River and they could not swim.
Jim joined the Army in 1943 during World War II and served three years in the 692nd Tank Destroyer Battalion, part of the 3rd Army under General George Patton in Europe. He was proud of his service as the tank’s gunner, responsible for operating the main cannon. He served 195 days on the front line, participating in the invasion of France, the liberation of Antwerp, the Battle of the Bulge and liberation of Bastogne, the invasion of Germany itself, and after Germany’s surrender searched the Alps for remaining SS holdouts. He received the Bronze Star with three battle stars for his service. Jim was recently interviewed by John Moser as part of his Veteran’s Day radio program in 2017 – he had a wealth of interesting stories about his service.
One night in November 1945, he met Anita Lauth while she was dancing on Beaver Street in Beaver Dam. They were married four months later on February 23, 1946, and would remain happily together for the next 69 years until her passing in 2015.
Jim worked for Triple F Seed as the sales manager for the state of Wisconsin and traveled the state frequently. He also ran a butcher shop in Beaver Dam and served 20 years as a volunteer in the Beaver Dam Fire Department.
Jim’s hobbies included walleye fishing, hunting ducks and geese, and golfing. He and Anita traveled to Las Vegas countless times, Europe three times, North Africa, Mexico and to Puerto Rico. For years they traveled to Lac des Mille Lacs in Canada fishing with friends and family.
After Anita’s retirement in 1987, Jim and Anita moved from Beaver Dam to their lake home in St. Germain, Wisconsin. They spent winters in Hawaii for the first ten years; thereafter wintered in Hot Springs Village, Arkansas.
Jim was a member of the Beaver Dam American Legion Post 146 for 50 years, the 40 et 8, the VFW, and St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church in Beaver Dam.
Jim was preceded in death by his wife Anita, his parents, two sisters, two brothers, sister-in-law Leona Reabe and two nephews. He is survived by his sister Talitha (Gerald) Hoffman of Horicon, brother and sister in-laws, nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be at the Koepsell-Murray Funeral Home, N7199 N. Crystal Lake Road, Beaver Dam on Thursday, June 7th 2018 from 10:00 am to the time of the funeral service at 11:00 am. Rev. Seth Dorn will officiate. Beaver Dam American Legion Post 146 to meet at 10:30 a.m. to pay their respects. Burial will be at the Oakwood Cemetery in Beaver Dam with a luncheon to follow at Bayside Supper Club.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the American Legion at legion.org. The family would like to thank the staff at Charleston House for their compassionate care of Jim for the last few years. To leave online condolences, or for directions and other information, visit www.KoepsellFH.com