Rodger Dale Rabbass, 73, of Dodge, formerly of Norfolk, peacefully returned home to Jesus on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, at Methodist Fremont Health Hospital in Fremont.
The funeral service was held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 6, 2021, at Home for Funerals Chapel, 708 Georgia Ave., in Norfolk, with the Rev. John E. Nelson Jr. officiating. Visitation was from 4-7 p.m., Friday, March 5, also at the chapel. There was a family prayer service on Saturday at 10:45 a.m. at the chapel. Interment was at the Stanton Cemetery, with military services provided by the Nebraska Army National Guard Honor Guard, VFW Post 3602, American Legion Post 88 and the American Legion Riders. Home for Funerals was in charge of arrangements.
Rodger was born Jan. 22, 1948, in Pender, Neb., to Irene (Hansen) and Leroy Rabbass. He grew up with older brother, John, in the Leigh, Madison and Stanton areas. The two spent their childhood getting into mischief with each other and many cousins.
He attended Stanton High School, where he met the love of his life, Anna “Kathy” Kathleen Lipp, in 1964. He always said from the moment they met, he knew she was the one. From that moment, they were inseparable.
The longest time Rodger and Kathy were apart was during the time he spent serving in the U.S. Army. He left high school to enlist in the military, serving as a Sergeant in the Vietnam War from April 1967-April 1969. The psychological and physical toll of the war were burdens he carried his entire life. Still, he battled to overcome the many challenges those wounds left.
Rodger and Kathy married July 27, 1969, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, in Fremont, Nebraska. The couple lived in Norfolk, where Rodger worked for Vulcraft for 24 years as a welder and rigger. He also worked as a truck driver at the Battle Creek Co-op. While in Norfolk, the family was members of St. John’s Lutheran Church.
In 1998, Rodger and Kathy moved to the Kansas City, Missouri, area, where Rodger drove truck for Robinson Delivery. He loved having the chance to see different areas of the city and nearby states. A connoisseur of Kansas City restaurants, lover of Kansas City sports, old Western movies and Law & Order, Rodger loved having family visit. One of his favorite memories was of the trip he and Kathy took to Alaska in 2009.
The couple lived in the Kansas City area until returning to Nebraska in October 2018, when they moved to Dodge, Neb.
Always fixing things, Rodger was known for his love of fixing cars and lawn mowers. He came from very humble beginnings, but was able to provide for Kathy and their five children. The couple also helped raise 4 of their grandchildren and 2 of their great-grandchildren. A strong-willed, determined man, he taught his children to never give up, whether it be in marriage, family or your health. He will always be known for his humor.
One of his proudest achievements was that he had been a recovering alcoholic for 38 years, thanks to Valley Hope and Bill W.
Rodger had a list of other proud achievements. Those include his five children, 15 grandkids and 5 great-grandkids.
Rodger and Kathy celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary on July 27, 2020.
-Wife Kathy of Dodge.
-Daughter Traci Rabbass of Olathe, Kan.; and children Josie Rabbass of Ottawa, Kan.; Tyler (Samantha) Wieseler of Norfolk; Brady (Meaghan) Adams of Tonganoxie, Kan.; Hannah (special friend Austin Carter) Adams of Olathe; Jackson (special friend Sidney Vinzant) of Overland Park, Kan.; and Wyatt Adams of Olathe.
-Son, Troy of Dodge.
-Daughter Megan (Tracy) Stromberg and children Kade, Aubrey, Isaac, Isabella and Grace, all of Columbus.
-Daughter Mindy (Jamie) Dlouhy of Clarkson and children Kaitlyn (special friend Trevor Oeltjen) of Creston, Colyn and Hadley of Clarkson.
-Son Justin (Rebekah) and daughter Anna, all of Dodge.
-Furbaby Lady Bell.
-Mother in law, Dorothy Lipp of Wayne.
-Aunt Lillian Sondergaard of Grand Island, uncle Duane Hansen of Norfolk and several cousins.
He was preceded in death by his father in 1986, mother in 1998, father-in-law Frank Lipp in 1983, brother John Rabbass in 2009 and sister-in-law Stephanie Rabbass in 2016.
The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the Fremont hospital staff for their compassionate care, especially chaplain Scott, Dr. Ami Jones, Dr. Sukstorf, nurse Tara and the other third floor nurses. We pray you will be repaid for the kindness you showed our dear Rodger. God has given you all a great gift!
Condolences may be expressed to the family online at www.homeforfuneralsinc.com.