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NerVella Ruth Buechler Rabe

NerVella Ruth Buechler Rabe, 79, of Cabool, Missouri, passed away March 11, 2014 at Kabul Nursing Home.

She was born July 9, 1934, the daughter of Michael and Kathryn (Bollinger) Buechler in Mahto, South Dakota. She was one of 12 children (four of which died at birth) that lived on their 600-acre farm. She was baptized on August 16, 1934 at Redeemer Lutheran Church by Reverend Inselmann in McLaughlin, South Dakota.

She attended country schools in South Dakota and her family even owned one of the schools at that time. She would read anything she could get her hands on as books were a scarce thing in the Dakotas. She was also lucky enough to get to attend a city school later on. One of her fond memories was going to town on Saturdays and watching her dad play pool while her mother shopped for groceries and, if she was lucky, she would get a soda. In the winter months she told stories of riding in the wagon to school covered by blankets and having their family dog along at their feet to keep them warm on the ride.

She could also play the piano and the accordion by ear; she couldn’t read a single note of music but if she heard a tune she could play it. Only God can give you a gift like that and she sure put it to good use. When she was younger she was the entertainer for many of her family gatherings, and to hear her sister talk, she got out of doing a lot of dishes because of that.

After finishing the eighth grade she began work at a local drug store in McLaughlin, South Dakota. She later earned her GED without taking a single course.

During one of the summers and the wheat harvests she met Robert Rabe from Crescent City, Illinois. In 1954 they were married and she moved to Crescent City, Illinois. At that time she worked at Schweigerts Grocery.

In 1958 they were blessed with their first daughter, Tamara Jolene; in 1959 their second, Kandra Louise; and in 1960 twins, Debra Lee and Denise Lynn. While still in Illinois they lived in several towns farming and raising their family. In 1962 they moved to Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, and bought the dairy farm Valley View Farm. In 1963 another daughter was born, Cynthia Ann, and in 1966, Brenda Renee, and the seventh daughter in 1970, Michelle Marie. While in Wisconsin she sold Tupperware and was one of the top dealers at that time. She sewed lots of clothes for all of those girls and made most of her own clothes, too. The family enjoyed lots of homemade bread and family meals, skating parties and sledding fun.

In December of 1973 the family moved to Cabool, Missouri. They lived north of Cabool and attended Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Houston, Missouri. While living there she worked at The Lee Factory and Ramey’s Supermarket, both in Houston. In 1979 she moved to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and worked at the Army commissary and at the Army hospital for 25 years. She would always tell about the young recruits she met and would try and take them under her wing because they were so far away from home, many of which she knew their family or someone from the area that they had lived in. She never met a stranger and would give you a hug and just talk your leg off.

In 2004 she retired and moved back to Cabool at Grandview Terrace to be close to her grandchildren. For the next few years she spent time with old friends from Fort Leonard Wood and new friends in Cabool, shopping and seeing shows and just enjoying her retirement years doing whatever she wanted to do. Reading Louis L’amour westerns and playing the piano and accordion were what she liked most. She spent many hours playing whenever she could; it really brought joy to her heart. When she would visit or watch the grandkids she always had a new book to read to them and was so excited to listen to them read to her, too.

In 2010 after early signs of Alzheimer’s had progressed, she moved into Kabul Nursing Home where she remained for her last years. As her health declined she still visited and made many new friends. She was like family to the staff and they treated her with great care.

She enjoyed music all of her life and loved to cut up the dance floor and if she ever saw a piano she would have to stop just to play it. She will truly be missed to those who knew and loved her.

Preceding her in death were her parents, Michael and Kathryn Buechler; two sisters, Violet and Ruby; and three brothers, Clarence, Clayton and Clifford.

She is survived by seven daughters, Tamara Rabe, Kandra Rabe, Debra Dotson, Denise and Mark Quessenberry, Cynthia and Dale Flanagan, Brenda and Dave Hass, and Michelle and Tom Fussner; eleven grandchildren, Robert Tooley, Lacey Wake, Elijah Maupin, Tucker Dotson, Trenton Aldridge, Colby Flanagan, Quincy Flanagan, Nicholas Hass, Ashton Hass, Eleanora Fussner and Thomas Fussner; seven great-grandchildren; two sisters, Luella Volk and Berniece Ritter; and numerous other nieces, nephews and family members.

A private family memorial service was held at her request on March 15, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. with Pastor David Kettner officiating. Arrangements were under the direction of Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home of Cabool. Online condolences may be made at

In lieu of flowers the family has requested donations to: Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 1419 S. Sam Houston Blvd., Houston, MO 65483 or Kabul Nursing Home, 1000 Main Street, Cabool, MO 65689.

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