October 14, 2021, 82, Mount Olive –
Thomas Edward Kabes, 82, resident of Williams Mill, Mount Olive, died Thursday, Oct. 14, at home.
Graveside service is Monday, Oct. 18, at 2 pm, at Wayne Memorial Park. Officiating, The Rev. Jeff Dail. Family will receive friends at the cemetery after the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Mount Olive First Pentecostal Holiness Church Children’s Ministry, Disabled American Veterans, or the ASPCA.
Family was very important to Tom. In 1997, he married Gayle Williams Weeks of Mount Olive. He was very proud of his many Kabes nieces and nephews, as well as his two stepdaughters and their families, Lea Weeks Matthews and Rebecca Weeks Broadway, which gave him three grandchildren, Buddy Grady, Danielle Grady, and Brooke Broadway, and the newest joy, a great-grandson, Jameson Grady.
Tom was the second of eight children born to Frank and Rose Kabes. His siblings are Robert F. Kabes, deceased, Don Kabes of Rochester, NY, Ralph Kabes, deceased, Jean Ann Kabes Byrd of Maple Hill, Carol Rose Kabes Hopkins of Raleigh, Frances Raymond Kabes of Litchfield Sayre, Penn., and Mary Kabes Anders of Rochester, NY. The Kabes family owned and operated a dairy farm. The boys fed and milked the cows in the morning, and again after school, and on weekends. Chores were first priority before walking to school and after returning home from school. In their elementary school years, the children attended Dutch Town School, a one-room schoolhouse where all grades were taught in one room. Many stories have been told about the antics the boys did and planned while walking to and from school to school.
Tom graduated from Waverly High School in Waverly, New York. The year was 1957. In August of that year, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, beginning what would be a 23-year career which caused him to serve tours of duty in the Philippines, Formosa, West Germany, Holland, Greece, South Vietnam, Thailand, and Australia. His service at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base which was for two years brought him to eastern North Carolina. He was a proud Air Force serviceman and kept in touch with several of his military friends, especially so with Charles Edwards of New York. Tom retired from the Air Force with the rank of master sergeant. Following his military career, he and his brothers, Bob and Don, opened Kabes Brothers Construction here in Wayne County. They predominately constructed homes and like structures. Oh, the stories they would tell about riding in a Ford Falcon station wagon.
It is interesting to note that Tom’s grandfather, Frank M. Yilek, was an immigrant from Czechoslovakia, who came to America in 1889, along with his parents.