John Gabler

John (Jack) Gabler passed away July 30, 2019.  Born February 6, 1935 on a farm near Eagle Bend, Minnesota, he was the third son of Louis and Louise Gabler   When he was two years old, his family moved to Chicago.  He began his education in Oak Lawn, Illinois, attending school there for three years.  In 1943 the family moved back to Minnesota on a small farm near Long Prairie.  There he attended a one-room country school for five years before entering Long Prairie High School, where he played football, basketball and baseball (although not very well, according to him).  He was an honor student there and graduated in 1953.

After high school, he enrolled in St Cloud State College where he graduated in 1959.  He was then hired by the Todd County Welfare Office in Long Prairie where he worked for two years. 

Jack was a veteran of the US Army from 1956-1958.  He spent six months in training at Ft. Hood, Texas and was then deployed to Germany to the 3rd Armored Division of the 7th Army. 

On May 21, 1960, he married Idella Plaisted, also of Long Prairie.  The couple had four children:  Jon, Elisabeth, Jim and Steve.  

In 1961 the couple moved to Salt Lake City where Jack was a student in the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Utah.  In 1963, following Jack’s graduation, they moved back to Minnesota and both worked around St Paul for four years.

In 1967 they moved to Washington State where Jack was the Deputy Administrator in the Benton-Franklin Welfare Office in Pasco.  They moved to Seattle in 1969 when Jack was promoted to Administrator in the Seattle-King County Welfare Office.  In 1971 he enrolled in the evening MBA program at Seattle University, graduating with a Master of Public Administration degree in 1976.

He and his family moved to Bellingham in 1972 when he was promoted to Regional Administrator for Northwest Washington, then returned to Seattle in 1974 when Jack was appointed as Deputy Administrator for the Seattle-King County Region. He worked the next 19 years in various positions for the state until he retired in 1993.

In his retirement years, he took up bowling as a serious sideline.  He ran a league for seventeen years and was named Secretary of the Year in 1999 by the Greater Bowling Association.

Jack was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers and his daughter. 

He is survived by his wife, Idella; sister, Penny Berens; sons, Jon (Donna), Jim and Steve, and 7 grandchildren.

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