October 15, 1945 – August 19, 2020
We are here today to lay to rest Ronald Paul Tabbert. Only I don’t think anyone called him Ronald Paul Tabbert – he was Ron, Ron Tabbert, Pastor Tabbert, Pastor Ron or even Uncle Travelling Max to some!
He was born in North Dakota in the United States of America, not far from the Canadian border on October 15 1945. His family were farmers and he did his share of the family chores including driving truck and tractor, milking cows, cleaning out the barn and disposing of the stuff that comes out of the barn after cleaning out the barn…
He went to the same Elementary School as his dad. His family relocated to Libby, Montana, to live with his grandparents for his first year of high school after a bad crop failure at home. Twelve years old and already he was a travelling guy!
After high school back in North Dakota, he went on to university in Minnesota and Indiana. He received his Master of Divinity from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri in 1971. So, only 26 years old and he had already lived in at least five states.
He interned in Lincoln, Nebraska (six states) and was ordained in Minot, North Dakota, close to the Canadian border on June 6 1971. He served in Wisconsin and Tennessee (7 and 8) before coming to Grande Cache Alberta in 1987.
He arrived to serve the community of Golden in 1992. From 2016 with Golden his home, he lead worship and preached in the East Kootenays – Cranbrook, Kimberley, Fernie, Elkford and Invermere.
Ron was baptized on April 21 1946. On that same date 22 years later he preached his first sermon! And another 27 years later, on April 21 1995, he became a Canadian Citizen. He also wanted us all to know that April 21 is Queen Elizabeth the second’s real birthday.
Back in 1992 he took a leave of absence and furthered his wanderlust by teaching English in the wonderful medieval splendour of Tallin, Estonia, and returned over the years to see friends there.
He loved train trips, his preferred method of travel, and rode the rails in the US, Canada, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and throughout Europe of course.
Besides travel and making new friends, he bought and sold stamps building a large and varied collection.
His gardening skills are evident from any glance at the manicured jungle in his yard.
He bought an old van and took out the seats so he could head out into the mountains with his bed in the back.
He was a beloved and hard-working member of the Lions Club of Golden and the Golden Historical Society. He hosted the Golden Stamp Club at his home and encouraged the interests of many in that hobby. Now, you should know that Ron wrote most of what I have just told you. I made up some of the bad jokes, but knowing Ron, you know that I did not have to make up all of them.
He did not write about the good things he accomplished for his community. Ron will be remembered for is his devotion to his parishioners. Ron will be remembered for the guidance, counselling and inspiration he gave to hundreds, if not thousands, of people, in over five decades, all over the world, in official and in unofficial capacities, as he travelled through this life on Earth.
– Glen Ewan August 26, 2020
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