James David Zabel, of Brownstown, passed away on the evening of Saturday April 29, 2023, at Hoosier Christian Village. He was 75 years old.
Jim entered this life on September 29, 1947, in Seymour, Indiana. He was the last son born to Carl Philip and Alice Marie (Freeman) Zabel. He was the younger brother to Carl Sidney and Thomas. Jim spent most of his life in Brownstown. Jim attended the old St. Peter’s Lutheran Church School and was confirmed on April 10, 1960. He was a graduate of the old Brownstown High School, Class of 1965. His class was the last to graduate from the school. Jim went on to attend the Spencerian College in Louisville, graduated in 1967, and then attended the Kentucky School of Mortuary Science in Louisville, graduating in 1970. In 1971 he became a fourth generation Funeral Director and taking over the family funeral home in 1972, continuing a tradition of service Brownstown for over 100 years. In 1974 Jim took over Hague Funeral Home in Medora. Jim retired from the funeral homes in December of 2019. He also worked at Zabel’s Furniture Store until it’s closing. On June 2, 1973, in Bloomington Indiana Jim married Judy (Gillespie) Zabel. From this union of almost 50 years, they were blessed with four children, Jill, John, Jeffrey, and Jamie.
Jim was a lifelong member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church. He was a member of the Lutheran Men’s Chorus, Brownstown Exchange Club, a Charter Member of Medora Lions Club, and a Member of the Indiana Funeral Directors Association. Jim was honored in 2021 by the Indiana Funeral Directors Association for his 50 years of service as a Funeral Director.
He was a devoted husband, loving father, and Papaw Jim. He was an avid fan of the Brownstown Braves and was a regular attendee of the all the games. He was also a big fan of watching his kids and his grandchildren play their games.
Jim leaves a legacy of love with his wife Judy Zabel of Brownstown, children, Jill Zabel of Seymour, John David Zabel of Brownstown, Jeffrey Zabel and his wife Jenny of Fishers, IN, and Jamie Leugers and her husband Eric of Franklin, grandchildren, Kiley Zabel, Camryn Zabel, Mia Zabel, Bennett Zabel, Griffin Leugers, and Eva Leugers, and sisters-in-law, Ann Zabel of Brownstown, and Cathy Zabel of Brownstown and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and brothers, Sid and Tom.
Funeral Service will be conducted at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church on Thursday May 4, 2023, at 11:00 am with Pastor Ryan Schneider officiating. Burial will follow at Fairview Cemetery.
Friends may visit at Zabel Funeral Home on Wednesday May 3, 2023, from 4:00-8:00 pm and on Thursday at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church from 10:00 am until time of the service at 11:00 am
Memorials may be written in Jim’s name to St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Hoosier Christian Village Auxiliary, or to SouthernCare Hospice Services.
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