Obituary for Michael Richard Kabat

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Michael Richard Kabat, 69, of Onalaska, WI went home to be with his Savior in heaven on Saturday, December 22, 2018 at Gundersen Health System.
He was born in La Crosse, WI, August 16, 1949, to Richard and June (Keim) Kabat.
He attended La Crosse Central High School, graduating in 1967. Mike was a Vietnam combat veteran, serving from 1968-1970 in the US Army, Delta Company, 5th Battalion, 7th Regiment, 1st Air Calvary—Airmobile. He achieved rank of Sergeant and was awarded several service medals. He was very proud to have served this great country of ours. He was a member of the National Vietnam Veterans Association and the Paralyzed Veterans of America. Soon after his discharge from service, he met his wife Debra L (Sheets) Kabat. They were married on April 5, 1975, in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Mike and Deb moved home to La Crosse in 1976 to start a family; at that time, he began employment at La Crosse Plumbing Supply (now known as First Supply). He was sales representative “extraordinaire” for over 30 years, and thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of his work, gaining many friendships through his co-workers and the customers he served.
Mike was an exuberant, joyful person and loved life to the fullest. Besides his family, one of his great joys was putting miles on his running shoes. He ran many races and several marathons with his closest friend R.J. Miller and their close-knit community of friends. After his accident in 2008, he proudly participated in four Paralyzed Veterans of America Wheel Chair Games and the San Diego Summer Sports Clinic. Another one of Mike’s joys was music. Whether it was singing in the church choir, blasting Tom Petty and the Beatles in the garage, or orchestrating sing-a-longs, he loved to share music with others. He especially enjoyed singing duets with his mother and also his youngest daughter, Holland. He was a very generous man and considered himself a giver, often reminding others, “You have to give to live.” He was a connoisseur and promoter of all-things-mustard and was known to many as “Mustard Mike.” He loved to brighten young and old with little gifts, such as solar wigglers, malted-milk balls, and chain links that represented his faith and his “link” to the Lord. Above all things, Mike loved his Lord, and loved to share his faith.
Mike is survived by his devoted wife of 43 years, Deb; children Allison (Jeremy) Miller, Mike (Katie) Kabat, and Holland (Isaac) Redinger; grandchildren Miah, William, and Cason Miller, and McKinley, Aurora, Juniper, and Huxley Kabat. He is also survived by his two sisters, Mary Peters and Debra (Steve) Fuchs, his step-brother and step-sister Steven (JoLayne) Klein, Robert Klein, and Mary (Gary) Herstein, nieces and nephew, and a very special cousin “Cuz,” Linda (Gary) Sarner.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his step-father Robert Klein.
Memorial services will be held on Friday, December 28th at 11:00 a.m. at Bethany Evangelical Free Church, 3936 County Rd B, La Crosse. Pastor Corey Sateren will officiate, and internment will be in the Oak Grove Cemetery Mausoleum. Friends may visit with the family on Friday at the church from 9:30 a.m. until time of services. Military honors will also be held at the church following services. The Dickinson Family Funeral Home & Crematory is assisting the family with arrangements. Information and online condolences may be given to the family at
The family would like to thank his dedicated caregivers over these past ten years. The family would also like to thank the nurses, techs, and physicians in the Critical Care Unit at Gundersen Health System for their kind, skilled, and attentive care.
Mike was never at a loss for an encouraging word, and would often say, “If you don’t like the outlook, try the up look.” We pray that his legacy of joy and faith would carry on in the hearts of all who knew him and loved him.