Shirley Rabeler

Obituary of Shirley Rabeler

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Shirley Rabeler Age 96 Shirley was born July 13, 1925, the first child of Clifford and Mildred (Cole) Buck. She grew up in Salt Point, NY where she walked to a one-room schoolhouse until the seventh grade. After graduating from high school, while "the boys were away at war" she took the train to study at Cornell University in the college of Home Economics, where she graduated in 1947. In her senior year she met Raymond Rabeler. They were married soon thereafter and operated a dairy farm in the hills of Bovina Center, NY for 16 years. In 1963 her husband's farming accident found her in the waiting room at Albany Medical Center when President Kennedy was shot. Due to the severity of her husband's accident, the reluctant decision was made to sell the farm and move into town (Delhi, NY) where she started a small nursery school in her home and the family attended Immanuel Lutheran Church. In 1966, a job change brought the family to Homer, NY where Shirley worked briefly as a teacher at Head Start and then for many years at the Homer Nursery School. Both Shirley and her husband Raymond were active in 4-H and in Homer were club leaders of The Homer Highlights where Shirley taught clothing, cooking, and gardening. As an active member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Cortland, NY, she helped start their preschool program. She was a member of the Cornell Women's Club of Cortland, proudly promoting her alma mater and following their basketball games on the radio whenever she could. She enjoyed square dancing with her husband as part of the 7 Valley Whirl-a-Ways square dance club, sewing matching outfits and traveling with their pop-up camper to dance weekends all over the state. Another job transfer took them to Center Moriches, NY on Long Island, for 3 years before retiring and moving back to the Cortland/Homer area in 1978. In her retirement, she and Ray lived on their daughter Sharon and son-in-law Bob Fouts' farm and Shirley volunteered at Homer Elementary School. In her later years, she lived at Portzline Family Home and most recently at the Groton Community Health Care Center. Throughout the years, she faithfully attended her six kids' sports, music and drama events, even as her family grew to include great grandchildren. She loved to have grandkids around to bake for and read stories to, and wherever she lived, she was an avid gardener, tending flowers both indoors and out. She loved chocolate and liked to read books. She collected maps, and even learned to use "the Facebook". Rarely one to sit still, she always had a project to work on even when watching the news or her favorite basketball game. Family and friendships were important to her. She could meet someone in the store and remember them from nursery school or being a classmate of one of her children. There was always a puzzle out to work on when she wasn't cutting out coupons or clipping articles. Underlying everything was her faith in God. Active in Christian Endeavor as a teenager and the Forest Home Church in college, she expressed her faith in her actions and values. Shirley was preceded in death by her husband of 61 years, Raymond, grandson, Jeffrey Fouts, daughter-in-law Jayne (Reesor) Rabeler, nephew Alex Buck, and nephew John Rabeler. She is survived by her sisters, Marjorie Buck, Joyce (Buck) Coxeter, and Evelyn (Buck) Edman, her brother, Vincent (Jane) Buck, her six children, Sharon (Robert) Fouts, Beverly (Thomas) Settle, Robert (Oriana) Rabeler, Carl Rabeler, Lorinda (Michael) Settle, Bruce (Liz) Rabeler; ten grandchildren and twenty-two great-grandchildren. Memorial contributions to St. Paul Lutheran Nursery School or St. Paul Lutheran Church at 49 Hamlin St, Cortland Burial will be at McLean Cemetery, McLean, NY, on Saturday, 5/7/2022 at 11:00am. Memorial Service will be at a later date To offer online condolences, please visit
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Shirley Rabeler

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Shirley Rabeler

1925 - 2022

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