Leon (Slim) Tabor
On June 14, 2016, at the grand age of 97 years old, Leon joined his beloved wife, Elaine in heaven. Leon was born March 24, 1919 in Prairie du Sac, WI to Hunter and Hattie (Schoepp) Tabor. Slim was lovingly given his nickname by his father at a young age. As a young boy, he enjoyed fishing and hunting with his father.
Graduating from Sauk Prairie High School in 1939, Slim participated in football, basketball and track.
Slim was inducted into the United States Army on July 21, 1944. He went through basic training and became a rifleman. He departed on a ship bound for Europe on January 3, 1945 and arrived in the European Theater of Operations on January 15, 1945. From there he was assigned as an Infantry replacement and joined the 347th Infantry. He was destined to take part in all of the campaigns that the 87th Infantry Division was involved in during World War II. On March 16-17, 1945 during an attack on Mariaroth, Germany, his company became pinned down by heavy mortar and sniper fire. Private First Class Tabor voluntarily crawled forward under heavy fire. After locating the enemy emplacements, he radioed their positions to the rear and then adjusted effective fire upon them. Private First Class Tabor’s heroism enabled his company to advance and take their objective. Numerous casualties were inflicted upon the enemy and fifteen were captured. For his heroism, Private First Class Tabor was awarded the Silver Star Medal by Major General Culin. Private First Class Tabor was also awarded the Purple Heart Medal for wounds received in action. Tabor’s unit, the 347th Infantry, was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for their assault river crossing of the Rhine River on March 25-26, 1945. His Regiment was the only unit of the 87th Infantry Division to receive this award. On June 9, 1945, Private First Class Tabor was given a tour of the notorious German prison camp, Buchenwald at Weimar, Germany. There he saw things that were formerly thought to be propaganda but soon became evident of the atrocities of Hitler and his Nazi Regime. He returned to the United States and was honorably discharged on October 7, 1945.
On April 18, 2011, Slim had the privilege of going on the Honor Flight to Washington DC accompanied by his son Pete. Slim was able to visit the World War II Memorial built to honor his service and all others who served. This trip was an amazing experience for him.
Slim began working in the theater business at the age of thirteen doing small jobs until managing the local movie theater in Prairie du Sac. He moved to Merrill in 1947 and became the manager of the Cosmo Theater. He met his future wife, Elaine Thompson at the Cosmo. They were married April 28, 1949. Elaine preceded Slim in death on April 13, 2015 after 65 years of blissful marriage. Slim was the Cosmo manager until 1966. He then was a longtime employee of Club Modern until his retirement.
One of Slim’s passions in life was traveling—adventure traveling. Slim and Elaine enjoyed extensive travels around the world visiting 37 countries and every continent except Antarctica. Various trips included a scenic boat ride down the Amazon River, climbing the steps at Macchu Piccu, walking on the Great Wall of China, driving through the outback of Australia, a three week safari in Africa, riding elephants in Thailand and numerous tours through Europe.
Hawaii was Slim’s favorite place to visit. He said it has the perfect climate—not too hot and not too cold. He loved the beautiful landscape. Slim’s advise to his grandchildren is to save your money and travel. Washington D.C. is one of the places he says his grandchildren should visit.
As a long time resident on Tug Lake, Slim enjoyed tending to his big garden, fishing, deer hunting, pontoon rides, Friday night fish fries and a good prime rib dinner with family and friends. He was an avid sports fan attending many Packer games and faithfully watching the Brewers and Badgers on TV.
Special family memories are his contagious laugh, relaxing rides on the pontoon, grilling chicken and burgers, chicken runs, sitting by the campfire eating s’mores, picnics and fishing at Council Grounds.
Slim is survived by his daughter, Cathy (Bruce) Bandow and three sons, Pete (Joan), Terry (Barb) and Jim. He is further survived by his grandchildren, Shelly (Stephen) Fisher , Blair (Jenny) Bandow, Ben Tabor and Allison Tabor, Cindy (William) Rogers and Jennifer (Michael) Faber. His great grandchildren are Grace and Izzy Fisher, Drew and Reese Bandow, Alexandra and Samantha Rogers and Nicole and Jessica Faber.
Slim was preceded in death by his wife Elaine, his son Dennis, his brothers Neal and Obert and his parents.
Memorials may be given to the Honor Flight or Meals on Wheels.
Our family would like to acknowledge the compassionate care given to Slim by Aspirus Hospice and the entire staff at Bell Tower.
A Funeral Service for Slim will be held at 11 AM Monday, July 11, 2016 at Bible Presbyterian Church in Merrill. Pastor Andy Perry will perform the Funeral Service. Visitation will be from 2-6 PM Sunday, July 10, 2016, at Bible Presbyterian Church and again on Monday from10:00 AM until the time of Service at the church. Entombment will follow at Merrill Memorial Park. Full military honors will be performed by Post 1638. Waid Funeral Home of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.waidfuneral.com.