Donald Sheppard Tabb

Obituary
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August 11, 1932 – May 2, 2018. Donald Sheppard Tabb, beloved husband, father, friend, mentor, Army Ranger, fisherman, evangelist, cowboy, and pastor, was launched from this world to Heaven on May 2nd, 2018, from one of his favorite places, the junction of the Mississippi River and the Gulf Of Mexico, while doing one of his favorite things, fishing, together with his lifelong friend Jack Frey. He is survived by his beloved wife of 60 years Mary Alice Noyes Tabb; daughter Cherry Tabb and husband, Dr. Sheldon Herzig, granddaughter Rachel Tabb Herzig, step-grandchildren Abby Herzig, Leigh Herzig, Robert Herzig, daughter Cynthia Tabb LeBlanc, grandsons Taylor LeBlanc, and Robert LeBlanc, Christine LeBlanc Duerte, daughter Candace Tabb Wilhite, grandchildren Andrew Wilhite, Lilly Wilhite, Tabb Wilhite, Catherine Wilhite, son Capt. James Donald Tabb and wife Milena Tabb & granddaughter Rebeca Gomes Tabb, daughter Maj. Catherine Tabb, and cousins Whitby George, LouAnn George, Jim Tom George, Steve George, and his sister Cappi Jane Tabb Rusnak. Donald Sheppard Tabb came into this world at Albany, Texas, on August 11, 1932, born to Helon Almena George and Morris Sheppard Tabb. Donald grew up on a large cattle ranch where he learned the Cowboy Way. Donald, affectionately known as SKEEZIX, by his hometown crowd of Albany, TX, graduated from Albany High School in 1949 where he played in the band, on the football team and rode and performed in the Fandagle. He and lifelong best friend AV Jones hunted and fished together all over Shackelford County. Donald was known for reading every book in the library. He went to Texas A&M University, was a member of 'The Corps' and won the 1950 Bull Riding Championship. On December 7, 1952, Donald trusted Christ as his Savior through the influence of Jack Frey, his best friend and college roommate. He graduated in 1953 and was commissioned as an officer in the US Army where he was in the 82nd Airborne and was an Army Ranger. He then was involved in ministry with both The Navigators and Lost Valley Ranch, a Christian guest ranch in Colorado. He returned to Texas and returned to the cattle industry. While in Texas, he successfully executed the greatest heist of his life when he persuaded Mary Alice Noyes, a maiden way out of his league, to elope with him, after having left her at the altar several months before. Mary was an extraordinary partner, leading many ministries, particularly the Church's outreach to international students, and working as an English instructor at LSU to help support the family and ministry. She was the love of his life for 60 years and they had five children. Donald then joined the staff of the Methodist Foundation of North Texas, then on to the staff of Lost Valley Ranch, from there to the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, where he trained most of the counselors for many Billy Graham Crusades for seven years. The Tabbs moved to Baton Rouge in 1970 to prepare for the Graham Crusade held in Tiger Stadium and fell in love with the people and culture of South Louisiana. Six Baton Rouge families had a vision for a church on the LSU campus and issued a call to Donald to be the founding pastor of the Chapel On The Campus. The Church met at the LSU Union, LSU Music School, and LSU Law School before completion of the current facility on Dalrymple Drive. Donald served as Senior Pastor until 2001, when he became Pastor Emeritus. Also together with four faithful men, Donald prayed and envisioned a school of excellence with Christ at the center, which was the genesis of The Chapel School and ultimately, laid the foundation for The Dunham School. As Pastor Emeritus, Donald continued as an itinerant preacher, missionary, teacher, discipler, and Founder of the Jabez Foundation, a disaster relief and scholarship ministry. The family would like to invite all who wish to join the family in a celebration and remembrance of Donald's life on Monday, May 14th, 10 AM – 12 PM sharp, at the LSU Pete Maravich Assembly Center, followed with a lunch reception in the sanctuary at The Chapel on the Campus, 3355 Dalrymple Drive. Further updates and information will be provided on The Chapel's website, www.thechapelbr.com or Facebook.com/thedonaldtabbmemorial. Casual attire; cowboy boots preferred. The Tabb family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Jabez Foundation to support the ongoing mercy and scholarship ministries. Contact [email protected].
Published in TheAdvocate.com from May 5 to May 14, 2018
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