Tribute

inside-story-stanStanley Ray Rabbe of Durango, CO, passed away on January 21, 2015, of complications from Alzheimer’s Disease, at the age of 65.

Stan was the middle child born to Cleo and Dorothy Rabbe and was raised on the family farm in Sutton, NE. He graduated from Sutton High School in 1968. In 1972 he received his BA in Education from Wayne State College and in 1974 a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Northern Colorado.

s2He began teaching math at Aurora Central High School in 1976 and coached their girls’ basketball team to the CHSAA State Tournament for four consecutive years. In 1984 Stan moved to Durango and taught math at Miller Middle School and coached girls’ basketball. As a guidance counselor at Miller he jointly implemented and advised the Peer Mediation program, which was designed to help students resolve disputes and conflicts by their peers. In 1993 he became a guidance counselor at Durango High School until he retired in 2002.

When Stan moved to Durango High School, he brought the Peer Mediation Program and served as advisor. He jointly taught peer mediation to students and teachers at 9-R and other school districts. He created and organized the innovative DHS Abroad program, which provided a “classroom” of DHS students to travel in Europe for a semester with DHS teachers teaching their area of expertise in Literature, Art, Foreign Language, Theatre, and History, and three different semesters were offered. Stan co-taught A-Plan, a class for minority students with a goal to strengthen their academics while also providing cultural opportunities in different venues, including camping trips in Canyon de Chelly, Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, and tours on various college campuses in the Four Corners area.

Stan enjoyed a good joke, especially one of his. There was always a dog to accompany Stan. He trained his favorite Lab, Whitman, for bird hunting and the two were often in the woods up La Plata Canyon, the prairies of Eastern Colorado, and the fields in Nebraska. Stan loved construction and built two log homes up the valley. With a passion, he loved investing. Stan believed in mediation as the approach to disagreements and taught and practiced it in the schools, his personal life, and was a professional mediator in private disputes and negotiations.

s3Stan was an enthusiastic and dedicated outdoorsman and traveler. He loved fishing and hunting, as well as cycling and running. He beat the train several years riding in the pro ranks of the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic. He ran 45 marathons in 19 states, 10 countries, and on 7 continents. He finished the Leadville Trail 100. Stan the Marathon Man! As a member of an elite cadre of local cyclists, Stan made three annual ride installments to complete a bike trip across the US, and rode from San Diego to New Orleans. He was unable to participate in the final leg to Florida due to his early onset of Alzheimer’s.

s1Stan always wanted to be a pilot, and wished he had received better career counseling; perhaps this was his driving force in becoming a guidance counselor for high school students. In 2003 he obtained his glider pilot license, and had half ownership of a glider plane which he kept at Val-Air in Durango for several years.

The Alzheimer’s Association 5K Walk/Run in Durango was created in Stan’s honor on September 13, 2014. It was a beautiful tribute to Stan by the Durango community and a timely farewell from Stan to the community he was so much a part of and that he loved so much. Backcountry Experience is committed to continue as title sponsor of “Stan the Marathon Man’s Alzheimer’s 5K Walk/Run” to benefit the Durango Alzheimer’s Association, which is scheduled for fall 2015.

Stan’s wife, Paula Lutz, and his mother, Dorothy Rabbe, will co-fund a cycling scholarship in Stan’s name to be awarded to a high school student from Durango at Fort Lewis College. Donations may be made to the Fort Lewis College Foundation, “The Stan Rabbe Memorial Cycling Scholarship”, 1000 Rim Drive, Durango, CO 81301.

A good man; Stan leaves many legacies. Imagine … an indoor Velodrome at Fort Lewis College! Inspiring.


For more on the Inside Story:

John Peel, of The Durango Herald, wrote two articles on Stan. The first appeared June 5, 2011: Amazing races take running Durango couple around world, and the second article appeared on September 7, 2014, Stan the Marathon Man.

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The article announcing the Stan Rabbe Memorial Cycling Scholarship at Fort Lewis College, and the first recipient of Stan’s scholarship, appeared in The Durango Herald on August 11, 2015, Fort Lewis cycling awards scholarship to Durango High School grad.

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