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Kenneth Dean Cabbage

Kenneth Dean Cabbage, 67, of North Liberty, died Monday, July 27, 2009.
Funeral services were held Saturday, Aug. 1, 2009, at the Solon United Methodist Church in Solon, Iowa. Visitation was prior to the service at the church. Graveside services were held Saturday at the Griffis Cemetery near Prairie City, Iowa. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Dean’s memory to the Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and Heifer International. Online condolences may be sent for his family through the web @ www.gayandciha.com.
Dean was born September 3, 1941, in Des Moines, the son of Kenneth D. and Florence L. (Buckingham) Cabbage. He graduated from Prairie City High School in 1959, and attended McPherson College in McPherson, KS. On September 30, 1960, he married Phyllis Louise Vande Lune in Prairie City. From an early age on the family farm, Dean showed a propensity for building things which grew into a love of working with wood, leading him down a career path of master cabinetmaker. As a young man, Dean owned and operated a custom cabinet shop from the basement of his home in Baxter. To better support a growing young family, Dean took a job as a union carpenter with Neumann Brothers Construction in Des Moines, where his attention to detail led to appointment as Superintendent of the millwork division. These represented some of the happiest working years of his life, as he and a talented group of cabinetmakers created wood art on a number of high-profile central Iowa construction projects, best represented by the renovation of the governor’s mansion, Terrace Hills. Constantly eager to expand his horizons, Dean spent the next twenty years in upper-level management positions for a lumber wholesaler (Indiana), cabinetry manufacturer (Kentucky), store fixture manufacturer (Ohio) and window manufacturer (Michigan). While he relished the challenge of improving plant efficiencies at each stop, he missed working with his hands and coming full circle, spent the final five years of his career as a union finish carpenter.
His business career led the family to live in a number of communities, including Baxter, Iowa, Clarksville, Indiana, Hilliard, Ohio and White Lake, Michigan. While in Baxter, Dean was active in his community serving on various church boards, city council, and the volunteer fire department, as well as owning several small businesses. He and Phyllis enjoyed traveling the United States and abroad, including trips to Italy, Holland, Germany, the UK and Costa Rica. Dean and Phyllis moved to North Liberty nearly six years ago to be closer to family; in retirement he was an active member of the Solon United Methodist Church, researched family genealogy, volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and continued to pursue his passion for design, engineering, and fine workmanship in the much improved version of his basement cabinet shop.
His family includes his wife, Phyllis; children Michael Cabbage and his wife, Joanne of Iowa City, and Susan Cabbage of LaCrosse, Wisc.; grandchildren Joshua, Micah, and Jacob Cabbage; siblings Lynn Cabbage (Ben) of Prairie City, Karen Elrod (Bill) of Prairie City, Joyce Lehman (Alan) of Laurens, Iowa, and Duane Cabbage of Prairie City.
Dean was preceded in death by his parents.
Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service is caring for Dean’s family and his services.