My dad was an incredible man. He was the fifth of nine children. His parents were Watson and Bertha (Storms) Mabey. Dad joined the Army Air Corps during the Second World War. At the time that Dad signed up for the Army Air Corps, his brother Edward was lost at sea. Edward’s ship had been sunk by a German war ship. By a miracle, Edward was found by a British naval ship, floating in the Atlantic Ocean just off of the coast of England. I don’t think that my grandparents were overjoyed that Dad enlisted. My grandfather’s brother Earl had been killed in World War I and my grandparents were sinking in worry as to whether or not their son Edward was still alive.
Dad served in Hawaii in the Seventh Army Air Corps. He took his time of military service very serious. An article, about his exemplary conduct and willingness to pitch in, was published in the newspaper that was published by the Seventh Army Air Corps. Dad never mentioned a word about the article. It was after he had passed away, that we found the article in a shoebox of some of his prize possessions.
When Dad came home from the war, he formed Mabey Trucking Company, with the help of his brother Edward and his father Watson. The company was originally located in Fairfield, New Jersey and later moved to Paterson, New Jersey.
My dad served as Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 170 from 1966 till 1994. He had been a Committeeman in Troop 170 from 1964 till 1966. So, Dad had the distinct honor of serving 30 years as a volunteer scout leader. He received numerous awards for outstanding service in scouting included the prestigious National Eagle Scout Association’s Scoutmaster of the Year, the District Award of Merit and the Silver Beaver. The Silver Beaver is the single highest award that a volunteer scout leader can receive.
My dad loved serving the good Lord. For many years he served as a Lay Leader at the Boonton Methodist Church. In preparation of becoming a Church Lay Leader, Dad took several courses on the Bible at Drew University. In 1991, he completed a full year of Bible classes to prepare for being a part of the Billy Graham Crusade for 1991, which was held every night for one full week at the Meadowlands Arena in New Jersey. Dad also served his church for over 10 years as a Church Sexton. Later Dad served with my mom as the Co-Chairperson of the Angel Tree Committee in his church. Through this program, children with parents in need were able to have Christmas presents under their Christmas Tree.
From 1990 till 2005, Dad served as a volunteer member of the Lincoln Park Historical Society. For many years, he served as Vice President of the organization. In the year 2000, in the midst of his fight with cancer, Dad created the pictorial historical book, Then and Now: A Pictorial History of Lincoln Park. Remarkably, the book cleared all printing costs within six months from its publication date. The sales of the book netted about $3,000.00 for the Lincoln Park Historical Society, a nonprofit organization.
After retiring from the trucking industry, Dad worked part-time as a School Crossing Guard and also as a Church Sexton. My father was a hard working man.
I’ve attached a photo of my dad with his brothers, all home safe from having been in harm’s way. Left to right are: David Mabey, who served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War; Carl Mabey, who served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, and my dad Richard Mabey Sr., who served in the Seventh Army Air Corps during the Second World War. My Uncle Ed, who served in the U.S. Navy during the Second World War, is not in this photograph.
My dad fought cancer for about eight years. He had a positive attitude and was determined not to let the cancer weigh him down. I don’t know how he did all he did, while battling cancer. Dad went Home to be with the Lord on May twelfth of 2006. I loved him very much. I still miss him dearly.
Love to all, Richard