Jim “Stab” Stabenaw—loving husband of Mary Ann—was born in Portage, Wisconsin to Art and Eleanor (nee Bublitz) Stabenaw and was called home to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in September after a battle with cancer at age 83.
He spent his formative years in Portage where he excelled in all sports, taking a particular love of baseball and football. It’s also where he met his wife and the love of his life, Mary Ann Gerstenkorn. The two became an inseparable couple for 63 years.
After graduation from Portage High School, Jim attended the University of Wisconsin-Platteville where he majored in mathematics and physical education with a bachelor’s degree in teaching. It began a 30-year teaching career that took him from Washington High School to James Madison High School in Milwaukee. He retired from James Madison as a renowned math teacher and winning coach.
As an avid sports fan, Jim cheered on the Brewers, Packers, Badgers and Dodgers, plus the teams of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren across many years! He was thrilled to attend grandpa-grandson Brewers-Dodgers games in Milwaukee for 15 years, to be in person as the Badgers won the 2000 Rose Bowl and to meet greats in sports and entertainment like Barry Alvarez, Pete Rose, Reggie White, Yogi Berra, Rollie Fingers, Robin Yount and Little Richard. Earlier in his sports career, he also was offered a minor league baseball contract with both the Milwaukee Braves and the Chicago White Sox.
For more than 20 years, Jim and Mary Ann had a long-standing tradition of reuniting with high school friends each year for good times in central Wisconsin.
Through the years, Jim and Mary Ann built a family that included four children: Michelle (Michael), Lisa (Tom), Greg (Lisa), and David (Sabrena); 11 grandchildren; and five great grandchildren as well as broader family spouses, significant others and close friends. Jim touched the lives of his family, friends and hundreds of others in the community with his great love and energy.
A celebration of Jim’s life will take place at the Krause Funeral Home in Brookfield on October 2, 2021 from 1-3 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jim’s name to the MACC Fund or HAWS .