Dwight Sabo, age 74 of Reva, died Monday February 10, 2020 in Buffalo.
The funeral service will be held 11am Saturday, February 15, 2020 at the Reva Community Hall in Reva SD. Visitation will take place 5 to 7pm Friday at Leverington Funeral Home of the Northern Hills in Belle Fourche. Interment will be held in the Slim Buttes Lutheran Church Cemetery.
Cards and condolences may be sent to Laurie Sabo PO Box 126 Reva, SD 57651
On August 15, 1945 Dwight Irving Sabo was born in Buffalo, South Dakota to Irving and Delores Sabo. On the same day, Japan surrendered to the United States, ending World War II. It’s been highly debated if the two were related. Dwight joined his older sister Karen, and when he did her life would never be the same. He tricked her into revealing his Christmas present, only to find out that what he told her about her present, was really Dwight Sabo BS. To hear Delores tell it, Dwight was a little bit of a character when he was a child, and he had to taste many flavors of soap from back in the day. Ivory was the worst! Dwight’s propensity for curse words apparently started at a young age. For instance, at 3 years old, he wrecked his tricycle and his Mom heard him call his trike a ‘ditch hungry SOB!’ Younger brother Doug was born, and Dwight liked to brag that it was his chasing Doug around with a bullwhip that helped to make Doug the track star for which he was so well known! Baby sister Rhonda later joined the family, and we say joined because big brother Dwight had convinced Rhonda that she was adopted, and even convinced her to ask their mother to see the birth certificate… because Dwight knew that their Mom had misplaced it!
Dwight attended the rural schools in Reva and spoke of being the youngest by many grades during his first couple of years. The teacher just didn’t make much time to teach him things so he would play during the day in the Buttes, or with his horse or toys until the teacher would ring the bell, and it was time to go home. Due to this, Dwight couldn’t really read until almost the 3rd grade when Joyce Lee introduced him to Zane Grey books, and it lit a fire to the joy of reading…with the exception of his English book. He would joke that in the pastures between the school and the ranch, that we could still find a few English books buried in a hole somewhere! He told many stories of riding his horse to school, and the games that they would play. He told about being disorientated during a blizzard while riding his horse home from school and thinking that his horse was steering him wrong. He kept yanking the reins in the wrong direction. Finally, he gave the horse its reins and it got him safely back home to the barn.
It was unseasonably hot on November 11, 1960 when Dwight was 15 years old. He was guiding hunters in the north end of the Slim Buttes. He wanted to try a .22 pistol that belonged to one of the hunters. They had just loaded it with hollow points. Dwight’s hands were smaller then, and they were sweaty when his hand slipped and the pistol went off, shooting him in the stomach. He said, “I shot myself, boys!” The hunters started shooting their guns into the air to alert help. After a jeep ride, a plane ride, a Cadillac ambulance, and a battle with some gangrene, Dwight made it through, and was on to the next adventure, although the bullet stuck around in his stomach all of these years, along with a pretty impressive scar to show for the walking miracle that he was!
Throughout school Dwight played baseball, football, polo, boxing, and tuba in the school band. He played basketball as well, but only briefly. When his coached asked if he’d bought his shoes, Dwight answered that he hadn’t. His coach said, “Sabo, don’t bother.”
In August 1960, Dwight’s focus changed from teasing his siblings, hunting, and school, to the pretty Toft girl in typing class. There was a slight problem, though, because Laurie Toft thought he was annoying and cocky, and she didn’t give him the time of day. Years later, Dwight would tell the story that she was stuck-up, but she would reply that she just didn’t like him! Eventually his overabundance of charisma, charm and feistiness won over her heart and on June 4, 1962, Dwight & Laurie were married in Reva, SD. On their wedding day, Dwight was 16, and Laurie was 17 years old. Dwight has said his only regret was not doing it sooner. They continued to be each other’s sweethearts for almost 58 more years. They held hands, and called each other honey, and lover, and laughed every day. They enjoyed spending their anniversaries taking back roads and chasing tornadoes. They were never short on conversation, but they were also comfortable with the silence. They were true soulmates, ones that very few ever find.
Dwight made a cherry of a deal when he traded a tuba for a 1953 Les Paul Gibson guitar that originally belonged to Stringbean Svenson. Dwight and that guitar made a lot of memories for not only himself and his family, but for so many people throughout the area for many years, playing for dances with the Satellites and the Wheels. He had a smooth voice, commanding presence and a magnetic personality that made him a natural on stage. He would sing “Kiss An Angel Good Morning” for his wife at every dance, and she would wait for it, as if it were the first time she heard him sing the song. Every dance would end with the “Green Green Grass of Home.” Even now in 2020, a child or grandchild will run across someone who mentions listening to Dwight sing while they were growing up or hearing their parent’s talk about going to the Satellite dances.
Dwight and Laurie were living at the Experiment Station in August 1962 when they became parents for the first time, and they laugh when they talk about always being told to keep the baby warm, make sure the baby’s warm, don’t let the baby get cool. Kurk Alan was born in August, and the new parents drove home from Spearfish with the heat on high and Kurk wrapped up in blankets! No chance of catching a chill there!
In August 1963, Josh Dwight added to their growing family and the beautiful, blue eyed boy was happy and adored. Heartbreakingly, Jesus took him home at the age of 4 months.
Dwight was awakened in the middle of the night in April 1965 and told that it was time. He asked Laurie “Time for what?” Wyatt Irving was on his way! Dwight drove expeditiously to make it on time and met a trooper. When Dwight told him what was going on, the trooper said, “Then what are you doing sitting here?”
Daughter Dallas Wynette was born in January 1971, and Dwight had bet a lot of whiskey that the baby was going to be a girl. He was pretty proud to show off his little girl’s curly hair and blue eyes- with extra whiskey to boot!
Waylon Doral completed Dwight & Laurie’s family in December 1976. Just to make sure his parents didn’t think that they had everything figured out, he was born in the hallway of the hospital. His antics included inhaling a peanut into his lung and Copenhagen up his nose…but they made it through!
Dwight became a Dad four days after he turned 17, but he was a natural at it. He taught his children to love God, and that you didn’t have to be in a church to have a relationship with Him. He taught them how to love their country, and he explained history to them in a way that made them want to preserve and honor those who protect its freedoms. He did their homework with them and taught them multiplication and fractions. He taught them how to drive tractors, change oil, pull a lamb, and brand a calf, read a tape, saw a board, hammer a nail, and many other ways to use their hands for work. He showed them how to stand on their head and drink water, how to tell a joke, and more importantly, how to take a joke. He lived a life that displayed that family is most important. He wanted them to watch the sunsets, enjoy the beauty of God’s land, and the power of a thunderstorm. He taught them to appreciate what they have and to not be ungrateful, and if you can help another person, you should.
Dwight was born to be a farmer and a rancher. He had an appreciation for the land and love of the animals for which he cared. Dwight and Laurie raised their three sons and daughter on the ranch near Reva. He was sure to come to the games, concerts, activities, and programs. Dwight also ran the down marker for the HCHS football team for 38 years. Birthday parties and weddings had to be planned around the nights he’d be tied up with the chain gang. Not even a heart attack could keep him off the sideline. For the last forty years, carpentry was Dwight's craft and his skills and reputation were well known for miles around. Dwight had a strong work ethic and could outwork kids half his age.
Many young adults came through the doors of the Sabo house. Whether for a weekend, a week, a month or longer, they turned to Dwight & Laurie for guidance or a place to call home for a while when needed, and Dwight’s words of wisdom & tough love made a difference.
Dwight enjoyed bowling leagues in Bison and Buffalo, Jaycee Rodeo, and coaching Reva baseball team. The community will miss Dwight's presence as he has emceed the Reva Turtle Races for every year but one. He was a proud member of the Reva-Sorum Volunteer Fire Dept. where he helped to make pancakes at the annual supper for years. He enjoyed golfing, a game of cribbage with anyone willing to play, North Dakota Rummy with relatives, and shaking dice for a pop at Reva. He liked a great conversation with a hot cup of coffee, and to have the time to tell a story and maybe a good joke or two…or NOT so good of a joke!
Dwight relished in the role of Grandpa, Papa, Gramps. Great Grandpa, & Grandpa Great. Smelling like sawdust and Old Spice, dishing out an M&M for a kiss, & making his toothpick disappear inside of his mouth when he got one of those kisses. He loved to tease everybody but especially his grandkids, whether it was about a girlfriend, a haircut, shortpants, kissin’ camp, forgetting him, temper tantrums & more. If he knew it got under their skin, he kept poking until it wouldn’t. He instilled in them many things, such as not using a knife in the jelly jar, not cutting a Memaw bun, appreciating real country music, and the right way to throw a football. But the one thing that tickled him the most was believing that he had taught each one of his grandkids how to cuss properly!
Dwight is survived by his loving wife Laurie of Reva; sons, , Kurk (Esther) of Trenton TX, Wyatt (Denise) of Reva, Waylon (Sarah) of Buffalo; daughter Dallas Ford (Scott Stiegelmeier) of Pierre; 10 grandchildren, Lacy (Drew), Bo (Kellie), Reba (Lacey), Jade (Tres), Austin (Lacey), Presley, Sage, Jett, Emilee (Cody), and Taryn; 8 great grandchildren, Keely, Kyler, Emelia, Liam, Hayes, Saylor, Kelsy, and Tenlee; two sisters, Karen (Ace) Inghram of Faith and Rhonda Makowiecki of Denver, CO, numerous nieces and nephews, and sister-in-law, Dawn Sabo of Gering, NE.
Waiting to greet Dwight were his parents Irving and Delores; infant son, Josh; infant grandson, Max; younger brother, Doug; father in law Oliv Toft; mother and father in law, Roselle and Loyal “Stub” Carter.
Everyone that knows much about Dwight Irving Sabo knows that in his younger years, he was a fighter. He fought over a nickel, for crying out loud! Dwight even had his favorite fighting spot. Of course, he liked to win! In all ways, Dwight put up an incredible fight. We would like to think that Dwight didn’t lose his fight with cancer, because the cancer left his body at the same time, so technically, that’s a tie.
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