Visitation for Claude F. Tabor will be 4 PM – 6 PM, Friday, June 5, 2020 at Denton-Wood Funeral Home. Graveside services are scheduled for 10 AM, Saturday, June 6, 2020 at the Carlsbad Cemetery Gazebo, Carlsbad, NM with Mike Veilleux officiating. Denton-Wood Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.
Claude was born on September 8, 1927 in Morton, TX to O.H. and Polly (Hall) Tabor. He had two older sisters, Wilma Kay and Ruthye May. They were all very close. Growing up, he lived in Morton, Whiteface, Stamford and Lamesa, TX. As a young child and teenager, he worked at various jobs including as a paperboy, chain man for a surveyor, driving a tractor during the wheat harvest, picking cotton, and working at a Produce and Dairy company. When he was a sophomore in high school, Claude was able to buy himself his first car, a 1933 Chevy coupe. Claude was an outstanding athlete. A standout and All-Star on the Lamesa Tornado championship Basketball team and the Football team.
In 1945, Claude joined the Navy and served two years as First-Class Seaman being trained in Demolition and Bomb Reconnaissance. He was stationed 9 months in the Aleutians Islands of Adak and Kodiak, and then served on the USS Tucson traveling the oceans to Japan, China, The Midway, Hawaii and Alaska.
After serving in the Navy, he then enrolled at Abilene Christian College earning a degree in Business Administration with a Minor in Bible. While there, he met Jean Caskey and after their graduation in 1950, they married and moved to Carlsbad, NM. This was the beginning of Claude’s 50 years of service to the City of Carlsbad, a community he dearly loved. Claude began his career working for Dr. Owen Puckett as Health Inspector for the State Health Department. Over the next six years, he and Jean had three children – Claudia, Cas and Jeff. Claude was then offered a prestigious Fellowship Grant to attend Columbia University in NYC to earn a Master’s degree in Public Health Administration.
Now an Ivy League graduate with honors, Claude and family returned to Carlsbad in 1956. Over the next 10 years, Claude served as Director of the Public Health Department, and then Water Superintendent. Having had two more children, Kent and Carol, Claude then received a phone call from then Mayor Bob Boyd, asking if he would serve as City Manager. He agreed, and his tenure in this role lasted for over 22 years alongside Mayors Boyd, Walter Gerrells, and Bob Forrest. Claude retired as City Manager in 1987 soon after the tragic death of his wife Jean in an automobile accident in March 1986. Over the next 12 years, Claude served as a consultant to the city and other organizations.
In May 1992, Claude married Josie Yrigollen. They had a beautiful life together. They loved family, traveling, designing and making pottery, attending artists’ workshops, along with many sporting events and ballgames. They are members of the Artist’s Gallery where Josie’s beautiful pottery is on display. They enjoyed life together for over 28 years until Claude’s death on June 3, 2020 at the age of 92.
Claude was a faithful member of the church of Christ his entire life. He loved God, his Family, his Friends and the Carlsbad Community. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Jean Caskey Tabor; sisters, Wilma Kay Busse and Ruthye May McBride.
Trustworthy, Dependable, Fiercely Protective of his family, Humble, Encouraging, Fun, a Great Listener, a Man of Integrity, Respected and Admired. Friends describe him as: Dignified, Gracious, Genuine and Kind. A Family man that lived a tremendous earthly life, helping a countless number of people, spreading Joy and Gentleness, and Caring for those who had no advocate.
The family would like to thank Golden Services and Encompass Health Hospice for their special care.
Survivors are his wife, Josie Tabor; children: Claudia Williams and husband, Rodney, Cas Tabor and wife, Pam, Jeff Tabor and wife, Lori, Kent Tabor, Carol Tabor; stepchildren: Terri Fisher, Frank Aranda and Cris Aranda and wife, Cindy; 18 grandchildren; 35 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice. Condolences may be expressed at dentonwood.com
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