Herman Ott Drabenstott, 97, our much beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother in Christ passed away on August 12, 2017. Herman’s strong faith, gentle character and generous spirit touched the lives of many throughout his long, blessed life. He was born to Ernest and Laura (Ott) Drabenstott on their farm in Huntington County, Indiana on October 13, 1919.
An outstanding student, he received his B.S. degree in agricultural economics from Purdue University in 1941, then went on to earn an M.S. in statistics under one of the pioneers of that emerging field at Iowa State University in 1947. During WWII, he gave three and half years of alternative service as a conscientious objector, including an extended time at the University of Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station. While in Minnesota, he met the love of his life, Vivian E. Johnson. They celebrated 71 wonderful years of marriage. Forsaking the opportunity for further graduate study, Herman’s love for farming brought them back to Indiana to operate the family farm. They raised their three children on a farm they bought in Wells County. Among other things, Herman grew certified seed soybeans. So, a family rite of passage was walking the half-mile rows and hoeing the weeds. In 1960, Herman became one of the first group of “Sputnik Teachers” when he took the family to New Mexico State University for a National Science Foundation crash program for more science and math teachers in answer to the Soviets launching the first satellite. He taught math and science more than 25 years, first at Rockcreek School in Wells County then at Kekionga Jr. High in Fort Wayne.
Herman and Vivian moved to Kansas City in 1997 to be near their last group of grandchildren. Herman leaves behind his wife Vivian (Kansas City, MO), son Jon Drabenstott (Ypsilanti, MI), daughter Jane Szabo and her husband Jim (Waldport, OR), son Mark and his wife Peggy (Kansas City, MO), seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. He was pre-deceased by his parents, his brother Paul and his granddaughter Rachel Drabenstott. Herman’s devotion to his family knew no bound. There was never any doubt that Dad and Grandpa would be there for you-no matter what, no-matter when. Faith was the enduring cornerstone of his long life. He believed the good news of the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ and was a humble servant in his Lord’s service more than 80 years. We are thankful for and greatly blessed by his wonderful life. He now sleeps awaiting the return and call of his Lord and Master.
There will be two services to celebrate Herman’s life. Visitation at 12:00 pm on Tuesday, August 15, funeral service at 1:00 pm at Pine Ridge Church (7600 NW Barry Rd, Kansas City, MO 64153).
Second funeral service at 12:00 pm on Friday, August 18 at Myers Funeral Home (415 N Lee St, Markle, IN 46770), burial to follow at Star of Hope Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Herman’s memory to the Williamsburg Christadelphian Foundation or the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation.