Kary Kabler & Grayson Neate Kabler - 1963
Bio & Pictures from 40th Reunion
Update for 50th Reunion
Pics for 50th
Kary and Grayson both attended the Univ of Missouri, Columbia, where we received our Bachelor and Masters Degrees. Kary was a member of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, and Grayson was a member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority. After graduation in 1968, we were married and Kary immediately went into the Army as a 2nd lieutenant in the Adjutant General Corp. We lived in Ft. Lee Virginia for the next two years and loved being in an area as beautiful and historical as Virginia.
After discharge, we returned to Columbia and took over the running of Neate’s. We have no children, but have 2 very spoiled Cairn terriers, ages 8 and ‘almost 15’.
We are both retired now and love to travel. We try to go to England every year, and well as to Sanibel Island, Florida, where we have a tiny condo. When not traveling, Kary’s favorite pastimes are sports and fishing. Grayson’s are gardening and riding her quarter horse jumper.
by Grayson Kabler - November 22, 2012
- November 22, 2012
Kary was born in Kansas City and moved to Columbia when he was two. He went through the Columbia Public School System: West Boulevard, Jeff Jr., and Hickman. I was born in Columbia and went to the University Lab School through 9th grade. Then, I transferred to Hickman.
Our sophomore year at Hickman, when Kary didn’t have a date for the Homecoming Dance, his mother suggested he ask “that nice little Neate girl”. We met for the first time the next day in Ruth Ingrum’s Latin Class.
We had one date a year in High School and then we both enrolled in MU, where Kary pledged Phi Delta Theta and I pledged Pi Beta Phi.
Our paths might never have crossed again, but fate intervened:
There was a popular, "scandalous" book at the time called "Harrison High". Written by a Jefferson City native, it was rumored to be about students at Hickman. Kary's fraternity brothers teased him about the 'promiscuous' Hickman girls. Kary said they weren't all like the girls in the book and then he took it a step further: he said he could take out a Hickman girl, try all evening to kiss her, and she'd refuse. They made a bet - $50 (a hefty sum for a college student in 1963). Kary once again called "that nice little Neate girl" for a date.
On our date, his fraternity brothers tried to ply me with liquor and I kept pouring the drinks down the drain. And Kary faithfully tried to get me to kiss him, but I fought him off. Finally when he walked me to the door, I let him kiss me good night. A very costly kiss!
We were married in 1968, after both receiving Bachelor’s and then Master’s Degrees in Secondary Education from MU.
Our first home was in Virginia where Kary spent two years as a Lieutenant in the Army’s Adjutant Generals Corps. After his tour was completed, we moved back to Columbia and took over the running of my family’s business, Neate's.
In 1972, Kary was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. He was very fortunate in that his MS was “relapsing-remitting”, the type with flare-ups followed by long remissions. The disease didn’t change our lives significantly for many years.
During the first 30 years of our marriage, we loved to travel and since we had no children, we were able to do so frequently. We went to England every year, as well as Sanibel Island, FL.
In 1986, we sold Neate’s. The retail climate had changed; small independent businesses were having to compete with the longer hours and quantity-buying abilities of mass merchandisers such as Wal-Mart. And Kary's MS was starting to impact his motor skills and stamina.
After the sale of Neate's, I started thinking about things I still wanted to do with my life. First was horseback riding - galloping cross-country and flying over hedges and fences. Wow! Nothing quite like it! I owned a wonderful kind and gentle quarter horse who would do anything I asked while still keeping me safe and, (most of the time), securely on his back. We were together for over 20 wonderful years.
Then I took up kickboxing- a great way to get cardio without thinking about it. And I learned to fly a plane - not nearly as much fun as flying on a horse, and much scarier, but it was on my Bucket List and it is now checked off.
When I discovered the right side of my brain, my life took a dramatic and fulfilling turn. I started taking piano lessons in 2006, and soon I was writing my own music. I have now produced 5 CDs, 3 of which are available on iTunes and selling in retail stores. I also started drawing and painting - AND I wrote a children's book. Never in my wildest dreams did I guess I had a creative side. These creative pursuits have proved to be wonderful as Kary's MS has progressed and I have needed to stay closer to home to look after him.
Kary is doing amazingly well for someone who has had MS for over 40 years. He can still walk with a walker and his mind is sharp, as is his sense of humor. We are fortunate to have a wonderful male nurse, Ricky, plus a bevy of cute college girls, (a.k.a. "The Kabler Girls), who help with his ever-increasing daily care.
One of the nicest things about living in Columbia is reconnecting with old friends when they come to town. There were 7 of us in high school who have stayed in touch, and we try to get together at least every 3 years. Besides me, the group consists of: Sarah Seelen Donovan, Doyne McKinney McKenzie, Helen Stone Borchelt, Lynn Johnston Benson, Gail Petri Toedebusch, and Diane Dugan Fugit. These friendships, which began in high school, endure after 50 years. If I were to choose the best thing to come out of my high school years, I would definitely pick those friendships.
Surfer girl - 1964
Roaring 20's Party - 1965
Engagement Party - 1968
1st Lt. Kabler - 1969
Kary with the Kabler Girls & Ricky
Kary & Ricky (his nurse)
Victoria Falls 2013