Boat launch dedicated in honor of avid outdoorsman Tabberer

Published 11:46 pm Saturday, July 14, 2007

For an avid outdoors man, the preservation of his memory in the form of a boat launch that preserves the natural feel of mother earth would be a great honor.

Friday a boat launch on the Hobolochitto Creek located off Burnt Bridge Road was dedicated to Daniel Keith Tabberer, who died Aug. 3, 2004.

Many people who knew Daniel Tabberer remember how he was a naturalist, forestry guru, loving family member and also knew how to get straight to the point. Friday the United States Fish and Wildlife Services in conjunction with the Pearl River County Supervisors and Sheriff’s Department dedicated the boat launch to his memory.

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Surviving members of his family, coworkers and friends spoke on Tabberer’s behalf during the dedication and in true grand opening style a ribbon cutting opened the memorial boat launch to the public.

Now that the boat launch is open to the public visitors will no longer have to worry about the things Ben Tabberer and his father had to worry about when they went fishing and hunting. Ben Tabberer said he and his father dealt with hazards such as snakes, intoxicated southerners and broken bottles. Now thanks to the new boat launch there is a pristine area for residents to set out for a day of fishing.

The time Ben spent with his father is sacred to him.

“It’s hard to talk about I’ll tell you that,” Ben Tabberer said. “He used the outdoors to reward me.”

Time outdoors took the place of cars or material possessions, instead they spent time together in the wilderness, Ben said.

Jim Kurth, Deputy Chief of Refuges in Washington, said Dan Tabberer was instrumental in establishing the area of the boat launch as a wildlife refuge. There is no better way to honor the outdoors man than to make the area he made a refuge accessible to the public, said Ray Aycock, Ecological Services Field Supervisor.

Aycock described Tabberer as a man who liked to avoid the bureaucratic garbage and cut to the chase.

That no nonsense attitude could be seen in Dan Tabberer’s dealings with nature. Mark Wallace said the first time they met they went duck hunting and when they arrived to their destination Tabberer headed out with his gun and little else, not even a light, to do some hunting.

“I chased Dan that day and I chased him ever since,” Wallace said. Not only was Tabberer an avid outdoors man, but his love of music rivaled his other life loves. Wallace and Dan Tabberer’s widow, Peggy Tabberer, said he knew how to play a number of instruments such as the fiddle and guitar. Peggy Tabberer described her late husband as a down to earth man who liked the outdoors and simple things. Family was one of the most important things to him and he had the type of work ethics that are rare these days, she said.

Tabberer was also a man of ethics, said Elizabeth Souheaver who worked with him for about 10 years. Decisions he made were made without bureaucratic frills and he was not afraid to make his opinion known, even in the face of diversity. His mindset was like that of the boat launch to which is namesake is dedicated, only what a person needs to get the job done, she said.

Although various fallen trees are in the water due to Hurricane Katrina, District IV Supervisor Robert Thigpen said a $21 million dollar grant will hopefully de-snag the creek of storm debris. Thigpen said Tabberer’s fellow employees donated money to help pay for the concrete for the boat launch so it was essentially built at little expense to tax payers.