Gene Gabus

Last Revision



Adel, IA  



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April 10




Kelsey Lynne (1989) Katelyn Mary (1991)


Des Moines Chrysler


Right after high school I attended Nebraska Wesleyan University for 2 years, where I played football for two years and then had a coach like in high school and quit. It really felt good, but now I realize it was not the smartest thing I have done. I went to Kearney for one semester and then resigned from college and volunteered for the draft. They did not like my bad knees and bad eye site and so I had to go to work in the alfalfa fields as a field foreman. I got engaged to my high school sweetheart in 1967 and we would have been married, but Linda Sue (Buettner) died in January of 1969 when I was working in Des Moines for my dad at Charles Gabus Ford. Dad came to me in the summer and thought I should finish college. I told him if I was going to be in the car business, I should get a degree in Automotive Management. He showed me a brochure from Northwood Institute in Dallas Texas, which just happened to have an Associate Degree in Automotive Marketing. I graduated in May of 1971 with a B.B.A. degree and an Associate Degree in Automotive Marketing with honors. Back to Des Moines Iowa to start a job at Charles Gabus Ford selling cars in the summer of 1971. Working for your dad was like football at good old Holdrege High. I could never do anything right. So after 2 years, I went to work for Burroughs Corporation selling small computers. I did this for three years and then went to work for a customer that I had sold a computer to, as his Comptroller. The years working with Mrs. Borden at Gabus Ford in Holdrege and taking classes from Mr. Van Marter paid off. I was doing accounting and running the inside sales for Seneca Equipment. After three years I decided I might have grown up enough to be able to work for Gabus Ford. I worked there for one year when dad bought a Chrysler store. In October of 1979, I became the General Manager of Des Moines Chrysler Plymouth. Today I am still working for Des Moines Chrysler, so I guess I found the job for me. In December of 1984 I got married to Lynne Randolph. In September of 1989, Kelsey Lynne was born and in September of 1991, Katelyn Mary was born. We were living in West Des Moines when the girls started to school but I decided I did not like the way the West Des Moines school district was teaching, so we moved to Van Meter, Iowa and that is were we still live today. Both girls are in band, chorus, volleyball and softball. They are great students, Kelsey wants to be a middle school teacher and Katelyn wants a degree in Marine Biology. With girls the ages of 15 and 13, I would think I have the youngest kids. Most of you are grandparents and I am still being taught how to be a good parent. I have been in Rotary for 20 years. Past President of Northwest Des Moines Rotary, started two new clubs, one in Waukee, Iowa and one in Johnston, Iowa. Also served as Assistant Governor for district 6000 for three years. I am on the Van Meter School Board, where I have been Vice President of the board the last four years. I have worked with Special Olympics and the Boy Scouts and have helped in reading programs with the Urbandale School District for English Second Language kids. We have five dealerships in Des Moines - Ford, Kia, Toyota, Chrysler and Suzuki, and Mitsubishi and Saab. We also develop land for single family housing and have several farms in Iowa and Nebraska. I keep very busy doing the dealerships, land developments and farms. In my spare time I ride my bike 2,000 to 3,000 miles in the summer. The big ride I do is take a week each year and ride across Iowa on RAGBRAI. You can read about it at: www.RAGBRAI.org, it is the best vacation that you could have. Good luck in all you do.