Cover photo for James Carlton Mabes's Obituary
James Carlton Mabes Profile Photo
1940 James 2022

James Carlton Mabes

January 31, 1940 — October 19, 2022

BUFFALO GAP: James (Jim) Carlton Mabes, 82, unexpectedly passed away on Wednesday, October 19, 2022, in Abilene.  A funeral service will be held on Saturday, October 22, 2022, at 2:00pm in the sanctuary of Gateway Baptist Church, burial will follow in the Buffalo Gap Cemetery, directed by Fry-Smith Funeral Home, Tuscola.  A visitation will be held on Friday, October 21, 2022, from 5 to 7pm in the funeral home.

Jim was born on January 31, 1940, in Black Mountain, North Carolina to James Carlyle and Doris Gray (London) Mabes.  Jim was proud of his Cherokee Indian and Irish heritage from the Black Mountains.  He attended school in North Carolina but left early to join the U.S. Army. It was after boot camp that the Army discovered that Jim had forged his fathers name and that he was only seventeen at the time. The army moved him to the Army Reserves where he served his six year Army career.

It was in 1958 he married Dixie Jewell Snowdy at the old age of 18, they were informed that their marriage would not last because of their young age.  Jim and Dixie got the last laugh when they welcomed five children, eighteen grandchildren and three great grandchildren over the next sixty years.

Jim learned the art of auto body repair and moved throughout the country learning the trade.  He and Dixie visited family in the aera and decided to call Buffalo Gap home.  They opened Mabes body shop in Buffalo Gap in 1977.  Jim was still straightening cars and trucks at the time of his death.

Jim’s few hobbies outside of classic cars included fishing and hunting when he had the chance.  He served the Buffalo Gap community as city councilmen for thirty years and served on the cemetery association’s board.  Jim volunteered to unlock the cemetery gate each morning a dawn.  He was also an Elvis fan.

He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Dixie (2020), grandson, Christopher Mabes (2007), great-grandson, Kristopher Michael Mabes (2012).

He is survived by his son James Clyde Mabes and wife Shirley; son, Kenneth Elwood Mabes; son, Ron Sudderth and wife Jana; daughter, Kimberly Elane Hogan and husband Ken; daughter, Susan Gail Perkins and husband Mike; daughter, Judy Gusler and Husband Gary; sister, Anita Cramer and husband Randy; and brother Mike McDaniel and wife Janis, eighteen grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

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Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, October 21, 2022

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Central time)

Gateway Baptist Church

3733 U.S. 84, Tuscola, TX 79562

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