Surrounded by the love of family and many friends, Joel Dean Laabs passed comfortably and peacefully into the loving arms of his God on Saturday, February 18, 2023.
Joel was born in Greeley, Colorado to Lois and Merlin Laabs, who moved to Colorado Springs when Joel was about two years old. He attended D-11 schools and graduated from Palmer High School in 1975. He was a life-long member of Grace (previously Our Saviors) Lutheran Church.
He married Susan Bradt in 1981 after one date and a couple months of long distance phone calls. He decided to propose with a very romantic “I can’t afford the phone bills, why don’t you come out and we’ll get married?” They were married for over forty-one years.
Joel loved his family. He was especially proud of his two children, Travis and Alyssa. He encouraged them in their sports activities when they were young, and celebrated their career successes later. When the grandchildren came along, he was there willing to change diapers, happily bounce them on his knee, or give them a Grandpa squeeze (or a Grandpa crack, if warranted). Greyson, Olivia, Audrey and Bennett will always be much loved!
Joel was always very close to his brothers, Keith, Brian, and Kevin, and sister, Cathie, and saw them almost daily throughout his life. He had many cousins, aunts, and uncles that he loved sharing time with whenever possible. His favorite thing to do was to sit back in a garage having beers with friends and neighbors while trading funny stories and sharing a laugh.
Joel was affectionately nicknamed “The Mayor” because he seemed to know someone everywhere he went. More importantly, he was loved by everyone who knew him because of his generous, kind, and fun loving nature. He maintained friendships from elementary and high school while making new friends on a daily basis. He was always available to help anyone who needed him.
He served at Grace Lutheran Church in many capacities, and found a calling at Westside Cares serving the homeless. Any memorial contributions can be directed to these entities at https://gracelutherancos.org/giving, and https://www.westsidecares.org/donate/
He will be missed by many, but especially his immediate family including his wife, Susan Bradt Laabs; his children, Travis (Chelsea) Laabs, and Alyssa Laabs; his grandchildren, Greyson Hosler, Olivia Laabs, Audrey Laabs, and sweet Bennett Laabs, who was awaiting his arrival; his siblings, Keith, Cathie (Randy), Brian (Lorinda), and Kevin (Barri), and their children, Amanda, Sarah, Rachel, Courtney, Katrina, Tiffany, and also waiting for him, Seth.
Special hugs to Chelsea Laabs, Leroy and Joy, Rachel Brown, Andy and Phil and Carol.
Celebration of Life, 10:00AM, Saturday, March 11, 2023, Grace Lutheran Church, 1128 East Boulder Street, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903.