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Mary Jean Cabe

July 3, 1936 June 4, 2019
Mary Jean Cabe
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Obituary for Mary Jean Cabe

Artist, teacher and Coeur d’Alene resident Mary Jean Cabe, 82, died in her home with daughter Laurie Hege at her side on June 4. She passed after a long struggle with failing health, having suffered a stroke more than 16 years ago and never fully recovering.

Not one to mince words or suffer anything lightly, Mary Jean went out with a struggle and then a smile, leaving behind copious artwork, an art-filled home, three children, three grandchildren and three siblings. Always a dog lover, she also left behind her buddy Pearl.

Mary Jean Elizabeth Martin was born in Dilworth, MN on July 3, 1936, the second of five children born to Clemens Martin and Aileen Elonen.

She grew up in Montana and graduated from high school in Glendive before enrolling in the University of Montana. Years later, she earned her master’s degree there.
She was married to Howard Cabe for about 18 years. The marriage ended in divorce and Howard died in 1993.

Mary Jean embraced and advocated art therapy to overcome depression and anxiety.

She taught varying levels of school and art for many years in Montana and in Coeur d’Alene. She loved teaching, reading and working with youth. She was a longtime member of the Coeur d’Alene Art Association. She embraced all types of art, but particularly sculpting and painting with oils.

She also enjoyed the outdoors and travel. She was a prolific shopper and packrat. She realized some big dreams by visiting Australia and Europe, where she engaged in plein air painting.

Mary Jean’s survivors include son Brian Cabe of Salt Lake City, Laurie Hege and her husband Rod of Fairbanks, and Amy Cabe and her husband Shawn Vestal of Spokane.

Prized grandchildren are Thomas Tabor, who lives in Bulgaria with his wife Iliana and daughter Tina, Marcella Tabor of Anchorage and Cole Vestal of Spokane. Surviving siblings are Richard Martin of Wheatland, CO and Yvonne Gamble of Plano, TX, and Yvonne’s two children and grandchildren; and Frances Martin of Aliso Viejo, CA.


She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother James Martin.
The family marked her passing privately.

Art is the essence of my being, the speaking of my soul.
Art is the documentation of our culture and a reflection of the times in which we live.
Art is the creative speaking of our minds in different languages – visual, written, musical, movement, drama.
Art is the higher form of our intellect trying to communicate with others the beauty or despair of our lives.
Art is the heritage we leave our children – the best of ourselves.
Art provides unique ways of knowing, gives our experiences form and enriches our lives. Art connects me in the creative act with my spiritual side, with my God.
Mary Jean Cabe

Yates Funeral Home has been entrusted with the care of final arrangements.


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