SDPD 10/20/1949 - 02/23/1956
04/20/1926 - 04/20/1997
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Allen Jabben, 71 excelled at wood carving

San Diego Union-Tribune, The (CA) - Thursday, April 24, 1997
In Allen Jabben's carpenter-trained hands, solid blocks of wood became carefully crafted horses and bulls.

Wood carving was his hobby, an outgrowth of his early training in his family's San Diego construction company.

But for four decades, law enforcement was his profession -- first as a patrolman in the San Diego Police Department and later as a deputy county marshal in San Diego and El Cajon.

Mr. Jabben died of cancer on his 71st birthday Sunday in his El Cajon home.

Although he retired in 1978 from his post as county deputy marshal in El Cajon, he continued to work there part time until 1995.

Mr. Jabben had joined the county marshal's office in downtown San Diego in 1956, seeking more stable working hours, after seven years in the San Diego Police Department.

"He had developed ulcers and had to quit doing the night shift," said daughter Susann Phillips of El Cajon. "He and Mom both had erratic schedules -- she was an emergency-room nurse at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in La Mesa and worked at various other hospitals."

In the early 1960s, Mr. Jabben transferred from the downtown county marshal's office to the courthouse in El Cajon.

While pursuing his law enforcement career, he never abandoned his handiwork. He built and renovated the family's former Lakeside home and created shelves to showcase his signature, hand-carved horses and bulls.

An avid outdoorsman, he also joined his wife, Mary Anne, on fishing trips for salmon and trout in the West and Pacific Northwest.

Mr. Jabben, a native of Independence, Kan., was 9 when his family moved by trailer from the Midwest to El Cajon.

While his parents launched a construction business, building several homes in Logan Heights, Mr. Jabben attended Memorial Junior High School, which today is known as Memorial Academy.

In 1955, his family founded Jabben's Egg Ranch in Lakeside on land that later was subdivided for homes.

Mr. Jabben graduated in 1943 from San Diego High School, then went to work for Rohr Aircraft.

From 1944 to 1946, he served as a radioman in the Navy. While aboard the amphibious force flagship Eldorado, he was involved in various World War II battles in the Pacific and the liberation of the Philippines.

After his discharge from active duty, Mr. Jabben majored in social work at San Diego State College. He joined the San Diego Police Department in 1949.

Mr. Jabben, who was of German Lutheran descent, employed his construction skills in helping build Trinity Lutheran Church in San Diego.

He also taught a high school Bible class and served as a youth counselor at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Fletcher Hills, which his family helped found.

Two of his students there became pastors -- one in Oklahoma, the other in Kansas, family members said.

For the last 20 years, Mr. Jabben was a member of Christ Lutheran Church in La Mesa.

In addition to his wife and daughter Susann Phillips, he is survived by daughters Sheri Kelly and Sandy Fisher, both of Lakeside; and six grandchildren.