Martin A. Rabis, 47, died peacefully with family and friends by his side at home in Middlefield on Friday, July 26, 2019. Martin was known by his childhood nickname of Buddy or Bud. Bud was born in Meriden and raised by parents Martin J. and Loris Rabis (Schleicher) in Middlefield where he was well known and loved. He was a Jeeper, a self-employed landscaper and a handyman who cared for his customers as if they were family. His battle with synovial sarcoma, a rare and typically pediatric cancer, began in late 2017. He fought courageously and with hope up until the very end. Bud was brave and selfless through his 19 month battle while rejecting all sorry and sympathy. He would often say “I don’t want to see sad eyes.” He hosted many cookouts with fireworks for his friends and family during his last six weeks of life, demonstrating his selfless nature. He never gave up hope that he would beat the disease and he was proud to be part of research that will hopefully find a cure. Bud was the salt of the earth. The guy who would help anyone. He would give you his last dollar. He’s the guy who picked up a woman who passed out in the parking lot of the medical clinic while he himself was going through cancer treatment. He was the guy who dyed his hair pink for the woman fighting breast cancer at the oncology office, again while fighting his own battle. He would give you his opinion, solicited or not, and he would always tell you how it was, like it or not. He was there for strangers and friends alike. He was passionate about Jeeps, camping, fishing, the Connecticut River, animals, and his friends. Bud’s group of amazing friends offered endless support through his courageous battle. Thank you Rhonda Merriam, Steven Richards, Terry Karpey, Nick Adams, Tammy Kent, Rick Pysar, Scott Coleman, Paul Viola, Tyrell Brazier, Cliff White, Bruce Lussier, Curtis Ryer, Ed Bogue, Carmella Bogue, Kevin Specyalski, Krystal Brockett, and many others. A very special thank you to the late CJ McMillian for his love and support. Truck Toys of Rocky Hill, Richard Villar, deserves a huge thank you for restoring the ’82 CJ and bringing “Patches” back to the road for Bud’s last journey through life. He drove that Jeep with great pride. A special thank you to Dr. Rajani Nadkarni and staff at Midstate Cancer Center who offered unconditional love and care. Dr. Francis Cannizzo of Hartford Hospital went above and beyond for Bud and will never be forgotten for his valiant efforts. Bud was predeceased by his grandparents Martin J. and Mary Rabis (Konefal) of New Britain and William and Shirley Schleicher (Johnson) of Punta Gorda, FL; and his uncle William (Billy) Schleicher of Punta Gorda, FL. He is survived by his brother Michael Rabis and wife Amanda Boulware of Cromwell; sister Sandra Rabis and husband Dustin Wambolt of Haddam; sister Joanne and husband Stephen DeBella of Cheyenne, WY; two exceptional nephews that he adored, Salvatore and Marco DeBella of Cheyenne, WY; Aunts Patricia Misko of New Britain and Kristine (John) Frick of Guilford; and many cousins. Bud also left behind his beloved dog Wrangler. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM Saturday, August 17, 2019, at Middlefield Federated Church, 402 Main St., Middlefield, CT. In lieu of flowers memorial donations in Bud’s memory can go to Sarcoma Foundation of America, www.curesarcoma.org, or The American Humane Society, www.humanesociety.org/gifts. “Doctor said he ain't got long; he just smiled said bring it on. Well if you think I'm scared, you got me all wrong. No a little cancer can't break me; my heart's right and I believe. We all hit our knees and started prayin'. Naw he never gave up, said the good Lord's waitin'. He was fightin' the good fight, ‘til the good Lord called him home. And so be well my friend, 'til I see you again. This is our last goodbye, it's a hell of an amen.” ~Brantley Gilbert
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