Richard Alan Rabek

February 15, 1954March 21, 2018

64, passed away on March 21, 2018 at his home. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio on February 15, 1954 to his parents, Norman Sr. and Grace McClurg Rabek. Richard was a long-time member of the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association, a 3-time President of the Kentuckiana Underwater Explorers Society, and an adult leader in the Boy Scouts of America Troop 30. He was also a member of the Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church. Richard graduated from the University of Georgia School of Veterinary Medicine and practiced in Louisville for 34 years. He loved his profession, his practice, his patients, and their owners. He was an avid scuba diver and underwater photographer. He loved to dance any time he heard music and looked forward to spring and planting the garden. He will be greatly missed. Richard is survived by his wife of 42 years, Karen Rabek; son, Brian James Rabek; daughter, Cheryl Jennings (John); mother, Grace McClurg Rabek; siblings, Norman James Rabek Jr. (Joy), William Thomas Rabek (Katie), Nancy Rabek Sheppard (Edward); and many nieces, nephews and extended family. Richard was preceded in passing by his father, Norman James Rabek Sr. A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Saturday, March 31, at 2 PM at the Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church. Memorial contributions can be made to Reef Relief, the American Cancer Society, or the Glioblastoma American Brain Tumor Association.


  • Glioblastoma American Brain Tumor Association
  • American Cancer Society
  • Reef Relief


  • Celebration of Life Service Saturday, March 31, 2018

Richard Alan Rabek

have a memory or condolence to add?

Amanda May

April 18, 2018

I miss you so much, Dr. Rabek. Thank you for your friendship and support over the years. You were the best veterinarian we've ever had, and your love for our pets was so obvious. Your enthusiasm for learning was unparalleled. This world is a dimmer place without you. I'm praying for your family.

Emily Sellers

April 6, 2018

I just learned today about Rick's passing. There are so many memories I have of him. Not only as an outstanding vet to both of my childhood dogs, but as my fathers friend, and an extra dad figure at TJ (Thomas Jefferson Unitarian). I shared tears with him with the passing of our beloved black lab Smudge, and laughs with him during play time with his children, Brian and Cheryl. I am saddened to learn of his passing. I hope peace and rest are able to be found by those closest to him.

Lisa, Debbie, and Chris Shields

March 29, 2018

Dr. Rabek was our veterinarian for over 10 years at Crescent Hill Animal Hospital. He was so full of life, full of adventure, and full of love for his family and patients. He always spoke of his joy of scuba diving in Cozumel and would beam as he described how proud he was of his son and daughter. Dr. Rabek was an excellent veterinarian—explaining anatomical diagrams in precise detail, remaining abreast of the recent veterinary literature, and suggesting his medical recommendations in a matter-of-fact yet heartfelt manner. Dr. Rabek was always available for any of our needs—responding to phone messages when he was out of the office on Saturdays and Sundays, remaining vigilant with disease progression in a few of our dogs, and even offering to take one of our dogs to his own home for observation overnight. We will miss his laugh, his support, and his respect and empathy for his canine and feline patients and their owners. Thank you very much Dr. Rabek.

Shelley Dice

March 27, 2018

Rick gave exceptional care and love to each of our dogs for many, many years, which we are grateful for and miss dearly. But more than that, he always welcomed us warmly like family, with that giant smile, great laughter, and desire to trade family stories, adventures, accomplishments and general updates on the kids and Karen, which was a real gift. He adored his family, was so proud of each of you and expressed his love for you often. Karen, you were an amazing wife and caregiver to Rick. He could have requested no greater care and love. This was not an easy journey, for either of you. May Rick's beautiful memories be a blessing to you and peace be with the family. It was my family's privilege to know Rick and his family. ❤️

Susan Robinson

March 26, 2018

Dr. Rabek took care of every pet I have had in my adult life and I have had a lot of them. I will never forget taking my first miniature dachshund, Pawley, to see him for her first appointment. He walked into the room and immediately got this gigantic smile on his face and said "This dog will forever be a puppy!" and she was! We talked often about science and the barrier islands of South Carolina. He spoke with such love about his family. Rest in peace my friend and know that you made gigantic differences in this world. Peace to his wife, children and extended family.

Marcel Fincher

March 24, 2018

Rick had a big heart and a kind smile. He will be missed.

Bart Bertetto

March 24, 2018

Karen, Brian, and Cheryl: It is hard to find the words. So I will just tell you about my run this morning. It was filled with Rick's huge smile, happy eyes, and big warm hands; with those lake cleanup dives where he was such a trooper and made it a great time had by all; with those underwater tricycle races for charity where he was the man to beat (but shared his secrets) making it so fun for everyone; with all the attention he gave my daughter Jolene on her first dive trip ensuring it would be so memorable to her; and of course the diving, where underwater he was our leader so cool and confident, taking us off the path to find and experience special things, then sharing his knowledge about it with us. He was so proud of his family dive team. But then we all felt like family around Rick. Rick lived life to the fullest and shared it with everyone around him. I know the power of his spirit and strength of his love will lift your hearts and bring you peace in your most difficult times. Bart Bertetto

Rebecca Hisel

March 22, 2018

I just wanted to say to Cheryl that I am thinking of her and her family. I'll keep you all in my prayers. God Bless.

Mellisa Hamilton

March 22, 2018

I was very fortunate to have met Richard, his lovely wife Karen and their loving son Brian on a scuba diving trip to Anthony’s Key, Roatan. Richard’s love for his family and zest for life were infectious! I will always consider him to be a testimony of true love, distinguished character and inspirational leadership. My heart and prayers are with each of his loved ones. What a devine gift to have known him.
All my Sympathy,