Ernest Joseph Sabo, Jr

February 21, 1950 to March 6, 2020


Ernest Joseph Sabo, Jr

Ernest Joseph Sabo, Jr was born on February 21, 1950 to Ernest J. Sabo, Sr and Donna Mitchell Sabo at Maynard Hospital in Seattle. His brother David was born 6 years later. His father was with the US Army Corp of Engineers, so as a young child they lived in Bridgeport, WA while his dad worked on the construction of the Chief Joseph Dam. Joe’s parents bought a house in 1953 in Wallingford where Joe grew up and went to McDonald Elementary, Hamilton Jr High and Lincoln High School (class of 1968). His father Ernie was active with the Seafair hydroplane races for over 50 years on the Course and Survey committee. Joe enjoyed being there on race day and during his years at the radio station he also participated in the broadcasting there. It was an event the family looked forward to and to this day Joe’s son Dan still volunteers with Course and Survey in honor of his grandfather Ernie.

Joe developed an early interest in electronics and radio. He would often go to St Vincent de Paul to look for old radios, which was the start of a lifetime of collecting. He later developed an interest in broadcast radio, eventually leading to his work at KOL Radio from 1966 until 1973. He then went to KJR Radio before moving on to other jobs as a radio technician, including jobs that took him to Panama and Saudi Arabia, Northern Radio, Day Wireless, eventually getting his “dream job” in the radio shop at Boeing. Joe also had an interest in amateur (ham) radio, starting out as WN7VSD, N7ABA, to KB7NU and finally W7EJS. MariLyn’s dad (Alfred Vaughn W7GIN) was also a ham and helped him learn Morse code for his license.  His love for electronics spanned from broadcasting radio to computers; where he was a beta tester with Microsoft and a computer consultant in the local area.  Joe spent his Sunday’s setting up and running the audio equipment at Fairview Church of God for years. This included running the sound for the Fairview Christian School programs.

Joe Sabo-1968

Joe met MariLyn Vaughn at KOL Radio and they married on July 18, 1970 in Seattle. They bought their home in Bothell in 1977. They were blessed with 5 children: MariJo (Chong) Yim, Dan Sabo, Rachel (Brad) Ross, Steve Sabo, and Jessie Sabo. Through the years they have had additional blessings with 9 grandchildren: Grace, Jacob and Levi Yim, Hannah Ross, Alex, Sarah & Isaac Sabo and Henry and Lila Ross. Joe loved his family and being a grandpa.

Joe is survived by his wife, MariLyn, the children and grandchildren named above, his brother David (Lisa) Sabo, Aunt Goldie Robitaille (New York), cousins Frank (Becky) Woods and Donna Smedman in New York, cousin David (Merrillann) Hutchinson (Redmond, WA), cousin Sheridan Berthiaume (Texas), and several second and third generation cousins.

Remembrances are suggested to: Fairview Church of God, Seattle, WA; St. Jude Children’s Hospital; or The Shriners Hospitals for Children.


A memorial service for both Joe and Dan is scheduled on Saturday, June 3, 2023 at 1:00 pm at the Fairview Church of God, 844 NE 78th St, Seattle, WA 98115.

9 Responses to “Ernest Joseph Sabo, Jr”

  • shirley howard says:

    Wonderful tribute to Joe. Missing his smile and a little bit of mischievous side.

  • Tom&Joyce Mcclain says:

    What a touching tribute to a wonderful husband,dad,and grandpa.He certainly lived his life to the fullest.

  • Melody McGuire says:

    Hope, love and prayers to all of you.
    Romans 15:13a “May the God of Hope fill you with all peace .”

  • Glenn Davis says:

    Love that picture of Joe in Hawaii. Always will remember sitting side by side with Joe at the Fairview sound board. And the Saturday set up and Sunday take down.

  • Jim Fish says:

    Joe was a true gentleman. His signal and activities in the ham radio community will be greatly missed.

  • Nancy & Bob Courtney says:

    We first met the Sabo’s when my husband coached soccer and son Dan was on the team. After soccer we rarely saw them even though we were just several streets away in Mays Pond. Then we moved into Ridgewood, same neighborhood, when the kids were in Jr. High & High school. Life moved on for all of us…. A few years ago I saw MariLyn at a funeral for a mutual friend. We reconnected through FB and we began sharing our stories through messenger & reading each others posts & commenting. I was amazed hearing all about their children, grandchildren, their church activities, & travel. We both have a lot in common with our thoughts & sharing news of what is happening in community. It seems her husband Joe had quite a sense of humor. In reading Joe’s obituary, I am amazed at all he accomplished in his lifetime & the fact that both of them met at a radio station & this union began. Our son went into communications and worked at Kiro Radio for awhile, and my husband is an internet DJ, living the dream in retirement. The stories that they could have shared & am sure Joe & Bob would have made MariLyn & I laugh. When we met, we really didn’t know each other but shared the joy of watching our kids play soccer.
    I am so glad I was able to reconnect with MariLyn as we share prayer requests and I have learned more about her life and the wonderful marriage and the love they shared. My heart aches for MariLyn and all the family for losing Joe so quickly, such shock and anguish. I was surprised one day that MariLyn was outside as I was trying to drop something off without disturbing her. We talked for awhile about many things and about Joe & family, and the current crisis. It saddens me that many families are in limbo because of CV, and the fact Marilyn is dealing with a long journey without her beloved Joe, (thankful Dan is with her) and so many changes for her & family. As I drove away I said a prayer thanking God for reconnecting me with such an extraordinary loving person, and sharing our lives, prayers, & thoughts. I prayed for his children, grandchildren, & extended family as they miss Joe. I thanked God for Joe her loving companion, Angels surrounding him, his faith & being reunited one day with his wife & family as promised through faith. MariLyn showed me what a true and loving remarkable Christian she is, and tremendous strength. Marilyn I hope our friendship can continue to grow, and when all this CV is over meet once again. Until then, thanks for being my FB friend & grace filled friend!

    My heart goes out to all who loved Joe, may all find comfort, strength, & peace in the Jesus that sustains all of us. May God Bless you friend and your family.

    Mental love & hugs,

  • Dean Cowles says:

    I didn’t know Joe all that well. But when Dan introduced us, we became friends like we had known each other for years. My life is better for knowing Joe. May the Lord keep him and enjoy his presence like I did. Good bye Joe.

  • Chuck Heffernan says:

    Worked with Joe a few years at Boeing. I retired in 2013. We both went to Chicago for Motorola radio school at the same time. He drove rental car, which was ok with me since I hated driving around Chicago. He was a fun person to work with. Saddened with his passing. I know he loved his family very much. He was always proud of what his family did and talked about them always.

  • Ron Rock says:

    I was very sad to hear of Joe’s passing. After seeing him our high school re-opening (Lincoln High), I had planned on catching up with him, until the virus set in. Please let me know when and if there is a memorial service. Thank you.

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