|Birth: ||Jan. 30, 1939|
|Death: ||Feb. 27, 2010|
Being called a hillbilly might be a fighting word to some -- but not Lyle Mabe. Lyle, one of the founders of the Branson music scene, was proud to be called Branson's first "hillbilly comedian".
Lyle, age 71 of Nixa, passed away Saturday, February 27, 2010 after a long illness. He was born in Highlandville, Missouri, the son of Donald and Hazel (Warren) Mabe.
He graduated from Spokane High School and was awarded a drama scholarship for SMS. Instead of attending, he and his brothers, Bill, Jim and Bob opened the Baldknobbers Theatre in Branson in 1959. Lyle was natural entertainer and comedian, known to all as George Aggernite, a name given to him by his father as a small boy. The four Mabe brothers thought entertaining Lake Taneycomo trout anglers might bring in some money, Lyle took on the role of George Aggernite when the Baldknobbers set up shop in the Branson community center.
When the Mabes discovered a theater with 50 folding chairs wasn't large enough, they purchased an old skating rink on the lakefront and performed there until 1968. Then, they followed the Presleys to Missouri 76, he said.
Along with being a comedian, Lyle also acted. He portrayed Uncle Ike during the first season of the Shepherd of the Hills outdoor play in 1960. He also spread the word about Branson outside of the city limits. At a time when the Branson tourist season ran from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the Mabes popularized the off-season practice of taking the show on tour. During the winter months, the Baldknobbers traveled from Minnesota and Wisconsin to southern Texas performing their show and inviting audiences to visit Branson.
The Baldknobbers, and a few years later the Presleys, together built the foundation for the Branson entertainment business. During appearances on commercials for Empire Gas, Lyle also promoted his family's show, and Branson.
Lyle played the washtub bass from the show's founding until 1991. Although Lyle left the stage in 1991, he continued to provide advice for comedy routines.
On February 28, 1958 he and Betty Brown were united in marriage. She preceded him in death in 1998. He was also preceded in death by two infant children, Michael Lyle and Leisa Dawn, seven siblings, Billy G. Mabe, Jim "Droopy Drawers" Mabe, Max Mabe, Don Mabe Jr, Pauline McCafferty, Nancy Carter, and Connie Sue Mabe, and his parents.
Survivors include: Two children, Brent Mabe and wife Shelli, Nixa, and LaWana Craigmyle and husband James, Ozark; four grandchildren, Caleb Mabe, Abby Mabe, James Craigmyle Jr. and wife Susie, and Sara Fender and husband Jeremy; four great-grandchildren, Kali, Kassi and Cory Craigmyle, and Brandon Kyger; five brothers and sisters and their spouses, Bob and Sue Mabe, Margie and Wilbur Blansit, Joan and Tommy Bilyeu, Sharon Kay and Gary Michel, and Cletus and Maebelle Mabe; three sister-in-law, Katie Mabe, Joyce Mabe, and Barbara Mabe; numerous nieces and nephews; and a special friend, Judy White.
Visitation will be from 5:00 -8:00 PM Monday, March 1, 2010 at the Adams Funeral Home Nixa Chapel.
A graveside funeral will be Tuesday, March 2, at noon, in Highlandville Cemetery, with Pastor Tommy Bilyeu officiating.
Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association.
Betty Brown Mabe (1941 - 1998)*
Lyle Michael Mabe (1961 - 1961)*
Lesisa Dawn Mabe (1964 - 1964)*
Highlandville IOOF Cemetery
Created by: GDS
Record added: Mar 01, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 48938517
Added: Jan. 19, 2012
Added: Nov. 17, 2010