“Some people don’t believe in heroes but they haven’t met my dad.”
That’s how some local women feel about their dads. We interviewed them to find out just what makes their relationship so special and we will share those on our blog this month.
Abigail’s father, Kenneth Scheibenberger, was a criminal defense attorney and public defender for most of her childhood. He was awarded a judgeship in 1992 by then Indiana Governor Evan Bayh.
His family’s German heritage was so important to him, and as a founder and President of German Heritage Society and board member of Germanfest, he certainly promoted the culture and kept the German tradition alive.”
“I am so proud of where I came from that when I got married, I took my maiden name as my middle name,” Abigail said.
How did your dad influence your life?
My main goal with the festival and anything I’ve done in adulthood is/was to make my father proud. I was never one who thought I could speak publicly. The first festival after losing dad, I stood a proud woman on the stage and opened the festival in his memory.
During his tenure as a judge, my father created the Allen County Drug Court, and through the drug court he gave countless people a second chance and saved many lives. Hearing the people’s stories and seeing them come up to him and thank him changed the person I am. It helped me see so much more good in the world and the work that we do every day. I strive to do as much good as I can with what I have.
How did your relationship with your dad change over your lifetime?
Looking up to him as the smartest, wisest, and larger than life person never changed from childhood through adulthood. I looked up to his leadership for over 20 years with Germanfest. I volunteered and helped whenever and wherever I could, and as I grew older, I gained more and more responsibility. The fun part was once I was leading the bar/beer area and he came over to tell me what to do, and then said, “Oh, you’ve got this all under control.” Shifting from just a worker to someone he respected as a leader was an amazing feeling. After he died in 2018, I filled his empty Germanfest board seat and do everything I can to make Germanfest the best festival in our community.
What is your favorite memory of your dad from when you were younger?
It’s very difficult to name just one favorite! My dad was a large man in stature (6’5”), and I always thought he had to be the strongest, smartest person in the world. I like to recall that when I was little I would lay next to him or sit in his chair with him while he read the paper. My greatest memory was when my son was born and we told him his name. Jaeger Kenneth was named after him. I will never forget the look in his eyes as he held my child for the first time and how proud he looked to have a namesake.
What qualities do you share with your dad?
The love for our German heritage and the desire to share that with our community. I am a hard worker and try to be the most honorable person I can be. On a lighter note, I may have inherited a shortness of patience from him.
Did your dad have a favorite quote or mantra? If so, what is/was it?
No one is better than you, we all have different talents but never let anyone make you feel less important. This was his personal quote to me.