Donald Wilson Mabe Sr., 88, former President and CEO of Perdue Farms, died November 5, 2019, after a prolonged illness.

Mabe was a native of Kernersville, North Carolina, a graduate of North Carolina State University, and served for two years in the U.S. Army Infantry, leaving as a 1st lieutenant. In 1957, he and his wife Flo moved to Salisbury, Maryland, when he accepted a position with Perdue Farms as a broiler flock supervisor. Mabe worked his way up in the Perdue organization, managing sales of live broilers, hatching egg production, grain and feed mill operations, and broiler processing. In 1979, he was named president of the company. He retired as president and CEO of Perdue Farms in 1991.

Mabe served on business and nonprofit boards during his career and after retirement. These included the boards of Peninsula Regional Medical Center, Delmarva Power and Light, YMCA of the Eastern Shore,and Helping Hands of Georgetown. In 1983, he received Delmarva’s Distinguished Service Award and in 1986 was recognized with the Outstanding Alumnus Award for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at North Carolina State University.


Mabe was preceded in death by his parents, Harry Lee Mabe and Cornell Wilson Mabe, and his wife of 67 years, Florabel Joyce Mabe.

He is survived by his children, Carol Lee Mabe, James Glenn Mabe (Tammy), Nan Mabe Polgardi (Alex), and Donald Wilson Mabe Jr. (Julie); seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

A memorial service was held November 8. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting memorial donations to Helping Hands of Georgetown, 1813 Highmarket Street, Georgetown, SC 29440.