Goodbye! It’s Been a Fabulous Run!

Wisdom tells us that everything eventually has an end.

My best friend, love of my life, wife, and muse died on Christmas Eve.

We fought terminal cancer and kidney failure for over a decade. (If you wish, you can read about her life and death HERE).

Sabine served 20 years in policing and retired as a captain with the Wisconsin State Capitol Police. She was a great cop!

When we both were on the job, she played a most significant role in my life, leadership, and careers as both cop and priest. We crazily and lovingly spent 40 years together. I so deeply miss her.

So… this time I am really saying “goodbye” to my 60 year run at improving the way in which a free society and its police work together.

I’ve written and taught all that I wanted to say and teach about the subject on this blog.

We survived 2020 and this is a good time for me to work on healing a broken heart and think about how I am going to spend the few remaining years of my old life.

It’s time for others to pick up this torch.

Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.


Capt. Sabine Hildregaard Luisa Lobitz

April 5, 1953 — December 24, 2020

(In Her Own Words)

If you are reading this. I have walked off this earth and continued my journey elsewhere. From where I am, let me assure you that, to me, my life was amazing — fun, full of growth, and a fulfilling adventure. I would not change any of it.

My family immigrated from Germany to Northfield, Minnesota, in 1955. I grew up in Northfield with my father, Heinz+, my mother, Charlotte+, brother Rainer (Rennae), and sister, Barbara (Ken). I loved you all more than you’ll ever know. Thank you for your life-long friendship (Shirley Peroutka). I have always loved and respected you.

In 1975, I graduated with a B.A. degree in History and Theater from Gustavo Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota (yup, a real drama queen!).  At that time, I loved, married and grew up with Tom Turnquist. We changed and eventually divorced.

In 1980, I met the man who would be that love of my life, David C. Couper, with whom I would raise three amazing children: Sumi (Scott Shimek and daughter, Taylor), Yumi (Matt Lemaster and daughter, Malani) and Ezekiel (formerly Joshua, Sarah (expecting #3 this spring), son Alex and daughter Ava). I was also privileged to have six other children of David’s in my life; all of whom I came to love very much\, Peter (Tammy), Catherine, Sarah (Joseph), Michael, Matthew+, and Jennifer (Karl). I was also blessed to know their spouses and children. The entire clan was wonderful. Thanks, you guys are the best!

My work with the Madison Police Department and the State Capitol Police brought both fulfillment and great meaning to my life. I have great respect for everyone I worked with and I am grateful to you for making it pure joy to go to work every day.

Although I travelled all over the world, no place held my heart like our New Journey Farm in Blue Mounds, Wisconsin. The love and support which I felt from my spiritual communities (St John’s in Portage and St. Peter’s in North Lake) cannot be put into words. You know how much I loved you and I will be waiting for your loop hugs!

I wish I had spent more time getting to know the other cousins: Teak, Jim, Margaret, Brian, Chad and Cindy. I hope that by my example you are richer for knowing me as I was for knowing you.

I hope you who read this and know the man who is the love of my life, the breath of my spirit, and the heart, soul of my very being, David, will care for him.Give him you love, your ear, your time, your hugs, and your uplifting support. I would have stayed here forever (if I could) just to be with him.

Finally, thanks to the medical people who kept me alive during the past 12 years. They gave me years of quality I never thought I would see. Dr. John Sheehan (UW Oncology), Drs. Micah Chan and Gardizi, UW Nephrology), the Wisconsin Dialysis staff (especially Dawn) and my multiple myeloma support group (who could always make me laugh!). I will see you on the other side — someone has to get the party started. You know what a “control freak” I am!).

Actually, a celebration of my life was already held on July 4, 2012 at New Journey Farm (The 60/75 celebration of the joint birthday David and I share). It was there that I was able to hug all of you for one last time.


You learn more about Sabine and her life HERE.

Available on


  1. My deep condolences for your loss! I wish you courage and strength for these difficult times.

    Please continue to share your wisdom (about police and policing) with us. Your views and ideas are highly appreciated. Although I am a Greek political scientist from Athens-Greece, I can confess that your work about American policing teaches me and inspires me! Please don’t leave us! 🙏🏻


    1. I am so sorry to hear of the sadness that has come to you with the Christmas Eve passing of your wife Sabine . Your words are beautifully written in poignant expression of your loss . Your love shines in those words . I wish you comfort and healing as you traverse this journey of grief .
      Your words helped me when I lost a son to police violence. I send kind thoughts your way .
      Sarah Fitch


  2. My Dear Friend,
    Although we shared mostly a long professional relationship and only thru that time did I get to
    know you professionally, I was racking my mind trying to recall when I first met you. I believe it was when I attended Herman Goldsmith lecture at Harvard or at IACP. It would have been in the late 70’s or early 80’s. I was policing in in Illinois and Chief in Quincy in 1976, since those sessions we have shared countless professional discussions throughout so many years. We had many mutual partners in IACP and PERF. I met your wife thru those years but only when she with you to conferences. While I did not get to know her more personality thru yo and those times we did share I was clear you both had a tremendous relationship. So wonderful to have someone so special to share and partner in fulfilling life adventures. I know I have my Linda for just over 50 years. We again hooked up just a few years ago to reunite in our efforts to further human and civil rights causes within our beloved industry. Though unsuccessfull it was again our effort, failures that we shared with Community Oriented Policing, Problem Policing, and so many other projects one’d our 49+ years. I know you are suffering now as we had recently talked of your wife’s illness and about the effort I was going thru and continue to battle against NHL, I so want to encourage you to continue to coach and mentor where you can as you have such a passion and brilliant mind it would be a tragic loss to me and many others. However, I know to have deliberated hard but maybe give it another look down the road as you continue to grieve from so great a loss. Know that I am here for you, we Linda and I will be holding you and your whole family in our heats but most especially in our prayers. God Bless you all and for his love to hold you tightly in his arms. A most deserving servant.

    Your Friends
    Chuck & Linda


  3. To you Thunderbolt!!! (Endearing term from the past)

    Very sorry to hear of your loss, yet in the Christmas gift we celebrate this time of the year we know in faith all who believe will be reunited when the Lord calls us home.

    Sorry also to see you go from the scene. Will always remember you giving a naive country kid a chance. I remain today proud to have served with that “vision” as a basis throughout my career.

    The Lord’s blessings



  4. To you Thunderbolt!!! (Endearing term from the past)

    Very sorry to hear of your loss, yet in the Christmas gift we celebrate this time of the year we know in faith all who believe will be reunited when the Lord calls us home.

    Sorry also to see you go from the scene. Will always remember you giving a naive country kid a chance. I remain today proud to have served with that “vision” as a basis throughout my career.

    The Lord’s blessings



  5. David, Four days of driving in rain we finally reached St. Simons Island yesterday. Saw your blog post yesterday and we talked about our long friendship with you and Sabine. Great memories. If you think it the right thing, I would like to share your blog post on Facebook. I have shared many of your posts with my FB friends over the years – posts that generated good discussions. If you would prefer not, I understand. Thinking of you as you go forward in the healing process. Love, Bill

    Sent from my iPhone



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