GABBERT, John H., 91, of Mechanicsville, Virginia was called by our Heavenly Father Sunday, May 12, 2013. He was born July 10, 1921 in Roanoke, Va., the youngest child of James Ashby and Lucy Reynolds Gabbert. A graduate of Jefferson High School, he served as a B-24D tail gunner with the Jolly Rogers in the U.S. Army 5th Air Force in the Pacific Theater during WWII. After leaving active service in 1945, he attended and graduated from Richmond Professional Institute (now VCU) with an Art degree. As a self-employed artist, John founded Gabbert Displays, where he used his multiple talents designing and hand lettering signs and commercial vehicles and designing and building parade floats, displays, and exhibits primarily for the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone and Reynolds Metals Companies. He served his community as a political cartoonist for Hanover County's Herald Progress, was a founding member of the Atlee Ruritan Club, was a member of the original Ashcake Volunteer Rescue Squad, and helped champion construction of Pearson's Corner Elementary School. In 1969 John answered his call to the ministry, pastoring several churches in the Culpeper, Va. area. He briefly had a radio ministry after returning to Hanover and was always willing to share his love and faith in the Lord with anyone who sought spiritual salvation, scriptural truth, or biblical knowledge. Besides his ministry, John also enjoyed drawing, especially portraits and caricatures, being with his family, and camping. John was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, James L. Gabbert of Salem, Va.; and his sister, Naomi G. Hoover of Roanoke, Va. He is survived by his children, John Matt Gabbert (Sandra) of Roanoke, Fran Gabbert Tehan (Michael) of Mechanicsville, Teresa Gabbert Kirsch (Charlie) of Chesterfield, and David Christopher Gabbert (Christy) of Powhatan; as well as eight grandchildren; and one great-grandson. Family visitation will be held at Nelsen Funeral Home, 412 South Washington Highway, Ashland, Va. 23005, from 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 14, 2013 followed by a chapel service at 2 p.m. A Military Honor Guard service will be conducted graveside at Signal Hill Memorial Park in Hanover immediately following the chapel service.
This obituary was originally published in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.