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Jerry D. Gabel

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Gabel, Jerry D.
70, of Mesa, Az. passed away on December 22, 2015. He fought a long and hard battle from COPD and complications. He was born in Toledo, Ohio to Frank and Velta Gabel (both predeceased). He was a uniquely gifted man, loved and admired by so many, especially his sister Nancy. Jerry served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam. He served from 1966-68 and even though he suffered the ill effects of Agent Orange exposure, he never spoke against his country. He requested that he would not have a funeral or memorial service, rather, he hoped to be fondly remembered by all who loved him and those lives that he touched while on this earth. Jerry had a gentlemanly charm that touched his caregivers with his positive attitude and courtesy. He never gave up hope, never complained, and maintained a brave and cheerful outlook on an optimistic future. He had a lengthy career in the aerospace industry with Gates Learjet, Northrup, and Boeing. He held various positions including: Toolmaker, Senior Toolmaker, Engineer, Manager and worked on programs such as the B-2 Bomber, F-18, and Apache. He was well respected by his crews for his dedication, professionalism, and integrity. The onset of serious illness forced an early retirement, but his strong sense of determination led him in a very different direction. Being entirely self-taught he spent his final years sculpting and painting various subjects. Dr. Julio Angulo, Ph.D. states, "Expressive Arts tend to increase the quality of life of those who have a chronic illness." This was certainly the case with Jerry as his unbridled enthusiasm remained until the very end. His designs were thoughtful and had a powerful influence on those around him. He had gifted hands and an eye for beauty and perfection. He had a very strong work ethic. Before his declining health, he enjoyed hunting and was a lifelong enthusiast of autos. Jerry is survived by sister Nancy (Ed) Buck, first wife Theresa, their daughter Dawn (Tim) Traux, second wife Jeanette, their two daughters Jill (Steve) Kreuz, Amy (Tim) Thompson, one son Todd (Michelle) Gabel, aunt Suzanne Kasch, nephew Doug (Jenna) Buck, niece Wendy (Troy) Cameron, thirteen grandchildren, one great-grandchild and Beloved wife Ava Marie. Jerry was a kind and devoted father to Ava Marie's children Justin (Randi) Jones, Jessica Jones, and Jimmy Jones. We believe that he is at peace in the presence of God. He was ready in every way, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually to leave this physical life since he had trusted our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ alone for his eternal welfare. II Timothy 4:7 "I have finished the course. I have kept the faith." Even though at the end of his life, in the physical realm it was a hard fight, he trusted God completely with the outcome and had true peace knowing that he could release to God the family that he would leave behind. Ecclesiastes 12:13 (esv) "The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep His commandment, for this is the whole duty of man." Thank you for loving me. You saved me my prince, my hero, my best friend, and my soul mate. I will miss your smile, and your laughter. You were tenacious, strong, you endured; you never lost your faith in God, and I will spend the rest of my life being inspired by you. Thank you for the many years of adventure, family, triumphs, challenges that we faced together, mind-blowing creativity, your fear of God, and your endearing passion. You taught me that learning is a lifelong pursuit, to remain enamored by life and the arts, and all that it holds. You were a man of few words, yet a grounded force, and I will miss you until I draw my last breath. The memory of you will heal my utterly broken heart. I love you to the ends of the universe. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Dobson Home 1181 N. Dobson Rd. Chandler, Az.

Published in The Arizona Republic on Jan. 10, 2016
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