On May 1, 2014, Gabriel "Gabe" Lenox Rich, gave his life while answering the call of duty in Tanana.|
Born Oct. 23, 1987, in Sayre, Pennsylvania, Gabe was raised in Fairbanks by his parents, David Rich and Patty Ganley Rich, along with his extended family, including his grandparents, Sally Lenox Ganley and the late Richard "Dick" Ganley.
During the summer and fall he would often travel to Central where he enjoyed his grandparents and parent's friends, and their hospitality, especially that of Jim and Sandy Crabb. Gabe and his cousins were blessed to be raised together in Fairbanks, where their families shared holidays, gatherings, birthdays, graduations and other life events, and where they could support and nurture each other in their young lives.
From his early youth, Gabe loved the outdoors, working with his parent's dog teams as a youngster and hunting with his father and grandfather throughout his life. He played in Fairbanks Youth Hockey, a sport he continued into high school and through which he made many lasting friendships.
Gabe attended Lathrop High School, graduating in 2006. He attended Montana State University and the University of Alaska Anchorage before pursuing his lifelong dream of entering the ranks of law enforcement. After graduating from the Fairbanks Police Academy in 2007, he went to work for the North Pole Police department until being accepted by the Alaska State Troopers in 2011.
Gabe made his mark early as someone who could be depended on and as someone destined for a great career with the Alaska State Troopers. In January 2013, Gabe moved to Detachment D, Interior Rural Unit, which encompasses a huge swath and the many villages of rural Interior Alaska. He was to move to another assignment in Juneau as an Alaska Wildlife Trooper on July 1.
It was during his time with the North Pole Police Department that Gabe met the love of his life, Angie, when he stopped by a training event at the fire department. Of all of his achievements, the greatest of these soon followed when he became a father. Integrity was the foundation of his career as a trooper, and love was his foundation at home. As a father and spouse, you couldn't have asked for a more dedicated and compassionate man. Gabe had the biggest heart and there was nothing he wouldn't do to bring joy to the ones he loved with his infectious laugh and the warmth of his big bear hugs.
In his work, he was known to co-workers - the great men and women of the law enforcement community - as someone who could lighten the burden they shoulder every day. Gabe was dependable, kind and had an innate ability to bring comfort in difficult situations. He loved his work and those he worked with. Gabe's family grieves his loss, but recognizes and appreciates, beyond words, the loss felt by his fellow law enforcement officers and the State of Alaska.
Gabe is survived by his parents, Patty Ganley Rich and David Rich; his fiancé, Angie Taylor, and sons, Malakai and Lenox; his grandmother, Sally Ganley; aunts and uncles from the Ganley and Rich families, Ellen Ganley and Rick Lonn, Frank and Debbie Ganley, Matt Ganley and Polly Wheeler, Danna Rich-Collins and Mike Collins, Daryl and Mary Rich, Doug and Luanne Rich, and Tracey Ganley; and his cousins, Elizabeth Wellington and Eric Lonn, Sarah Ganley, Katherine (Katie) Brower, Danielle Hrabar, Stevie Williams and Leif Johnson, Megan, Sy and Cory Collins, Lauren Rudloff and Brian Rich, Josh and Danielle Rich, and Kaeli and Jadyn Ganley.
He was preceded in death by his beloved grandfather, Dick Ganley, and grandparents, Kathleen Hinchey Rich and William Rich, and uncle, Ryan Ganley. He also leaves behind innumerable friends across Alaska and beyond. Of special note is Mary Rogers, of Pennsylvania. Our hearts are broken.
Gabe's family wishes to extend their heartfelt and eternal thanks to the many people that contributed to his character and growth: his hockey mates and their parents, his classmates and his teachers, his hunting and traveling companions, and all others who touched Gabe's life and helped create the light he brought to all of us.
Contributions to support Gabe's family can be made to Wells Fargo Bank account number 6157331379.
Arrangements are entrusted to Fairbanks Funeral Home.
Published in Daily News-Miner on May 6, 2014