Helen Gabel

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Helen Abolin Gabel

Helen Walda Abolin Gabel passed away on November 12, 2017 from natural causes at the age of 96.

Helen was born in 1921 in Philadelphia, PA, to a Latvian immigrant engineer, Henry Abolin, and his youthful wife Leanore. Despite the hardships of the Great Depression and World War II, Helen danced in the Corps de Ballet with the Philadelphia Opera while she ran the sales department for Whitman's Chocolates. After the war she followed Frank Gabel, the sailor brother of her best friend, out to Albuquerque, where they married and Helen worked as a valued secretary at First National Bank. Frank and Helen soon purchased a homestead in the North Valley, in which she lived until her final days.

Helen established a loving and welcoming home for her six children and their many friends, in-laws and grandchildren. For many years she provided a Sunday afternoon dinner for the entire crew. In her "retirement" years, Helen exercised, hiked and went on expeditions with the North Valley Senior Center. She and her friends attended cultural events, concerts & plays several times a week, ushered at the Albuquerque Little Theater and held season tickets with the Albuquerque Symphony.

Helen's life was not without difficulty. She lost several children to prematurity. Her husband suffered a crippling automobile accident in l961. She outlived all the friends and relatives of her own generation, with Frank preceding her in death in 2011. Nonetheless, her sunny spirit and inherent trust in the goodness of life never flagged, earning her the nickname "Bodhisattva in Apron Strings."

She is survived by her six living children: Helen Ruth Gabel (Philip Notermann), Anne Frances Cressin (Michael Cressin), Joseph Paul Gabel (Elizabeth Budd Gabel), Barbara Jane Howell (Robert Howell), David Michael Gabel and Mary Caroline Gabel (Charles Schrier). She is also mourned by nine grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. Her memory will be tenderly treasured by all who knew her.

A memorial service will be held at noon on Saturday, November 18 at Riverside Funeral Chapel, 225 San Mateo NE, Alb.

Funeral Home
Riverside Funeral Home of Albuquerque - Albuquerque
225 San Mateo NE
Albuquerque, NM 87108
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Published in Albuquerque Journal on Nov. 15, 2017