Frank J. Gavel Sr.
1928 - 2021
Lillis Funeral Home
58 Bridge Street
New Milford, CT
Frank J. Gavel, Sr.
Frank J. Gavel, Sr. of Wilton, CT, passed away peacefully on Thursday August 12, 2021. He was 93 years old.
Born on June 4, 1928 in Brooklyn, NY, Frank was the son of the late Louis and Anna (Novak) Gavel. He was educated in a one room schoolhouse in Roxbury, CT and attended Washington High School where he excelled in athletics, especially baseball. After a post-graduate year at The Gunnery, Frank graduated from Colby College in 1951. Frank also served honorably in the United States Marine Corps in Korea during the Korean War. Upon his return, Frank channeled his athletic expertise into a coaching career at Brookfield High School. Later, he became the Director of Athletics and eventually, after earning his Master's Degree at Springfield College, was Vice Principal at B.H.S. for many years. Frank treasured his time with students, both in and out of the classroom.
Frank married the love of his life, Carol Sbarbaro Ribaudo, in 1976. He was a longtime member of the American Legion, was passionate about baseball, having pitched at both Colby College and in the Boston Red Sox farm system, and was a voracious reader. He also cherished spending time with his five grandchildren, and generously shared his academic, athletic, and philosophical wisdom with them.
In addition to his beloved wife, Carol, Frank is survived by his children, Linda Gavel Webb, Frank Joseph Gavel, Jr. (Laurie), Stephen Louis Gavel, Andrea Ribaudo Millard (Greg), and James Keith Ribaudo, as well as his grandchildren, Thomas Joseph Gavel, Rebecca Jane Gavel, Charles Edwin Webb, Charles Edward Francis Millard II, and Katherine Elizabeth Millard. He was predeceased by his brother, Ernest John Gavel.
A private service will be held. Lillis Funeral Home, 58 Bridge Street, New Milford, CT assisted the family with arrangements.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in memory of Frank to The Roxbury Land Trust, P.O. Box 51, Roxbury, CT 06783.
Published by Danbury News Times & New Milford Spectrum on Aug. 14, 2021.
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21 Entries
I worked as a teacher at Brookfield high for one year, back in 1986. Frank was a vice-principal who was supportive, witty and funny. He sure was an asset to staff and students!
Clifford Chapin, MD
September 26, 2021
Mr Gavel was our disciplinarian ,and asst principal back when I was a know it all teen,still remember his green suits he seemed to favor.walking the halls at class changes.i got to see him in a different lite out of school ,and as I matured .respected his marine service and all around decent human being he was.God bless his family.
David DonFrancesco
August 29, 2021
Prayers for Mr. Gavel and his family. I appreciated the time he took to work with me in high school.
Ron Naves
August 27, 2021
I was a student at BHS from 71-75. I wish I´d known Frank as an adult not just some directionless youth. He was always supportive and interested in my performance especially in soccer. I never realized what an accomplished athlete or war veteran he was. (I coincidentally served from 80-90 in the USAF.) From all appearances it looks like he lived a rich rewarding life. When I look back at BHS and I think of people who could see something/anything in a truly rough unpolished stone, I think of Frank. I think of his kindness and attention he took to attempt to let me know I could be something more. I thank him for that and for that I´ll be forever great-full. Fair winds and following seas Mr Gavel.
Keith Milan
August 24, 2021
So many of us so long ago boys learned so much from Frank Gavel. As a baseball coach he taught the game, integrity, and lessons for life. Frank´s influence is more far reaching than even family might think.
John ripper
August 20, 2021
You will always be remembered, always. R.I.P., Sir.
Debra Silverlieb
August 19, 2021
I am so saddened to hear of the passing of Frank. He was my biggest fan...showing up, always, at the first day of girls tryouts for basketball at Wilton High. He would then always wait for me after several games and share such positive feedback. Once a year too...he would call me at the school as I serve as a school counselor. He continued the phone calls after I stopped coaching several years ago. He and my father (77) also shared the love of baseball and my dad played for the Baltimore Orieoles and Frank did research on my dad and grew fond of him as well! I cared very much for Frank and will be thinking of all of you during this difficult time. Please hold his hand for me at the private service and tell him thank you and I couldn't have made it through my bball seasons without him!
Jaclyn Woitkowski Porco
August 17, 2021
Dear Carol, Sorry to hear of Frank's passing. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Rosemary &Ken Ryan
August 17, 2021
Thanks for your dedication to Brookfield High School and all the talks of sports in your office when I thought I was in trouble .. Who would have thought I would meet your daughter at Girl Scout camp after HS. Thank you for your service Mr Gavel .. RIP
Gina Angelastro
August 17, 2021
RIP Mr. Gavel (for the respect you deserve). I got to know you better in a different setting. Between working in your office with Donna and yourself and in the Guidance office, during my Junior and Senior years (best way to put study periods to use) and also during the summer of 1975. Nice to see you in casual dress and enjoyed having lunches. I will never forget. Thank you for your service.
Denise Profeta-Toth
August 16, 2021
Prayers are with the family and friends of our dear Mr Gavel Mr. Gavel was the kindest man who genuinely cared about his students. ...he would tell it like it is...encourage kids to be the best version of themselves, play fair and always know your worth. He was always in the role of being a positive role model for one and all. Being a graduate 1969 and at BHS and aka Long Meadow Hill Elementary School before it grew into BHS Mr. Gavel was a well respected fixture in my youth. He will be greatly missed by many. A special thank you to the Gavel family for sharing this powerful man with all of us. He will be missed .
Allison (Matey) Wildman
August 16, 2021
I was employed by the Brookfield School System for many years during the time Frank was also there. I extend my sincere sympathies to all the family.
Marge Roman-Bates
August 16, 2021
We are deeply saddened by the loss of your loved one. He was simply an amazing, caring and always loving man not just to his family but to his friends and neighbors. We will miss him and treasure our times with him.
Linda and Jim kaylor
August 16, 2021
When I came back to Brookfield after my time in service. I worked for a while for George Newman at 4-Corners. Mr Gavel was a customer. He was in checking on work if his car one day and I said Mr Gavel can I help you. He said Dennis after all these years you can call me Frank. My response was no way sir you are Mr Gavel and always will be. Even at our 50th he tried to have me call him Frank. Mr Gavel you showed and taught us all much about life. To the Mr Gavel family my deepest sympathies. Know your father was respected and will be remembered by many many of his former students.
Dennis K. Powell
August 15, 2021
Joellen and I started teaching in Sept. of 63. I taught fifth grade and Joellen taught the girls and Frank taught the boys Phys. Education. Knowing Frank was to be a life long friendship that developed. FranK was respected, feared but, most of all . he was a great human being. Both of us feel a great personal loss with him being gone. May you rest in eternal peace Frank. It was our great pleasure and honor to know you.
August 15, 2021
Our prayers to Frank's family to deal with the loss of such a beloved man. He was tough with the students but truthfully, they all deserved it and benefitted from his tough but caring self. I was fortunate to stop in and see him years after my graduation. We had the greatest conversation about life and I will always remember that time I had with him. Truly an inspirational individual who we were all fortunate to have had as part of lives at BHS and beyond.
Christy Markle Larsen
August 15, 2021
How happy we all were to have Mr.Gavel be able to attend our BHS 50th reunion. He will be remembered with fondness,love, and respect.
Susan Saunders
August 15, 2021
It´s been over 40 years since i graduated from Brookfield High, and it goes without saying that Frank ( as we use to call him when he wasn't in earshot) was one of the most influential people we all had the honor of knowing. He portrayed himself as a tough, by the rules guy, to whom most would scatter when he turned the corner and came down the hallway toward them.......but for those of us who had the good fortune of really knowing him, he was a great guy with a big heart who truly cared about all of the students. Whether you were performing in the school play or competing on the athletic field, Mr Gavel was always there showing his support. I will always be thankful for the football and baseball tips that he gave me and more importantly the life lessons that he directly and indirectly shared. To the Frank Gavel family, please know that he has made a lasting impact on so many people in his life. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Tim Haviland (class of 1978)
Tim Haviland
August 15, 2021
It is with sorrow I see the passing of Mr. Gavel. During the early years of Brookfield High School he was one of the icons. To Mr. Gavel's family I wish to express my sympathy in your loss. He was a great man. You can be very proud of his personal accomplishments, his service and in knowing all the young lives he touched. To the memory of Mr. Gavel... Thank you and God bless you.
Peter W Dalton (BHS '71)
August 14, 2021
I am really sorry to hear about Mr.Gavel's passing. Forty plus years ago, I was terrified to have been summoned to his office twice during my high school years - though my fears proved unfounded. After small talk about football, Mr Gavel pointed out things about a certain high school altercation I hadn't considered - now legendary lessons I often share with my kids. We all know Mr.Gavel was a respected man of high integrity and character - he had standards and courage that current administrators should emulate. He connected with all types of students. As we navigate our current upsidedown world, one thing couldn't be more clear on the cusp of this sad news: the world needs more Frank Gavel's now more than ever. I am very sorry for your loss. We were all lucky to have him as a mentor.
David Bono
August 14, 2021
God Bless you Sir. You were the best Vice Principal there ever was. You made a mark on my life that I will Always appreciate. Talking about the NY Rangers the day after the game. Semper Fi.
Dean Bertilson
August 14, 2021
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