John J. Gabriel ’66

GREEN VALLEY, Ariz. – John Joseph Gabriel, resident of Green Valley, Ariz., passed away suddenly on March 19, 2016, at Green Valley Hospital. John was born on May 27, 1944, in Brooklyn, N.Y. He was raised on a farm in Troy, ME, by Alfred and Marion Gabriel.

He went on to Maine Maritime Academy, graduating in 1966. He had been looking forward to his 50th class reunion at MMA. He spent his career as a merchant marine working his way up to Chief Engineer, travelling the world, including all seven continents, until his retirement in 1997. While residing in Cape Elizabeth with his family, he was a lobsterman in Casco Bay, enjoying his involvement with the local fishing community. He later moved to Tennessee where he owned a horse auction/stable until settling in Arizona.

Nothing made him happier than being called Papa and spending time with his grandchildren Riley, Mila and Kelvin. John will be remembered for his stories, good humor and willingness to try new things. He loved football, especially a chance to go to the Packers/Patriots game in Wisconsin, Nov 2015. His hobbies included hunting, fishing, horseback riding, and a multitude of projects. When he moved to Arizona, he enjoyed living on his ranch, caring for his animals, working with cattle and even being the parade marshall for a number of years. He was definitely one of a kind.

John is survived by Liza and her husband Scott Ross of Wisconsin, Lauren and her husband Miguel Medina of the DR, and Jocelyn Gabriel of Massachusetts, Jonna Stanton, and Michael Gabriel. In addition, his honorary kids Tugboat, Sea Wave, Elvira and the damn cat.

A celebration of John’s life will be held at Hobbs Funeral Home, 230 Cottage Rd., South Portland, August 21, at 2 p.m.