Lt. Col. Robert Dee “Gabe” Gabriel, 56, Logan, passed away Wednesday, March 29 at Kobacker Hospice, Columbus, after a brief illness.
Born Oct. 26, 1943, Logan, son of the late Joe Montgomery and Bertha Ellen Schubert Gabriel, he was the husband of Roseanne Hansley Gabriel for 32 years, and the father of three.
He was the sales representative for Logan Clay Products for the last 10 years. He served six years as a Falls Township Trustee and was the owner of the “Colonel’s Quarters” vacation cabins. Additionally, he actively served in a variety of civic, veteran and charity organizations.
He was a 1962 graduate of Logan High School and received a bachelor’s degree from Capital University in 1986. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the U.S. Army Reserves in 1998. He was a proud Vietnam veteran with more than 26 years on flight status as a distinguished U.S. Army Master Aviator. His military decorations include: The Distinguished Flying Cross, The Air Medal with 20 Clusters and “V” device, The Meritorious Service Medal, The Army Commendation Medal, The Army Achievement Medal, The Army Good Conduct Medal, The Army Reserve Component Achievement Medal with three oak clusters, The Armed Forces Reserve Medal with two hour glass devices, The National Defense Medal with bronze star, The Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze stars, The Humanitarian Service Medal and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal.
His decorated military service spanned four decades and included assignments as an Army helicopter pilot in the First Air Cavalry Division, Republic of South Vietnam; instructor pilot and tactical officer, Warrant Officer Flight School, Fort Wolters, Texas; Aerial Weapons Team Leader and Commander, Ohio Army National Guard; Liaison Officer, United States Military Academy, West Point; Operations Officer, Deputy Chief of Staff, Operations and Plans, The Pentagon, Washington, D.C.
He remained an active voice and organizer for veterans and veteran functions in Hocking County as a member of the Lawrence Neil Helber American Legion Post 78, and Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association. Along with the entire Gabriel family he performed in the Hocking Valley Variety shows throughout the late 1960s and into the 1970s.
He was a member of the Logan Jaycees, past President and member of the Logan Rotary Club, served on the Tri-County Action Campaign Sharing the Harvest Committee, was active in the Clearing House Assistance Program (CHAP) and a member of the Hocking County Historical Society.
He was the voice of the LHS Marching Chieftains from 1989 to 1997, was involved in the LHS Athletic Hall of Fame Committee and was a member of the Hocking County Tourism Association. He was a 50-year member of the Immanuel United Methodist Church where he was active in the church choir. He was former Hocking County Special Deputy Sheriff and NRA certified instructor.
Retired Lt. Col. Gabriel is survived by his wife, Roseanne (Hansley) Gabriel; two sons, Capt. Joseph (Nicole) Gabriel of Pickerington; and Staff Sgt. Ryan (Stacy) Gabriel of Logan; a daughter, Alison Elizabeth Gabriel of Ohio State University, Columbus; a granddaughter, Madison Elizabeth Gabriel of Logan; two brothers, Joel S. Gabriel of Gahanna and Kris L. (Gloria) Gabriel of Logan; a mother-in-law, Ruth Hansley of Logan; two sisters-in-law, Sue (Todd) Hinerman and Kathy (Thomas) Gerken, both of Logan; a brother-in-law, John (Chris) Hansley of O’Fallon, Ill.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Robert is preceded in death by a brother, Michael M. Gabriel, who died in 1993; a sister-in-law, Ruth Ann (Kennedy) Gabriel; a father-in-law, Robert Hansley; and a brother-in-law, John Stallsmith.
Per Mr. Gabriel’s request his body has been cremated and a memorial service will be held 3 p.m. Saturday at Immanuel United Methodist Church with the Revs. Gary K. Wheeler and Dave Harris officiating.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Roberts Funeral Home.
The family suggests contribution be made to the charity of one’s choice or to the Logan High School Scholarship Fund established in Robert Dee Gabriel’s Memory, c/o Citizens Bank, 188 West Main St., Logan, Ohio 43138.