Donald Jason Gabel

Born: January 27, 1931

Date of Passing: March 25, 2023


Losing a parent is hard, really really hard and profoundly heartbreaking…  So it is with overwhelming sadness that we announce the passing of Donald on March 25, 2023 at the age of 92 years.


He will be deeply missed by his daughter Lisa, son Kenneth, grandson Shane Gabel, his sister Carol Reinisch as well as nephew and nieces, Leanne, Warren and Kristen and other family and friends. 


Donald was predeceased by the “love of his life” his wife of 64 years Valerie (March 2022, nee Bodnarchuk), his father Frederick (1963) his mother Caroline Gabel (1998, nee Konzelman), his brother Lawrence (2007) his sister Marjorie McIvor (2013, nee Gabel), and nephew James (Jim) McIvor (2019)


Donald was born and raised in Winnipeg’s North End where he attended Aberdeen School and Isaac Newton.

For the summer months Don and Lawrence would stay with their grandparents on the farm near Camper Manitoba – Don enjoyed working on the farm and when he told farm stories he would “light up”.

Don enjoyed hunting and fishing with his brother Lawrence, brother-in-law Edward Bodnar and the other usual suspects!


Dad met the “love of his life” through his brother and his friend Ed ….  After asking Valerie to accompany him on a drive to Portage La Prairie, Don pulled over along the highway and proposed … Mom knew something was up… dad could never hide anything from mom. Thanks to his sister, Marg, dad’s engagement ring was a success.


Dad enjoyed going to the family cabin at Gull Lake – built by his father, mother, brother and himself plus the help of family and friends. He liked to tell the story of how the cabin was built – hauled wood repurposed from an old barn around Camper in the Interlake and transporting it to the east side of Lake Winnipeg. Gull Lake was a labour of love and a lot of sweat equity was put into the property – a lot of grass was mowed, structures maintained, “sea weed” raked, but there was always boating, fishing, horseshoes, card games, swimming, canoeing, berry picking, walks down John Street, roasting (trying not to burn..) wieners on the fire pit and just being with his family.


Dad and mom enjoyed fishing (the Narrows, Fairford River) and dad may not have caught much, but he helped his kids with the snagged lines, removing a fish off the hook and teaching us to bait our own hooks…


Don started working for MacDonald Brothers Aircraft which was purchased by the British Bristol Aeroplane Company and in 1960, was renamed Bristol Aerospace. Don retired as a Foreman in 1994, after 44 years of service.

Dad liked to be precise which was a great attribute/skill when building aircraft parts… he was very good at “building” and  he’s passed his knowledge along to his children (we hope to remember it all….). He was the best dad – supportive, encouraging and willing to listen …


Dad/Don you will forever be in our hearts, we love you so much and we miss you… till we meet again! We’re sure when you meet Mom she’ll say “Where have you been…”


Cremation has taken place and per Don’s wishes gathering of family and friends will be held at Brookside Cemetery at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations to honour Donald's memory may be made to the Heart & Stroke Foundation or a charity of your choice.

A Memorial Tree was planted for DONALD
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at 1442 Main Street
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