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James Gabala

James Edward Gabala

Wednesday, October 21st, 1936 - Monday, June 24th, 2019
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Obituary

James E. Gabala, 82 of Hopkins, Michigan, born October 21, 1936 in Bay City, Michigan, the eldest son of Thomas and Sylvia Gabala. Jim graduated from Wayland High School Class of 1955. In 1958 he met and married Lois Reynolds. It was such a good idea that he married her again in 1990. The couple celebrated their 60th anniversary. Together they raised two sons, Mark and Bruce. Jim couldn’t wait to teach his boys which was the right end of the hammer and how to get 9 feet out of an 8 foot board. Although neither son followed in his footsteps, they certainly walked along side him and used every skill he taught, for which they are grateful.

Jim had a 30 year career building custom homes throughout the area before joining Lakewood Inc. in Holland from which he enjoyed a long retirement. Jim never met an open road that he didn’t like and boasted that he drove through nearly all 50 states. His favorite trip was any one that put him in his Corvette with Lois by his side. He felt most at home in his recliner, ice cream in hand, cat on his lap, which he claimed he didn’t like.

Mark gave him the gift of five grandchildren, Erica (Kevin “K.C.”) Kiley, Alyssa (Daniel) Vander Hyde, Geoffrey Gabala, Marshal Gabala and Hosley Werner and seven great-grandchildren. Bruce gave him an excuse to travel.

Jim passed peacefully in his sleep June 24, 2019.

He is survived by his wife, Lois; sons, Mark (Julie) Gabala and Bruce Gabala (Mike Roach); his grandchildren and great-grandchildren; siblings, Eleanor (LeRoy) Mandeville, Marilyn Betts and Tom Gabala.

He was preceded in death by an infant daughter, brother-in-law, James Betts and sister-in-law, Marilyn Gabala.

Jim’s greatest gift to his family was 30 years of sobriety. His courage and strength is admirable. As a note, the family would like anyone who’s suffering to know: Sobriety is possible, lasting and rewarding. Hearts and families can heal.

Friends may meet with the family at the Gorden Funeral Residence, Hopkins Chapel, on Friday, June 28, 2019 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM where the funeral service will be held on Saturday, June 29, 2019 at 11:00 AM. Burial to take place at Poplar Hill Cemetery, Monterey Township. Gorden Funeral Residence, Hopkins Chapel, is assisting the family with arrangements.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, June 28th, 2019 | 5:00pm - 7:00pm
    When
    Friday, June 28th, 2019 5:00pm - 7:00pm
    Location
    Gorden Funeral Residence, Hopkins Chapel
    Address
    208 West Main Street
    Hopkins, Michigan 49328
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, June 29th, 2019 | 11:00am
    When
    Saturday, June 29th, 2019 11:00am
    Location
    Gorden Funeral Residence, Hopkins Chapel
    Address
    208 West Main Street
    Hopkins, Michigan 49328
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Saturday, June 29th, 2019 | 12:30pm
    When
    Saturday, June 29th, 2019 12:30pm
    Location
    Poplar Hill Cemetery
    Address
    A37, Monterey Township
    Allegan, Michigan 49010
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Immediately following funeral service.

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Jackie Perkins

Posted at 09:26pm
I haven’t know Jim for a long time but when I would see him every couple of weeks he touched my heart. He’d share experiences from his life which I enjoyed hearing.
I had shared my experience of hitting the side of the garage door frame & ripping the passenger mirror right off the truck. I told him I had gone to the Ram garage and was told it would cost $650 to replace it. So, unbeknownst to me Jim had gone down to the local garage in Hopkins & made arrangements for me to get the part at cost plus labor. Only a fraction of the cost. I was so amazed he had done that for me. After that he’d tease me, asking how the mirror was doing? Had I hit the garage lately? No Jim, the mirror & garage are good!!! 😀 Both he & Lois have a special place in my heart.
HS

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 01:31pm
Our deepest sympathies, love Drew, Jodi, Parker and Spencer Hutchinson.
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Flowers were purchased for the family of James Gabala.

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Ro Ro Steel, Janeen & Mark Challed, Kathleen & Rac

Posted at 04:42pm
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Ro Ro Steel, Janeen & Mark Challed, Kathleen & Rac purchased the Serenity Wreath for the family of James Gabala.

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Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 02:02pm
Please accept our most heartfelt sympathies for your loss... Our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time.
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Vivid Recollections was purchased for the family of James Gabala.

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