Our sweet Oma is dancing in heaven now. Elfriede S. Gabbett passed away on January 29, 2023, at age 96.
She died peacefully at her daughter’s home, where she’d lived for the past two years. Traditionally, obituaries include the sequential facts of a life: birthplace, education, occupations, spouses, children, grandchildren, hobbies, etc., and all of those are important. But for this woman, perhaps more meaningful are these truths: She was gentle and sweet. She loved to dance. Her family was her priority, always. She had blue eyes that sparkled. She had a great sense of humor. She was elegant. She was fiercely independent and resourceful. She lived in and fastidiously maintained her home until age 94. She was in several TV shows and movies as a background actor because her best friend wanted to do it and she went along for the ride.
She was fortunate to find love not just once but several times in her life. She endured unspeakable losses—a brother and father called senselessly to the tail-end of World War II because of Hitler’s desperation; a miscarriage; her first-born child in a car crash; outliving all of her partners and nearly all of her friends, relatives and neighbors. Yet, she never indulged in pity or bitterness. “It could be worse!” was her motto, and she pronounced it just a few days before she passed.
Everyone who crossed her path was smitten by her grace and humor. She had never had a cat in her life but fell in love with one of ours and considered him her “baby.” We were fortunate to have her on this earth for as long as we did. Auf wiedersehen, Oma.
Until we see you again.
And now the basics: She was predeceased by her husband of 54 years, Michael F. Gabbett; son, Michael H. Gabbett; and son-in-law, Brian Snow. She is survived by her son, Thomas Gabbett, wife, Isabel, and daughter, Elfrieda; daughter, Patricia Snow and partner Stephen Forrest; grandson Michael Snow; granddaughters Megan Snow, Kasey Snow-Hines and spouses, and great granddaughter Lilyana; her baby brother Christoph Kupczak of Bremen, Germany; and many longtime wonderful neighbors on Walker Drive NE.
We are forever indebted to our friend Cyndie Roy, who provided Oma with incredible love and care these past two years. The team at Interim Hospice was compassionate and attentive. A celebration of life is planned for a later date. If you’d like, please consider a donation in Oma’s name to the Animal Humane Association or Sandia Preparatory School.