Kenai resident Claude L. Gabbett died at Central Peninsula General Hospital on Friday, April 27, 2001, of a stroke. He was 73.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Nikiski Senior Center on Island Lake Road.
Mr. Gabbett was born Jan. 3, 1928, in Orchard, Colo., to Donald and Avis Gabbett. He attended school in Orchard and Yampa, Colo., where he met Nadine Ardrey as a freshman, who he later married in 1950. He graduated from high school in Steamboat Springs, Colo. He attended Western State College in Gunnison, Colo. He loved playing football and basketball and had many awards.
Mr. Gabbett first came to Alaska in 1952 and worked on the Richardson Highway for Yett and Conley in Paxton. The following year he and a partner, Waldo Smith, bought Alpine Service in Sutton. From 1956 until 1963 they hauled coal for the Mrak Coal Company at Eska.
In 1965, the Gabbetts moved to Kenai, where Claude worked for Equipment Engineering at the Arness dock. In 1973, he worked for Crowley Maritime at the Rig Tenders dock until his retirement in 1991.
Mr. Gabbett was a member of the Moose Lodge, Pioneers of Alaska and a charter member of the Kenai Elks Lodge.
"He enjoyed his family and his grandchildren, whom he loved to receive hugs from, even though it made his hearing aids squeak. He rarely missed an Oilers baseball game and also loved to watch high school, college and professional football," his family said.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, two sisters and his daughter, Karen LaDawn Smith.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Nadine; sister, Yvonne Slay of Red Bluff, Calif.; son, Gary; son and daughter-in-law, Ron and Nona; daughter and son-in-law, Dena and Douglas Nightingale; grandchildren Erik and Jed Gabbett, Rachael, Tracie and Troy Nightingale, Michele Buchholz and her husband, Tom; great-grandchildren Karl, Bailey and Samantha Bunch and her husband, Will; and great-great-grandchildren Mindi West and Amy Bunch.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Kenai Pioneers Building Fund, P.O. Box 1904, Kenai, AK 99611, or to a charity of choice.
Arrangements were made by the Peninsula Memorial Chapel.
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