Letha Gabel

10/01/1920 — 05/09/2023

From Richland, WA | Born in Sayre, OK

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Graveside Service

Thu, June 22, 2023, 2:00 pm
Thu, June 22, 2023, 3:00 pm
Resthaven Cemetery

Richland, WA

Letha Gabel

October 1, 1920 – May 9, 2023

Letha Lee Myra Duran was born on October 1, 1920, in Sayre, Oklahoma to Claude and Parilee Duran. The 4th of 5 siblings, her family relocated their farm to Dimmitt, Texas in the midst of the American Dust Bowl and the Great Depression.

While working as a typist in the Provost Marshall’s office at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in the early days of World War II, Letha met William Henry Gabel (Bill). They were married on April 15, 1943 and had four sons: William 11, (Bill) Richard (Rick), Robert (Bob) and Kenneth (Ken).

After the war, the family settled in Richland, WA where Bill was employed by the Manhattan Project at Hanford Nuclear Site. Letha was the first employee of the City of Richland, serving as secretary to the Mayor.

Letha moved to Carson City, Nevada in 1976 where she found a spiritual home at Capital Assembly of God, eventually working as the church secretary until her second retirement in the late 90s. In order to be nearer to some of her sons and grandchildren, Letha returned to Richland in 2007.

Letha’s personality would best be described as equal measures grit and grace. A meticulous seamstress, Letha not only made many of her own custom tailored clothes, but a multitude of dresses for her granddaughters. Letha was all too happy to insist she stood five feet one half inch; her diminutive size belied monumental fortitude. She maintained her own lawn and garden and attended twice-weekly water aerobics classes well into her late 90’s. Her home was meticulously kept; she lived on her own until the age of 97 when she made the decision to move to Brookdale Assisted Living Center where she flourished until she passed at the age of 102.

Letha’s remarkable life on earth spanned more than a century. The year of her birth Woodrow Wilson was President, the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified giving women the right to vote, prohibition began, and the automobile was just beginning to gain popularity.

The inventory of historic events she was witness to is is vast, but the lasting impression she left for her family is one of faithfulness to the Lord. Her intercessory prayer led to the salvation of her children and grandchildren and laid the groundwork for several members of her family’s calling into ministry. For the last several years of her life Letha lived in a perpetual state of prayerful worship. It is her family’s greatest joy and comfort to know the Lord has welcomed her as His good and faithful servant to her eternal reward.

The Gabel Family would like to extend our most heartfelt gratitude to Letha’s eldest son, Bill, for his dedication to caring for our mother, grandmother and great grandmother for the last 16 years. Bill was Letha’s companion, champion, advocate, accountant and estate manager, handling all of her affairs with the utmost care, respect and humor. Our thanks to the staff at Brookdale Assisted Living as well, for the the compassion and grace they showed Letha in the twilight of her life.

Letha was preceded in death by her husband Bill, son Bob, and siblings Kester, Silva, Pauline and Ethel May. She leaves behind a grateful bunch children: Bill Jr., Rick, and Ken (Ginny); grandchildren: William (Bill) Gabel Ill, (Katrina), Kenneth (Kenny) Gabel (Kelly), Leslie Cotton (Jeremy), Robin Pertzsch (Brian), Christian Gabel (Heather) and Christina Patterson; great

grandchildren: Savanah Gabel, Kalena Orr (Andrew), Emilee Gabel, Karis Cotton, Lily Gabel, Anidy Patterson, Makenna Gabel, Kenadie Cotton, Titus Gabel, Kacie Cotton, Henlee Patterson, Tinjer Patterson and Evie Pertzsch; and great-great grandson Andrew Orr.

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Letha Gabel

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  • I had the pleasure and honor of meeting Letha and getting to know her while working at Brookdale. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family, they meant the world to her.

    July 13, 2023
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