Jn Loving Memory
Ramon C. Gabriel
Frederick Evangelical Lutheran Church
Viewing.. 12:00 noon 1:00 p.m.
Service ... 1:00 p.m.
Interment at Eastern Moravian Cemetery
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Friday, January 8, 1988
RAMON C. GABRIEL
January 24, 1910 December 29, 1987
The Lord gfleh, and the Lord taketh way;
blessed be the none of the Lord
It was on January 24. 1910 that the Lord blessed Theodore and Ann
Marie Gabriel and pve them their first of four living children, Ramon Castillo
Gabriel. Little did the proud parents know that their first son would in time
be hailed as an accomplished artist and violinist. Today, friends and relatives
have come to pay their last respects to him.
Ramon attended Miss Althea Petersen's (Harrigan) Private School,
Abraham Lincoln and Charlotte Amalie High School. At a very early age
he spent most of his spare time drawing and painting still life, seascapes
and landscapes. He was also very apt at making toys which children around
him enjoyed. What started out as a hobby for him ended up making him
well-known as he exhibited several of his paintings in the Virgin Islands
and various parts of the US. mainland.
Ramon showed a deep interest in music fairly early. At the age of ten
he asked his father for a violin and assured him that if he received it,he would
play "Slent Night." The request came after being in cose contact with
a neighbor who played the guitar and who showed him the fingering. Both
father and son kept their part of the contract. That was the beginning of
what turned out to be a long and stimulating career in music. He then studied
briefly under the late Chester Christian and received pointers from J. Antonio
With his continued interest in music, he bepn playing the saxophone
and soon was one of the youngest members to join the St.Thomas Community
Band under the late Paladon Nicholsen. He had a good command of other
string, such as the viola, cello and guitar. He was by no means a selfish
person the talents the Lord gave him he used unstintingly to enrich the
lives of others. As a member of the Frederick Evangelical Lutheran Church he
taught Sunday School and sang tenor in the choir. He participated in concerts
in various churches and with community groups. He taught art in the public
school system for a brief period and taught music privately. Years later he
developed a chamber music group.
In 1936, with the encouragement and assistance of concerned musicians,
he left St. Thomas for the U.S. mainland where he continued his studies at
the Cosmopolitan and Sherwood Schools of Music and the Art Institute
of Chicago. He continued his teaching career when he was employed to teach
art at Chicago's Hull House. He had a way with children and greeted them
with smiles, encouraging words and helped them with their problems. From
the time of his arrival in Chicago he was very active with the Holy Communion
Lutheran Church under Pastor Cyril Lucas. It was this type of involvement
that caused Reverend Leonard Harris to refer to him as "Ramon Gabriel, the
humanitarian; Ramon Gabriel, the musician; and Ramon Gabriel, the
Ramon was affiliated with several art groups in Chicago and exhibited
with the southside artists. As early as 1939 he was featured among the black
artists of Chicago and New York.
Ramon Gabriel displayed certain qualities for which he was admired
and for which he will always be remembered. He was referred to as "an
accomplished musician, a perfect gentleman, a good man who had a kind
word for all and one who did not speak ill of others." Regardless of the
accolades showered upon him, he remained a quiet, congenial, unassuming
individual, respected and admired by young and old of many races.
Ramon was a devoted son, brother and husband. He was married to the
late Arlee Owens, whom he followed in death two years and two months
later. Those whose lives he affected in some way will miss him dearly.
However, we must not weep as those who have no hope. We must remember
that it is not our will, but the Lord's which must be done. We must put the
loss and the sadness in the background and focus on the positive things he did
It is our hope that God's greeting to him will be "Well done, good and
faithful servant;enter into the joy of the Lord."
Ramon, farewell. May you rest in peace through the mercy of God.
Rev. Dr. Robert R. Neubauer III, Pastor
Tyrone Lans, Organist
THE INVOCATION ...... Pg. 206
HYMN 161 ...... O Day Full Of Grace
THE LITURGY OF THE WORD ...... Pg. 207
THE FIRST LESSON ...... Pg. 208
FAMILY EULOGY AND LETTERS OF COMMENDATION
HYMN 448 ...... Amazing Grace
THE SECOND LESSON ...... Pg. 208
HYMN 495 ...... Lead On, O King Eternal
THE CREED ...... Pg. 209
THE PRAYERS ...... Pg. 209
THE LORD'S PRAYER...... Pg. 211
THE COMMENDATION ...... Pg. 211
RECESSIONAL HYMN 135 ...... The Strife Is O'er
HYMNS AT THE GRAVESIDE
To God Be the Glory / How Great Thou Art
O Blessed Home Where Those Who Meet
Sleep On, Beloved
SISTERS ... Gladise Gabriel, Rehenia A. Gabriel, Ed.D.
BROTHERS ... Theodore and Leando Gabriel
NIECE... Jacqueline Hester
other relatives and friends
Carle Birch / Larence Caiby / Alston Gabriel
Melvin Gabriel / Liston Gumbs / Samuel Gumbs
We, in Gary, Indiana, will greatly miss Ramon. He was with us from
the very beginning as we developed our Symphony Orchestra. We appreciated
his dedication in our trials. Whether we called him late, or whether we called
him early, he was with us with his quiet smile and dignity. The sweetness of
his violin will be greatly missed. We are so grateful to have known him and to
have been involved with him.
May he be at peace. God bless you all.
Dharathula H. Millender,
Gary Historical & Cultural Society, Inc.
Gary, Indiana, City Councilwoman
Ramon was first of all a loving, caring, faithful, kind and talented man.
God gave to this wonderful man two artistic talents: playing the violin
and miniature drawing. Ramon excelled at both. Ramon was a dedicated
employee of the United States Postal Service. He served the required number
of years and retired with honor.
Ramon's first love was making great music playing his violin. He audi-
tioned and was accepted into the Civic Orchestra which is the training orchestra
for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He later auditioned and was accepted
by the Mid-America Symphony Orchestra. With them Ramon played over one
hundred concerts to over seventy thousand Chicago Schoolchildren as part of
the Board of Education's Classical Music in Schools Program. Ramon was also
a member of the Chatham Village Symphony, which serves the Southside
Community, and the City Symphony Orchestra of Chicago, which is com-
posed of veteran musicians from major orchestras nation-wide.
Ramon played his final concert series with this orchestra when the
Mayor's Office of Special Events co-sponsored eight concerts in the Grand
Ballroom at Navy Pier last summer. He expressed great joy in playing those
Even in his final days in this life, Ramon still had that soft, loving smil
in his voice a he spoke to his many friends.
Ramon, dear friend, all of the fellows and girls of Local 10-208, Chcago
Federation of Musicians, just say "so long" for now, and we look forward
to that day when we all will play our musical instruments for the great God
Almighty for ever and ever. Amen and Amen.
Frederick E. Cockerlhm, Conductor
Chatham Villae Symphony Orchestra
City Symphony Orchestra of Chicao
I made a tape of myself performing "The Lord's Prayer" on the cello
for my good friend Ramon Gabriel. Ramon loved to hear the cello, and
often said how he enjoyed listening to me play my instrument. "Ah, you play
like Casals, Naomi," Ramon would say and then smle. I would warn Ramon
that "God didn't like people telling so many tales." "But I tel the truth,"
Ramon would say to me, "you do play like Casals."
Well, the tape sounds nothing like Casals. But I thank you, Ramon,
anyway, for saying such nice things about my playing, and for stressing the
importance of tone and feeling in playing music. Because of your en-
couragement, I have gone on to play with many other groups, and have even
gone into the Jazz world. And always as I play before new people, I think of
Ramon's kind words to me and I try to live up to his expectations.
We will allmiss him he was such a gentle man, as well as a gentleman.
I never heard him utter a bad word toward anyone in the fourteen years
that I knew him. He would "fuss," but always kept it at a hh level. "Small
minds talk about other people" and Ramon Gabriel didn't talk about
other people. Middlesized minds talk about events, and Ramon seldom
discussed that. But big minds talk about Ideas, and Ramon would always