Gorden Russell Sabel
When Gorden Russell Sabel of Columbia walked Civil War battlefields, he could narrate their stories, telling who was coming from what direction. A Civil War enthusiast, “he knew everything about the Civil War,” his wife, Audrie (Kossian) Sabel, said.
Mr. Sabel loved traveling to visit the battlefields with his family and friends.
“We haven’t missed one,” his wife said, and the two had a deal while traveling: She would drive the car with him to battlefields if he would go with her to antique shops, where he would dig into the old books.
Mr. Sabel died at Parkside Manor on Monday, April 11, 2011. He was 84.
He was born June 29, 1926, in Riverside, Ill., to Walter R. and Ella (Anderson) Sabel.
Mr. Sabel studied civil engineering in the night school at the Illinois Institute of Technology and got his degree in 1965.
He served as a staff sergeant with the Army Air Corps in the Pacific theater during World War II working on airplane engines, and he was in Japan for a time after the war ended.
Right after he left the service, he met his wife at the church they both attended, the Oak Park Avenue Baptist Church in Berwyn, Ill. The two married there on July 3, 1948, and were married for nearly 63 years.
Mr. Sabel was involved with construction for all of his life, Audrie Sabel said.
He “was never going to stop working if he could help it,” she said.
Mr. Sabel provided consultations and worked on large projects, such as a high-rise building at Northern Illinois University.
He also did smaller work at churches, schools and libraries, including a lot of remodeling and building, helping other people when they needed him. Every time he visited one of his children, there would be a project for him to do. He always helped, Audrie Sabel said, or showed or told his children how to do something so they could learn.
“He could fix or build anything,” Audrie Sabel said.
Mr. Sabel loved writing letters to the newspaper, mostly about the local or national government.
“He would just get opinions about things and want to express them,” Audrie Sabel said.
Some of his letters were published, and he later found out that a lot of people agreed with him, which was “a boost to his ego,” she said.
He was also a trustee with First Presbyterian Church in Columbia and was a greeter and usher there with his wife.
Mr. Sabel is survived by his wife, Audrie Sabel; two sons, Timothy Sabel and his wife, Betsy, of Columbia and Thomas Sabel and his wife, Heidi, of Lakewood, Colo.; a daughter, Susan Reguera of Riverside, Ill.; six grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
His parents, two brothers and a sister died earlier.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at First Presbyterian Church, 16 Hitt St. in Columbia. A private family graveside service will be held Friday at Missouri Veterans Cemetery in Jacksonville.
Memorial contributions may be given to First Presbyterian Church or Habitat for Humanity, 1906 Monroe St., Columbia, MO 65201.
Condolences may be posted at parkerfuneralservice.com.