May T. Gabriel, our beloved matriarch, passed peacefully after 94 wonderful years on Monday, December 24, 2018, after a brief illness.
Born in Lawrence on May 31, 1924, May was the youngest daughter of Shaheen and Elizabeth (Caram) Touma. She was educated at Saint Mary Grammar School and graduated Lawrence High School with the Class of 1942.
May was raised along with her six brothers and sisters in the Lebanese Plains neighborhood of Lawrence and was a devoted parishioner of Saint Anthony Maronite Church where she was a member of the choir, the Ladies Sodality and the Daughters of Saint Anthony.
After World War II, she and her siblings founded the family-operated Economy Cleaners where May managed the back operations. After 30 years at the Cleaners, May went to work with her sons in their newly established Gabe’s 4D Donuts in Salisbury and Lawrence. She ran both the Cleaners and the Donut Shop with a sharp tongue and quick wit keeping everyone on their toes. Her employees and customers became her extended family and lifelong friends. She finally retired in 2008 at the age of 84.
In 1957, May moved to Tudor Street in Methuen to live alongside her siblings where they all shared in raising each other’s family as their own. In 1986, she moved up to Salem to live between her two sons, her two nephews and their families where she spent the past 32 years surrounded by her grandchildren, great-grandchildren nieces and nephews.
On January 3, 1945, May married her neighbor and childhood friend, Edward A. “Scotty” Gabriel while he was home from the Pacific on a short leave. They were blessed to spend the past 74 years together.
May was predeceased by her brothers, Anthony Touma, George “Chubby” Ellis and Joseph Touma and his wife, Laurie, as well as her sisters, Sadie Goolkasian and her husband, Paul, Alice Roderigues and Rose Martino and her husband, Bruno. She was also predeceased by her daughter-in-law, Dorothy Gabriel with whom she lived and her granddaughter-in-law, Laura Gabriel.
Along with her husband, May is survived by her two devoted sons, Kenneth E. Gabriel and his wife, Linda, and Edward J. Gabriel and his wife Debra; her brother-in-law, Alfred Roderigues and her sister-in-law, Phyllis Touma; her adoring grandchildren, Attorney Scot E. Gabriel, Dawn Marie Aboelsaad and her husband, Youssef, Dr. Kenneth Michael Gabriel and his wife, Jamie, Elizabeth Frias and her husband, Joshua, and Stacy Gabriel and her partner Jesse Hunnefeld.
The real joy in May’s life were her nine great-grandchildren, Logan, William and Olivia Gabriel; Paige, Alyson and Norah May Frias; Youssef and Gabriel Aboelsaad; and Vivian Gabriel Hunnefeld.
May’s home had a revolving door where her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren constantly came to see their Sitho and their SitSit for her candy and her suction cup kisses. She made us feel so deeply loved and we worked hard to make sure that she also felt the same. We are blessed to have had her with us for so long.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend visiting hours on Friday, December 28, 2018, from 3 to 7 pm at Farrah Funeral Home located at 133 Lawrence Street, Lawrence, MA. A funeral liturgy will be celebrated on Saturday, December 29, 2018, at 11:30 am at St. Anthony Maronite Church located at 70 Lawrence Street, Lawrence, MA. Burial will follow at St. Anthony Maronite Cemetery, North Lowell Street, Methuen, MA. In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations in Sitho’s memory be made to the DCG Scholarship Foundation, c/o 369 Merrimack Street; Suite F; Methuen, MA 01844.
DCG Scholarship Foundation
369 Merrimack Street, Suite F, Methuen MA 01844