Wednesday, January 11, 2006

godspeed gabe


This morning's VMS brought sad tidings indeed. South Padre Island residents - particularly the small geek contingent - are today mourning the demise of Gabe Patterson of an apparent suicide. According to the article, his body was discovered yesterday in the salt flats north of town.

He was only 25 years old but had already made himself an essential member of our small community. He was a locksmith who cheerfully helped plenty of tourists and residents alike get into their cars and out of jams at all hours of the day or night; he was a computer wiz kid who provided tech support to unknown numbers of local computer owners; he was a brother to many and a friend to many more; finally, he was a son to our good friend Scarlet Colley (of Fin to Feathers Tours) and a nephew to my best pal, Nancy Marsden. I know that everyone who visits this blog will join me in offering the most sincere of condolences to the family members - we can only imagine the pain you must be feeling right now.

As Nancy pointed out to me in our conversation this morning, all our memories of him are now frozen - there will be no new ones. If you have a favorite Gabe memory, we hope you will consider posting it here. Our farflung correspondant Adelaide was the first to contribute with a Gabe story already posted on her website. It is a photo-illustrated report of how he came to the rescue of a visiting pooch who got locked in the family car by accident, and illustrates very well just what kind of a caring person he was.

I last saw Gabe a little over a month ago when he and I worked together to resuscitate a dead iPod that belonged to a friend of his. Even while we were addressing that problem, he was offering his assistance in helping diagnose a problem I was having with my monitor. Gabe had a lot of knowledge about a lot of things and he was always happy to share it. He will be greatly missed by many.

Update: A service has been planned for 10:30 AM, Saturday, Jan. 14 at Island Traders followed by a boat trip to scatter ashes. We understand this boat is a large one that will hold more than just family members. There has also been some talk of establishing a "Tree of Life" type foundation in Gabe's name - I will post details here as I learn them.

10 Comments:

Blogger Sam said...

I saw him once helping ole man Arnold next door get back in the house. Wish I knew him better. My condolences...

3:09 PM  
Anonymous adelaide marie said...

my heart goes out to your family gabe and all of your friends which i know are many. i love you gabe, and am sorry to hear of your passing.

adelaide marie

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I keep seeing Gabe running barefoot through the cactus fields in the dark on Venus to retrieve our mutual friend Matt's dog and carrying her all the way back so I would not be scorned for losing Sioux...before he returned from Mexico.
Always there to help those in need... I felt blessed just before moving to Missouri last year to get to give back to Gabe a massage and see him relax... a very rare thing as most of you know. He will be missed by many. Much love to his family, Renee

6:36 PM  
Blogger Hope said...

Gabe was a brilliant, shining star.The heavy burden of genius in a gentle spirit....he will always be treasured by those who had the good fortune to meet him. Thank you for giving the world something precious, if only for a short while.

9:12 AM  
Anonymous adelaide marie said...

i wish i could be there in person.

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gabe was so shiny all the time... shiny and jittery and excited and ready to go at any spontaneous suggestion. He will be missed by many...

from Ryan

1:43 PM  
Blogger Sam said...

THe Island Breeze ran a nice obituary for Gabe today. If you'd like to pay your respects a gathering will be at the Island Trader at 10:30 on Saturday, January 14. At about 12:30 they will spread his ashes on the bay from the vessel Double Sunshine that leaves from Sea Ranch Marine. The note says all are welcome. FYI.

3:13 PM  
Blogger Le Menagerie said...

We'll miss Gabe.

I remembered him on my own blog www.lemenagerie.blogspot.com

12:31 PM  
Blogger Lucinda said...

The following tribute to Gabe was written by his brother, Seth and e-mailed to many by Scarlet. It is beautifully written and deserves even more exposure, I think:


Gabriel Shawn Patterson
06-80 - 01/06

Today we gather here not to morn a death, but to celebrate the life of a man loved by so many. A man who selflessly gave to any in need; quite often at his own expense.

Gabriel would always put those he cared for first. Never did he hesitate to step in and help a friend in need. Nor did he ever hesitate to befriend anyone he met. Never have I known a single person who was loved by so many. No matter where he would go he could always find a way to touch those around him. He could cut a key to a friend’s heart as well as he could ever locksmith. He knew how it felt to be judged, and always accepted those around him without hesitation, or reservation.

I consider myself truly fortunate to have spent every moment of my childhood under the ever critical eye of my big brother. Hardly a day can I remember where we weren’t at one another’s throat. We fought like any loving brothers should. But when we were at peace, we were best of friends and I’m happy to say as we grew and matured, we were at peace more than at ends.

All of my fondest childhood memories are of times spent with my brother. Hour after hour of role playing, we would fight off evil with the roll of a dice. His imagination captivated everyone around him, and his creativity brought such an imagination to life.

When outdoors we explored every unknown we knew, we slept under the stars, forged from the earth, and climbed into the under dark. Our childhood was glorious, and I know my brother would whole heartedly agree.

So many parents, our own included, question their methods. Ask themselves “What if.” But I can honestly say with complete certainty that both Gabriel and I had a remarkable upbringing which shaped and molded us into the men you know today. The morals and convictions of both of our parents taught us compassion and respect for all things living. I believe my brother and I owe everything we are to our mother and father. They have given us life, and so much more. We both love you, and forever shall.

Not a day has gone by in Gabriel’s life in which he didn’t discover something new. His pursuit of knowledge was a passion found in few. Never did Gabe let not knowing how to do something stand in his way. If he didn’t know, he learned, he someone else didn’t know, he taught. I was taught on countless occasions.

He has always been a true source of inspiration for me. Everything he did was done with true passion. In my mind, he was the perfect lock smith. It was never simply a job to him; it was a love, a fascination. Every lock he encountered he did so with curiosity. It was an ever changing challenge which forced him to think and adapt daily. He loved it, and his passion made me proud.

As we look back to all that was Gabe, my beloved brother. It is important to accept what has happened as a choice made by Gabriel. I do truly wish he could have to come to me, to one of us, in his time of pain, but he always made his own way—never conforming to the norm. There is not a person on this planet which can be blamed for what has happened to my brother. His actions are his own. He was hurting on many levels and just wished for peace.

I respect that, and I will let him depart this plane with every ounce of dignity he so rightly deserves. Never did I expect my brother to live, or die, in an expected manner. He has always forged his own path, and honestly, if my brother had to be taken from us, I am glad it was on his own terms. He made his peace, perhaps with Paladine, and left this world willingly. I would hate to know he was stolen from us without an option by a drunken driver or a crazed criminal. He did what he had to in order to find the peace he so desperately sought. I respect that.

I will never forget my brother, nor will any of you. My heart goes out to every one of you. I know so many of you knew him better, or rather differently than I, and I hope you can all find peace in his decision and respect him for it. You all know he would never wish to bring pain into the lives of anyone. He just wanted peace. I believe he has found it, and that, makes me smile.

Gabriel was an amazing person, one I loved and admired, his being touched so many.

I love you Gabriel, always and forever.

You will never be forgotten.

10:10 AM  
Blogger ginobean said...

i have been avoiding posting anything at all here though I have wanted to. its hard to accept what has happened. there are things on the computer that I saw Gabe do I am still trying to catch up with. this weekend I set up a smoothwall, a project I learned about from him. he was always preaching about Linux. i guess he finally converted me

10:22 PM  

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