The following obituaries appeared in the December 27, 2023 edition of the Star Valley Independent.
For more area obituaries, please visit Schwab Mortuary.
For more resources including headstones, please visit the Star Valley Historical Society.
Gary Ronald Dabel, sweetheart to Karma and hero to his daughters Connie, Sandy, Heidi, Kathy and Heather, passed away Wednesday, November 22, 2023, surrounded by his loving family. There was one empty plate at the Thanksgiving table this year and will be forever going forward. Although our hearts are broken, we are thankful beyond words for the love and kindness with which we have been blessed. We are especially grateful for the example of unfaltering love and faith of this amazing man.
Gary was born on August 9, 1938, to Ronald and Pearl Irene Herzog Dabel. He was raised in Star Valley, Wyoming where his love for hunting, ﬁshing, camping and the great outdoors began and became an integral part of his life. He shared that love with anyone who would pick up a ﬁshing pole or a backpack and join him. He wanted all to feel the beauty and joy he found in those adventures. Many lives were blessed because Gary always had time to cast one more line or hunt one more hour for the perfect buck. While he was an avid outdoorsman, he was also the perfect “Girl Dad.” He was soft and gentle. He was expressive with his feelings. He could listen and counsel. His daughters were his pride and joy and never doubted how much they were loved. He never missed a chance to tell them they were beautiful. He recognized their inner beauty, qualities and strengths. He encouraged them to reach their highest potential. His example of unconditional love and the ability to endure, accept and forgive is a legacy that will live on.
Gary loved the Star Valley Braves and was a star athlete. He excelled in basketball and football. He was awarded a football scholarship to Northwest College in Powell, Wyoming. He also attended Weber State University where he received an Associate degree.
Gary loved the Lord and had a ﬁrm testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was called to serve as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Swiss-Austrian Mission. He taught and baptized many people and made life-long friends. If Gary knew you, you became family to him. He was thrilled to serve a senior mission with his eternal sweetheart and share the gospel full-time. Gary and Karma served faithfully side by side in the Berlin Germany Mission. He served diligently in many callings and his testimony lives on in the lives of those he touched. Heaven is blessed to have Elder Dabel on the other side sharing his goodness.
Shortly after returning home from his mission, he met a beautiful girl, Karma Jensen. Life was never the same for Gary. Karma took one look at him and knew he was “The One.” They were sealed in the Logan Temple on November 17, 1961. No one loved or was loved more deeply than these soulmates. There wasn’t a day that went by where kisses weren’t exchanged. They always held hands and expressed love openly and abundantly. To the very end, he treated her like a queen, opening car doors for her, caring for her as best he could and making her feel special. Hand in hand, they navigated the ups and downs of life and together, they created a beautiful life. Hallmark Movies take a back seat to their story of love and devotion. Their story is not over, there is no ending or closing curtain to a love that goes on for eternity. The best is yet to come.
Gary loved his country, serving in the Army, Navy and Air Force Reserves, retiring after 23 years. He also worked in civil service at Hill Air Force Base, retiring in 1993. He was a hard worker and always worked extra jobs to ensure his family was well taken care of.
Gary is preceded in death by his parents, daughter Heidi, siblings, Peggy Dabel, Kim Dabel, and many other loved ones. There is a beautiful reunion in Heaven.
He is survived by his sweetheart wife of 62 years, Karma, his daughters Connie (Kelly) Lemmon, Sandy (Monte) Carver, Kathy (Chad) Fortuna, Heather (Jonathan) Stokes, grandchildren Brandi (Kyle), Bobbi Jo, Jake (Michelle), Colten (Jenna), Brianna (Jan), Taylor (Jason), Kylee, Spencer, Shaylee, Aubree and Nathan, 16 great-grandchildren Kaden, Tyse, Afton, Ayvree, Heidi, Gannon, Oliver, Lillian, Janson, Gunner, Emerson, Beau, Italia, Albany, Rhett, London and Beckham (due in December), siblings Roxie Bird, Terry (Marianne) Dabel, Joy (Bob) Petersen, Lori (Robin) Stratton and numerous others related and non-related that he considered family. If you’re reading this, it includes you.
Gary’s life will be celebrated and honored as follows:
Funeral services were held on Wednesday, November 29, 2023 at 11:00 am, at the Wheatfield Chapel, 3161 West 150 North, Layton. Friends visited with family Tuesday, November 28, 2023 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Lindquist’s Syracuse Mortuary. 869 South 2000 West. Friends also visited family on Wednesday November 29, 2023 from 9:30 to 10:45 am at the chapel. Interment, West Point Cemetery. Military honors will be provided.
“What we once enjoyed and deeply loved we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes part of us.” -Helen Keller