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Robert W. Gabel, Gowanda furniture store owner

March 5, 1931 – Aug. 1, 2016

Robert W. Gabel, of Gowanda, who owned and operated a furniture store in Gowanda for 40 years, died Monday in Erie County Medical Center. He was 85.

With his brother, Richard, he started Gabel Brothers Furniture in 1954. Following his brother’s death in an auto accident in 1982, he continued the store with his son and daughter. He went into semi-retirement in 1994, working part-time until about 2006.

Born in Dayton, the son of a tannery worker and the 11th of 15 children, he attended Dayton elementary school and Gowanda High School.

After high school, he worked at the former Gowanda Psychiatric Center and drove a school bus until he and his brother Richard, who had been working in Campbell’s Furniture Store in Gowanda, decided to open their own furniture store across the street. Mr. Gabel was a member of Gowanda Moose Club and Gowanda Chamber of Commerce. He received the Chamber’s Spirit of Gowanda Award.

Surviving are his wife of 69 years, the former Ada I. Spearhouse; a son, Grant; a daughter, Rebecca Hubbard; a brother, Daryl ; three sisters, Josephine Milks, Janice Chadwick and Joyce Ivett; four grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

Services will be at noon Saturday in Schindler Funeral Home, 44 Center St., Gowanda.

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