Retha Jean Gabriel, 86, of Fairland passed away on Saturday, October 28, 2017 in Grove. Retha was born on August 18, 1931 in Fairland to John “Bud” and Sylvia (Higinbotham) Harris. Shortly after birth the family moved to her father’s home south of Seneca, Mo. Jean attended school at Turkey Ford, Pleasant Point and Dessa then moved back to Fairland for sixth through twelfth grade. After graduation Jean worked as secretary in the home office of American National Insurance Company in Galveston. Getting homesick and being so far from Oklahoma she returned to Fairland and worked in the office of United States Department of Agriculture in Miami until her Marriage.
Jean became a Christian at the age nine in the Assembly of God in Fairland. She began to lose her hearing at the age of 16. With the use of hearing aids, she led a full life teaching Sunday School Classes, played the piano, organ and accordion when needed. She also did sewing, crocheting, embroidery, painting, wrote poetry and corresponded with friends and missionaries the world over. On April 27, 1951 married H.R. Gabriel of St. Joseph, Missouri and together spent forty-seven years preaching revivals and pastoring churches. Jean was preceded in death by her beloved husband, her parents and two sisters.
She leaves to continue her legacy, one son Wayne Gabriel and his wife Debi of Skiatook, Okla., two daughters Patty Gabriel of Broken Arrow, Susie Matthews of Grove, two grandsons Sammy Gabriel of Claremore and Jamie Matthews and his wife Chasity of Fairland, two granddaughters Sharon Gabriel of Claremore and Carla Matthews of Grove. She is also survived by her great grandchildren Issac Matthews, Zachery Grumbein, Candice Barfell, Olivia Matthews, Caleigh Mitchell, Alex Gabriel, Dakota Patterson, Angel Gabriel and Levi Gabriel and then her great-great grandchildren Sophia Barfell, Rayleigh Barfell, Camden Johnson and Natalie Johnson along with her three sisters Shirley DeLong, Margie Miller and her husband Meno and Delores Artherton and her husband Richard.
Visitation for Retha will be from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 at Brown-Winters Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Fairland.
Services will be 10 a.m. on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at Long Assembly of God with Reverend Mike Younger officiating. Burial will follow at the Hickory Grove Cemetery under the care of Brown-Winters Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Fairland.
Friends and family members may send the family notes of encouragement by viewing Mrs. Gabriel’s Tribute Page at www.brown-winters.com.