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John J. “Jack” Gabriel Jr., 57, of West Newbury, passed away on March 6, 2007, at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington. He was the husband of Carol (Muldoon) Gabriel. He was born January 4,1950, in Boston, the son of the late John J. and Mary E. (Joyce) Gabriel.

Mr. Gabriel attended Boston public schools and graduated from Boston Tech High School in 1968. He graduated from Boston State College and was a veteran of the Vietnam War, having served in the U.S. Navy. Mr. Gabriel began a 32-year career with New England Telephone/Verizon, from which he retired as a construction project manager in 2003. Thereafter, he worked as a marketing and sales representative for Hilti Tools.

As a young man, he played lacrosse, hockey, basketball and football, including several seasons with the South Boston Chippewa’s football team. He was also an avid boater and golfer and traveled frequently with friends and family to Myrtle Beach and Austin for recreation. He was also deeply committed to high school basketball officiating, and he refereed for many years on the North Shore.

 

As a young man, he played lacrosse, hockey, basketball and football, including several seasons with the South Boston Chippewa’s football team. He was also an avid boater and golfer and traveled frequently with friends and family to Myrtle Beach and Austin for recreation. He was also deeply committed to high school basketball officiating, and he refereed for many years on the North Shore.

The John J. Gabriel Award

The John J. Gabriel Awardis given out each year beginning with the 2006-07 season to the 8th Grade Player in the Cape Ann League who exemplified best throughout his career what the Cape Ann League co-founder John J. "Jack" Gabriel stood for  - character, teamwork, dedication, excellence and sportsmanship.

The winner will be presented the John J. Gabriel Award just prior to  the 8th Grade 3-point and Free Throw contest during the playoffs. Nominees will receive a special plaque for being considered for the Award. The winner will be given the John J. Gabriel Trophy.

 

A message from Chip Nylen, who co-founded this league with Jack:

As we near the end of another successful Cape Ann Youth Basketball season with the excitement of the playoffs, we should all pause to reflect on the passing of Jack Gabriel.  It was Jack Gabriel’s vision that brought the Cape Ann Youth Basketball League program together. In 1992, eight towns were brought together to form the League.  Under Jack’s guidance, we developed rules and a commitment to fun and sportsmanship.  We ultimately expanded to 16 teams and to a system with assigned referees.  While coaches and commissioners came into the League when their children started playing and left the League soon after their children had come of age, the one constant in the program was always Jack Gabriel.  Jack continued to remind us that we were there to provide kids with an opportunity to play at a higher level, to have fun, to be courteous and to provide respect to coaches, players and officials.  Through Jack’s efforts, we developed a code of conduct that has been enforced at all levels.  I had the privilege of working with Jack as a coach, traveling coordinator and finally as Commissioner (after being persuaded by Jack to stay on) for 13 of our 15 years.  His contributions are evidenced by the number of kids who have passed through the program and the increased opportunities for play.  While Jack never cared about taking credit, I applaud the current Directors for establishing a sportsmanship trophy in Jack’s name.  Hopefully it will be awarded to the type of athlete that Jack fought hard for. Jack was a special man and we send our condolences and thanks to his family for sharing Jack with us.

Chip Nylen