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Mr. Gabriel J. Patricia, 82, entered the arms of the Lord on Thursday, November 30, 2023, and was joyously greeted by all his family members who had predeceased him.
We respectfully request that no one arrive at the funeral home prior to the posted visitation times, so as not to intrude on the family’s private time.
Family and friends are invited to the visitation in the Kowalski Funeral Home, 515 Roselle Street, Linden on Tuesday, December 5th. from 4:00-8:00PM. On Wednesday, December 6th. at 8:30AM, everyone will start to gather in the funeral home where a prayer service will begin at 9:00AM, followed by the funeral mass to be offered in St. Joseph the Carpenter Roman Catholic Church in Roselle at 10:00AM. The prayers of the committal will precede Gabriel’s burial, alongside his parents, in the family plot in Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, New Jersey.
Gabriel, the son of the late Jennie Occhipinti Patricia and the late Joseph Patricia, was born and raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey where he resided until moving to Roselle, New Jersey over forty years ago.
Gabriel spent his entire career in the banking industry starting out as a teller for the National State Bank in Elizabeth. In his forty-two years he rose through the ranks to become the Vice President of the National State Bank Computer Center in Linden, before earning his well-deserved retirement in 2001.
Gabriel loved listening to classic pop genre of music, enjoying the well-orchestrated arrangements and smooth vocals of such artists as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennet, and Perry Como. The important virtue to symbolize Gabriel is that he was always “in charge”. His life was spent at the Jersy shore, especially in the towns of Seaside Heights and Ortley Beach and later Ocean City. Gabriel would march all his nieces and nephews out of the beach house promptly at 9:00AM and take them down to the beach. There he would play games with them, swim and watch over them until lunchtime when he escorted everyone back to the house for lunch. After lunch, Gabriel took everyone back to the beach where he would keep them occupied until their return for dinner at 5:00PM. He truly was a second father to his nieces and nephews. Gabriel’s mother, Jennie would spend her time in the kitchen cooking all the traditional Italian meals for everyone, that somehow can never be duplicated even to this day. Her grandchildren talk about their memories of Gabriel bringing them back to the beach house for lunch and as they’re walking up the street, the aroma of sautéed garlic foods is wafting down the block to greet them. Gabriel really relished eating all the food that his mother so lovingly cooked for him. However, he was not necessarily a homebody, as Gabriel also enjoyed the opportunity to eat out in surrounding restaurants as well. Family was the most important part of Gabriel’s life, and he was the best uncle anyone could ever want. He took care of all his nieces and nephews, as if they were his own. There was never a quiet time when Uncle Gabriel was around. He made sure that they were always on the move, going to his beloved beach, enjoying the movies, or taking car rides to see the fall foliage or the brightly lit extravaganza of the Christmas season. He was always there for everyone at any time!
Gabriel was predeceased by his parents, his sister, Carol Ann Peters (2023), his two brothers-in-law, Andrew J. Vena, Jr. (2016) and Bruce G. Peters, Sr. (2015) and his niece, Dawn Schworn (2019).
Gabriel is survived by his sister, Joyce Vena and “Uncle Gabe” is survived by his nephews and niece, Andrew J. Vena III and his wife, Candice, Joseph Vena and his wife, Janice, James Vena and his wife, Sandra, Patricia Vena Santos and her husband, Joe, Bruce G. Peters, Jr. and his wife, Joanne and James Schworn; his fourteen great nieces and great nephews, one great great nephew, one great great niece and his many cousins, neighbors and friends.
Gabriel was definitely "one in a million”, a man who would give you the shirt off his back, if you needed it. He was love and is loved; he is iconic in his family history and the stories will be retold for years to come. We know Gabriel was the shining star of his family that has now been dimmed and beyond our reach. Our hearts are broken, but we also know that Gabriel was greeted with open arms, hugs, and kisses from everyone on the other side. We rejoice in knowing that as he was so aptly named, Gabriel has now become our guardian angel, watching over all of us! Rest in peace, Gabriel! We will forever miss you!