ORRINGTON - John David Gabarra, 64, died June 16, 2019, in an automobile accident in Buckfield, Maine. Born August 9, 1954, John grew up in Barrington, Rhode Island. He was the youngest son of Edward and Lavinia (Jacques) Gabarra.
A lover of trees from an early age, John studied forestry at the University of Maine and at Duke University, where he earned a master’s degree in Forest Management and Business. He started his career at International Paper in Clayton Lake. For the last 30 years, he worked at Bangor Hydro, now Emera Maine, on various land-management issues. John redefined “jack-of-all-trades” as a licensed forester, licensed real estate broker, commercial drone pilot, private pilot, and notary public.
John loved Maine Black Bear football and hockey. He was a goal judge, season ticketholder, and contributor to Friends of Maine Hockey. He lived his passion for hockey as a youth hockey referee and mentor to other refs. Though his loyalties remained with the Black Bears, he and his wife traveled nationwide to the Frozen Four NCAA Division I Championship every April, no matter who was playing or where the playoffs.
A devoted husband of 35 years, John and Lisa (Cook) Gabarra lived in Orrington and enjoyed summers at camp on Holbrook Pond where he loved to jet-ski, canoe with his dog Molson, and skipper his Boston Whaler purchased at age 11 from paper-route earnings.
In addition to his parents, John was predeceased by a brother, Edward Gabarra; brother-in-law, Sammie Clifton; and father-in-law, Gilbert Cook. He is survived by his wife, Lisa; twin sisters, Margaret Clifton and Marilyn Nastari; mother-in-law, Donna Cook; three brothers-in-law and spouses, Don (Autumn) Cook, David (Kim) Cook, and Dan Cook; many nieces and nephews; and three godchildren.
A celebration of life will be announced at a later date. Gifts in memory of John Gabarra may be made to Men’s Ice Hockey payable to the University of Maine Foundation, Buchanan Alumni House, Two Alumni Place, Orono, ME 04469-5792 or online at umainefoundation.org/memorial. Condolences to the family may be expressed at BrookingsSmith.com