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Bangor, Brewer, Orono, Hampden, and surrounding communities

John Gabarra

John David Gabarra

Monday, August 9th, 1954 - Sunday, June 16th, 2019
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Obituary

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
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Service Details

  • Celebration of Life

    Friday, August 9th, 2019 | 11:00am
    When
    Friday, August 9th, 2019 11:00am
    Location
    Brookings-Smith, Bangor
    Address
    133 Center Street
    BANGOR, ME 04401
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Reception

    Friday, August 9th, 2019 |
    When
    Friday, August 9th, 2019
    Location
    Family Reception Center of Brookings-Smith
    Address
    163 Center Street
    BANGOR, ME 04401
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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LH

Lindsay Huntoon

Posted at 12:41pm
I have such fond memories of John at both Maine hockey games and the Frozen Four. He always called me when he had extra tickets. My fondest memory was from the 2001 Frozen Four in Albany. We ran into John and Lisa at a pizza joint right near the arena. John was drinking a beer, and after we exchanged the usual pleasantries, my boyfriend Dan asked John what time it was. John turned his wrist to look at his watch, forgetting that he had a beer in his hand and spilled it all over Dan. I still laugh when I think of that. I had a very nice visit with him this year out in Buffalo! Rest In Peace my friend and GO BLACK BEARS!
HH

Heidi Howes-Killip

Posted at 09:09am
My heart goes out to Lisa, her family, and all of John's family and friends. I'm so sorry
for the suffering such a tragedy brings. My prayers are with you Lisa. May God wrap
his loving healing arms around you and bring healing to your body, and love and strength
to your heart and mind. I wish you all an abundance of gentle love and quiet never ending
strength. Heidi Howes-Killip

Heather Wyman

Posted at 12:22pm
Lisa,

My sincerest condolences to you on the loss of John. I worked with him at BHE/Emera Maine for a number of years and enjoyed his presence and wonderful demeanor every time he and I crossed paths. He was fun to work with and never had a bad word to say about anyone or anything. I'm so sorry this has happened, this is a great loss for all of us who knew him.
LH

Lindsay Huntoon

Posted at 01:29pm
Lisa
LH

Lindsay Huntoon

Posted at 01:29pm
Lisa
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