Leontine, (Leah) Gabel, 92, Bismarck, died on May 18, 2018 at Saint Vincent’s, Bismarck. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 23, 2018 at Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, Bismarck.
Visitation will be from 4-7:00 p.m. with a Rosary/Vigil beginning at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at Bismarck Funeral Home. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the Funeral at Saint Mary’s Wednesday.
Leontine was a devout Catholic who believed in the power of prayer and was anxious to meet her Lord. He finally came for her on May 18, 2018.
Leontine was born on July 28, 1925 to Albinus & Eugenia (Greff) Heidt at home near DeSart, ND. She was the 6th of 14 children. She was the eldest daughter who worked hard and not only cooked for her family but also for threshing crews during harvesting season. This skill of cooking for large numbers was something she would use throughout her life.
In 1947, she began Practical Nurses training at St. Alexius Hospital in Bismarck, graduating in December 1948. While working at St. Alexius she met Raymond Gabel who was a patient in her care. They married on Oct. 10, 1949. The couple resided in Bismarck and raised five children where they became known as “The House of the Seven Gabels”.
Many Saturday nights were spent dancing at the Eagles Club or with Ray and his band “Swing and Play with Willie and Ray” as they played for special occasions or bars throughout the Dakota’s.
She worked at St. Vincent’s Nursing Home for 13 years where she was head nurse on the evening shift.
Leontine made quilts and she had a huge garden from which she would preserve the food for her family. Not only did she have food for her family but also to feed the flow of extended family and friends who came through the revolving doors of their home. Her children jokingly referred to it as living in “Grand Central Station” where you never knew who would be on the other side of the kitchen door. Rays laughter and accordion music, along with Leontine’s ability to put a good meal on the table, made their home a welcoming place for anyone who came. She could always be found at her kitchen counter preparing meals or baking goodies for everyone who stopped in.
In 2005 she moved to Marillac Manor to be close to Ray who was in St. Vincent’s. Ray passed away in February 2007. She moved from Marillac to St. Vincent’s in June 2012 for more skilled care and resided there until her passing. Leontine is survived by four daughters Bonnie (Bruce) Trom, Brenda (Glenn) Christmann, Donalda (Rick) Fischer all of Lincoln and Carla Nelson (Gene Preul) Belmont, NH; one son, Kevin (Imelda) Gabel, Severn, MD; twelve grandchildren, Chad Trom, Cody Trom, Brandi Trom Anderson, Corey Christmann, Sonia Grosz, Shawn Christmann, Michelle Hogan, Dustin Rogstad, Mikaela (Rogstad) Martin, David Fischer, Bradley Fischer, and Adam Fischer; 2 step grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; 7 step great-grandchildren; 3 great great grand-children; four brothers James, Donald, Richard Heidt and Father Charles Heidt; 2 sisters, Sister Dolores and Sister Lucille Heidt. Also by Rays family, Florence McCormick, Durwaine Gabel, Arlene (Pierre) LaPorte, Marie Vogel and Sharon (David) Kraft and many, many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, 7 brothers, Kasper, Phillip, Frank and Edward Heidt and 3 infant brothers, Adam, Cyriak and John. 4 sisters-in-law and 1 brother in law.