Donald O. “Gabe” Myers, of Dowagiac
March 12, 1938 — Jan. 28, 2018
Donald O. “Gabe” Myers, 79, of Dowagiac, passed away peacefully at his home on Sunday, Jan. 28, 2018, surrounded by his loving family.
The family will receive relatives and friends from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 21, 2018, at the First United Methodist Church of Dowagiac, 326 N. Lowe St., Dowagiac, and a Celebration of Life Service will be held immediately thereafter at noon at the church. A private committal service will take place at Riverside Cemetery in Dowagiac at a later date. Contributions in his memory may be made to the SMC Foundation, Bookstore Annex, Alumni Welcome Center & Historic Gallery, 58900 Cherry Grove Road, Dowagiac, or the First United Methodist Church of Dowagiac. Those wishing to send a condolence or sign the guest book online may do so at clarkch.com.
Gabe was born on March 12, 1938, in Cassopolis to Donald and Rosa (Stoker) Myers. He proudly served his country in the Army and National Guard. On Oct. 17, 1959, he married the love of his life and soul mate, Jo Ann Leola Dorman, to whom he was married for 58 years until her passing in December 2017. For most of his adult life, Gabe was employed in various automotive related positions, including owning auto service stations and working as a mechanic, service manager and salesman at automobile dealerships. He also worked several years selling seed corn, and his success in that role lead to many memorable company trips with Jo Ann to destinations such as Spain and Hawaii. Gabe valued hard work and a commitment to excellence, and he received numerous awards from General Motors for “going the extra mile” through his service in helping others. In his retirement years, Gabe spent winters in Florida with Jo Ann, where they enjoyed spending time with family members and friends.
Gabe had a fond appreciation for the outdoors, including fishing, canoeing, mushroom hunting and riding snowmobiles with family and friends. Gabe was also an avid sports fan. He built and raced stock cars in his younger years and was a lifetime, devoted fan of the Detroit Lions, Detroit Tigers, NASCAR racing and all Notre Dame sports teams. For many years, he worked as a referee for high school football and basketball games, ran the scoreboard at Southwestern Michigan College basketball games and helped set up the course for the annual SMC marathon runs through the Dowagiac area countryside.
Gabe was a very humble man and possessed the highest integrity. He taught his children to be honest, to appreciate the simple things in life and to respect and treat others in the same manner that his children expected to be respected and treated. Above all, Gabe immensely loved and was very proud of his family, especially his grandchildren to whom he was affectionately known as “Papa.” Papa worshiped the opportunities to attend their school functions and sporting events, and to spend quality time together during the holidays.
Gabe is survived by his children Roger (Kelly) Myers of Brighton, Michigan, and Valerie (Brandon) Root of Oostburg, Wisconsin; grandchildren Morgan Myers, Gabrielle Myers, Andrew Myers, Claire Myers and Ashton Root; brother John (Marjorie) Myers and sisters Donna Hoger, Doris (Lewie) Hoyt, Diana Flanders, Darlene (Larry) Powell and Linda Andersen, numerous nieces and nephews and his faithful companion Schnauzer dog Abby, whom he loved dearly.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Jo Ann, his parents and sister Kathy Haas. Gabe was loved by many people and will be deeply missed.