SALEM — Gabriel G. “Gabe” Mraz, 73, passed away Friday morning, Jan. 29, 2021, at his home with his family by his side.
He was born June 1, 1947, in Youngstown, a son of the late Michael and Anne (Tovtin) Mraz.
Gabe was a 1965 graduate of Woodrow Wilson High School. He served his country in the Army as a buck sergeant, SP4, from 1967 to 1969. He was stationed at Fort Carson in Colorado and fought in the Vietnam War, earning the Purple Heart and several other medals, badges and commendations.
Following the war, Gabe worked for McKay Machine Company and Youngstown Sheet and Tube as a draftsman and General Motors in Lordstown as a line foreman. Then in 1976, he attended Kentucky Christian College, where he studied for the Christian ministry.
Upon completion of his studies, Gabe served as a minister in Christian Churches / Churches of Christ in Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana. He retired from the ministry in 2011 due to health issues.
In his spare time, he enjoyed collecting model cars, watching TV and movies. He especially loved spending time with his family and his granddogs.
Gabe is survived by his wife of 50 years, Karen L. Bires, whom he married on Feb. 14, 1970; two sons, Joseph M. (Joy) of Salem and Matthew D. Mraz Sr. of Youngstown; three grandchildren, Matthew Jr., Austin and Payton, all of Austintown; a great-granddaughter, Mya Marie; and two brothers, Michael Mraz of Orange Park, Fla., and John (Gloria) Mraz of Boardman.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Sylvia Ramsthaler, and a brother, Richard Mraz.
There will be a memorial service held at a later date.
Gabe’s family would like to give a special thanks to the Community Hospice of Salem, especially Chalynne, and Tina and Samantha of Your Home Court Advantage for all of their care and compassion.
In lieu of flowers, material tributes may take the form of donations to Perry Township Fire Department, 2198 N. Ellsworth Ave., Salem, OH 44460, or the Community Hospice of Salem, 2341 E. State St., Suite B, Salem, OH 44460.
Professional arrangements were handled by Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, Salem Chapel.