BOARDMAN - Peter Gabriel, 83, died Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021 at his residence.
He was born Feb. 13, 1938, in The Bronx, N.Y., to the late George and Anna Salinsky Gabriel.
Pete lived in several locations in upstate New York and St. Petersburg, Fla. before moving to Sunbury, Pa., where he graduated from Sunbury High School. He married Sandy McCormick Gabriel on Nov. 19, 1961 at United Church of Christ in West Milton, Pa.
He was an air policeman in the Air Force and was honorably discharged in 1959. While in the Air Force active duty and stationed in the Azores, he began his broadcasting career in Armed Forces Radio and television.
Pete's radio career progressed through various radio stations in Pennsylvania, including Harrisburg and Scranton from 1959 to 1970. From 1970 to 1972, he was the program director at WBUK in Columbus. From 1972 to 1978, he worked at various radio stations in Kansas City, including KCMO, as an on-air personality, KUDL as the program director and on-air personality, and KAYQ as an on-air personality. While working at KUDL in Kansas City, he also hosted his own television program on KMBC, "Gabriel's Horn" hosting all-night movies and doing interviews with celebrities. In 1979, Pete made Youngstown his home at 570 WKBN where he hosted programs and served as the program director.
He also did sports broadcasting for several radio stations, including play-by-play for Sunbury High School football and play-by-play for Susquehanna University football on WKOK, Color Columbus Golden Seals Hockey on WBUK-FM in Columbus, "Time Out" High School Football Sports Show on WNEP-TV in Scranton, Pa., and public address for the following: Missouri University Football, Big 8 Holiday Basketball Tournament, NAIA Basketball National Championship Tournament on KCMO and KUDL in Kansas City, Youngstown Hardhats football, Youngstown Pride basketball and Boardman High School basketball on WKBN in Youngstown.
Pete received many awards and recognitions, including 1966 Camp Hill Jaycees Outstanding Young Man of the Year; first-place winner of the Maclean's Toothpaste National Disc Jockey competition for the most original commercial, winning the national prize of a Mercury Cougar car; 1967 Camp Hill Jaycees Man of the Year; and United States Jaycees Presidential Award of Leadership in 1967. In 1996, he was inducted into the Ohio Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
He founded the Pete Gabriel's St. Patrick's Day Parade in 1979. He organized and directed the parade for the first 15 years, at which time he turned it over to the Irish community. The parade continues to be a big event in the Mahoning Valley to this day.
Pete was involved in numerous community services and received many civic awards, as well as serving on numerous boards in the communities in which he lived. His services included, but were not limited to, the Jaycees, Leukemia Society, Muscular Dystrophy Association, Heart Association, Masonic Lodge, Aut Mori Grotto Clowns, Boardman High School Boosters and Lady Hoopsters Club, Boardman and Austintown Optimists, Shriners, Kiwanis, Boardman Little Spartans, March of Dimes, and most recently, as lieutenant governor Zone 1, Ohio Optimist.
Pete loved his career, working many formats before stepping into the world of "talk" where he was known for his friendly laughter and compassionate approach to his callers. He loved being involved in projects that benefited his community.
After 26 years with 570 WKBN, Pete retired in 2005, completing 48 years of radio broadcasting, radio management and radio sales. His interests were sports, art, history, poker and golf.
Pete is survived by his wife, Sandy; three children, David (Missy) Gabriel of Canal Winchester, Wynne (Steve) Coleman of Rio Rancho, N.M. and Lori (Mike) McGlone of Boardman; grandchildren, Gabby and Catie Coleman, and Jack, Maggie and Michael McGlone; and half-sister, Carla Dee Blakely in Virginia.
In addition to his parents, Pete was preceded in death by his sister, Judy Warren; and his half-brother, George Bard Gabriel.
Calling hours will be held 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, and 10 to 11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 30, 2021 at Higgins-Reardon Funeral Homes, Boardman-Canfield Chapel, 3701 Starr's Centre Drive. Pete's funeral service will be celebrated Monday, Aug. 30, 2021, at 11 a.m. at the funeral home. The family and funeral home will be practicing proper health protocol in accordance with CDC guidelines. Entombment will be in Green Haven Memorial Gardens.
Pete's family extends a heartfelt thank you to Mercy Health Home Care and Mercy Health Palliative Care, especially Dr. Minotti, for their loving care, and to the Veterans Administration for their support and resources.
Contributions in Pete's memory may be made to the Austintown Optimist Club, 3140 Raccoon Rd., Austintown, OH 44406; the Boardman Optimist Club, 755 Boardman-Canfield Rd., D-1, Boardman, OH 44512; or to a charity of your choice.