1931 ~ 2021
Rosary: 10:30 a.m. Thursday, September 23, 2021 at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church.
Mass of Christian Burial: 11:00 a.m. Thursday, September 23, 2021 at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church.
Private Interment: Sacred Heart Cemetery, Rowlett, Texas.
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Maria Teresa Gabriel, 89, passed away September 15, 2021.
“Tere”, as she preferred to be called, was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1931. She was the youngest of seven children born to Salvador Palafox and Maria Elena Navarro de Palafox. In 1961, she married Joseph Paul Gabriel, from Eldred, PA. They had two daughters, Laura Maria in 1962 and Carol Ann in 1963. Tere and Joseph lived in Mexico City, then Murphy, TX for many years. Joe and Tere were married for almost 41 years. After Joe’s passing away in 2002, Tere moved to Weatherford, TX in 2006 to be closer to Carol and her family.
In her almost 90 years of life, Tere accomplished many things: She was a highly skilled and fiercely competitive tennis player; she knit, crochet, needle pointed and loved to work on arts and crafts; She loved all kinds of indoor and outdoor plants, flowers, and fruit trees; She was a great cook of Mexican food and learned to cook Lebanese dishes from Joe’s family; She loved animals and had many beloved cats and dogs in her life. While living in Mexico City, she was a kindergarten, pre-K and pre-First teacher for many years at the American School Foundation, where she devoted herself to teaching and loving her students. She took great care in raising her two daughters, and later, when she had a grandson, Joseph, she enjoyed spending time with him, taking him places and being a part of the many activities he was involved in.
Of all the things Tere accomplished in her life, none were more important than her faith in God, and fulfilling her responsibility of passing on a strong faith to her daughters, by word and by deed. She was a devout Catholic, who loved Jesus, revered the Blessed Virgin Mary, and often prayed for intercession from many Saints. There was always a rosary in her pocket or her hand. She and the family attended mass every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation. Even in the year of COVID lock-downs, she would watch mass on TV. She was so appreciative when her son-in-law, David, would bring her Holy Communion every week. Every night she would say nightly prayers on the phone with her daughter Laura and son-in-law Bill. In her last few years of life, when she was unable to do much for herself and required the constant help of her daughters, she taught her daughters self-sacrifice and self-denial, complete dependence on God, humility and service.
We would like to thank the many caregivers who helped care for Tere, allowing her to remain in her home until her last breath. Many thanks also to all her doctors, specialists, hospitals and Hospice care. A special thanks to Laura and Carol’s husbands, William Bean and David Wagner, for their unwavering support and help through all these years.
“May the God of Peace himself make you perfectly holy and may you entirely, spirit, soul, and body, be preserved blameless for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will also accomplish it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24