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GOMBAI, Gabriella “Gaby”

1963 – Windsor, ON
2013 – Calgary, AB

Gaby passed away peacefully with family at her side on Monday, December 2, 2013 at the Foothills Country Hospice at the age of 50 years.

She was born on January 16, 1963, in Windsor, ON. After high school, she studied in France and in Spain for a year. She graduated with an Honours B.A., followed by a B.Ed. in 1988 from the University of Windsor. In between her two degrees, she worked in South America as a tour guide and translator. She began her teaching career in Windsor before moving to Calgary on a teacher exchange in 1994. She fell in love with Alberta and never returned to Windsor. In Calgary, she taught primarily at École St. Pius X as a kindergarten and Grade 1 teacher for 12 years. Gaby was a social butterfly who enjoyed skiing, hiking, and scuba diving. She had been a member of the Foothills Masters Swim Club since 1997. She spoke four languages; Hungarian, English, French, and Spanish. Her passion was exploring the world and she travelled all over Canada and to the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru, Morocco, Egypt, India, and most of Europe. She chose to deal with cancer in her own way. She chose alternative, non-invasive treatments as she believed that given the right tools, the body can heal itself. She went on many spiritual healing journeys during her illness, most notably to John of God in Brazil and to meet the Dalai Lama in India.

She is survived by her parents, Steve and Gabriella Gombai; her sister Kristine, her husband John Keller and their children Kitti and Jack; and her brother Steven, his wife Nicole and their children Trista, Natasha, and Lilly. She will be dearly missed by her family and friends.

Funeral Services will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church (10 River Heights Drive, Cochrane, AB) on Saturday, December 7, 2013 at 12:00 pm. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, donations can be made in her name to www.thichnhathanhfoundation.org, a Buddhist foundation in California.

In living memory of Gaby Gombai, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Cochrane Funeral Home, 369 RAILWAY STREET, COCHRANE. Telephone: (403) 932-4740.

Offer Condolence for the family of GOMBAI, Gabriella “Gaby”

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Condolence Messages

  1. Good-bye my friend, I am sad you are gone but glad to have known you over the years. I will miss our conversations and times together. The memory of a good person is a blessing.

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  2. George Cuckovic :

    Our deepest sympathy to the entire Gombai family for the loss of Gaby.
    Our thoughts and prayers will be with you. If any needs arise , please do not hesitate.
    The Cuckovic Family.

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  3. Edwina Arsenault :

    I am sincerely sorry for your Loss ! You certainly Loved your Faith,Church. ◦You are in my thoughts. I am praying for you and your family. My condolences.
    Love, Edwina Arsenault

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  4. Clare Rodrigues :

    My most sincere wishes to you at this time for the loss of Gabriella. She has touched many children in her career as a teacher, and will be sadly missed by family and friends. May her spirit live on in those that knew her.
    Sincerely, Clare Rodrigues

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  5. Clare Rodrigues :

    Most sincere condolences to the Gombai Family & Friends of Gaby. May her spirit live in all who knew her and all those lives she touched in her teaching career.
    Sincerely, Clare Rodrigues

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  6. Clare Rodrigues :

    Sorry for the loss of Gaby to all those who knew her. May her light shine on in all those who knew her .

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  7. Sylvie Tardif :

    My deepest sympathy. Gabriella will always be in my heart.
    Sylvie

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  8. John Winchester :

    Having met Gabe, while working at the Windsor-Detroit Freedom Festival in 1986, it was clear to me that she had a multitude of talents. Her ability to socialize easily with people made her natural as an Ambassador. She also loved her shoes, and working at Diane Shoes in Windsor certainly allowed her to get what she wanted ‘at a great price’. In fact, I sometimes kidded her about how her entire pay cheque just went to buy more shoes! Gabe was also an entrepreneur, as we once traveled to Toronto to purchase hundreds of posters that she could sell to students at the University of Windsor to decorate their dorm rooms. I think that she called it the ‘Five Dollar—Ridiculous!’ Sale. Her artistic talents, likely inherited from her dad, were also unique, as she made hand-painted silk scarves and was a terrific painter, in her own right. A sketch of the house in which I lived, while teaching in Collingwood, still hangs in the home of Audrey Sinclair, my ‘landlady & adopted mom’ in Duntroon. Gabe’s love of travel was also apparent, as seen by her many adventures over the years. She has now embarked on another adventure and will be missed by many. Sending my deepest condolences to her immediate family, Steve, Gaby, Kristine, and Steve (Duke).
    John Winchester
    Orillia

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  9. Jo-Anne Deane and family :

    Gaby was a beautiful soul that I am so going to miss. Within minutes of meeting Gaby a few years ago, she told me that she knew too many Jo-Anne’s so she was going to call me Jojo. Since then we’ve been good friends going to movies, restaurants, shopping, cooking together, sharing past experiences and future dreams. Gaby was a trustworthy confidant. She was accepting of people’s faults and appreciative of good deeds. I could not, and still cannot get over how much beautiful clothes she had. Sharp dresser would be an understatement. Every closet in her big house was packed tight with gorgeous clothes. I am so happy that I was given the opportunity and privilege of having Gaby as my friend. I will miss our time together, the great tea she made for me and her guiding advice. Gaby will always be with me.
    Love you Gaby, XO Jojo and family

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  10. Michelle Carlini-Santin :

    I believe Gaby used to be one of our neighbours many, many years ago. My younger sister and I used to look up to her, as she was always a very sweet, gentle person! How wonderful to hear of all her accomplishments. I always knew she would go on to do great things in her life. Our deepest condolences, and a multitude of prayers going out to the whole family. Heaven has a new angel to watch over and bless you all! God bless.

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  11. My deepest sympathies to the Gombai family. Gabriella was a colleague and a friend, and the first teacher my youngest girls ever had. She will be missed!
    Sincerely, Trish Tucker and family

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  12. Brenda Verkoeyen :

    My sincere condolences on the passing of Gaby to all of her family. I remember Gaby from our early days of teaching French with the separate school board in Windsor, she had lots of enthusiasm and I remember the very unique shirts that she used to create, they were awesome! Cherish your memories and know that she will always be in your heart.

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  13. Our deepest condolences to the entire Gombai family. We are very sorry for your loss and you will be in our thoughts and prayers.
    Annie and Dave O’Brien

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  14. I wish to offer my sincere condolences to Gabe’s loved ones. I am glad that she is now in a place where there is no pain and suffering, and I pray that her bright spirit will live on in all of you and those she taught.

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  15. Maryna Williamson :

    My deepest condolences to the Gombai family. I was a student at École St Pius X from September 1997- June 2003 (Grades 1 – 6). While I never had “Mme. Gombai”, I was always so envious of the students who had. She always had a wonderful smile on her face, was extremely friendly and gentle, and you could tell she really loved teaching us. She will be greatly missed.

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  16. Debbie Scott-Roeke :

    Our sincerest condolences to Gaby’s family and friends. We shared favourite “Madame Gombai” stories last night around the dinner table, from when she was Evan’s Kindergarten teacher back in 2002/2003. She was a special lady and a wonderful person. Our hearts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

    Debbie and Evan Scott

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  17. Gabriella is in amazing hands of our Almighty Father. By reading her obituary, she was a talented and educated person who will have a lot to offer up in Heaven. Her journey has just begun, not ended. Her memories I’m sure will last forever. My family is praying for the entire family during this difficult time of grieving. It is obvious the Gabriella has impacted many lives and her legacy will go on forever. May she rest in peace and pain free.

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  18. Eliud David Marin :

    My most sincere condolences to the Gombai family. Gaby was my great friend who I loved dearly when she worked in Venezuela. I feel so honored to have met her and today I celebrate her life with all the good memories she left. God sure reserved a good spot for her in heaven. I will always miss you Gaby and your memories will always bring a smile to my face. Today I’m sad for your departure and pray for your soul to finally rest in peace. Good bye my friend and thank you for considering me one

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  19. My sincere sympathies to the Gombai family. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Elisa

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  20. Katherine Dunnell :

    Thank you Steve for letting me know via email about the passing of your sister. I am sadden by this news and feel great empathy for your entire family. You are in my thoughts.
    very best
    Kathy

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  21. Andrea Della Valle :

    My deepest condolescences to all the Gombai family. When I think of Gaby I remember visiting her in St Tropez with Kristine. She looked like she belonged…a movie star. May you know that she is well remembered and my thought are with all of you. The Gombai family is full of love – a feeling that Gaby will feel wherever she may be.
    My thoughs and prayers,
    Andrea

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  22. Karolina Gombos :

    Fogadjak oszinte reszvetunket.

    a Gombos csalad

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  23. Kathleen de Jong :

    I send my sincere concolences to the whole family for the loss of a beautiful woman, daughter, sister, aunt and friend. Gabriella was so much fun to have in the swim club in Calgary for many years. We shared many fun gatherings together, where Gabriella always was a bright light, full of fun and laughter. Her charm always amazed all of us. All of us were so saddened to watch the cancer take over her body. She still had so much to give in life and her life was cut far too short. We will miss her so very much.

    Kathleen

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  24. Rosemary Hujsa :

    I was very sorry to hear the news about Gaby. She was such a beautiful girl. From her life story it sounds like she lived life to the fullest. I was deeply moved by your Motherly love and devotion Gabriella, when I met you both at the Hospice.
    God Bless you Gabriella for all your tender care towards Gaby.
    My deepest condolences to the Family
    Rosemary Hujsa

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  25. Linda Rose (Giglio) :

    Gaby was a friend and fellow student at Assumption High School in Windsor Ontario. I can still see her in art class — bold enough and beautiful enough to model in a bikini for the class to sketch. Gaby was just so full of life. I am so sad to hear of her passing. My deepest condolences to the family who I know must be missing her so deeply.
    Linda Rose (Giglio)

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  26. Marintha Butler :

    I knew Gaby through a Buddhist meditation group, and we travelled together to a Zen retreat (rather, she got us to the Zen retreat: her travel experience & forethought saved the day!). I was wondering what had happened to her since then, and very saddened to hear that she’s gone.

    My deepest condolences to the family; I know her absence leaves a hole that cannot be filled.

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