NEW YORK – The Greek community was saddened by the death of the veteran Greek-American pediatrician, Dr. Michael Gabriel, who passed away on February 25 at the age of 94.
Born in Mytilini in 1929, Michael Gabriel lived a difficult childhood, experiencing the dark days of the German Occupation. He and his siblings helped their mother and did any job in order to survive. It was the difficult beginning of an important life path, which was to lead to the other side of the Atlantic and professional recognition in New York.
In 1947, Gabriel succeeded and entered the Medical School of Athens. As he had mentioned in an earlier interview in the Periodiko, there were 3,000 applicants, of which only 100 were admitted. Ten years later, and after serving his military service, he decided to travel to the United States for further education. He started his practice in St. Mary’s Hospital, in Hoboken, New Jersey, and completed his specialty in Pediatrics at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. He then did a residency in Pediatrics at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Subsequently, he settled in Brooklyn, where he founded the Gabriel Pediatrics clinic, which developed into one of the leading ones in Bay Ridge. He became known as Dr. Mike Gabriel and was well-regarded and beloved among his patients not only for his excellent scientific training, but also for the human face he showed towards young patients and their families, literally, from generation to generation, they trusted him with the care of their own children when they became parents. In any case, Gabriel Pediatrics built on the community’s trust and eventually expanded, establishing a new branch in Staten Island with the deceased’s two sons, Demetrios and Michael, having taken over from their father in time, continuing the tradition he began over 50 years ago.
“I mostly help in the laboratory and if they have any problems, they consult me,” the late Dr. Gabriel said in his interview with the Periodiko, demonstrating that he had left room for his sons to take the clinic to the next level.
Dr. Gabriel also had a daughter, Anna, while the great love of his life, his wife, Voula, passed away at the age of only 56. He forever carried the bitterness of the loss, but also treasured her memory.
“Voula was the best thing I had in my life. I was lucky to fall into her wonderful family. Since I didn’t have such a big family then, I felt very happy to fall into such hands. I was working a great deal, because I didn’t have anything and I was trying to create something in my life. Voula was another character. She worked, but she also wanted to contribute. But I also contributed with my work and financially wherever needed,” he had said.
The visitation will be held on Friday, March 3, 2-5 PM and 6-9 PM at the McLaughlin & Sons Funeral Home, 9620 3rd Avenue in Brooklyn, NY. The funeral service will be held on Saturday, March 4, 12 PM at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church, 8401 Ridge Blvd in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, NY.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to The Guild for Exceptional Children https://www.gecbklyn.org and/or Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in Dr. Gabriel’s memory. Note: “In memory of Dr. Michael P. Gabriel.”