Saturday, November 1, 2008

Message from Gabe's Family

Below is a message that Gabe's family asked me to post:

Dear family and friends of Gabe and ours -

We are so touched and grateful for the outpouring of love and celebrations of Gabe's precious life and soul. We want the world to know, but especially the people of the Virgin Islands, that Gabe loved the island and we have no doubt that he planned to spend his life on St. Thomas. The people of St. Thomas have shown us boundless love, care and kindness. They are some of the most beautiful and thoughtful people we have ever met anywhere.

From Gabe's family

Many of you have indicated that you would like to donate to a charity in Gabe's honor.

Because he truly enjoyed their music, Gabe's family have designated the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands' "Rising Stars Youth Steel Orchestra," which is composed of a group of truly inspiring Virgin Islands youth.

Contact information for the Rising Stars can be found at:

In addition, The Bar Association of the Virgin Islands has established a scholarship in honor of Gabriel. To donate to the scholarship fund, you may make a check out to "VI Bar Scholarship" and specify "Gabriel Lerner Scholarship" on the memo line. Please mail the check to:

VI Bar Association
27 & 28 King Cross Street
Phoenix Court Business Complex
Christiansted, St. Croix, U.S.V.I. 00820

You will soon be able to donate by credit card, as well. (Please check back later for further details.)

Baha'is, of course, are welcome to donate to any Baha'i fund of their choice. According to Baha'i guidelines, however, only Baha'is can donate to Baha'i funds.

Thank you all for showing such kindness! I know Gabe's family and friends appreciate it very much.


Fredda said...

I am a Baha'i in Washington DC; I got to know Gabe while he was at the American University Law School here, and although I did not see him very often or know him very intimately, I can certainly say he had a lovely shining spirit, was humble when presenting his perspective and no doubt, had an impact on all those whom he knew here. He completed his Ruhi Book 1 here, I believe :) He also was a member of the American University Baha'i College Club and participated in the DC Assembly's Annual College Club Dinner and the lively consultation on teaching. I feel privileged to have met him, and send my condolences to his family and friends.

Fredda Haines

Mark said...

There will be a memorial service for Gabe on Monday, Nov. 10, at 7pm. It will be at the Quadracci Powerhouse Theatre at The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, 108 E. Wells, Milwaukee, WI. The family would like a heads up about people coming from out of town. If you’re coming from a distance, send an email to Patty Kubala at, who will compile that info for the family. Let us know how you knew Gabe.

Here are three options for donations in Gabe’s honor that the family is offering - if people so desire. In addition to The Superior Court of the Virgin Island’s Rising Stars Steel Orchestra, The Bar Association of the Virgin Islands has established a scholarship in honor of Gabriel (details to be posted soon about how to donate). Baha’is, of course, are welcome to donate to any Baha’i fund of their choice. According to Baha’i guidelines, only Baha’is can donate to Baha’i funds.

TaliaSafa said...

I only saw Gabe briefly as a youth, so my strongest memories are of him as a little kid and baby. I can't remember exactly how old he was, but I remember being told that Gabe was reading cereal boxes and newspapers at a VERY early age. I was always impressed by this and knew this kid was very smart.

I remember going to his house and of the smell of hot apple cider with cloves heating on the stove on one occasion and of playing their piano there. I think on a few occasions we were babysat together while our parents went to a LSA meeting.

Thanks to the Learners and to Gabe I now perceive children in a different way. I know they are capable of much more than what is commonly expected.

Matthew Witkowski said...

It was truly an honor to be Gabriel's step brother. I was impressed by his diverse passions, drive for success and immense kindness. To me, Gabriel was a leader that led by example rather than voice. He followed his dreams, accomplished his goals and found what some never find, true self-harmony. Until our paths cross again, he will be missed.