Date of Birth
Date of Death
Diane C. Gabel, age 50, of St. Charles , IL , passed away Saturday, February 9, 2008 surrounded by the love of her family. Her spirit was willing but her body was weakened after a long battle with brain cancer. BORN: She was born September 30, 1957, the daughter of Norm and Joan (Mattes) Kukuk in Chicago , IL . EARLY YEARS :Diane grew up in Chicago and attended St. Gabriel Grammar School and graduated from St. Barbara’s High School with the class of 1975. She went on to achieve a B.S. in Nursing from Loyola University in 1979. OCCUPATION / WORK HISTORYFollowing graduation she began a twenty-eight year career helping others. While going to school she worked at Mercy Hospital in Chicago for seventeen years beginning as a candy striper eventually rising to the rank of Registered Nurse following graduation. She then spent a year at Mercy Center Hospital in Aurora before spending the next four for Home Health at Rush-Copley Hospital . She also worked for four years for Barrington Family Healthcare as well as Same Day Surgery for Sherman Hospital in Elgin . Her passion for nursing and the pursuit of recognition for all nurses was boundless. One of her last goals was to bring Magnet status, the highest level of recognition in Nursing, for Sherman Hospital . MARRIAGE She was united in marriage to James E. Gabel on May 3, 1980 at St. Gabriel’s Church. They began their new life together living below her parents for a time before moving into a home of their own in 1986. RESIDENTIAL HISTORY: In 1995 the family moved out to the suburbs to the west side of St. Charles and continued to raise their family. MEMBERSHIPS She was a faithful parishioner of St. Lucy’s in Chicago where she taught religious education for many years before attending St. Pat’s in St. Charles where she continued teaching CCD. LIFE NOTES Diane was a woman with an extraordinary heart that always had room for anyone in need. The largest part however was reserved for her family. Raising seven children had its challenges but like a circus, Diane was the ultimate ring master. She would routinely take all the children for their haircuts, go shoe shopping and the yearly family picture made for legendary memories. Life was never dull and though they never were able to take a big family vacation, she and Jim would spend many hours driving to all the kids’ sporting events, trips to the city to walk the "Miracle Mile" during Christmas, rollerblading on Navy Pier and picnics on the beach in the summer. They also spent many weekends at Uncle George’s cottage in Michigan and Uncle Tom’s house in Wisconsin as well as days at Lake Geneva where Millie’s Pancake House and sail boat rides were a staple. As the kids grew up, memories were made every day with trips to the dollar movies at Harlem Corners in the city, Santa’s Village, Brookfield Zoo and Six Flag’s Great America. She hosted huge holiday parties for her family and friends and never did a Thanksgiving or a Christmas go by without an invitation to share in the holiday feast. Every birthday was special and came complete with your own personal cake, special meal and a card that was meant just for you. Diane was a person who loved to care for others whether through her vocation and calling as a nurse or at home as a mother to not only her children, but to their friends as well. You were never a stranger when you walked into the Gabel house, you were family. Through out the years Jim tried valiantly to get Diane to spend money on her self and would try in vain to buy her clothes which she would ultimately save and return them unbeknownst to Jim. The one thing that she did love to do was travel with Jim to Nevis, Grand Cayman , Hawaii , St. Martin and Tahiti . She also took Jim back to Ireland to celebrate their twenty-fifth anniversary as well as his heritage. When she wasn’t with her family or traveling with Jim, she loved to go antiquing with her best friend Lizzy Hribar, looking for tea pots and angels to add to her collection. She also enjoyed dinners at fancy restaurants shared with her friends Dr. Perez-Tamayo and Maria Nosek. Diane had strong spirit but when she began her battle with brain cancer, she turned to "Rocky" for inspiration, emulating his persona to boost her strength and mental outlook on life. Complete with boxing gloves, t-shirts and a robe, the theme from Rocky would follow her wherever she went and even played on the speakers in the operating room where many doctors, nurses and other patients knew her as the "Rocky Lady". Diane also was a faithful parishioner of the Catholic Church and leaned on her faith and devotion to the church, the blessed Mary as well as St. Anthony, as she worshiped at local parishes wherever she lived including St. Gabriel’s and St. Lucy’s in Chicago as well as St. Pat’s in St. Charles. Diane was a dynamic woman with an unrivaled strength of spirit and devotion to family. Although she left too soon, her memory will forever stay in the hearts of all she knew and loved, especially in her children who will undoubtedly share with generations to come. SURVIVORS She now leaves her parents and loving husband Jim, Seven children:Marie Gabel of St. Charles , IL , Kelly Gabel in Sugar Grove , IL ,Joan Gabel of St. Charles , IL , Megan (Brian Maulding) Gabel of St. Charles , IL ,Caroline Gabel of St. Charles , IL , Ed ( Racine Hadan) Gabel of St. Charles , IL andJimmy Gabel of St. Charles , IL ;Eight siblings: Tom Kukuk of St. Michael , MN , Marie Augustyn of Countryside, IL, Rose Turkowski of Orland Hills , IL , Debbie Duvall of Crown Point , IN , Karen Frigo of Oak Lawn , IL , Marge Romanelli of Davenport , FL , Tony Kukuk of Hartland , WI and Jeanine Kukuk of Clarendon Hills , IL ;Mother and Father-in-law, Dorothy and Ed Gabel of Orland Park , IL ; Sisters-in-law, Eileen Neiditch of Ocala , FL ; Mary Gabel of Tinley Park , IL , and Kathy O’Leary of Palos Park , IL ; Brother-in-law, Mike Gabel of Park Ridge , IL ;Many nieces, nephews, cousins and a huge family of friends. MEMORIAL A memorial has been established in her name. Checks may be made to the " Diane Gabel Memorial" and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66 , Elburn , IL 60119 . Additional tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through www.conleycare.com where you can also read the full obituary. MEMORIAL A memorial has been established in her name. Checks may be made to the " Diane Gabel Memorial" and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66 , Elburn , IL 60119 . Additional tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through www.conleycare.com where you can also read the full obituary. MEMORIAL A memorial has been established in her name. Checks may be made to the " Diane Gabel Memorial" and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66 , Elburn , IL 60119 .
Friends may come Thursday February 14th from 2-9 p.m. with a rosary to begin at 2 p.m. at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St. , Elburn , IL . A second night of visitation, also at the funeral home, will begin at 2-9 p.m. Friday, February 15th with a wake service to begin at 8:30 p.m. A mass to celebrate her life will be held on Saturday, February 16, 2008, at S.S. Peter & Paul with a time of visitation from 9-10 a.m. Mass will follow at 10:30 a.m.
Interment will follow at S.S. Peter & Paul Cemetery , Virgil , IL .