Marian “Betty” Gabriel, of Ocean View, DE, died peacefully in her sleep on March 4, 2020, after her long and difficult battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. She had just turned 87.
Betty was born Marian Elizabeth Sheen on March 2, 1933 in El Paso, TX. In 1950, she graduated at the top 10% of her class from Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, VA. She attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a member of the Kappa Delta sorority. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Education and her Master’s degree in Social Sciences from Temple University. Betty was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother. She had many hobbies and interests, including hiking, bird watching, gardening, sewing, cooking, camping, photography, ballet, traveling, singing, reading, bowling, and playing cards (bridge and pinochle).
Betty believed very strongly in volunteerism and helping those less fortunate. As a high school teacher at William Tennent High School in Warminster, PA, she designed, implemented and managed a community service outreach program, whereby students volunteered their time and talents to help local families in need. She also was instrumental in implementing an alternative school program for William Tennent HS, which was uncommon at the time (1970’s). Both of these initiatives demonstrate her creativity and passion to help others. She was very active in her local parish, and sang in the church choir for decades. She delivered “meals on wheels” every week, well into her 70’s. Extremely organized and great with numbers, she was also the Treasurer of her community Home Owners Association. An extremely accomplished woman, she taught Statistics, Criminology and Sociology at Temple University. She also managed a local Visiting Nurses Association in the 1980’s.
Betty was the devoted wife of Anthony Gabriel, who preceded her in death in June 2017. She is survived by her daughters Marie “Cathy” Erdman, Laura Dixon, Barbara Hopkins, Mary Wynne, and her son Thomas Gabriel; her grandchildren Angelisa Gray, Michael DeNicola, Nicholas Costa, Daniel Costa, Patrick Erdman, Brian Erdman, Kevin Erdman, Christina Jaatar, Danielle Finnemeyer and Jacklyn Finnemeyer; and her great-grandchildren Mikey DeNicola, Gabrielle Sanborn, Celeste Sanborn, Ryan Jataar and Aidan Erdman. Betty was an extraordinary woman who was well loved by all who knew her. Friends and family are invited to celebrate her Funeral Mass, 11 AM, Friday, March 13, 2020 at Mary Mother of the Redeemer Church, 1325 Upper State Road, North Wales, PA where the viewing will begin at 10 AM. Interment will follow at St. John Neumann Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation at alzfdn.org.