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Ronald Gabrielson Dies

Ronald Gabrielson 0n Aug. 8, Ronald Gabrielson was gathered into the Universe.
Ron came to St. Thomas in the mid-1970s where he taught at Sts. Peter and Paul High School, and then went on to work in many local restaurants. He used his restaurant skills when he left to help open the Bushwhacker in Fort Lauderdale, and then returned to St. Thomas to help re-build and open the Old Mill Restaurant in Contant.
Ron married the love of his life, Courtney Brown Gabrielson, in 1987, and in 1988 their only son, Egon Gunner Gabrielson, was born.
In 1994 Ron went on to follow his passion and life’s work of helping people by opening Tropic Training, a fitness gym on Solberg on St. Thomas.
Ron was born April 5, 1944, in Sioux City, Iowa, the only son of Arvid and Katherine Gabrielson. He attended Central High School in Sioux City where he was an undefeated, All American swimmer on the JV and varsity swim teams. He was the state champion in the 50 freestyle and was on many winning relays. He was a life guard during the summer at Leif Erickson Park near his childhood home.
Ron attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln on a full athletic scholarship, where he played football and was the All Big Eight Freestyle Champion in swimming. He was a member of the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity. He pursued a graduate degree in physiology at Bemidiji State University in Minnesota.
Ron worked with the YMCA in Topeka, Kansas.
He was a pharmaceutical sales representative covering the Midwest in the early 1970s, which led to his lifelong interest in alternative medicine and love of warmer surroundings.
Ron is survived by his wife, Courtney; son, Egon; daughter-in-law, Beth Johnson; granddaughter, Charlie Reese Gabrielson; in-laws: Derryle and David Berger, Brooks Brown and Tracy Brown, and Tom Wiggins; special friends/family members: Maretta Titiamana, Suzy Berecz and Lisa Berger; so many others friends too numerous to mention from Iowa, Nebraska, Florida, St. Thomas and the world; as well as the many people he helped in his gym.
Ron will long be remembered for his intelligence, wit, sense of humor, compassion, love of family, friends and animals, and for being the gentle giant that he was. He was truly larger than life.
He was followed in death by his beloved dog, Gus the Good, on Aug. 13, 2016.
Family and friends will be holding a party for Ron from 5-7 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 21, at Oceana Restaurant at Villa Olga on St. Thomas. All who knew and cared for him are welcome.

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