Murphy Gabriel Jr., 82, of Newton, N.C., made his journey home to the Lord on Tuesday, April 27, 2021, at Carolina Caring Hospice in Sherrills Ford, N.C. He was born September 21, 1938, in Catawba County to Harriet Gabriel and the late Murphy Gabriel Sr.

Mr. Gabriel attended Catawba Rosenwald High School in Catawba, N.C., and was class president (1957). A proud Aggie, he graduated from NC A&T State University in Greensboro N.C. He furthered his education, completing degrees from Baltimore College of Commerce in Baltimore, Md., and the University of Baltimore with studies in business management, accounting, international trade and corporate law.

Never one to shy away from a challenge, he served in the 82nd Airborne Division as a Sergeant E5, at Fort Bragg, N.C. That spirit of adventure and willingness to face any fear was a hallmark of his character.

A hard worker, his work history included serving as superintendent of the Atlanta Housing Authority (Atlanta, GA); millwork specialist, and phone sales in the mill work department (Home Depot in Hickory, N.C.). Outside of work, he enjoyed home improvement projects and gardening.

In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by his daughter, Anita Gabriel; brothers, Glen Gabriel and Curtis Gabriel; and sister, Mary Connor.

Those left to cherish his memory include his mother, Harriet Gabriel; sisters, Georgia Odom, Yvonne Gabriel, and Marion Ross (Jerry Ross); and sister-in-law, Gertrude Gabriel. He has a host of nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, and great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews.

His indomitable spirit and infectious laugh will be greatly missed.

Celebration of Life Services will be conducted Thursday, May 6, 2021, at Rutledge and Bigham Funeral Home at 11 a.m. Interment services will be held at the National Cemetery in Salisbury at 1 p.m. with full military rites.

Visit the Book of Memories for Mr. Gabriel at

Rutledge and Bigham Funeral Home is serving the Gabriel family.