SANTA MONICA—Philanthropist and founder of the Santa Monica History Museum, Louise B. Gabriel has died, the Santa Monica Daily Press reported.
One of the founders of Santa Monica Historical Society Museum in 1988, Gabriel along with her husband Bob Gabriel, founder of Bob Gabriel Co., have contributed more than 70,000 hours of community service over the past 50 years including the establishment and developing the museum.
She has received over 30 recognition and service awards including the Mark J. Benjamin Community Impact Award given by the Santa Monica Bay Area Human Relations Council in 2016.
In her 27 years associated with the museum, Gabriel held various positions within the organization, including official historian, photographer, photo archivist, and historical writer. She was also the first membership chairman and served as full-time President on a pro-bono basis.
She has served in numerous community service organizations apart from her museum, such as the Santa Monica Salvation Army Auxiliary, Santa Monica Hospital Auxiliary, Santa Monica Bay Woman’s Club, Santa Monica College Patrons, Santa Monica Boys Club Auxiliary, and the Marina Satellites of the California Federation of Women’s Clubs
“She was a powerhouse for the arts and keeping Santa Monica’s history alive through the Santa Monica History Museum. She will be greatly missed, but never forgotten and her legacy will live on for generations,” said Mayor Ted Winterer in a statement.
Gabriel is survived by her children (Susan Gabriel Potter, Robb Gabriel and Sharyl Gabriel Szydlik), grandchildren (Patrick Potter, Bryan Potter and Michael Szydlik), sisters (Josephine Van Buren and Elaine Bruner), son in laws (Pat Potter and Joseph Szydlik) and many nieces and nephews.
“We feel privileged to be living in beautiful Santa Monica, a place we fell in love with when we first came here from out-of-state and knew this was where we wanted to spend the rest of our lives. When we discovered Santa Monica’s history during the centennial, we decided to take an active part in seeing that its history would be preserved and kept alive for all generations to know and value,” said Gabriel on the Santa Monica Historical Museum’s website.