Walter Louis Gabler, nicknamed Bud, died on Wednesday July 7th, at the age of 90. He was born May 30, 1931, in Chicago, Illinois to parents Walter Gabler and Ruth Samuelson. He was raised in the Chicago area with 2 brothers and one sister. He graduated from Hirsch High School in 1949. He had the good fortune to meet the love of his life, Barbara Carne, while in nursery school. They attended the same church but started dating in their high school years. They were married in 1952 and recently celebrated their 68th wedding anniversary.
Walter earned an undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois, Chicago in 1952 with a plan to be a history teacher. He realized there were not many well-paying jobs, so he went back to school at Northwestern University to study Dentistry. He graduated with a DDS degree in 1956, just three credits short for a dual MD degree. He enlisted in the Airforce where he served as a First Lieutenant and later as a Captain practicing Dentistry. He later returned to Chicago and practiced Dentistry part time attending Northwestern University in Evanston to complete his PhD in Biochemistry. He quickly realized his love of research and teaching and wanted to pursue a career in academia. With three children and two part time jobs, he graduated with a PhD in 1964.
The family moved to West Linn, Oregon while Walter worked as a professor in Biochemistry at OHSU Dental School while also doing research. Walter, Barbara and the three boys moved to Lexington Kentucky where Walter continued his advanced work in research at the University of Kentucky. There they had their 4th son. After three years, they missed the beauty, lifestyle and deep friendships they had in Oregon. Walter rejected research jobs from Harvard and Stanford and moved to Mountain Park in Lake Oswego, Oregon. They made a home there for over 40 years. Walter continued his prestigious career at OHSU where he was a revered professor and ultimately the Dean of Biochemistry for the Dental School. He was also a valued researcher for the University and was published and honored in many ways.
Walter and Barbara loved their faith community at West Linn Baptist Church and Mountain Park Church. They were part of many faith groups, including the high school youth group, Young Life, and especially loved helping young couples enter the world of marriage. He loved volunteering at all six grandchildren’s grade schools, where he was fondly known as Grandpa Gabler. In addition, he coached the boy’s youth baseball teams and participated in the church softball league. Walter loved to joke around and tease whoever he could. Walter and Barbara’s love for travel took them to many destinations, including Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and their favorite, Maui Hawaii.
Nothing in life was as important to Walter as time with his loving family. There are so many memories of card games, science experiments, camping and questionable boating trips to mention. Barbara and Bud were frequent spectators at all the kids local sporting events and made friends with everyone they met. Walter is survived by his wife, Barbara Gabler, his sister Ruthann, his four sons Keith (Suzie), Mark (Mila), Jeff (Jenny) and Greg (Molly). In addition, he was the proud grandpa of six grandchildren, Justin (Jamie), Kristen (Joey), Sophie, Grace, Kenna and Carson and great grandpa to four- Parker, Audrey, Carlee and Brooklynn.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, please donate to Young Life.
A memorial service honoring his incredible life will be Friday, July 23, 2021 at 2:00 pm in Mountain Park Church 40 McNary Parkway Lake Oswego, 97035
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