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Obituary: Mabel Jones Gabbott

Published: Sunday, Feb. 15 2004 12:00 a.m. MST

1910 ~ 2004

Mabel Jones Gabbott, age 93, died February 13, 2004, surrounded by her loving family at the Rocky Mtn. Care Center in Bountiful. She was born October 23, 1910 in Malad, Idaho to Mary Lusk Jones and Bernard Jones. She married J. Donald Gabbott on June 30, 1941. They had five children. Her husband, Don, died in May of 1976.

Mabel was loved by everyone who knew her. She was an accomplished poet and lyricist. In 1946 she was invited to submit hymn texts for a new LDS Church hymn book. Three of her texts were accepted, including "In Humility our Savior", which was sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in 1950 when the new hymn book was introduced. It has since become a much-loved hymn throughout the Church. She went on to see many of her poems and songs published.

Mabel's lyrics were put to music by many composers, including Crawford Gates, Robert Cundick, Darwin Wolford, Robert Manookin, Nora Hogan, Lynn Lund, and Michael Moody. Besides the hymns in the Church hymn book, Mabel's songs appear in the Children's Song Book, many of which are familiar to children throughout the church, including "He Sent His Son" and "Baptism."

A great deal of Mabel's life was given in service to the LDS Church. She served a mission in 1938 under Preston Nibley, in the Northwestern States (where she met her husband). After her mission she worked in Salt Lake City as a secretary to Elder LeGrand Richards. In 1957 she was a manuscript editor for "The Children's Friend" magazine. Then she joined the staff of "The Improvement Era" (later called the Ensign) magazine in 1965 where she was Editorial Assistant and contributing writer. She also served as a member of the MIA General Board at this time. In 1973 the Church Music Committee began to revise and update the hymn book and Mabel served as the chairman of the text committee.

After her retirement in 1975, Mabel continued to write and did some of her best work during this period. She was called to be Relief Society President of the Bountiful 1st ward in 1985 at the age of 75; she also served as chairman of the Davis County Library Board.

Mabel was a wonderful mother. She loved life deeply and was a happy and cheerful person. She was playful and joyous in raising her children. We all loved her deeply and will miss her very much.

Mabel is survived by her five children: Cheryl Lea; Sue Ellen Dewey (David); John Richard (Anna Rae); W. Geoffrey (Margo); and Steven Bernard, 12 grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren. She is also survived by two brothers, Edward L. Jones (Lu) of Arizona and J Blair Jones (Carol) of Bountiful; Sister-in-law, Mary Lou Jones of Malad, ID, Brother-in-law, Don Castleton of Preston ID, and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday, February 18, 2004, at 1:00 pm at the Bountiful 1st Ward 51 South Main, Bountiful. Friends may call Tuesday evening from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Russon Brothers Mortuary, 295 North Main, Bountiful and again from 11:45 am to 12:45pm Wednesday at the Church. Interment at Salt Lake City Cemetery.

The family is very grateful to all the staff at Rocky Mountain Care Center and would like to thank them for the sweet and tender care they gave to our mother for so many years.

Online guest book at www.russonmortuary.com.

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