GABRIEL WILLIAM KASSAB
June 2, 1920 –June 6, 2013
Gabriel William Kassab was born on June 2, 1920 in Detroit, Michigan. His parents were Elias and Marie (nee Romanos) Kassab and they were of Lebanese descent. He died peacefully on Thursday, June 6, 2013 at his home in Franklin, surrounded by his loving family. He was 93 years of age.
Over the years, he would be affectionately be known as "Gabe"
Gabe was a resident of Franklin, MI for 53 years and was a former resident of Detroit, MI. He was a graduate of Eastern High School in Detroit. He was a proud, decorated veteran of the United States Army, serving in the Pacific Theatre in World War II. He received the Purple Heart Medal, the American Defense Service Ribbon, two Bronze Battle Stars, and seven Overseas Service Bars. He was the former General Manager and Past President of Elias Brothers "Big Boy" Restaurants. Although many say he was the heart of the Company, he always said it was the people that made it great. Most would agree with both. He served as president of the Michigan and National Restaurant Associations, and as a member of the advisory board of Southfield's Providence Hospital. He retired in 2005 at the age of 85 after a career that spanned 54 years. After his retirement, he continued his involvement in his family owned Big Boy franchises. He was an active member of the executive committee of the Boy Scouts of America, Detroit Area Council. Operation Can-Do, a program which he helped to found brought together Big Boy, The Boy Scouts and local food banks to collect and distribute canned goods. It was with great devotion that he remained involved with the program for more than 20 years. He enjoyed gardening and attending to his prize Rose bushes. He enjoyed spectator sports and was an avid Detroit sports fan. He was dedicated to maintaining his swimming pool for the enjoyment of his family and friends. In last several years, he became involved in Fantasy Football with his "Wayne's Pal" team that was dedicated to Wayne Fontes, the former Detroit Lions coach. He was devoted to all of the pets in the family, visiting and supplying treats to each of them. Most of all he enjoyed the company of family and friends and spent as much time as he could doing just that.
Beloved husband of the late Mary (nee Elias) for 53 years. Dear father of Nancy Krueger, Patty Kassab, Jennifer Marsh (Avery), Marie Wonsch (Al) and the late Bill (Karen). Loving grandfather of David and Brian Krueger, Heather Issers, Jerry Hayes, Leiton and Lauren Marsh and great granddaughter Zoe Hayes. Brother of the late George, Edward, Theodore and Evelyn. Also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Family will receive friends Sunday 1-8p.m. with prayers at 7p.m. at A.J. Desmond & Sons (Vasu, Rodgers & Connell Chapel), 32515 Woodward (btwn 13-14 Mile), 248-549-0500. Funeral Service Monday 11a.m. at The Basilica of Saint Mary, 18100 Merriman Rd., Livonia. Visitation at church begins at 10a.m. In
lieu of flowers family suggests memorial tributes to The Basilica of Saint Mary.
Read Gabriel Kassab's Obituary and Guestbook on desmondfuneralhome.com.