Dr. Karl  Gabler

Obituary of Dr. Karl F. Gabler

Dr. Karl F. Gabler, of Hilton Head Island, passed away peacefully on the evening of April 1st at Friends of Caroline Hospice. 


Karl, son of Karl and Marie (Langer) Gabler, was born April 12, 1931, in Tuermitz-Aussig, Tschechien, formerly the Sudetenland, now the Czech Republic. At the end of WWII, when he was 14 years old, he was uprooted from his home and family and sent to East Germany. He survived two grueling years, mostly by his own initiative, before being reunited with his parents in West Germany.


After completing high school Karl enrolled at the University of Aachen where he earned his PhD in metallurgy. Karl taught at the University for several years as an assistant professor before moving to industry where he managed a German foundry for five years. He then moved to Brillion, Wisconsin after accepting a position at the Brillion Iron Works. Here he held a number of distinguished positions, eventually becoming president and C.E.O. for over a decade.    


Karl was a true Renaissance Man. He was accomplished on the piano and accordion, skilled in woodworking and constructed an amazingly intricate Black Forest model railroad in his Port Royal Plantation home of 32 years.


Karl was predeceased by his first wife Hildegard. He is survived by his wife of forty-one years, Hiltrud; by daughter, Ursula (Shane); two grandchildren, Tina (Jon) and Cody (Nicole); six great grandchildren; and, in Germany, a sister-in-law, niece and nephew. He was greatly loved and will be deeply missed by his family and those whose lives he touched.


After cremation, Karl will be inurned at the St. Francis by the Sea Columbarium. A celebration of his life will be held at a later date.


In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to either Friends of Caroline Hospice, Ridgeland, or the American Red Cross.

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