A Team Member Passed Away Last Weekend

One of our team members passed away this past weekend. Not that you all would know him, but his name was Nick Gabel. Nick had been with us for only about six months. Far too short a time, but we valued his presence nonetheless. Nick passed away from complications related to muscular dystrophy. You see Nick had been in a wheel chair for most of his young life. Even though his body was weak, his mind was strong and vital. He couldn’t turn a wrench, but he could use his mind and imagination as a member of our programming team.

Several weeks ago I spoke to our school district’s director of special needs education. She told me Nick was so excited about being part of our team. She said that he was doing better in school this year than ever before. And it was due in large part to his new found interest in FIRST. Our team gave him a sense of belonging that had previously eluded him. He had found a home.

If any of you are competing in Pittsburgh, Toronto or the Championships in Atlanta, stop by our pit area and learn a little more about Nick. We will have a memory book we would like anyone who is a member of the FIRST community to sign. Perhaps you could also give us one of your team pins. We would like to present the book and pins to Nick’s mother as a memento of what the spirit of FIRST is all about. Gracious professionalism. Team. Family.

The Red Barons
Team #63

This is horrible. I really didn’t expect to hear something like this during any season. On behalf of the chiefdelphi community, our condolence to Nick’s family. I will make sure that I stop by team 63’s pit.


I’m so sorry to hear that. I couldn’t imagine the build season with this happening in the middle of this.

From my self and behalf of Team 5 (The Robocards) we are sorry for the bad news and give our condolences.

I’m terribly sorry to hear this news. My heart goes out to your team and the family. Our team had a member pass one year too sorta like this. I hope everything goes well with your team this season and every season. I’ll be sure to visit. I just know though in my heart that he’s now in heaven just watching over us and smiling.

I’m very sorry for your loss. The fact that your team created such a rewarding community for him makes it all the more difficult. Many condolences to your team on behalf of the FIRST community, and I’ll definitly save some stuff and some love for your team at Nats.

I am extremely sorry to hear this, my sincere condolences to Team 63 and Nicks family. I will make sure to stop at 63’s pits at the championship.

Im sooo sory to hear that :frowning: im sitting here at my computer tear eyed. Im so happy he found FIRST to be his home and a great hobby and thing to do. I admire those people who are like that because they know what life is and they know how to live it. They always have a smile on their face and just live life the best they can. That is just so great how there was a part on ur team for him. Im defentitly going to stop by your guy’s pits. My best wishes and prays are here.


My apologies both on my own behalf and on the behalf of Team 1504. I know from personal experience how difficult and challenging of a disease MD is and I send out my prayers to your teammate’s family and to your team.

I am very sorry to hear of this tragic news. On behalf of Team 1455, I deliver my sincere condolences, wishes, and prayers to Team 63 and Nick’s family.

  • Fixen

I’m terribly sorry to hear of your loss. I will keep him in my thoughts and prayers. If we go to championships I will be sure to stop by - if not a 571 pin will be sent through another team for his memento.

I would like to respectfully offer my (and my team’s) sincere condolences… I’m really sorry that this happened. I am glad he found FIRST…

I am sure your team will not be the same without him. I will definitely stop by your pit to sign his book.

I’m very sorry to hear that. No death is good, but at least we all know that he is now in a good place. Again very sorry to hear and I’ll keep your team and the his family in prayers.

On behalf of 229 I’d also like to offer our deepest condolences.
We too have sufferred loss before, and I know how tragic it can be.

Be strong, press on through the season.
Let the FIRST “family” know if you need any support, because believe me – you’ve got it.

Take Care,

i’m so sorry… thats so horrible for something like that to happen, but i am glad that before he passed he had finally felt accepted, and i’m so glad that FIRST touched him, even if it was for a brief time. in Atlanta i’ll make sure during my “good morning” rounds in the pit to make a special stop for you guys and give a special Team 233 button for the scrapbook; its the least i can do.

good luck at competition; once again i’m so sorry to hear about the loss.

On Behalf of Team 191, 1126, 1nd 1450 The XEROX FIRST Teams please forward our condolenses to his parents. I’ll try to get you a set of the X-CATS Complete 12 button collection.


I’m sure that I speak for all of Team 341 when I say that I am really sorry to hear of Nick’s death. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.


I’m very sorry for the loss that your team is experiencing. My heart goes out to you, your team, and Nick’s family. I am happy to hear that Nick was able to experience a second family in his team.

Our team will not be going to any of the regionals your team is going to, and we don’t have the money to go to Nationals either so unfortunately we won’t be able to stop by to visit your team. We don’t have a team pin yet, but are working on it as we speak. Can you PM me with an address to send it to if you don’t feel comfortable posting it?



In response to Pattie’s post, if anyone not attending the Pittsburgh or Toronto regionals or the Championships in Atlanta would like to provide a team pin to help honor our late team member Nick Gabel, please mail it to me personally. I will gladly see it gets added to the memento to be given to his family.

Tom Albert
2775 Carleton Court
Erie, Pa 16506

I am very sorry to hear about this extremely tragic news. Team 22 sends its most sincere condolences to you guys and Nick’s family. FIRST is a family in itself and this is like losing a brother. We will be sure to bring something special with us to Atlanta to give to you guys. once again we are very sorry to hear this bad news.

My condolences to his family and those who knew him. From the Ammoknights I am sorry. If we meet at a later date I would like to stop by your pit and sign his memory book. If you would permit we could sign a page scan it into the computer and send it to you. Unfortunately we do not have a pin to give him.