Donald "Donnie" Lee Gabriel

Donald "Donnie" Lee Gabriel, 71, of Redfield, SD, passed away Friday, September 1, 2023, at Community Memorial Hospital Avera in Redfield. 

   Visitation will be on Thursday, September 7, from 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. at Hyke Funeral Home in Redfield.  A prayer service and time of sharing will begin at 6:30 p.m. 

   Donnie’s funeral service will be at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, September 8, at Hyke Funeral Home, with Reverend Keith C. Kraft officiating.  Inurnment will follow at Greenlawn Cemetery in Redfield.  Lunch and fellowship will then take place at the First Congregational United Church of Christ fellowship hall in Redfield.

   The funeral service will be live-streamed on the funeral home’s website below Donnie’s obituary.  Arrangements have been entrusted to Hyke Funeral Home (  Donnie's family requests flower orders to be placed with Country Classics Floral Shoppe in Redfield.

   Donnie was born in Faulkton, SD, on June 26, 1952, to Andrew and Catherine (Stappler) Gabriel.  He attended Redfield Public Schools and graduated in 1970. 

   In February 1974, Donnie married Jody Tubandt, and together, they welcomed a daughter, Carly.

   He married Sonja Knutson on June 28, 1991, at the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Redfield.  This union blended Sonja’s two daughters, Allison and Nichole Wigness, and Donnie’s daughter, Carly, to become one complete family. 

   Over the years, Donnie worked at the Bradley Ford Motor Company as a mechanic and in parts and sales.  At Chases Service Motors, he was a Service Manager and worked in sales, and he was also the Redfield NAPA Store Manager.  He received multiple sales awards through Ford.  In retirement in 2014, he began working as a kitchen cook and dishwasher at Redfield Public Schools.  He enjoyed seeing kids of all ages in the lunch line and, occasionally, spraying them with water!

   Donnie was a former chairman of the James Valley Ringneck Association.  The group was started in 1987 to restore Redfield as the Pheasant Capital of the World.  He was also a former member of the Jaycees, Lions Club, and Ducks Unlimited.  He taught tennis for one year through the Parks and Rec Department.

   Hunting, fishing, cooking, gardening, and hanging out with Jake were favorite pastimes of Donnie’s.  He liked making sausage, as well as teasing and joking around with people.  In his early years, he enjoyed hunting turkey, pheasant, elk, ducks, geese, deer, and antelope.  Later in life, Donnie enjoyed playing Angry Birds on the computer, learning social media, watching the Hallmark channel, and having an afternoon toddy with friends. 

   Donnie’s best times were those spent with family.  Sonja especially enjoyed fishing time with Donnie and the vacation they took together to Mexico, and spending time together at the cabin on Cottonwood Lake.  He loved playing with and teasing his grandkids and teaching them about gardening and fishing. 

   Special memories in Donnie’s life include shooting his first pheasant at the age of 10, shooting a four-point, 540-pound bull elk, and hosting pheasant hunters for 35 years.  He hosted hunters from Wisconsin and had the same hunters from North Carolina for over 30 years.

   Grateful for having shared in Donnie’s life are his wife Sonja of Redfield; and daughters:  Carly Gabriel and her children Madeline, Catherine, and Daphne of Sioux Falls, SD; Allison (Jon) Weber and their children Harper, Callie, and Everley of Sioux Falls; and Nichole (Mike) Drennen and their children Jada, Maya, Logan, and Braxton of Sioux Falls.  He is also survived by his siblings:  Karen Nelson of Watertown, SD; Randall (Dena) Gabriel of Fort Pierre, SD; and Chuck Gabriel of Aberdeen, SD; several nieces and nephews; and special friends Kirk and Jessi Whitley and their family.

   He is preceded in death by his parents, brother LeRoy (Lana) Gabriel, brother-in-law Marv Nelson, sister-in-law Deb Gabriel, and special pet Jake.