Kenneth Anderson Gabriel
August 6, 1950 ~ January 28, 2021
Kenneth A. Gabriel died at his Alexandria home on January 28, 2021 from complications of cancer with his former wife, Martha, at his side. He was beloved across many continents. Born in Cairo, Egypt, he emigrated first to Paris, France, then settled in the United States and always maintained close ties to France. He completed his studies at the University of Illinois earning a PhD in Chemistry, and later an MA from Georgetown University School of International Studies.
Ken used his Materials Science expertise and entrepreneurial spirit to work across sectors: in government, working for the Army as a researcher and then senior technology manager in the Boston area, the Pentagon, and Alexandria VA, in a wide range of areas from innovative armor protection for soldiers to fostering Small Business Innovative Research; in academia, as an adjunct professor at University of Maryland and George Mason University; and in industry, establishing highly successful technology-based small businesses and serving as President and CEO of Prognosys, LLC. Ken and his dear friend and UMD colleague, John, founded Black Rooster Food, supplying 100% rye Latvian bread to the U.S.A.
An avid cyclist and explorer, he enjoyed participating in group cycling trips as well as setting out from Paris on long-distance touring trips through France. He established a Provence Adventure travel company and helped many tourists see the French countryside.
Ken is survived by three brothers: Ezzat, Tharwat, and Safwat; and nine nieces and nephews: Mina, John and Nancy; Waheed; Renee, Sarah and Kamil; and Diana and Sarah. Also, his former wife, Martha, of 24 years; step-daughter, Olivia; and eleven more nieces and nephews: Laura, Daniel, Rebecca, David, Katrina, Elizabeth, and John; Martha and Alex; Allison and Elizabeth, who loved him dearly. He is preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Soaad, and brother, Refaat.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Mary's Catholic Basilica in Alexandria, Virginia, at 10:00am on February 12, 2021. Live streaming will be available. All are welcome.
Ken was a good friend who I knew for more than 20 years. He could be serious and he could be humorous. He had an impressive intellect and loved a good discussion. He loved his homes in France and it was always my regret to have never visited him there. Ken was always welcoming and seemed happiest when enjoying a good meal with friends. I remember intensely competitive racquetball games with Ken and our good friend Bruce Zimmerman. It seemed like one or more might have a welt or two from a fiercely struck ball at the game’s end. But it was a good time and we always parted as friends, albeit tired ones. Farewell, my friend. You are missed already.
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I worked with Ken at SARDA in the Pentagon, 1990-1, and later at the Army Research Office. One of the best bosses I ever had. RIP, Ken.