Ryan Prince Tibo Gabato

January 15, 1948December 3, 2020
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Ryan Prince Tibo Gabato, age 72, of Las Vegas, Nevada passed away on Thursday, December 3, 2020. Ryan was born January 15, 1948 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Survived by his Beloved wife Josefa Glipa Suga Gabato, Daughter Raenette Gabato Sodaria and Son in law William Sodaria, Daughter Roxanne Gabato Ricafrente and Son in law Allen Ricafrente Sr., 10 Grandchildren and 20 Great Grandchildren.

A visitation for Ryan will be held Saturday, January 16, 2021 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM at Palm Northwest Mortuary, 6701 North Jones Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89131. A funeral service will occur Saturday, January 16, 2021 at 12:00 PM. A reception will occur immediately after the funeral service.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the Gabato family.


  • Visitation

    Saturday, January 16, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, January 16, 2021

  • Reception

    Saturday, January 16, 2021


Ryan Prince Tibo Gabato

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Madeline(Maddie) Heil

January 15, 2021

Madeline (Maddie) Heil

January 14, 2021

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out the mango peel as juice dribbled down his mouth and onto the front of his torn tee shirt. He’d wipe the pretend juice with the back of his hand. As a storyteller his eyes would sparkle when he knew he captured the attention and imagination of his listeners. Yet more than anything he loved talking about the nasty brawls, of how he and his buddies stuck up for each other, and how he used his smarts to get out of trouble.

In our few adult conversations together, Ronnie-boy repeated how proud he was of his younger sibling. In his reflections, he talked about our humble plantation beginnings, how he envied my decision to move to the mainland, and how I was able to earn advanced college degrees—something he never accomplished. He flattered my ego by calling me an athlete because I enjoyed running, working out, and staying fit. Since Ron and our family had traveled across the USA, and later internationally, Ronnie-boy considered his youngest sister a world traveler. Then in his unique way, Ronnie-boy presented me with special tokens to commemorate our reunion. First he gave me his black Callaway golf hat and then a trophy he had recently won at a golf tournament. Although he claimed that he gave me these treasures out of respect and admiration, he warned with a stern look: “Next time I visit, you better keep these cuz I’m gonna check!”

Athlete, protector, storyteller, jokester—Ryan was all of these and more. I only wished I had more opportunities to share his life lessons and past adventures with him.

Keeping Ronnie-boy in my heart,
Madeline (Gabato) Heil

Madeline (Maddie) Heil

January 14, 2021

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a track and field event. Coach pointed out that this was the first time that any student from Waipahu Elementary School had competed in high jumping, that Ronnie was able to jump almost as high as he was tall, and that he was successful to earn 2nd place at Ronnie’s first track and field competition. After hearing this, I believed Ronnie could do wonders.

One unusual hobby Ronnie-boy had was keeping pigeons. He and Milton our second oldest sibling built a sturdy pigeon coop. Not long afterward, Ronnie came home with pigeons, though he didn’t explain why, or what he was planning to do as he observed and worked with those birds. He even developed a special whistle with his cupped hands as a means to call his pigeons to gather toward him. Eventually Ronnie showed me how he could clip a tiny rolled piece of paper onto a bird’s leg before he thrusted that pigeon high into the air. The pigeon flew off out of sight for a long while. Later that bird returned home with the paper still secured to its leg. I wondered whether Ronnie had planned to train his pigeons to fly to his friend’s in order to send messages to each other because we didn’t have a phone.

As diligently as Ronnie worked with pigeons, at around 13 years old, Ronnie made a point to teach me some defensive moves. Some skills we worked on were how to get out of choke holds, how to block and throw punches, and how to escape if I was attacked from behind. If I forgot those skills he told me, “No worry, I’ll take care anybody who pushes you around!”

What I enjoyed most was Ronnie’s descriptive stories. When talking about his football games, he’d show us his fancy moves or demonstrated how he intently looked over his teammates while calling out key plays as quarterback. His retellings of ordinary acts was often a dramatic production. For example, when he talked about eating ripe mangos with his friends, Ronnie gripped his

Madeline (Maddie) Heil

January 14, 2021

Memories of Ronnie-boy (unabridged version)

Ryan, Ronnie-boy, and Rabbit were names my brother answered to when growing up. I have many childhood memories of Ronnie, compared to only a few as an adult. Ronnie was an adventurous rascal, jumping off the giant boulder and tall trees in our yard, and daring enough to jump off the roof of our plantation house. But during his teens he got himself into mischief a few times where he couldn’t leap out of unwise choices. He left one summer to work picking pineapples on the small, hot, desolate island of Lanai. There was also a time when Ronnie went to the mainland all by himself to find work. I envied Ronnie’s independent, “have no fear” mentality. Eventually, I too moved away to Colorado where I later married, settled, and raised my family. There was an 18 year pause in our brother-sister relationship until the day Ron drove us to Stockton, California where I introduced our 2 children (Kristin and Jeremy) to Ronnie- boy, Joyce and their family.

As a child Ronnie was talented in many ways, particularly athletics. He was proud, determined, and fearlessly hard-headed. In contrast he was also funny, a great story-teller because he’d instinctively acted out his tales. There were also times I didn’t know whether what he told was true or just his way of stretching the truth. He proved to be creative, resourceful, and a confident brother only two years older.

It was no secret that Ronnie was fast and light on his feet. Around 7 years old he started playing Pop Warner football and soon he earned his nickname Rabbit. There was a time our dad coached Ronnie-boy and our older brother Milton in boxing as well as jujitsu. Those experiences developed not only martial arts skills but also a competitive drive he applied to other areas. For example, during his 8th grade year at a school wide recognition assembly, the intermediate PE coach called up Ronnie to the stage to congratulate him for his impressive efforts at

Kristin Hau'oli Schillinger

January 11, 2021

Uncle Ronnie boy was a larger than life character long before we got the chance to spend time together in person — and when we did finally meet, he definitely lived up to his reputation! I will never forget him teaching me how to play Mike Tyson Punch-Out and laughing until I cried to listen to his stories. He was always such a joyful presence in our household, even though we were far away, so I know he'll continue to be a bright light in my heart and the hearts of everyone who loves him. Big love to you, Uncle Ronnie boy!

Rochelle Ramiscal Crowder

January 5, 2021

One time Uncle Ryan told me this ... “not everybody is going to like you Boomie ... if everybody did ... something wrong ... “

Thank You Uncle Ryan for teaching me to be my own, and not to worry about what other people think.

Rest In Love

James (Jr) Sylva

January 1, 2021

I've always enjoyed Uncle Ronnie boy's company and would get excited knowing that he would visit or we would go to see them at Ewa Beach. The best thing I loved about him was his wit and humor; he could be the life of the party. And his cooking was good too! My dad would never eat tripe, but once Uncle Ronnie boy made his tripe stew, he turned my dad into a believer. Uncle will truly be missed!

Kalei Sodaria

December 17, 2020

My favorite memory of papa was my 16th birthday. He came over to the house with a peach fruit tart and i’ve never told him that peaches were my favorite fruit. So i asked him “how’d you know peaches are my favorite?” And he just shouted “BECAUSE 9 IS EXOTIC!” And I didn’t stop smiling the entire time after that.

Miss you grandpa

Ron Heil

December 14, 2020

Ryan always amazed me with his wit & levity. I remember going to his house, my first time in Hawaii and meeting his family & dog Mr Bones(such a fun and interesting name). And on one of trips to Stockton how after one of my kids outscored him on the video game Tetris he stayed up all night to regain the high score again. His determination & will had no limits, he will be missed. Ron Heil

Lorraine Sylva

December 12, 2020

(Page 1)

We all see a person we know or think we know in different ways. It's not only because we are all different but mainly because it's how we are treated and how we treat that person in return. So with that said, you just might ask, "Where is she coming from?" Okay let me answer this way:
Back in the 1950's, as I recall, Ronnieboy was the only name known to me. I did not know him as : Ryan, Prince Tibo, Rabbit or whatever name he was given through out his life time. After all, I was only four and he was two years old. Yes, that's how far back I can remember this wonderful person I loved so deeply. He was my only true life long friend, next to my brilliant n loving husband, Jimmy.
At only two years old, Ronnieboy gave me comfort especially when I was crying. Well, I was always crying without sound only tears falling. My crying made him upset n whatever or whoever hurt me, he developed a motto, "hit it and kill it" (bug) or fight to the end know matter how small or how big (person). Even at this very early age he taught me how to stop, look, watch n learn what's happening to our little world around us. He found a secret hiding place under our house in Koko Head. He would bring me there to stop me from crying so much. He was my little big brother after all.
So what's the most important thing to a two year old? If you said, "FOOD". you are so right smarty pants!!! He provided me with food from the dinning room table by grabbing it with his bare hand and put it in my plate because I ate so slowly. And even if he was full, he would grab from my plate n quickly put it his mouth n run away just to help me finish up the food on my plate. Otherwise I would be eating till the next meal - that's how slow I was.
I could go on n on about my brother, Ronnieboy n you would find it so hard to believe (continued on page 2),