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Maila Gabriel

Image by Nick Andréka

DR. MAILA J. GABRIEL

October 15, 1969 – April 29, 2024

With much love we mourn the passing of Maila on April 29, 2024, age 54. She is survived by her husband, Randy Matthes; daughter, Leah Matthes; mother, Teresita Valach; and stepbrothers Michael Valach and Martin Valach, along with beloved family and friends.


Maila was predeceased by her father, Rolando (Rolly) Gabriel (1984), and stepfather, Roman Valach (2014).


Maila was less than three years old when her family emigrated from the Philippines to Canada in 1972. They settled in Winnipeg’s North End, where Maila attended Holy Ghost School. Among the fellow Filipino friends that became as close as family in those early years, Adrienne Castro was just as a younger sister to Maila. Throughout her childhood, Maila’s mother Tessie, her father Rolly, and later, her stepfather Roman enveloped Adrienne with their love and support. 


In junior and high school, Maila flourished at St. Mary’s Academy (SMA), taking the opportunity not only to learn but to enrich the school experience for herself and her classmates. Editor of The Spark, social planner, and chess club founder were among the many SMA hats she wore. Her friends from SMA remember Maila’s kindness and compassion, but also her sense of fun and adventure. 


Many friendships blossomed for Maila at SMA, none closer and more enduring than with Franeli Yadao. They made each other brave to try new things and they encouraged one another to be their best selves. In school and over the years, Fran’s friendship was ever a comfort to Maila.


Maila continued her education at the University of Manitoba (BSc ’91, Honours Biochemistry) and at St Paul’s College. Once again, she found a fantastic group of fellow students who became lifelong friends. While at St. Paul’s College, Maila continued to contribute to school community as Editor of The Paulinian and as Vice Stick. 


Maila achieved her Doctor of Medicine in 1996 at the University of Manitoba and embarked on a career in family medicine. Her full-time practice at Clinique St-Boniface Clinic included not only adult care but obstetrics as well. More than one newborn was named Maila in her honour, and dozens of now 20-30 year olds were delivered by her capable and loving hands.


As a busy doctor in the times before smartphones, Maila relied on her pager. One evening in early December 2001, it showed an unfamiliar phone number. She returned the call. It was “the guy” her friend wanted Maila to meet. Randy. The two of them talked for a couple of hours that night, met in person for the first time just before Christmas, and became a couple, much to the delight of their family and friends.


Maila and Randy married in 2004. They merged their tastes and put on big family dinners. They travelled New York City, San Francisco, Key West, Montreal, the Maritimes, and the Rockies. 


And in 2010 their world got a whole lot sweeter with the arrival of their baby daughter Leah. Maila was a devoted mom, always there for Leah. 


Maila could bake the smoothest cheesecake, crochet the coziest wool blanket, and play Chopin on the piano. She made everyday things beautiful. But her greatest talent was surely anticipating the needs of her family, friends, and patients. 


As a family doctor, she considered it a privilege to help those in her care. She was excited to resume practice in a new position starting in June.


You’re in our hearts forever, Maila.


A special thank you to the Medical Intensive Care Unit staff at Health Sciences Centre for their care and compassion.


A funeral mass will take place Friday, May 10, 11:00 a.m. at St. John Brebeuf Church, 1707 John Brebeuf Place.


In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Heart and Stroke Foundation, St. Boniface Hospital Foundation, or Health Sciences Centre Foundation


A celebration of Maila’s life will take place on Thursday, June 20, 2 pm – 4 pm, at 603 Wellington Cr. at Academy Road (the Unitarian Church). Please RSVP to rmatt9@shaw.ca.


Maila’s family kindly requests that all of her friends and relatives take a few minutes to honour her memory by sharing photos, memories, and stories, using the comment section on this page.

ETHICAL DEATH CARE

Cremation & Life Celebrations

530 St. Mary Avenue - Winnipeg

204-421-5501 - www.ethicaldeathcare.com

Memories, Stories and Condolences

 

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Leah Kwiatek

May 27, 2024 at 11:50 PM

Sending my condolences to the family of Dr Gabriel. She will forever be in our thoughts and hearts. She delivered all three of our sons and helped bring our precious bundles into this world. Her kindness, encouragement and caring heart always put my mother worries at ease. She was the best and always had a beautiful smile when she walked into the room. I have thought of her often and often wondered about how she was since closing her practice. Our family is deeply saddened to hear of her passing. She will be greatly missed. Heaven has gained an angel. RIP Dr Gabriel. God bless.

Michelle

May 23, 2024 at 6:13 AM

I am absolutely stunned at this horrendous outcome. Maila was such an amazing, compassionate and gifted physician, even just spending a little time with her was healing. This is an immeasurably tragic loss for the community.

My deepest, heartfelt condolences to her family and loved ones.

Mélanie Saint-Hilaire

May 22, 2024 at 7:02 PM

So sorry to hear of Maila's passing. I send my deepest condolences to Randy and Leah. She was a good friend, colleague and mentor. She will be missed.

Laura Kasian

May 11, 2024 at 11:13 PM

I was saddened to hear of Maila's passing. She had a unique and enduring sense of compassion and kindness. She would always tell me " you are my favorite patient of the day"... of course I knew said said that to all her patients but in some way I had felt special. She truly left this world a better place. and will be missed by all who knew her. My thoughts are with her family at this most difficult time.

Marc St. Onge (friend from St. Paul's College)

May 11, 2024 at 11:02 PM

Oh Maila. What shock and sadness to have to say goodbye.

It was always a joy to cross paths with you, starting way back at St. Paul's College and continuing through our post-university lives. Even though I left Winnipeg, we still got to catch up sometimes: you helped welcome Kim into my family of friends at our engagement party, we shared god-parental duties for Isaac, you and Randy made the trek to Ottawa for my wedding, we both decided in 2010 to name our daughters Lea(h)... And every time I saw you, the same warm welcome and the same sliding right back into a conversation like no time had passed. Those meetups became less frequent over the years, but I always imagined we would see each other again. And even now, as sad as I am, I can still imagine the I will see you again in some great beyond and we will slide right back into a conversation like no time has passed.

Thanks for being a friend and the Ninang to my Ninong.

 

Randy and Leah: I can't adequately express my sympathy for your loss. I can only hope that the happy memories of a life well lived can be of some comfort now and in the future.

Paula B.

May 11, 2024 at 3:44 PM

I met Maila only once, when she and Randy visited San Francisco a number of years ago, but she left an impression on me and I've thought about her a lot since then. It was primarily her warmth, I think, but also her smile and her interest in the world around her. Love to Randy, Leah, and the entire family.

Pauline & Ray

May 11, 2024 at 4:50 AM

We ABSOLUTELY LOVED DR. Gabriel ! She was our doctor at the Tache Clinic in St. Boniface from when she started there till she left suddenly. ! We were devastated when she left and prayed for years and years that she would return ! We always prayed for her wherever she was because we never knew, but it happened to her, and why she had stopped practice ! We never knew if she started again or not, but she certainly never left her mind or our hearts ! We are totally devastated to find out that she has passed on, and we will miss her terribly ! We just can't believe that she's not gonna be around anymore to help people ! She was definitely a doctor that had her heart in the right place, and that was simply to help every patient that she had the best way possible ! She was simply amazing and has been taken away from us. way to soon ! We certainly will always be grateful for the time that she was in our lives, and hope to see her again one day in heaven ! Our prayers are with the whole family, may you be comforted by the memories that you all share with her ! We express our deepest condolences to the whole family !

 

Brenda Balinski

May 11, 2024 at 12:14 AM

Dr. Gabriel, you were the very best. I have never had such a caring, loving and thoughtful doctor. I was always hoping to meet up to tell you how much we appreciated everything you did for us. RIP.

Anonymous

May 10, 2024 at 5:06 PM

She was seriously the best doctor anyone could have and/or ever ask for. She always listened and truly cared. My daughter and I, who also saw Dr. Gabriel wanted to find her, so we could take her out to lunch and let her know how much we cared for her and appreciated every thing she did for us. She was truly a beautiful and amazing woman.  RIP sweet lady. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family. ❤️

Christine Soubry (nee MacInnes) SMA ‘87

May 10, 2024 at 5:05 PM

I am so saddened to hear about Malia’s passing. Truly one of the kindest and friendliest humans I’ve ever met. I met her years ago at SMA, and then enjoyed reconnecting with her at our school reunions. I was also extremely fortunate to have her as my doctor for several years. Her attentiveness and compassion made her a truly gifted doctor. My heart goes out to her beautiful daughter, husband, and mom…..and to Fran, who has been her dearest friend since SMA!


RIP dear Maila.

Sending love and prayers,

Karen Hemmerling

May 10, 2024 at 5:05 PM

We have truly lost one of the kindest most caring people  and Dr. You woukd ever meet. Met Maila at SB working in the Emergent department. Maila was our family practice medical resident. Later became my FMD. My heart breaks for her family , her pride and joy .


Maila always went the distance and beyond for her patients , always made you feel cared for  and your well being and health were her priority. RIP , you will truly be missed .

Alerry Lavitt

May 10, 2024 at 5:04 PM

Maila was one of those amazing people I felt privileged to know.


As a family friend and as a wonderful, compassionate and caring doctor, Maila exuded kindness and concern to all she met.  Her gentle presence and her sharp mind in her work set her above the rest - at work, she always had time to hear your concerns, and a visit with her never felt rushed.  What a rare gift that was! She was absolutely worth waiting for, as she treated all her patients the same way.   Simply put, Maila cared, and she unabashedly showed it.


Thank you Maila for your great heart.   You will be so very missed by all who had the great fortune to have you in their lives. My deepest condolences to Randy and Leah, Maila's extended family, and to Fran and Russ and the boys.

Katrina Epp

May 10, 2024 at 5:04 PM

I am truly saddened to hear of Dr. Maila Gabriel's passing.  She was my Family Doctor for many years and was exceptionally kind and compassionate, and always taking time to listen.  She provided me with general medical care, pre-natal care (almost delivered my now 16 yr old son, but alas was not on call) and post-natal care.  I will never forget her kindness. My sincere condolences to her family.

Laura Dahl, sister of Gordon Davis (lifelong friend of Randy)

May 9, 2024 at 4:13 PM

Randy, Leah, and family.  With heartfelt condolences I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Maila.  I did not know her personally, but I have heard lovely things about her from my brother, who was a good friend of Randy’s.  I hope that the loving memories you have of Maila help heal your heart during this difficult time.

Monique

May 9, 2024 at 4:12 PM

Randy, Leah and family.  My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this very difficult time. I was saddened to hear about Maila's passing.  She was an amazing person to work for and to have as a doctor.  When I think of her I think of her kindness, compassion, her smile and her laugh! She will be missed.  My condolences go out to you and yours.

Kerry Galenzoski

May 9, 2024 at 4:12 PM

I am so very sorry to hear of Maila’s passing. I was a colleague of hers in medical school and residency. She was a very caring and kind physician who went above and beyond to help her patients, and she will be very missed.

Sincere condolences to Randy, Leah and family,

Anonymous

May 9, 2024 at 4:07 PM

My sincere condolences to the  family

. It was a great privilege to know her as a colleague and as a superb leader in clinical medicine at St Boniface hospital,

She did not understand the meaning of no when it came to getting task done. She always considered others first and had a polite and congenial manner

RIP

Rosie D.

May 9, 2024 at 4:02 PM

Thinking of you Randy and Leah.

Philippe Erhard

May 9, 2024 at 4:00 PM

So sorry to learn that Maila left us. I worked with her for several years and I always appreciated her kindness, her warm personality and dynamism. Condolences to Randy and Leah.

The Fisher/Voogt family

May 9, 2024 at 3:57 PM

I cannot express how much love my family has for Dr Gabriel. She was our family doctor for 25 years starting with my elderly parents and continuing with myself and my husband. She also delivered and cared for my two children who are now young adults. Her kindness and ability to help everyone was extraordinary and for that we will be forever grateful to have known her.

Love from,

The Fisher/Voogt family

Maria Albi

May 9, 2024 at 3:55 PM

I am so sorry to hear  of Maila’s passing.I went to high school with Maila and although it has been a long time since I have seen her, I fondly remember her big warm smile and her kind personality!My prayers and thoughts are with Maila’s family during this difficult time.

Genevieve Michael (SMA '87)

May 9, 2024 at 3:55 PM

Maila.was.one of the kindest souls ever to walk the halls of SMA.  I doubt you'll find anyone who would say otherwise.  Her braided hair, glasses, navy socks and infectious smile was a blessing to see over the years.  I'm grateful for the privilege of knowing her, gutted beyond belief with her departure that was far too soon.  Sending hugs and love to her family.  Mahal kita Maila xox.

Dale Schenk

May 9, 2024 at 3:49 PM

I am so sorry to hear of Dr. Gabriel’s passing.  She was a truly wonderful doctor and human being.  She took “Family Practice” to a different level, from my grandmother, my father, my aunt and uncle, myself and my daughter.  4 generations.  And treated us all with the greatest respect and care.

Such a huge loss.

Condolences to all she has left behind.

Sarah Grover Smith (SMA 1987)

May 9, 2024 at 3:45 PM

I was so very saddened to hear about Maila.  I met her as a fellow student at St. Mary's Academy and fondly remember her infectious smile, kindness and friendliness to all,  Maila was consistently gracious and exuded a warmth and caring personality that served her well as a family physician.  She could equally be delighted in what was wonderful, and hold space and be supportive when it was needed.  Most sincere condolences to her family and friends who are gutted as I am.  Thank you for sharing a lovely photo of Maila which shows her flanked by her family and captures her so beautifully.   Love and prayers, Sarah Grover Smith (SMA 1987).

Josephine Kati

May 9, 2024 at 3:42 PM

My deepest sympathies to Randy and Leah, family and friends.💕

I worked for Maila at St. Boniface Clinic and she was also my family doctor for a few years.  It was my  pleasure and privilege to have worked for her and know her. She was a very kind and caring person and was beautiful soul 🙏💕

Bruce and Audrey Bain

May 9, 2024 at 3:41 PM

Bruce and I were shocked to hear of Maila’s sudden passing. Early in med school, we became friends and her kindness was enveloping to us and our young sons. She  openly laughed and cared about  people and we knew she would be a great doctor. Many years have passed and she has a husband and a lovely daughter. May they be reminded that a love like hers will not fade. She is but a warm thought away.

Karen (SMA Class of ‘87)

May 9, 2024 at 3:22 PM

I have known Maila since Grade 7 at Hoky Ghost, and then on through SMA.  She was always so kind, and was always smiling.  Catching up with her in our adult years was always a joy.  She spoke highly of her husband and daughter.  Sending prayers to all those who loved Maila.

Gina Aiello

May 9, 2024 at 3:22 PM

Dr Gabriel became my doctor shortly after she joined the St Boniface Clinic to begin her practice.  Words alone can not describe the type of doctor she was.  Her ability as a doctor was beyond just medicine. She was incredibly intelligent and provided excellent medical care, but it was her human side that made her patients feel like friends and not just a “number”.  Her smile, warmth and genuine concern for her patients was her gift.  Although she was small in stature, her presence was huge and always humble.  Thank you to Dr Gabriel’s family for sharing her with us, she will never be forgotten.  I pray that through time, and all the wonderful memories your pain will ease. 


2 Corinthians 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.  


with respect Gina Aiello 

Tracy Iliffe.

May 9, 2024 at 3:17 PM

Maila was a kind soul who had a way of sharing her love when you needed it most. I was blessed with her friendship in high school. She was always so kind. My heart, thoughts and prayers go out to those who will feel her absence. I have no words - may her memories carry you through your days ahead.


Lots of love

Ivy Mannil, Class of 87, SMA

May 9, 2024 at 3:16 PM

Maila was one of the kindness, genuine and  compassionate women at our high school.  Her smile was infectious, her words warm and engaging and she treated everyone with the kindness respect.  Sincerest condolences to Randy, Leah and Maila's mother and to the rest of her family and dear friends. Heaven has gained another angel.  Rest well, dearest Maila.

Tess Bernacki

May 9, 2024 at 3:15 PM

Maila was a beautiful, kind, authentic

person who always made you feel important, special & loved. 💗

I was fortunate to have met Maila in high school and grateful to have spent time with her recently at school reunions and functions.

Gone too soon, heaven gained another angel. My deepest condolences to her family and dear friends.🙏💔

Rest in peace sweet Maila.

Sincerely, Tess Bernacki,

Class of 87, SMA

Penny Pugh (Patient)

May 9, 2024 at 3:14 PM

Dr. Gabriel was an amazing person and physician.  I was referred to her when I was expecting my first child in 2000 and continued to see her until she left the St. Boniface Clinic.  There are no words to sufficiently describe how caring she was.  She was an incredible Dr. who went above and beyond for her patients.

My deepest condolences to her family.  Heaven received another angel.  Rest in Peace Dr. Gabriel.

Brenda, Zane & Eaden Lindberg

May 9, 2024 at 2:27 PM

Our most sincere condolences to friends and family.  She was a wonderful doctor!

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