Many people knew him, many people did not. However, Gabriel Lee Cox was a person that touched everyone’s soul that he met. In the short amount of time that I was lucky enough to be friends with him, he changed me for the better. I will never forget telling him, “Gabe, you’re going to be the kind of friend that I’ll have for the rest of my life”.
Gabriel, much better known as Gabe, or even “Fitty,” was part of the Class of 2019 here at the University of New Haven. He was an architecture and interior design major ,and received all A’s during his last semester in the spring of 2016. It did not take long for Gabe to make lifelong friends and succeed in everything that he did.
On the night of June 28th, 2016, the world got a little bit darker. Gabe passed away in a motor vehicle accident in his home town in Delaware. I’ll never forget that call that I got from Gabe’s roommate Connor, telling me that Gabe had been in an accident and passed away. I felt my heart break inside my chest. Nothing could have prepared me for that sinking feeling that I felt throughout my body.
Gabe was my roommate’s boyfriend, so he was around all the time. He was always making my friends and I laugh. He was the best at giving me fashion advice; I nearly always listened to him over my girlfriends. Gabe did not have the easiest life, but you would never know that from how he held himself. When he was a child, he lost both of his parents within years of each other. To see this bright and shining soul be so brave always blew my mind. I could not comprehend how someone who experienced so much loss could be such a positive and resilient person.
Losing a friend was something that I have never dealt with before. It was not fair that such a young and promising person had to be taken from this Earth so soon. My friends and I drove down to Delaware to pay our respects and to see Gabe one last time before he was put to rest. I will forever be grateful that I was able to say my final goodbyes and be surrounded by all of my friends from UNH. We all were devastated, and will continue to be. There will forever be a void in our hearts. However, we know that Gabe wouldn’t want us to be sad, he would want us to celebrate his life. He always told us “everything happens for a reason”. It is hard to find a reason to justify something so heart-wrenching, but we are at ease knowing that he is with his parents.
Not having Gabe here with us is something that my friends and I struggle with every day. Not a day goes by that he is not within our hearts. We will always make sure that Gabe is never forgotten, and that we honor his legacy forever.
Throwing up the F’s for Fitty, this one’s for you Gabriel Cox!
The University of New Haven Class of 2019 eboard is accepting donations of hats, new or old, that will be donated to the Independent Living Services. This is something that the family requested at Gabe’s funeral in lieu of flowers. We aim to collect as many hats to carry on Gabe’s legacy and to remember him throughout the UNH community. If you would like to donate or have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.