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Gabriel Austin Martin, 19, of Locust Grove, Georgia, died unexpectedly on Friday, Sept. 2, at home. He
was born on Nov. 1, 2002, in Stockbridge, Georgia, and was loved dearly all his life.
He is survived by his father and mother, Will and Nicole Martin of Athens, Georgia; his grandparents,
Billy and Debora Martin of Locust Grove, Georgia; and his siblings, Gage and Kuria.
Gabriel was intelligent and well-spoken. He was slow to anger and forgave quickly. Of his many
interests, he cared most about art. He found joy in drawing and painting and often played piano or
guitar late into the night and sang in the shower?sometimes at the top of his lungs?without concern
of who might hear him.
For years, Gabriel snuck food from his family's kitchen for friends with little to eat at home. Hamburger
disappeared from the freezer; venison jerky from the fridge; bread from the counter.
He once stuffed the small amount of cash he'd saved into an envelope marked with his own little-boy
scrawl. "I want to give it to the kids with cancer at St. Jude," he explained to his grandmother when he
asked her for a stamp. "They need it more than I do."
Recently he gave his shoes to a homeless man he met on the street in Atlanta. When his grandfather
found him walking barefoot, Gabriel's explanation was a reflection of his instinctive kindness. "I've got
plenty of shoes at home."
Gabriel could no more deny his loving nature than change the color of his eyes or alter the sound of his
laugh, which was full and honest and good.
His funeral will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 11 at Dillard Funeral Home in Troy, Alabama. A
graveside service at Mount Moriah Cemetery will follow at 3 p.m.