Caroline Lauren Gebel, 25, of West Long Branch received her angel wings on Thursday, November 19, 2020. Caroline went peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family. She was welcomed to Heaven by her Poppy, Nanny, and Pop-Pop. Cara is smiling down on her parents, Richard and Susan (Ciecwicz) Gebel, her sisters, Meredith and Kristen Gebel, her paternal grandmother Arlene (Rochelle) Gebel, her Godmother Rozanne Florio and Godfather Steven Ciecwicz as well as many aunts, uncles and cousins who loved her unconditionally.
Cara attended the Schroth School/Ladacin Network from age 3 and graduated at age 21. She continued at Ladacin and enrolled in the Adult Program. She loved participating in a host of activities and holiday events as well as spending time with all her classmates, especially Billy, Dylan, Ashley & Passion, who affectionately called her Caraboo. Cara was a huge fan of Barney enjoying his many videos and music. She was the recipient of the Sunshine Foundation’s Operations Dream Lift, where she and Mom took a one day trip to Disney World.
The simplest of pleasures would put a smile on Caroline’s face such as blowing bubbles in her backyard, baking with Mommy, dyeing eggs with Boo-Boo, dancing with Mimi, and singing with Aunt Lynn. Cara enjoyed spending warm summer days at the beach thanks to handicap accessibility and strolling the Long Branch boardwalk to fly her kite. Despite Cara’s disability, her family was always included on a vacation or adventure. Without a blink of an eye or a shrug of a shoulder, family and friends would carry her in her wheelchair across sand dunes, up flights of stairs, down rocky terrain to pool parties and picnics. Some of Cara’s favorite places to visit were Ocean City, MD, Wildwood Crest, Baltimore, trips to the lake in North Carolina, November weekends at the hunting cabin, and an RV ride to Florida to visit Mema and Pop-Pop. Cara had a busy life, but what she enjoyed most was her evening rocky-rock session with Daddy, snuggled up in his arms in the recliner.
The Gebel family would like to thank all those who have been a part of her life. To the family and those whom have become family, you all have made this journey God has taken us on an easier path to navigate with your encouraging words, shoulders to cry on, meals that have been cooked, transportation provided, and the unlimited prayers.
We would like to extend our gratitude to the Schroth School/Ladacin Network, teachers, therapists, aides, admin staff and nurses, especially Miss Toni, Miss Paddi, Staci, Roni and Miss Letty. Brentwood Health Care and Bayada for all the dedicated and compassionate nurses we have been afforded with over the years. Our family could not have made it through this journey without them. Too many to thank but all of you we hold dear to our hearts.
Our family would also like to thank the doctors who provided the utmost care for her from the day she was born, including her pediatricians Dr. Murphy and Dr. Truxal. Our hearts are eternally grateful for all you have done for our family and the care you provided to Caroline. The staff, doctors and nurses at Monmouth Medical, specifically the pediatric unit, BBR2, and C2. Our family has spent over 20+ years in and out of MMC celebrating holidays, birthdays, and anniversaries at Cara’s bedside.
We thank everyone who looked beyond her disability and saw the beautiful sweet young woman she was. We are eternally grateful and we know Cara has impacted all of us and you in an incredible way.
Donations can be made in Caroline’s memory to two wonderful organizations that had such a positive impact on Caroline’s life: Ladacin Network and Holiday Express.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Caroline Lauren Gebel, please visit our floral store.
Ladacin Network, Inc.
1701 Kneeley Blvd., Ocean NJ 07712
Holiday Express, Inc.
968 Shrewsbury Avenue, Tinton Falls NJ 07724