Father's Day 2007 Gabe
Gabriel Andres Mares
  • 44 years old
  • Date of birth: Aug 30, 1972
  • Place of birth:
    Tucuman, Argentina
  • Date of passing: Nov 6, 2016
  • Place of passing:
    Kirkland, Washington, United States
Gabriel brightened our lives every day of his life. He was loved and loving and left us far too soon, changing our world forever.

Gabriel Mares was an amazing man – kind, loving, curious, brilliant, accomplished. When he died unexpectedly, he left a hole in our lives that can never be filled. We never imagined this could happen when he was so busy and apparently so healthy. We treasure every moment we had with our remarkable and beloved son and will grieve forever the loss of all that might have been.

"When he shall die,

Take him and cut him out in little stars,

And he will make the face of heaven so fine

That all the world will be in love with night

And pay no worship to the garish sun."

Un día llegaste a mi vida

un día te fuiste

Vivir con tu ausencia

es morir cada día

Ya no hay otro día


Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Michael Mares on 6th November 2017

"Reflections on the death of my son Gabriel, one year later

I think of you being born, learning to speak, walk, think, grow
A wonder dropped into our lives, a shining light in a dark world

Toys, fishing, camping, friends, sports, music
And books, books, books

Computers, high school, girls, cars
With pride and love we watched you leap into the future

College, honors, football, finding your place in the world
A calling discovered, you were challenged and happy

Twenty years later you were dead
No one could foresee it, least of all you

To us you were young, healthy, happy,
On a path of success and joy

Brilliant engineer, computer game guru, top of the pyramid!
Music, synths, AI, a polymath

Always thoughtful, always humble
Never boastful, mean, callous or cruel

You hated talk of death, but Death came for you
I should have been there.

Take me Death and let him be.
He’s too young, too nice, not ready.

Take me."

This tribute was added by LYNN MARES on 6th November 2017


Dear Gabriel,

You don’t know how we miss you constantly and still don’t believe you are gone.  Your death was the biggest shock we ever had in our lives.  It puts every other problem in life in stark perspective.  The one-year anniversary is just like every other day we have without you – except it marks a long time that seems like an instant.  We lose you every day.  Your funny retorts make us laugh and we can still hear you talking in movie lines.  We can’t think of any good in your death, but often hear of something that could have been worse.  That’s not much comfort.

We are grateful to have heard from your friends and colleagues who loved and admired you.  You made a big difference in the world with your programming skills.  I always thought game design sounded like fun, but, of course, realize it was a lot of work.  You made a big difference in the world with your easy-going, kind manner and your respect for people and nature.  You were funny and always gentle.

I wish I had just a bit of your passion, curiosity and intellectual ability.  You left behind all kinds of evidence of your interests in photography, the universe, football, math, physics, programming, science fiction, cooking, camping and keeping fit.  You tackled everything with total immersion.  I take pictures, but you knew HOW to take pictures and manipulate the camera to do what you wanted.  I’ve got the cameras and all the books, so I’ll have to start reading them."

This tribute was added by LYNN MARES on 6th November 2017


You never fully described to us the amazing collection of vintage synths you were assembling.  We had to put them and most of your beautiful guitars with The Guitar Store in Seattle, where synth aficionados have gone just to see them even if they couldn’t buy.  James Schultz emailed me to say, “One of the more common things people have said is ‘I have never seen one of these (Insert vintage synth here) in person and I just wanted to’. I have been thanked many times for showing a keyboard to someone who just wanted to look at or touch one for the first time.”  Apparently you were on your way to having have one of “the top collections of synths in the world.”  Again, your passion revealed.

Gabe, you made a difference in your family and in the world.  We love you.

Love, Mogwai"

This tribute was added by Nedra Kearney-Vakulick on 8th September 2017

"My thoughts are with all the Mares family.  Lynn, your message at Gabe's birthday anniversary were comforting words.  Hold on to those positive, encouraging words/lyrics."

This tribute was added by LYNN MARES on 30th August 2017

"August 30, 2017.  Today would have been Gabe’s 45th birthday and we can’t believe he is not here to celebrate it.  We talk about him every day, laugh at memories of what he did and said, and miss him terribly.  I am feeding hummingbirds with his feeder and have my own Jerkbutt (although a different species).  I take photos with his cameras (also mostly of hummingbirds).  I listen to his music all the time and look for comfort in it.

Lead singer Craig Minowa of Cloud Cult lost a baby son and dealt with that loss in songs.  He said, "So any kind of energy that you put out there never goes away. Everything that we did together, every moment that we had together, everything that he felt and everything that I felt for him still resonates out there in the universe."

We are not broken ones...just shattered pieces of the same bright sun,
trying to figure out which way to run,
And we can't do this alone.

All I need is a good good friend
To get me through this.

 “Good Friend” by Cloud Cult.

If you rid of all your baggage you will likely float away.
But you can't know beauty if you don't know pain
Gotta feel it, feel it all.
There's your medication

You know you are as small as the things you let annoy you.
And you know you are gigantic as the things that you adore.
Some days you give thanks.
Some days you give the finger.
It's a complicated creation.

 “Complicated Creation” by Cloud Cult.

And everybody here is a cloud
And everybody here will evaporate this
You came up off the ground
From a million little pieces
Have you found where your place is?
You've been spending your time
Thinkin' about why you think so much
If there ever was a time
Now would be the time to see
that your time here is limited

 "Everybody Here Is A Cloud" by Cloud Cult.

Gabe also liked The Cure, and this speaks to me:

The world is neither fair nor unfair
The idea is just a way for us to understand
But the world is neither fair nor unfair
So one survives
The others die
And you always want a reason why

But the world is neither just nor unjust
It's just us trying to feel that there's some sense in it
No, the world is neither just nor unjust
And though going young
So much undone
Is a tragedy for everyone

It doesn't speak a plan or any secret thing
No unseen sign or untold truth in anything...
But living on in others, in memories and dreams
Is not enough
You want everything
Another world where the sun always shines
And the birds always sing
Another world
Where the sun always shines
Another world
Where nothing ever dies

 "Where The Birds Always Sing" by The Cure"

This tribute was added by Reggie Whitten on 8th April 2017

"“The flame that burns Twice as bright burns half as long.”

― Lao Tzu, Te Tao Ching

I believe my son burned very bright indeed.  I am sure Gabe did as well.  Reggie Whitten"

This tribute was added by Cameron Kacmarcik on 18th March 2017

"Very hard for me to write here.  Lots of tears.  Gabe was a huge part of my life.  Something reminds me of him practically every day.  So many wonderful memories, and he touched my life in so many ways.

No idea why this particular memory popped into my head, but it triggered me to finally post.  Today I was reminded of Gabe and I going to see Dick Tracy, which IMDB tells me was 1990.  The movie was terrible, but it opened with a Roger Rabbit short film Roller Coaster Rabbit.  We laughed so hard we were crying.  It was so funny we could hardly breathe.

We had the best times in Norman growing up, and I will treasure those memories forever.

God bless you and your family.


This tribute was added by Michael Mares on 19th February 2017

"Gabe's colleagues and friends sent condolences.

I work at Microsoft, I’m a huge college football fan and I graduated from The University of Texas.  Despite that third item, Gabe and I were friends because of the first two and had many years of discussions in depth about football and sometimes just life.

Word reached us on the college football discussion list last week and I’ve been wanting to send his family a note since then.  Someone on his most recent Microsoft team passed along your contact information, I hope you don’t mind this note.  And I’ve been dreading finding the words to write.  I finally gathered the will to try to put down my thoughts on what a wonderful person Gabe was.

I cannot possibly imagine the sadness and sorrow you and your family are going through.  My family’s thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

Gabe and I had a surprisingly good friendship despite the obvious conflict of who we pulled for.  In this day and age when everyone seems to live in an echo chamber, Gabe was proactive in ensuring that didn’t happen in our discussions.

One example: When Texas lost to Alabama (a game I was at), he was quick to reach out via text and email and offer sympathies.  Maybe “condolences” is a more accurate term, I doubt he was really sympathetic about Texas losing. J

No matter the result of the RRS we were always able to discuss the ins and outs of the game.  And of course we both enjoyed making fun of Texas A&M.

I’ve been going through my sent and deleted mails recalling our various conversations.  These have helped a lot because it turns my tears into smiles as I recall what a wonderful person he was.   Especially the last one from his last day at Microsoft:

From: Me 
It’s been a pleasure.  Good luck in the future and I’ll see you at the Texas State Fairgrounds!

From: Gabe Mares
You may indeed. I'll be the one doing the Horns down.  ;)

From: Gabe Mares
After almost 16 years at Microsoft I’m leaving the company. Tomorrow will be my last day. I’ve enjoyed talking college football with you guys over the years. #3 OU’s first game is this Saturday @ #15 Houston. Can’t wait! Football is here! It’s really happening!

I now deeply regret letting life get in the way of staying more in touch in the couple of months since he left Microsoft.

Anyway, thank you for letting me share, I hope this note can in some way help with your sorrow and help you know his friendship was appreciated even from a Longhorn.


I was deeply saddened to hear about the death of Gabe. I cannot imagine how difficult this must be for you. Please accept my condolences on this sad occasion.

I am the one who convinced (and hired) Gabe to move to the Pacific Northwest. While we hadn't talked in a few years, I always valued Gabe's friendship.

I'll always remember his first week in Bellevue; him and I ended up getting stuck in a snowstorm on our way to have a computer repaired. His car couldn't make it up the snowy/icy hills, so we drove around looking for flat roads. We finished the day by having dinner with my wife and mother who was visiting at the time. We laughed and laughed about our trek...

Again, I am sorry for your loss.


Hello, I worked with your son Gabriel for almost 5 years at Microsoft on the Forza game team.  We actually both worked on the same sub-team within Forza.  I had the good fortune to sit directly next to him for much of that time.  Gabe was such a wonderful person, friend and colleague to me and so many others, I know I will miss him forever.  We both loved college football and that was a frequent topic of our daily conversations.

I am so deeply sorry for your and the rest of your family's loss. Your family is in my thoughts,


Know that Gabe is in all our thoughts.  Please don't hesitate to ask if there is anything we can do.


It is with a heavy heart that I write this note to you all to let you know that one of our own – Gabe Mares – passed away this last weekend.   I know that many of you have heard this sad news already, but the studio leadership wanted to make sure you all knew.

I had the pleasure to work with Gabe in many of my teams here at Microsoft and for more than 10 years here at Turn 10.   I, like many of you, have many fond memories of working with Gabe.  His passion for making great games was always evident.  It wouldn’t be a normal shipping year without Gabe doing a massive change in the memory management system weeks before RTX.  He recently left Turn 10 to work on his second love – music; combining his love of tech and love of music in his new venture.  And who can forget his love of college football, OU and the Big 12 (minus Texas).

As we mourn the loss of a colleague and friend, let’s celebrate his life and the ways that he enriched our lives and the games we built together.   It is at times like this that I am reminded of the special people that I encounter every day – of which he was one.


Thank you for reaching out.  I'm stunned to hear the news about Gabe.

Gabe was one of the first people I worked with at Turn 10 Studios back in 2008.  I recall his quiet confidence, and his patience helping me build up to tasks that were initially beyond my abilities.  We were on different teams, so I didn't have much experience working directly with Gabe the last 8 years, but I do know that he was incredibly smart, humble, and passionate about delivering quality.  He was well respected within the studio.  Gabe and I shared common interests in cars, both owning BMW M3s, and in photography, which led to many hallway conversations.  

I'm terribly sorry to hear about your loss.  My thoughts are with you and your family.


I just wanted to reach out and tell you how sad I was to hear about Gabe’s passing. I worked with him on NFL Fever and for a brief stint on Forza. I always remember Gabe’s warm smile and relaxed demeanor. He loved his work, and the people he worked with. Thank you for thinking of his friends and co-workers and passing on the hard news. I will miss him.


I was a friend and colleague of Gabe. I was the Game Designer for NFL Fever at Microsoft and we worked closely on the project. When I went over to EA Sports to work on Madden NFL and NFL Head Coach, Gabe and I got to work together again on football games and his passion for the sport and gaming was always very impressive to me.

Gabe and I had spoken on the phone in the last 30 days as I am working on a new Virtual Reality football game for college sports featuring cyborgs and he seemed to love the concept. We had agreed that now that he was no longer working at Microsoft that he would do contract development for us while working on his own company. I was going to let Gabe head up all of the AI and was thankful that he would be on the project.

Unfortunately this was our last conversation....His passing comes as such a surprise and I was so excited that we had recently reconnected. He will be greatly missed and I send my sincere condolences to you and your family. He was a great person and a gifted talent.


This news has hit the office pretty hard. Your son was very well respected and liked by everyone he worked with. We used to talk about music a lot, and were always bringing in new guitars or music gear to discuss. I even bought some of his older equipment, things I shall now treasure. If there is anything I, or my colleagues can do to help you at this difficult time please let me know.


How terribly sad. I have fond memories of Gabe. It has been a very long time since I worked with him on NFL Fever but I remember him as a very bright and capable developer who was always kind to those around him. Thanks for raising such a fine son. May you find peace in his memory.


I was a long-time colleague of Gabe in many groups at Microsoft.  Gabe and I worked together in Windows Media, Sports and Turn 10 Studios.   And it was Gabe that got me my first job in games – something I forever will be thankful for.    He was a great man, a great colleague and a good friend.

I just wanted to let you know that we at Turn 10 received your note about Gabe’s passing and sent it to our entire team.   Everyone is in shock with the news as Gabe was well known and loved by all.   On behalf of our Studio, I wanted to convey on condolences to you are your family at this time of loss.   Our thoughts are prayers are with you during this very difficult time.


This tribute was added by Dave Tazik on 3rd February 2017

"Lynn/Mike -- please accept our deepest sympathies for your loss.  We have very fine memories of Gabe from our days at Pymatuning.  Enjoyed reading about Gabe and seeing the many photos of his life.  You raised a bright, talented and handsome young man, of which I am sure you are proud.  A loss for all of us! Very best wishes from both of us -- Pam and Dave"

This tribute was added by Nedra Kearney-Vakulick on 20th January 2017

"Such good memories of our kids - just being kids - at Pymatuning.  Those were good years.  Thinking of you and knowing that Gabe had a truly wonderful family helps us all have peace."

This tribute was added by P Benson on 20th January 2017

"To the Mares family I am sorry about Mr Mares.  I am praying for your family.  Encourage each other with thoughts, songs, and laughter about his memory.  Hopefully this will bring a smile on your face when you are sad.  We have a promise from God that death will be swallow up forever.  Isaiah 25:8"

This tribute was added by Michael Mares on 14th January 2017

"From the Virtual Reality Simulation Forum

RIP Gabe Mares

Postby VRS Varmint » Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:47 am

I just wanted to take a moment to say goodbye to my long-time friend Gabe Mares, who died very unexpectedly last week at just 44 years young. Gabe and I worked together at Graphic Simulations years ago, and we have been friends ever since. After he left Graphsim, Gabe went on to work for Microsoft, first on NFL Fever and then on Forza Motorsport at Turn 10. After having been there for 15 years, he had just left this last summer to start his own business creating studio  software for music processing. I hadn't seen him for perhaps 6 years, until several weeks ago when I was in Seattle looking to buy a car. He got me at the airport, we had lunch and a beer, and now he's gone forever.

Gabe graduated from OU in 1995 and was a diehard Sooners fan (as in fanatical). My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family. You will be deeply missed, Gabe.

Re: RIP Gabe Mares

Postby Dman » Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:49 am

Sorry to hear.. my condolences..

Re: RIP Gabe Mares

Postby juniormcgee » Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:58 pm

Never good to see a friend or anyone go for that matter. My thoughts and prayers!
Sammy "FUMES" Holmes, PO1 (AW/SW)
Future Command: VAQ-136 E/A-18G Growlers
Instructor Duty NATTC Pensacola (2014-Present)
Prior Command: U.S. Navy Blue Angels Maintenance Control (2010-2014)
Prior Command: VFA-101 F-35C JSF ( 5/2010-10/2010) (Temp Assignment)
Prior Command: VFA-2 F/A-18F (2006-2010)

Re: RIP Gabe Mares

Postby Pops » Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:44 pm

My condolences to family and friends. I'm glad you got to see him again before his passing and I'm sure it's a memory you will long cherish.

Re: RIP Gabe Mares

Postby MadHornet » Mon Nov 14, 2016 5:25 pm

That's very sad news, and I sympathize; I too just recently lost a friend who passed unexpectedly.  :cry:

My thoughts are with you and Gabe's family.

Re: RIP Gabe Mares

Postby manlyman » Tue Nov 15, 2016 5:37 am

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss! I pray that peace will be pored out upon you and Gabe's family during this time of sadness. Bless you all!!


This tribute was added by Kevin Brown on 13th January 2017

"I worked at the same company as Gabe but not in the same group. I’m a huge college football fan and I graduated from The University of Texas. I knew Gabe through football. Despite me being a Horn and Gabe being a Sooner, Gabe and I were friends because of our love for football.  It's a rare friendship given the battlelines that had to be crossed and speaks to the wonderful human Gabe was.  We had many years of discussions in depth about football and sometimes just life.  

I cannot possibly imagine the sadness and sorrow you and your family are going through.  My family’s thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

Gabe and I had a surprisingly good friendship despite the obvious conflict of who we pulled for.  In this day and age when everyone seems to live in an echo chamber, Gabe was proactive in ensuring that didn’t happen in our discussions.  

One example: When Texas lost to Alabama (a game I was at), he was quick to reach out via text and email and offer sympathies.  Maybe “condolences” is a more accurate term, I doubt he was really sympathetic about Texas losing. I will never forget what a wonderful gesture that was.

No matter the result of the RRS we were always able to discuss the ins and outs of the game.  And of course we both enjoyed making fun of Texas A&M.  

Our last exchange was typical Gabe:
Me: Good luck in the future and I’ll see you at the Texas State Fairgrounds!
Gabe: You may indeed. I'll be the one doing the Horns down.

I really miss the banter..."

This tribute was added by Doug Reagan on 13th January 2017

""The good life is surely not measured by its length in years, but by the intensity of the joy and good consequences of existence."
--James Lovelock.
Gabe's life was certainly a good one."

This tribute was added by Charles Kacmarcik on 11th January 2017

"Gabe had grown since I knew him.  The last I saw him was high school graduation.  I have often thought about him.  He spent a summer in Estill Springs, TN with my son Cameron.  Fond memories."

This tribute was added by Andrew Horton on 10th January 2017

"Gabe, your spirit and energy will live on within all of us who had the treasure and pleasure to meet you and your loving family."

This tribute was added by Dave Gierok on 9th January 2017

"I worked with Gabe at Turn 10 making Forza games for a number of years.  Gabe and I are both sports fans and shared a number of fun and funny conversations about our teams over the years.  There were a few areas of our codebase that only Gabe was allowed to touch :).  Gabe had a few heroic changes to our code where we never would have been able to ship it without the smarts and expertise that only he could deliver.  "It wouldn't be a Forza game without Gabe re-writing the memory system right before we ship" was a funny (and true!) thing that we used to tease his team about.  I enjoy getting out of the office for quick walks around our grounds, and I'd often see Gabe doing the same thing and say hi and talk.  Gabe will always be remembered fondly by those he worked with here at Turn 10."

This tribute was added by Eileen Lacey on 9th January 2017

"My thoughts are with you during this difficult time. Thank you for sharing such wonderful memories."

This tribute was added by Betty Robbins on 9th January 2017

"Gabriel was blessed to have the most loving parents who will carry him in their hearts forever and have blessed us all by sharing him with the world."

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Michael Mares


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