ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Gabriel Ayotunde, 82 years old, born on December 19, 1936, and passed away on April 29, 2019. We will remember him forever.
Posted by Lara Emmanuel on December 19, 2020
I miss you so much Dad....
Posted by Tosin Ayotunde on December 19, 2020
Happy birthday in heaven Dad. It's not the same without you. Thoughts of you still bring tears but they bring smiles and laughter too. I miss you beyond words. Keep resting well my father and friend, you will never be forgotten. Love you forever. ❤
Posted by Timi Ayotunde on December 19, 2020
Dad, you may be gone, but you will never be forgotten, and you will forever be a role model for your goodness. Happy birthday, and may your soul continue to rest in peace.
Posted by Tosin Ayotunde on May 9, 2020
Dad, it's really difficult to write about you, knowing I have to do so in past tense. It's been 365 days without you and I'm not sure how I made it through because my heart doesn't hurt any less than it did the very first day. Not a day goes by without talking or thinking about you. I miss your words, your jokes, your laugh, your encouragement. I miss you daddy, so very much. I carry you in my heart, everywhere I go. Though I wish you had hung around a little longer, still I'm grateful. I will never forget you. Rest well my father and friend.
Posted by Temitope Agbaje on May 9, 2020
Daddy you're gone, but you will never be forgotten. We loved you then, we do now and we always will! Keep resting peacefully in our Lord's bosom, till we see you again on that bright morning.
Posted by Lara Emmanuel on April 29, 2020
Dad, it's your first anniversary. We are all doing well. We keep Hope Alive. Continue to rest in the bossom of our Lord. Thanks for all the life lessons and the legacy you left for us. We love you and we miss you.. Love, Lara
Posted by Lara Emmanuel on May 14, 2019
GOODNIGHT DADDY. My first love, first friend and first Superhero. The last two weeks has been so difficult and different without you like you knew it would be, which is why you told me an hour before you passed on 4/29/19 to be strong. Thank you for filling our hearts with so much love, joy and laughter. You were so proud of all your children and you made sure you told everyone you knew.Thank you for loving us in such a special way. You gave us what money could neither buy nor replace. It was unheard of in Africa in the 70s for Fathers to have Father/Daughter dances, yet you did with me. It was unheard of for Fathers to have Princess Tea Party playtime yet you did with me. I would jump from the top of your car with my cape pretending to be Wonder Woman and you, my SuperDad, caught me every single time. You watched every episode of Tom & Jerry with us. I still believe I'm the reason you lost your hair because you would sit patiently for hours and listen to me talk while I use your hair to practice how to do braids and cornrows. It was unheard of for Fathers to apologize to their children when they were wrong, yet you did. You made sure we saw the world, five Continents to be exact. You knew I had a voice and you made sure no one took my voice away from me. You always saw strength in me even when I didnt. Going to Church with you was so much fun. The best memories of my childhood was spending time with you and I will cherish them forever. Whatever we had need of, you made sure we had. You were a good, good Father and we were loved by you. You were a rare treasure, an uncommon Father. You had a gentle spirit and peaceful nature. You were a peace lover, peacemaker and peacekeeper. The last thing you said to me was "keep the peace". You were the sunshine on a cloudy day. You knew how to turn bad moments into good with humor. You loved people, treated everyone with respect and dignity. You chose to only see the best in people and I never heard you speak bad of anyone. You turned enemies to friends and friends to family. You were friends with the rich, the poor, the young and the old. You never looked down on anyone and never envied anyone. While others were stealing from the Country and encouraging you to do likewise, you turned down their offers. You chose a good name over many riches and you taught us that as well. You were so humble and very easy to please. It was no surprise I prayed for a man just like you. Thank you so much " Diya" for being a wonderful Father. You will forever be in our hearts. You lived in peace so I know you will also sleep in peace. I'm sure you've made friends with everyone in heaven by now and you are already making people laugh. I love you Daddy and I will miss you forever.
Your first Daughter
you nicknamed "Lara-Lee"
Omolara.
Posted by Temitope Agbaje on May 10, 2019
I still can't believe that Dad is gone. Seems a bit surreal to me. I hear of friends losing their loved ones and I wonder every time how anyone survives losing a parent. My Dad was a good man. He was contented and he taught us, his children contentment too. He was a happy person. Never took life too seriously, but lived and enjoyed it. My father loved people, and this reflected in all he did. He was a people person to the core. Working in Aviation gave him the opportunity to meet so many persons. He wanted people around all the time. Oh! How I miss him. He also had a very spiritual and sensitive side. I didn't pay much attention to it though, till the later part of his life. He had a big heart and was accommodating of anything that was brought to his knowledge. I remember he'd shed a tear sometime if he was moved by a situation or news. My fun dad...he was a storyteller. Anyone that knew him, must have heard one or two of those stories. He travelled a lot on account of his work, and this gained him much exposure to other places and cultures. He was a real jokester too. Sometimes, his jokes exasperated my siblings and I. He always wanted the best for us. He loved life and taught us to do the same. He was hardworking, honest and kind. I guess this is one of the biggest reasons why I miss him so much. He was a family man too! His family meant everything to him! He made it his personal project to be involved as much as he could in all of our lives, including his extended family's too. He spent the later part of his life struggling with elderly people's illness and I could tell it was hard for him, to have become so dependent, but he fought through it as best as he could. Dad taught me love. He understood what genuinely caring about others was, and I pray God gives me the grace to be as caring as he was. Daddy I love you, but God loves you more. I'll keep your memories alive for as long as I live. May you have eternal peace/rest in our Lords bosom. Amen. Your daughter, Oluwafunmilayo.
Posted by Timi Ayotunde on May 5, 2019
When I began to speak, I was unable to say the word 'dada'. Instead, when I called my dad I said 'Diya', and the name stuck.
Gabriel 'Diya' Ayotunde was born in northern Nigeria, and he later moved to Ghana where he later pursued a career in aviation, first with Ghana Airways, and later with Nigeria Airways, where he worked for about 17 years. He had aviation training in several cities including Amsterdam and Hamburg, and he worked in Ramp Control as well as Lost & Found. He was fluent in 6 languages, and managed airline stations in Accra, Ghana as well as Lagos and Kaduna in Nigeria. He was loved and respected by his staff no matter where he worked.
One thing Diya was well-known for was his sense of humor. Growing up, there was a lot of laughter in our home, and there was laughter wherever he was. Above the constant joy around him, he was a man with a heart full of kindness and of great integrity. He worked hard to elevate us from a life of modest means to one of comfort, and he did it all with a smile. I could not have asked for a better role model as a father myself.
Diya is survived by 7 children, 17 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. We thank God for His gift of him to us, and he will be forever missed.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Lara Emmanuel on December 19, 2020
I miss you so much Dad....
Posted by Tosin Ayotunde on December 19, 2020
Happy birthday in heaven Dad. It's not the same without you. Thoughts of you still bring tears but they bring smiles and laughter too. I miss you beyond words. Keep resting well my father and friend, you will never be forgotten. Love you forever. ❤
Posted by Timi Ayotunde on December 19, 2020
Dad, you may be gone, but you will never be forgotten, and you will forever be a role model for your goodness. Happy birthday, and may your soul continue to rest in peace.
his Life

Diya...

BIRTH -
Gabriel Abiodun Ayotunde, was born in the chilly, harmattan month of December. His mother, at No 24, Church street, Jos went onto labor and after some gruelling hours on the 19th of December, 1936, dark skinned baby Abiodun, was born to the family of Mr and Mrs J.O. Ayotunde (both of blessed memory).



EDUCATION -
Mr Gabriel Abiodun had his formal education at St. Luke's Anglican primary school, Jos from 1942 - 1948 but couldn't complete his elementary education there. It was the peak of WWII and there was an acute shortage of salt, that characterized that period. This made him relocate to Lagos with the family, and completed his elementary education there, at Tinubu Methodist school in 1952. Probably because Pa J.O. Ayotunde a.k.a Baba Shoemaker, was not so financially buoyant at t hat time to help young Gabriel further his education, he got his son employment as an apprentice Process Engraver with the Daily Times of Nigeria in 1953; but he wasn't cut out for such menial job, so he jettisoned that job and left for Ghana.



CAREER HISTORY -
He arrived Accra on the 6th of March, 1958 being Ghana's first independence anniversary. This move was symbolic! That same year, he bid a triumphant goodbye to poverty and embraced greatness. In order for him to achieve the lofty goals he set before himself, Mr Gabriel took up a job as a salesman with the Kingsway stores in 1960; not finding desired fulfillment and satisfaction there, he left them and joined the Leventis company in 1965. Still he wasn't satisfied! He eventually left Leventis and joined Nigeria Airways in 1970, there in Accra. Mr Gabriel soon gave a good account of himself, through diligence and hard work. He was soon transferred back to Lagos in 1974. An indefatigable worker, who was h onest to a fault, he was put on charge of the Lost & Found department, until he was transferred on promotion, to Benin, Edo State in 1978 as the Station Officer.



Then commenced his numerous travels abroad for trainings, which included the Lufthansa training school in Seechcam, Frankfurt Germany, in 1979 and another course in Atlanta, Georgia USA. Many others subsequently followed in the course of his job with the Airways. The peak of his career came in 1981, when he was promoted and sent to Ghana, again, as District Manager. He was promoted again and returned to Kaduna, Nigeria where he worked assiduously, till he was retired in December of 1987. In all, he had given Nigeria Airways about 17 years of his life

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