Image Credit: Screenshot/Facebook/Gabe Rygaard
Fans were shocked to learn that Gabe Rygaard, one of the stars of the History Channel’s reality series, “Ax Men,” had been killed in a multi-car accident on Friday morning in his hometown of Port Angeles, Washington.
The 45-year-old was the owner-operator of Rygaard Logging Inc., which was featured in the now-cancelled reality logging show. In addition, Rygarrd had recently run as a Republican for the District 2 county commissioner seat, but did not advance past the primaries.
Rygaard’s wife, Katy, shared the tragic news of his death on her Facebook page, also asking that the family’s privacy be respected:
With great sadness we say good-bye to Gabe. He was a faithful husband, devoted father, brother & son. He loved the…
She has since noted the community’s outpouring of love for her family, saying that all they are in need of at this time is prayers:
Family and friends….Yesterday I had to say good bye to my best friend, husband & father to my children. This was the…
Katy later shared how the words her husband wrote on his birthday last month are “taking care” of his family now in this difficult time:
Still taking care of us with his words. This was written on his birthday in August. I miss you so much, my love.
In his post, Gabe wrote about his priorities:
“Life is crazy, exausting [sic], rewarding, unrelenting and exciting. I am very blessed in all forms of life and happy that I live it to its fullest. God first, Wife and Family, work and play and exactly in that order or at least as close to it as I can, that is how I choose to live.”
He then shared what he had learned to that point in his life:
“I understand we only get one shot and from dust we were created and dust we will return, we bring nothing in, we leave with nothing… or do we. God gives us free will, he also gives us a choice, that choice can stack the deck for our eternity and I chose to follow that many years ago. I did not and in many ways still don’t completely understand, but what I do know is that LOVE is what endures forever.
God has started to show me that what we lack the most in today’s world is LOVE. If our County, State and Country lived by the true principals God set before us this world would be a better place… perfect…. NO. We are human mistakes are a guarantee, but it would be better.”
He ended with thoughts of others, even his “enemies”:
“I pray for blessings this morning, To my family, To my friends, To my dedicated employees, To all the random folks I have come to know that don’t really know me and to my enemies for I want to bless them with forgiveness and ask for grace. Today is a great day go out and do great things. G”
Katy has written that a memorial service will be held at King’s Way Foursquare Church in Sequim, Washington, for Gabe. The family plans to release a statement with more details soon.