John Leo Gabica
John Leo Gabica
John Leo Gabica, Johnny, rode out of the gate and down the trail and out of our lives, but not our hearts on Feb. 7, 2018, at the age of 82. He suffered from a brain tumor.

He was born the fifth of five children to Francisco and Marcelina (Bengochea) Gabica in Winnemucca, Nevada. Raised on Rock Creek Ranch at Orovada, Nevada by his aunt and other siblings after the passing of his mother when he was five years old, he attended grade school in a one room school. He attended Humboldt County High School briefly, leaving at age 14 to work on the ranch for his cousins. Amongst his other duties, Johnny drove a team of horses during haying. When the family sold the ranch, he went to work for Flat Creek Ranch to cook for the hay crew until his boss discovered his talents as a horseman.

From Flat Creek, Johnny went to White Horse Ranch near McDermitt where he started his own herd of cattle. At the age of 17, he went to work for Kings River Ranch driving his cows and taking his horses with him, a three-day solo trip.

He later leased out his cows and joined the army serving in Korea as a medic. On returning home, Johnny worked on ranches, then sold his cows and went to work in construction for Nevada Bell Telephone. He continued to pursue his love of ranching helping friends and family on ranches on weekends and holidays.

On January 18, 1958, he married Gene Sweeney to be his soulmate for the next 60 years.

Together they raised two children of their own, and a few who became their own. Johnny referred to them as “strays”. Johnny was “Poppa” to many, too many to list, a devoted grandfather to them all.

Johnny’s interests were many. He loved mining and became a partner in a gold mine and a quick-silver mine. He built a trailer park and constructed rest areas and ventured into the gas station business.

For several years he moved his family around Nevada and Idaho purchasing ranches and properties. His love for selling real estate and the urging of his children, drove him to get his GED, to get a real estate license and to give birth to Silver Dollar Realty in Sweet, Idaho. At the age of 60 he also attained his broker’s license.

Johnny was preceded in death by his father and mother and siblings, Angela, Frank, Phil and Vivian. He is survived by his wife, Gene, son Roger “Choch” (Margaret) Gabica, daughter Renae (John) Ugalde; grandchildren, Victor Ugalde, Karli Gabica, and Cheyenne Gabica. He is “Tio”, uncle, to numerous neices, nephews and cousins. He is also survived by his faithful dog, “Slick” and saddlehorse, “Kenokid”.

Memorial services will be held at the Potter Funeral Chapel, 228 E. Main St., Emmett, Idaho on Saturday, February 17, 2018 at 2:00 p.m.