Gabe Proctor—two-time NCAA Division II Champion, Olympic Trials participant and former member of the Mammoth Track Club—died on Saturday, May 20 at age 27. A victim of severe depression, he took his own life in Lyndonville, Vermont.
Proctor’s friends, family, and teammates remember him for much more than his running accolades, which include personal bests of 1:02:22 in the half marathon and 2:13:45 in the marathon.
He was deeply connected to his relatives in Ethiopia, whom he left at age 10 when he was adopted by Jim and Caryl Proctor of Vermont. In a statement released this morning, Proctor’s family said he had a “heart as big as all the world” and “he always made a point of being kind to people whom others were rejecting.”
I was fortunate enough to spend a summer with Gabe and his Mammoth Track Club teammates back in 2014. Between 140-mile weeks, three-a-day runs, and workouts impressive enough to spark Meb Keflezighi comparisons, Gabe was a model of devotion and a friend to many. Known for his kind and fun-loving spirit and respected for his monstrous work capacity, his absence will be felt profoundly by those who knew, loved, and ran with him.
Rest in peace, Gabe.
If you need help or know someone that does, don’t wait. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800- 273-8255) offers free and confidential support for people in distress 24 hours a day.
— Adriana Nelson ️ ️ (@adi_nelson) May 23, 2017
Gabe Proctor, a 5k & 10k Nat Champion. Such a great person. Be kind to everyone, never know what kind of battle they are fighting. RIP Gabe. pic.twitter.com/37LvSZkGPU
— Just Run Fuller (@JustRunFuller) May 23, 2017
My interactions with Gabe were brief and infrequent, but it was always clear to me what a kind soul he possessed. Very saddened to see this. https://t.co/xCK0uiRiJh
— Matt Llano (@MattLlano) May 23, 2017
Just gutted by this news. I picked Gabe up from the airport in San Jose for his 1/2 debut in 2013. Great guy. Depression is a nasty illness. https://t.co/9gubfT4FJW
— Mario Fraioli (@mariofraioli) May 23, 2017