Read TobyMac's Moving Tribute to the Late Diverse City Band's Gabe Patillo


Gabriel Patillo passed away Friday, April 12th, 2024, surrounded by his loving family. Son of GMA President Jackie Patillo, the entire GMA staff knew and loved Gabe like family. 

Known for his enormous talent, generous spirit and unending energy, Gabe began honing his creative skills at the young age of ten. As a child he danced for dcTalk, appeared in multiple videos for Brentwood Music and worked as a theater kid at Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee. As an adult, Patillo worked with GRAMMY and GMA Dove Award-winning artist TobyMac as part of Diverse City where he sang background vocals, was a choreographer and dancer and co-produced TobyMac tours. 

TobyMac has taken the time to honor Gabe with a moving tribute: 

"I wish everyone knew Gabe Patillo. I wish everyone could walk with him, get challenged by him, collaborate with him, laugh with him, pray with him, meditate on scripture with him and be loved by him. You would be a better person. You would learn to care for others. You would learn to listen. You would hear the hard truth delivered compassionately (most of the time ;)) You would not get by with foolishness but you'd laugh with joy til your belly hurt. You would learn that we can see things differently, but still have respect for one another. You would not be scared of tough conversations about race and politics and social issues or apologetics and interpretations. No, you would dive in and talk it through to find the common ground or respectfully disagree while treating one another with dignity. 

"You would know his warm smile. You would know that he lightens a room that is heavy with his quick witted observations or deepens the moments that shouldn't remain on the surface. His eyes offered love, not the "I want you to like me" kind but the "I see you" kind. The kind of eyes that find the people behind the scenes that do the hardest work but get the least recognition. 

"Sure, Gabe could sing, he could rap, he could dance, and he could play trumpet onstage. He's one of the best performers I've ever been around. He embodied the heart of every song we sang, every night. We thought through every moment of every show together for the last 24 years. We pushed each other to be intentional with every move made, every note played and every word spoken or sang on that stage. But what I will treasure for the rest of my life is behind the curtain; on the bus, in the dressing rooms, at rehearsals, and at home. I saw him become a man, a husband and a father that I respect. A guy that went from being like my lil bro to a man that continues to inspire me in every aspect of my life. What an utter privilege it has been to call him friend.

"Please pray for Gabe's family and our community as we have lost a genuine load-bearing pillar of our village."

Gabriel is survived by his wife, Jenni Patillo, three children, Amara, Milo, and Remy Patillo, his brother, Marcel Patillo and mother, Jackie Patillo.

Most of all, Gabe was known for his lifelong love for Jesus. His faith was part of his every day and the reason for his infectious smile. To know Gabe was to know how much he loved the Lord and his family.

A GoFundMe has been established to support Gabe's family. Please consider donating here.



Tags : TobyMac Gabe Patillo Gabe Patillo death Gabe Patillo funeral diverse city band

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