Gabrielle Mittelstaedt died peacefully during the afternoon of September 23, 2013 surrounded by close friends and with the compassionate guidance of the Alive Hospice Residence staff, in Nashville, Tennessee. Gabrielle was born February 28, 1956 in Homberg/ Bez.Kassel, Germany, to Anneliese Weitzel Mittelstaedt (1927-1995) and Lehrer Fritz Mittelstaedt(1920-2013) Her brother was brother Hartmut (1947-1972). She is survived by her sister, Adelheid Lower and niece-Godchild Angelika Lower of Germany.In childhood, Gabrielle was educated in a country school where her father was head master and her mother taught physical education. The family traveled widely. Visits to diverse cultures with their abundant food markets was a highlight leading Gabrielle to develop an appreciation for farming, local foods and a deep connection to nature. At age 16 she moved to a progressive boarding school, traveling to the United States as an exchange student in 1973. In 1975 she enrolled in the University of Mainz, Germany, where she earned a Master’s Degree in education. During that time she studied in Austin, Texas and did a year teaching practice in the Philippines. In 1984 she relocated to the states, a year later to Nashville, Tennessee, where she made her permanent home. In 1987 she won her Green Card in a lottery. In Gabrielle’s words: “After I moved to the United States in the 1980s, my passion for food and cooking reached another level. I studied yoga, became a massage therapist, and my increased awareness brought me to an understanding of “we are what we eat.” Feeling the connection between body, mind and spirit led me to dedicate my life to health and healing. “I took a variety of cooking classes—vegetarian, raw, macrobiotic—and focused on whole foods, nutritious meals and conscious eating. My passion for local organic foods grew into a catering service, providing meals to my massage clients and cooking for weekend retreats. From 1997 to 1999, I was co-owner and head chef of the Peaceful Planet, a successful vegetarian restaurant in Nashville. I was instrumental in bringing the first CSA (community supported agriculture group) to Nashville, offering locally grown, organic produce to the community. “For eight years, I taught at Gilda’s Club of Nashville, focusing on dietary and lifestyle changes for people who are affected by cancer; my eight-week classwas based on Dr. Andrew Weil’s book, Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, … I taught for many years at Wild Oats, Gray Bear Lodge (a yoga retreat center) and University School of Nashville evening classes.” In recent years, Gabrielle continued to nourish and feed people by frequently opening her home for “Lunch with Gabrielle.” In the Fall of 2012, Gabrielle and a partner opened Sunflower Cafe in Nashville. Gabrielle’s generous, joyful, loving spirit connected with people wherever she turned. Over the years, she has touched the lives of thousands of people, bringing together an amazing family of supportive friends whose lives she enhanced in myriad ways. She gave herself fully to each person who needed her, whether organizing a celebration, helping thru illness or even easing the way to the end of life. Gabrielle created peace and beauty in her own life and in the lives of those around her. She loved laughter and fun, bright colors, sunshine, the beach and the sea, flowers, nature and the outdoors. Walking at Radnor was an essential part of her life. There will be a Celebration of Gabrielle’s Life at Center for Spiritual Living, 6705 Charlotte Pike, October 12, 1:30 p.m. Donations may be made in Gabrielle’s name to Friends of Radnor Lake, Thistle Farms, Gilda’s Club or your choice.
“Have a Peaceful Day!”