Gabe Rygaard Dead

Gabe Rygaard, Star of History's Ax Men, Dies in Multi-Vehicle Accident

Gabe Rygaard, known for appearing on the History reality series Ax Men, was killed in a car accident on Friday in Washington. He was 45.

Rygaard’s Ford Bronco was one of three vehicles involved in the crash, which occurred just outside Rygaard’s hometown of Port Angeles, Wash. The six passengers in the other two cars sustained minor injuries; all were treated at the scene and released.

Rygaard joined Ax Men in its second season (2009) as the new owner of Rygaard Logging, a business founded by his father in 1992. Since then, the company has been featured prominently on the show, which just wrapped its ninth season in March.

Sadly, Rygaard is the third Ax Men cast member to die in the past four years. Jimmy Smith, whose S&S Aqua Logging company was featured heavily on the show, died of cancer in Nov. 2012, while William Colantuono, who appeared in Seasons 2 and 3, was killed in a helicopter crash in Sept. 2013.

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148 Comments
  1. Meg L. says:

    I am not familiar with this gentle man, or the show. However, he has a happy flow in his eyes and smile. Forty five is too young. RIP. And, thoughts to his family and friends left behind.

    • Mark H says:

      @Meg L , Always refreshing and uplifting to read a positive comment like yours on the internet. God Bless this young mans family. It is sad to be taken so young.

    • SD says:

      he had a bad temper though

      • Chris says:

        Does a bad temper justify what his family is going through for a family member that has lost his life.

      • Az state says:

        Really you gonna go there when his family is going thru this !!!

      • Rick says:

        So what that’s how the real would works. Did he ever do anything to you?

      • Matthew says:

        Let me guess you are a f****** saint you never did anything wrong when your entire life correct this man just lost his life for small kids and a company that depends on him you probably never ran a company before so you probably don’t know the stress

        • Jason says:

          This jerks negative comment is uncalled for…ignorant…and only shows his inhumanity
          Best if it is ignored and the thread stays on topic!!
          GOD be with the family in their time of loss!!!

          • God is the one who killed him , it is best to learn from this unfortunate cruel man’s death and be as nice to as many people as possible . Dont be a jerk , dont lie about fake man made gods and imaginary man made religions , and be fair to each other .

      • Rhonda says:

        So does that mean he deserved to die in a car accident? No it doesn’t! What kind of person post stuff like this! #idiot

      • DENNIS WILSON says:

        SD DOES THAT STAND FOR Sad Dick?

      • Steve says:

        I watched the show since it’s beginning, and yes he did have a temper and at times seemed to be all to unfair with his workers. But understand this is what the producers wanted to profile, because that what attracts the audience and gives them their ratings. If you read what Gabe wrote on his birthday just before his death, really shows a man who came to realize that God and his faith in that, is what was most important. He saw the value in the family that he raised and how important it is to love others just as God loved him. It never really matters how you start the race of life, it only matters on how you finish the race and it seems Gabe Rygaard finally understood that, praise God!!

    • Earl francis says:

      my condolences goes out to the rygard family prayers for the family rest easy gabe you will be missed a true blue american god bless

  2. David says:

    So sad to read about this. RIP Gabe. We will pray for your family.

  3. Debbie B says:

    So sad to read this story. He has young kids. Keeping his family in our thoughts and prayers.

  4. Karen martinez says:

    So sorry for his family, friends, and co-workers. He seemed like a very hard worker and a very fair boss. He was great on the show. He will surely be missed.

  5. Suzi Pope says:

    We are so sorry for the loss of a Super Man! My Husband and I enjoy Ax Men and the Rygaard Family were one of our favorites. We will be praying for the family and friends. The show will not be the same!

  6. Pamela Cooper says:

    My heart is breaking for his family, I love the show, It is going to very hard watching this season knowing that he is gone. I am praying for his family.

  7. I enjoyed watching the show when I had the time, our sincere condolences to the family and friends, RIP

  8. J R E says:

    1st it’s Darrell Ward of IRT, now its Gabe Rygaard of Axe Men…..RIP Guys

  9. So sad Gabe will be missed

  10. Gary H. says:

    I met Gabe and his family briefly in South Lake Tahoe… very friendly, humble, and polite people… I thank his family for sharing him with us and am sorry for their loss…

  11. Kimberly Boysza says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to Gabe’s friends and family. May he rest in peace.

  12. Angel says:

    Sad so sad he and his father are very inspiring to a world and every generation of life no matter it to be not so good and not so bad they were a very wonderful strong human force in life .I do wish the family and loved ones to remain thankful for sharing your lives with each and everyone of us .Please live long and continue to live strong and not lose yourselves in the impact of this tragedy .May your son and his soul rest in the rewards of Gods kingdom forever more ready to meet you all again in a perfect place .

  13. Dennis F Cheatwooid says:

    i watched and reallu like that man!

  14. DANIEL B KEENAN II says:

    I watched the show regularly, got pissed off at Gabe a few times but always had respect for you him and the way he loved his dad, and even his brother. It was a lot like most families. WHAT A SHOCKER!!!!! RIP GABE To his friends and family God Bless you and keep u in his arms. I’m c sorry for your loss.

  15. wild bill hickcock 1882 says:

    chop em high chop em low get that green get on the back ho make that money while you can one day youll be dead man

  16. Anthony Cummins says:

    RIP Gabe condolences to the family

  17. Mike McGee says:

    RIP Gabe, I enjoyed the show since the beginning. I know your family is feeling the pain may the good Lord be with the entire Rygard family.

  18. Thomas F. Myers says:

    Gabe and his family did everything to keep Rygaard in the money.He was clever industrious and a caring boss.The competion for King of the moutain were great. I will miss him.

  19. So sorry about this sad news ,I love this show and Gabe was my favorite gone too soon may he rest in peace .my prayers will be for the family at this time of sorry .

  20. Douglas Sherrow says:

    He was good and I will miss him

  21. Richard says:

    although i was not a regular viewer, i did watch a number of episodes and admired their work ethic and respected the emanate danger associated with their work. I extend my best wishes to his family. i hope they all can recover from his loss, and the family tradition moves forward.

  22. J says:

    Omg we love this show. Our prayers go out to you and your family. I guess God has a great logging man up by him now. RIP

  23. Gabe Rygaard was one of the most endearing men in all of reality tv. He was a very hard working man. He showed nothing but love and respect for his family and his employees. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. This is truly heart-braking…

  24. Mike McBride says:

    I’m sorry I hadn’t met him sooner….He was a good man! Talked genuinely about his faith; his family, community and hope. I looked forward to supporting him as he looked forward to doing something different. You had my vote…….God Bless!

  25. Jay Meadors says:

    May God bless him and his family during this very tough and heartbreaking time.

  26. Donnie Payne says:

    So sorry for his family, friends, and co-workers…….but I think it’s time to retire the show. It just seems there might be a bad Omen to it….:(

    • N Smith says:

      Just found out . and My heart goes out to the family . You will truly be missed for all that you have done . My heart is sadden like many others and no words can express the way i feel . Rip My Friend .

  27. rod says:

    I always watched the show, and really liked & respected Gabe… he was my favorite, and seemed the most personable. Godspeed Gabe… you will be missed.

  28. Doc11 says:

    I watch the show all the time.
     I was not a fan of Gabe and his family. The Dad was always trying to intentionaly hurt someone or get them fired. The only one that was not a whiner was  Gabes brother. Even Gabes son was the same way

     What really stuck in my mind is just this week the last episode for the season was on aired 9/16/2016
     Gabes son made the remark that look at this .We are all fighting and yelling at each other and what we need to realize is there is three generations of Rygarrds working here. That will be the only time this will ever happen. This is History in the making as it will never happen again

     How little did he know the truth to those words. Such a shame for someone to go at a young age as Gabe. I know his dad will really be devestated as they worked together for years. I feel for the son as well for those words will come back to him for a long time

     To the Rygaard family Thank you for allowing you into your life and home and way of living. May your loss be filled with the future of keeping a legacy alive and letting us continue to see you in the months and years to come.
     Our sincere condolences to the Rygaard Family

  29. Doc11 says:

    I watch the show all the time.
    I was not a fan of Gabe and his family. The Dad was always trying to intentionaly hurt someone or get them fired. The only one that was not a whiner was Gabes brother

    What really stuck in my mind is just this week the last episode for the season was on aired 9/16/2016
    Gabes son made the remark that look at this .We are all fighting and yelling at each other and what we need to realize is there is three generations of Rygarrds working here. That will be the only time this will ever happen. This is History in the making as it will never happen again

    How little did he know the truth to those words. Such a shame for someone to go at a young age as Gabe. I know his dad will really be devestated as they worked together for years. I feel for the son as well for those words will come back to him for a long time

    To the Rygaard family Thank you for allowing you into your life and home and way of living. May your loss be filled with the future of keeping a legacy alive and letting us continue to see you in the months and years to come.
    Our sincere condolences to the Rygaard Family

  30. Sad that he is gone. Way too young to die. I’ve got to be honest however, there were times on the show that made me a bit angry when he would talk down to his employees. Not someone I would work for. Still sad to see him go.

  31. Ray says:

    I have enjoyed watching Gabe work through all the problems people and equipment and seeing his love for his Dad.
    He was a hard working man.
    The good they die young.
    Rest in peace Gabe.

  32. Rosemary L Nave says:

    So Sad to hear about Gabe Rygaards’ passing. I will be missed greatly by his personal family and his tv family. Prayers all around.

  33. PatsyH. says:

    Gabe was ax men RIP

  34. sherry meredith says:

    there has been so many people passing that I have watched on show and culdnt wat until it came back on to see te next show my thoughts and pays go out to the family and friend wil never forget him

  35. mike says:

    thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of GABE he will shurley be missed.

  36. Benny Gearin says:

    I ALWAYS LOVED WATCHING AXEMEN MY GRANDPA AND MY DAD AND ME WERE LOGGERS ANS SAWMILLERS I KNOW HE WILL BE GREATLY MISSED MY PRAYERS ARE WITH THE FAMILY AND FRIENDS.
    REV.BENNY GEARIN

  37. Dee Fleshman says:

    I am truly shocked bout this . It’s like u watch them and u feel like u have lost a dear friend more yet family. R.I. P Gabe my condolences to his family . I know how it feels to loose a child in a car accident. Lost my 22 year old 8 years ago in a car accident. He was coming home from the mines . God bless each of u in the days to come . 😔😔😔😔😔😔🙏🙏🙏🙏😇😇😇😇😇💕💕💕💕😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢😢

  38. Dan Darst says:

    I’ve watched the show some. While not a fan of the show, it is sad that this happened. My prayers go out to his family, friends and fans.

  39. Larry A. says:

    I remember the show when he picked up his son and had him return to finish his commitment, he was all about family and doing the right thing, God Bless Gabe, and God Bless his family during this trying time. You will be missed!

  40. Becky Jones says:

    So Sorry to hear of this loss. Prayers for his family. He had young children from watching the show. He was a committed fair boss. He will be so missed!

  41. Donna says:

    Enjoyed the show and he will be truly missed. Prayers for the family.

  42. xxxchillycatxxx says:

    C’mon Dad, now’s time for you to take your Grandson and teach him the business.
    You’re basically his father for years to come. Gabe certainly would want the family
    business to continue on. You’re the man who’s best able to make it happen.

  43. Bob Eugene says:

    Q13 Fox says he wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. I know VERY FEW peace officers who have ever unbuckled a dead body. WEAR YOUR @#$%ING SEATBELTS!

  44. John Morris says:

    He was a good man but his Dad needs a lot of work learning how to deal with people. I saw him intentionally injure one of the other logger’s on the show once. Bad business but he backed his Dad up when Dad really needed a good sack down.

  45. Thomas Cooke says:

    I Don’t care what any of you think or say about this Man. He was a true Man among real Men. more often than not what passes for a man on TV these days could suck a golf ball thru a garden hose. If you don’t believe me ask their “Partners”. Gabe was alright in my book and his Pop and brothers also. Hard working people and i grieve with them. RIP Brother Gabe from one logger to another.

  46. Irwin Langewisch says:

    Rest in peace Gabe. You were taken to soon.

  47. GLENDA T KEE says:

    GOD BLESS YOUR SOUL . I PRAY YOU REST IN PEACE FATHER GOD PLEASE BE GABE AS THEY GO THRU THIS TRAGIC LOSS. PLEASE GIVE EACH OF THEM YOUR HOLY PEACE, CALM AND COMFORT. IN JESUS HOLY NAME I PRAY. AMEN

  48. Kathryn Knott says:

    So Sad! My husband and I watch Ax Men faithfully. He will be missed, a smart young man!

  49. Captain Ransom says:

    Karma sucks doesn’t it? What a massive jerk this guy was. I’m sure his workers are celebrating right now. If you don’t know what I mean, watch the episode where a guy quits and he shows up at his house and throws a fit. Total prick. Guys like this think they can treat everyone like garbage and wonder why they can’t find anyone to work for them. Adios buddy!

    • sounds like your a real nice guy to be around your self , saying bad things about a good man who has just died .lost to hes family and hes friends . you are not promised tomorrow or even tonight . calling him a prick ect what do you think you are? someone much bigger than you or me is listening , watching what we do .we will all answer one day for how we lived our lives. what will you say?