Ari Gabbin was born on March 16, 1972 in Haifa to former New Yorkers Chaim and Florence, who came on aliya in 1971. He grew up in Haifa and was educated at Rambam Elementary School and Yavneh High School. After his induction into the IDF in 1991 he spent a year in pilot training and the remainder of his service in 'Maglan,' an elite fighting unit. He later served as a security officer at the Israeli embassies in Riga, Latvia and in Italy.
He studied computer science at Haifa University and won the Knesset award for the best computer science student. He had many varied interests, including skiing, diving, roller blading, nin jitsu, cooking and hiking, as well as action movies, building and fixing things and learning Gemara. He also loved being a father to his three children.
On May 20, 2003, while on reserve duty in the Golan Heights, Ari drowned for unknown reasons in the Ma'apal Devora waterfall. He was buried in the Haifa Military Cemetery. He is survived by his wife Zehavit, children Tal, Ma'ayan and Yarden, his parents, 2 sisters and a brother.