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- September 28, 2017
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GAIL ELAINE HARTSOOK
Gail Elaine Hartsook was born in Eston, Saskatchewan on March 22, 1946 to Lloyd and Goldye Hartsook. Gail passed away suddenly September 28, 2017 at the age of 71 years.
Gail was predeceased by an infant brother, James Eric Hartsook and by her father, Lloyd Hagen Hartsook. She is survived by her mother, Goldye Hartsook, her 2 sisters Lorna [Bill Latrace], Carol [Charles Veysey], and 2 brothers, David [Cheryl Cummings], and Paul [Diane Matchett], many nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews and even 2 gr-great nephews and 1 gr-great niece, as well as numerous cousins. She spent her childhood on the farm at Wartime, Sask with her parents and siblings.
Being the oldest in the family she had lots of responsibilities and learned how to do everything well, from cooking, baking, sewing, and even driving the farm machinery at times. When Gail was a child of 9 years she learned about Jesus and invited Him into her life to be her Savior, with her Mom’s guidance. She then shared this with Lorna, who understood and made the same decision. This decision had a profound impact on many of the decisions in her young life.
Gail attended elementary school at Wartime, Sask. and took grades 10 to 12 at Caronport High School. For two summers she served as a camp counselor with Canadian Sunday School Mission, traveling to different camps in Saskatchewan. She then attended Bible School for one year at Briercrest Bible College. She transferred to Berean Bible College in Calgary to finish that portion of her education. After Bible College Gail enrolled in Seattle Pacific College in Seattle, Washington, USA and graduated with a BA in Psychology. When Dad left to take her to the train in Swift Current he did not return for several days as he decided to keep driving all the way to Seattle! Gail had a very diverse and rewarding career from college graduation to retirement. She was dedicated to each of her jobs and was well respected by her peers. Her first position was in Vancouver in the social work field. In 1977 she was the Director of the Prince Albert Mobile Crisis Center for which she was instrumental in its inception. Gail traveled farther from home to be the Director of Student Services at the residential school in Chisasibi, Quebec. She later held the same position at St Michaels Student Residence in Duck Lake, Sask. Gail worked for a short time in Moose Jaw as a Service Center manager, and for a change of pace worked in Regina at the CNIB for awhile. Prince Albert was always Gail’s home base and she bought a delightful cottage home there that she could always return to. She moved back and worked for the Prince Albert Grand Council as an education consultant. She set up Child and Family services at Sturgeon Lake. Gail also worked for the Department of Social Services as the Prince Albert Regional Director for the North East Region. Her last place of employment was in Saskatoon as an executive director at Saskatchewan First Nations Family and Community Institute. Gail sold her home in Prince Albert and moved to an apartment in Saskatoon where she resided until her death.Gail made many friends everywhere she worked, and we as a family benefited by meeting many of them either when she brought them to visit us or when we would visit her. I remember some of my children being awed and delighted when Aunt Gail took them out to stay in Cy’s beautiful home when we visited her in Prince Albert.Gail was faithful in sharing in the care of our parents and helping in tough times, especially when Dad was ill and Mom relocated to different homes for health reasons. The rest of us often relied on her because she was single and lived closer to them and was willing to travel to Eston on short notice to help organize a lot of things. Gail called our Mom almost every day this last year to check up on her and help to cheer her up. She also had great taste in decorating her home and it was always a delight to see her touch in other places as well, especially in the different senior homes that Mom has lived in recently.
Our sister loved to entertain in her home and she put great thought into menus, wonderful settings, and an inviting and homey atmosphere whether it was for family or friends.
She was never what we would call a great athlete, but she had skills. She learned to ski and put many of us to shame. She loved canoeing and camping and fishing, whether alone or with friends and family, and had all the equipment necessary for these trips.Gail was a dedicated Aunty and was always interested in knowing her nephews and nieces, and being involved in their lives. She visited as many as she could over the years and attended almost all of the weddings. Gail was always especially close to her nieces by choice” Allison and Katherine Ann.. They will all miss her. Gail had a profound influence on the younger generation with stories of her travels hitchhiking around Europe one year. She created a desire in both Cindy and Lanette to travel and experience other countries, which they did.
She also had a way of inspiring these young ones to want to do their best. Cindy remembers conversations that were about the elements that determine how to be successful at what you do. Among other things she clearly recalls Gail’s advice: “WORK SMARTER, NOT FASTER’.
When Gail shopped for gifts she didn’t just pick any thing she fancied. She chose with care and consideration for each person she gave a gift. They were all very special to the recipients. Devon still has the special bear that she gave to him as an infant. It has been well loved and NO ONE is allowed to touch it to this day over 40 years later. The girls received flamenco dancers and beautiful painted hand fans. I imagine that any one who received a gift from her will agree with this. Since her retirement Gail had a special interest in family history and spent countless hours researching and compiling information on all the branches of our ancestors. We now know a lot more about the Hartsooks and Hagens; Tunalls and Bisters going back not just years, but centuries. Her searches led her down a lot of trails of connected information. She located photographs, immigration documents and little known facts. She also contacted many of the present day descendants of these families and kept in contact with them. All her research was shared to the rest of us and we are now connected to a vast family community in the US and Canada. She has also added this information to the “Find a Grave” website so others can share in the history as well. Just last month Gail finished compiling a ‘book’ of some of Mom’s memories of her early life, especially focusing on her faithful dog, Fido, and also Tiny the donkey and Jack the mule. Siblings, nieces and nephews all received a copy by email and we treasure it – it is so well written.We, Gail’s siblings, will greatly miss our sister. She encouraged us, and challenged us, and loved us through the years. In memory of Gail Hartsook, donations can be sent to Prince Albert Mobile Crisis Centre, Unit C, 4050 2nd Ave West, Prince Albert Sk. S6W 1A2
Interment will take place at Eston Cemetery on Tuesday October 10, 2017 at 10:30 a.m., followed by a Memorial Celebration at 2:30 p.m. at the Edwards Family Centre, 333 4th Ave N in Saskatoon, Sask. Courtesy parking is available across the street in the Saskatoon Funeral Home parking lot.