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Gail D. Whitson

Posted By DeBord-Snyder Funeral Home & Crematory On September 19, 2019 @ 10:03 am In Obituaries | 7 Comments

Gail Doonan Whitson

March 13, 1932 – September 15, 2019

My beautiful wife has succumbed to the ravages of Alzheimer’s Disease.

She married me on Saturday, June 16th, 1956 and unfailingly brightened my life ever since. We met when I painted scenery for a Schenectady Light Opera production of“Music in the Air” in which she sang the leading role and we married a year later. During our 63 years together Gail’s loving heart and wisdom transformed five apartments and three houses into homes full of warmth, comfort and happiness for me and the world’s three most beautiful and loving children she gave me: Amy, married to David Oblender, Cy, married to Sherry Cooper and Carrie, married to Chuck Aukamp. A meticulous housekeeper and dedicated mother, she instilled, by example, love and kindness and generosity into our children and then welcomed with open arms their partners in to our lives. Our five grandchildren, Matthew and Robert Oblender, Emily Tunstalle and Win Aukamp and Addie Kirchner have rewarded her with affection and respect which have given her endless joy and pleasure. Sadly, our three beautiful great-granddaughters, Sophia, Savannah and Gemma arrived after her memory had begun to falter and she was unable to express her love verbally, still the warmth in her eyes clearly spoke for her.

After the children were grown and educated, Gail went to work with the Actors’ Company of Pennsylvania and found enormous satisfaction in establishing and growing their subscription ticket sales base as well as functioning as bookkeeper. She also lent her lovely soprano voice to some of the Actors’ Company productions on the Fulton Opera House stage.

Gail has been a true life partner, often carrying more than her fair share of the load. I have failed, I know, to tell her how much I love her. Our children and I have been endlessly blessed by her presence.

Gail was born March 13, 1932 in Camden, New Jersey, the daughter of Llewellyn and Alice Doonan. In addition to our immediate family she leaves her brother Douglas Doonan, his wife, Gail and their two children, Jill Olwert and Wesley Doonan.

The children and I thank the staff and care-givers at the Quarryville Presbyterian Retirement Community for the excellent care and affection they provided Gail.

A private ceremony will take place in the Memorial Garden at First Presbyterian Church, Lancaster.
– Dick Whitson

Condolences for the family of “Gail D. Whitson”

Condolence from Marsha Peterson on September 19th, 2019 11:57 pm

Dick and family – my heart is broken for you. Please accept my deepest condolences .

Condolence from Shelly J Omasta on September 20th, 2019 12:08 am

Dick, I am sorry for your loss. Seeing how you cared for her showed what a beautiful person she was. Thank you for allowing me to care for Gail. Praying you feel the peace of God now and in the months to comes. God Bless,Shellyo

Condolence from Reed and Kathi Dixon on September 22nd, 2019 7:24 am

Kathi and I are saddened to hear of Gail’s passing. It was a long battle.

Condolence from Tom Burgum on September 22nd, 2019 2:16 pm


So sorry to learn about Gail. Her work here is done.

Condolence from Elizabeth Mills on September 22nd, 2019 6:19 pm

Dick, you wrote such a lovely tribute to Gail. I am terribly sorry for your tremendous loss. She was a very kind woman to me, too…I remember her and I “bonding” over the Bridal Wreath spirea that she had saved from her family home and brought to your home. Darrel and I have one too–its an older plant variety. She shared with me of courageous times for her family (around the war). I am so glad I met her. She used to send me a little note every time she paid a bill. It meant so much to me–that personal touch. You are a very special person, too. Thank you for all your kindnesses and the ways you and Gail have contributed to the Arts with your talents and supported the Arts in our community. May God grant you and your family strength and grace as you say goodbye to such a wonderful woman.

Condolence from Meg (Moodie) Hazeltine on September 24th, 2019 11:23 am

My heart aches for you, Dick. I am so sorry for your loss.
With sympathy,
Meg (Moodie) Hazeltine

Condolence from Beverly Kalasky on September 28th, 2019 6:48 pm

Amy and family:

I’m sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. I remember her kindness in having me over to your home when we were young elementary school friends. May her kindness and wonderful memories comfort you and your family during this difficult time.

Beverly Kauffman Kalasky

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