Gail Ann Duell was born on November 11, 1943, outside of Rochester, New York, to a French Canadian father, Theodore Duell, and an Italian mother, Mae Duell. She has been pre-deceased by all her siblings and her parents. Gail leaves her life partner, Rudey Gaussoin, two sons, Joseph Snell of Rochester, N.Y., and Israel Snell of Columbia, South Carolina, and a granddaughter, Chelsea.
As a youngster, she attended Catholic School and went on to attend Catholic college. Eventually, her life changed course and she left college to marry Dennis Snell. Gail’s life path eventually led her away from this marriage and brought her to San Francisco. This was a time of struggle, turmoil and loss, which, when combined with her own decision not to become bitter over her own losses and lose contact with her affection for children, shaped her life into a new passion. Gail’s mission became supporting, encouraging and nurturing mothers and children torn apart by various forms of addiction. Her lifelong membership in a fellowship which saved her life made her uniquely qualified to help women in similar conditions. Part of Gail’s spiritual practice was a belief that all paths lead to God and that compassion is the answer.
Gail’s life partner came into her life in March of 1992, and together they made a decision to move to Alaska in 1994, a decision which was sparked by Gail’s grandfather’s enthusiasm when she was a child. After living in Anchorage for three years, they moved to Seward in May of 1997, built a cabin together, and settled in for the next 21-plus years.
Gail’s fighting spirit was noticed by everyone as she went through the past ten years fighting an illness, with little complaint and lots of courage. She will be missed for her deep insight and wisdom into the human soul and for her insightful and intuitive personality. Gail was considered blunt at times, passionate always, generous, and committed. She was fond of animals, children, crafting, poetry and writing.
An excerpt from her journal:
“I am uncertain how long I have. I am however, certain I wish to live each day to the fullest with love and compassion for others and for myself. I love my life and I know my life when I pass.”
A celebration of life will be held for Gail on Saturday, February 3, at 1 p.m. in the Church of the Nazarene, Fourth Avenue and C Street, Seward. Come join friends and family in remembrance of Gail.
A potluck and fellowship will follow the celebration. Bring your favorite dish and stories of Gail to share.