An incredible wife, mother, and grandmother, Gail Virginia Van Bockern, rejoined many loved ones in Heaven on February 12, 2021. She will be missed dearly.
Gail was born November 3, 1952 in Concord, California, to Ray and Ina England. In August 1953, she and her family moved to Rapid City, South Dakota, where Gail grew to be a smart and hardworking young woman. In June 1969, Gail moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota where she graduated from Washington High School in 1971. She worked as a nurse’s aide until she graduated at the top of her class from nursing school in 1973. She worked at McKennan Hospital until 1976.
Gail first became a mother in 1977, when she gave birth to Gabriel. After a divorce in 1978, she moved to Lennox, South Dakota where she met and married Bruce Van Bockern in 1979. Bruce adopted Gabriel and they all moved to West Yellowstone, Montana, and then back to Lennox in April of 1980. There they had three more children: Philip, John, and Ellen born in 1983,1985, and 1987, respectively. In 1990, Gail and Bruce moved their family to Granby, Colorado. Gail worked throughout her career in Granby as a nurse, hospice nurse, public health nurse (Colorado Public Health Nurse of the Year in 2008), and the director of education at the Church of the Eternal Hills in Tabernash, Colorado.
There were many things Gail loved in life. Above all else, she loved children and family. Warm and welcoming, she would engage everyone around her as if they were part of the family. A true mother. She could be heard cheering loudly for each of her children at various sporting events. She did not miss a game, and there were a lot of them! There was never a lake, camping, or beach trip she would turn down. She loved being out in the sun and in the water. She was an avid gardener and consistently had fresh produce on the table. She canned the most delicious jams. She was such a wonderful cook and baker, so there was always a great meal on the table. And there was almost nothing she loved more than gathering around a table of great food with everyone (kids and dogs running around), eating and laughing until she could barely breathe.
Gail also loved animals. Her pets held a special place in her heart. Her dachshund Holly rarely left her side in the past seven years. Gail was a voracious reader and a deep thinker who loved a spirited debate or conversation. An amazing and diligent quilter, she fabricated so many beautiful quilts over the years.
In addition to her husband of 42 years, Gail is survived by her son, Gabriel; her son Philip and his wife Tina, and their sons Quinn and Cooper; her son John and his wife Janice, and their daughters Abbygail and Jane; her daughter Ellen and her husband Matt Cowman; two sisters Janet and Linda England and two brothers Mark and Doug England, and many nieces and nephews.
Gail was a champion for young children in the community. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in her name to Grand Beginnings, a foundation focused on early childhood health and education in Grand County, Colorado. Grand Beginnings, P.O. Box 42, Granby, CO 80446, GrandBegionnings.org