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A twelve-year resident of Great Falls, Gail Helen Williamson, passed away at Peace Hospice House on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. She had been ill for some time, but managed to stay as independent as possible.
She was born in Deadwood, SD on July 2, 1936 to Walter Louis Williamson and Frances Elizabeth Plato and spent most of her youth through high school in Deadwood. Gail earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing at the College of St. Teresa in Winona, MN in 1957. She spent time as a nurse at the Mayo Clinic/St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN prior to moving to California. Her nursing career was centered around the Los Angeles area. Gail completed her career in Van Nuys, CA.
Gail was a compassionate and passionate nurse who went beyond her duties to care for her patients. She was recognized early on as a leader and spent much of her long career in nursing administration. In 1977, Gail was the victim of an attempted murder by a hospital employee, which caused her to have to cut her career short. She suffered the physical and emotional effects of this assault for the rest of her life.
When asked how she would like to be remembered, she replied, “as a nice person”. She certainly was that, but so much more. She maintained a child-like spirit of joy and love for people and animals. Always positive and fun-loving, her friendships were for life as witnessed by family and friends. Her sense of humor many times caught folks off guard as they did not expect this small woman to be as bold and humorous as she was.
Loved by her nieces and nephews and the children of friends, the stories would come rolling out and she had cute nicknames for each of them. She was also full of entertaining antics. Friends in CA describe her as the life of the party and the best friend a person could ever have. Her friend, Laurie, will especially miss her. Gail was an animal lover owning several Basset Hounds and being enthralled with the deer found at her niece, Kelly’s home in Washington. She was a member of the Great Falls Flower Growers Garden Club.
Gail is survived by her sister, Patricia Biggs, with whom she shared a home, her sister-in-law, Joyce Williamson, special nieces Kelly, Beth, and Teresa; nephews Dan, Scott, David, Steve and Tim. She also loved and enjoyed the next generation of sixteen great nieces and nephews and was getting to know four great, great nieces and nephews. She interjected so much fun and inspiration to all of their lives. The void of her loss cannot be filled; “that is a high tribute to the uniqueness of her soul”. She was preceded in death by her parents, Walter & Frances Williamson, her brother Walter “Woody” Williamson and her partner, John Newsome.
Gail’s sister, and nieces will welcome friends to an Open House in her honor on Saturday, April 28, 2018, from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. at 1004 Northview Ave, Great Falls, MT. For those wishing to honor Gail, donations can be made to the Pet Paw-See or Great Falls Flower Growers Garden Club. Contributions can be sent to the family or directly to the organizations.