It is with deepest sorrow and heartache that we announce the passing of our dearest mom, nana and wife, Gail Anne Rauw, on March 6, 2021, at the age of 63 years old.
Gail was born in 1957, to Harold and Josephine Konner, and raised on a farm outside of Humboldt, Saskatchewan. She was the youngest of three children – with two older brothers (Neil and Lynn). Gail learned to be a great cook from a young age, while helping her mother in the kitchen. Gail met her husband (Brian Rauw) at the young age of 16 years old, at the drive-in theatre in Humboldt where they both worked. And so, began a beautiful love and life together.
Gail and Brian were married in 1977 in Humboldt, Saskatchewan. That same year, Gail completed her laboratory technologist certification. They then moved to Beaumont, Alberta for 2 years where she worked at the University of Alberta Hospital. They moved back to Saskatoon in 1979, and Gail started working at the University of Saskatchewan College of Pharmacy in research. They welcomed their first daughter, Jennifer in 1980 and second daughter, Gillian in 1983.
In 1989, Gail transferred to a position at the University of Alberta where she worked in the Neurochemical Research Unit, with Dr Glen Baker. Gail met many wonderful people during her 30-year career – a few of whom became her closest friends. Gail was instrumental in training many graduate students, and through their successes she was able to contribute to the growing knowledge of brain processes.
This career also allowed the flexibility she cherished to balance her time as a mother. To say she was an amazing mother is an understatement. She was gentle, patient and selfless. From a soccer coach to a girl guide leader to a basketball fan, she made sure she was immersed in all of their daughters’ activities and interests.
In 2010, Gail and Brian welcomed their first grandson, Tavin, followed by Ariella (2013), Maia (2013), Samuel (2017), and two more most recent additions, Arlo and Isaac in 2020. Gail was as much of an amazing Nana as she was a mother. She loved her grandchildren with all of her heart.
Later in life, Gail also discovered and nurtured her artistic side, as a talented painter. She painted many pieces for friends and family, which will forever be cherished.
Gail was diagnosed with Bulbar ALS in 2018, which she fought every step of the way. Gail is survived by her beloved husband of 43 years, Brian; children, Jennifer (Craig) and Gillian (Dobry), grandchildren: Tavin, Maia, Arlo, Ariella, Samuel and Isaac; as well as her mother, Josephine and brothers, Lynn and Neil (Joyce). She is predeceased by her father, Harold and son-in-law, Jeremy.
She will forever be in our hearts and the light in our lives. We love her and will miss her more than words can say. We will think of her when we hear a Jim Cuddy tune, eat a delicious breakfast surrounded by family, or hug our children/grandchildren. We will try to live our lives as she did, with compassion, kindness, dedication to family, and a bit of humor.
A private Funeral Service will be held. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the ALS society in memory of Gail.
We would like to thank the ALS society, especially Christy, for all of their support. We would also like to thank Rupinder for her help caring for Gail over the past few months. As well as the support of Rhonda and Bev for their special attention and care.