Gail Marie Hansen, 53, died Saturday, April 29, 2006, at her home of complications of diabetes.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at Hagler-Anderson Funeral Home at 650 Logan St., Helena on Friday at 2 p.m.
Gail was born Sept. 27, 1952, in Havre to Billy and Donna (Anderson) Hansen.
The family moved to Helena in 1963. Gail graduated from Helena High School and attended the University of Montana in Missoula. She worked for the Montana Office of Public Instruction from 1977 until her death.
Gail loved to travel to tropical locations in the winter with several visits to the Caribbean, Hawaii and Mexico. An avid collector of turtle figurines, she had amassed a collection of more than 500 turtles through her travels, many are one-of-a-kind art pieces. After the challenges of searching for unique turtles became more difficult, her attention turned to cats - crystal, porcelain china, clay, hand-blown glass and resin.
Christmas was unquestionably Gail's favorite time of the year. She would often decorate two trees. One tree with traditional decorations and the other in a Disney theme. An entire 15-foot wide and eight-foot high bookcase was devoted each year to Christmas figurines and crystal. It was tradition not to take down the decorations until Super Bowl Sunday or later, mostly later.
She was preceded in death by her father in 1965 and her mother in 1999.
Survivors include Steve Meredith; aunts, Erma Polich of Helena, Harriet Brown of Havre, Genevieve Paulsen of Chinook, and Donna Mae Hanson and Emma Gene Gross of Sun City, Ariz.; uncles, Les Anderson, Oris (Deanna) Anderson of Lodi, Calif., and Richard Stees (Illa) of Lakeport, Calif.; and several cousins.
Preferred memorials may be made in Gail's name to the Lewis & Clark Humane Society, P.O. Box 4455, Helena, MT 59604-4455.