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Gail Kathleen Hawkins

Gail Kathleen


Gail Kathleen (Leritz) Hawkins age 65 of Menahga, peacefully passed into the loving presence of her precious Lord and Savior on Saturday, September 2, 2017 at the Green Pine Acres Nursing Home in Menahga following a valiant battle against cancer. Gail was born April 19, 1952, (along with her twin sister, Glenda) in Brainerd, Minnesota to Joseph and Phyllis (Jackson) Leritz. The family moved to Menahga, Minnesota, in 1961. As a child Gail attended Bethany Lutheran Church of rural Menahga and was baptized, came to faith in Christ and confirmed in the Lutheran faith. Gail graduated from Menahga High School in May, 1970. In 1971 she attended the Staples Area Technical College in the Graphic Arts program. Gail married Charles (Chuck) Leroy Hawkins of Park Rapids on July 24, 1971, at Bethany Lutheran Church. Their son Anthony (Tony) was born June 17, 1973. they resided in Park Rapids until moving to the Menahga area in 1978. At that time, they joined the First English Lutheran Church where Gail taught Sunday School, Vacation Bible School and served on the Council and Finance Committee. In April, 2002, Gail and Chuck joined the Menahga United Methodist Church, where she served as the financial secretary for several years. Gail's various employment throughout her early adult years provided experience to realize her dream of eventually working for a non-profit organization. She felt blessed to work for Heartland Homes in Park Rapids as the secretary/bookkeeper for over 30 years. Outside of work, Gail liked to quilt, bake, read and garden. Though preferring to bake vs. cooking, she came to appreciate cooking by following Tony and daughter-in-law, Angie's, enthusiasm for trying new recipes. Gail was also a fan of the Minnesota Vikings, Twins and Bemidji State University hockey. Gail felt she had the gift of encouragement and enjoyed others' accomplishments when they didn't recognize their talents/gifts, whether it was related to their work, hobbies or personal life. Gail was given the very special opportunity of providing child care to co-workers over several years. Their children were considered part of the family. Gail was preceded in death by her husband on January 16, 2011, and her father on April 2, 1985. She is survived by her son, Anthony (Angie) of Fargo; mother, Phyllis (Menahga) and siblings: Linda (Greg) Giese of Bloomington, Phillip (Donna) Leritz of Mountain Iron, Diane (Dave) Sauer of Bemidji, Glenda Petry of Moorhead, Deb (Dan) Michels of Brooklyn Center, and Val (Jay) O'Sullivan of Bloomington; sister-in-law, Pat (Jeff) Zeller of Park Rapids; brother-in-law, Darwin (Vickie) Hawkins of Bemidji and many nieces and nephews, and very special friends Jess and Joe Hensel and family from St. Paul. Services will be held 4 PM Saturday, September 9, 2017 at the United Methodist Church in Menahga with the Rev. Steven Koehn officiating. Visitation will begin one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will follow the service at the Menahga City Cemetery. A chili luncheon as requested by Gail will be hosted at the church for all to attend. Memorials are preferred to go to Heartland Homes or Kinship both of Park Rapids or each person's choice of a non-profit in their area. To leave online condolences or to view the video tribute please visit