Gail Marie Stucky, 64, died surrounded by her family on Nov. 15, 2023, at Paramount Community Living in Newton, Kan. Gail was born on Mar. 9, 1959, in Newton, to Clarence and Gladys (Schmidt) Niles.
Gail grew up in Newton and attended Sunset Grade School. She graduated from Newton High School in 1977 and from Bethel College in 1981. She was a gifted student and won many honors in debate and forensics competitions. She completed her master’s degrees in librarianship and information management and arts and sciences at the University of Denver in 1983 and 1984, respectively.
She married Mark Stucky on July 24, 1982. They were married for 41 years and enjoyed many trips to national parks together with their children.
Gail began her career as a reference librarian at Wichita State University in 1984. She served as co-director of libraries at Bethel College from 1986 until her semi-retirement in 2019. She was an assistant coach of forensics at Bethel College and directed the program for one year. After her semi-retirement, Gail continued to support Bethel College forensics and other academic activities. She was also a long-time supporter of Moundridge High School’s debate and forensics team, coached by her husband Mark until his retirement.
Gail assisted with many wheat harvests on the family farm. She especially enjoyed caring for the farm’s pets - including beloved corgis, cats, and horses - and she and Mark even showed horses for a brief period early in their marriage.
Gail was a talented musician. She was a member of touring bell choirs in junior and senior high school and an accomplished pianist. She was especially gifted at the autoharp, which she played in Eden Mennonite Church’s worship band and a family band with her husband, performing at church services, weddings, funerals, and community fundraisers.
Gail was a voracious reader and a lifelong learner. She enjoyed traveling, particularly hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colo., and touring England on a family trip. She especially loved spending time with her grandchildren, Owen and Kira.
She is survived by her husband, Mark; son, Matt (Blaire Mayhue); daughter, Marike (Alex Igram); and two grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Clarence and Gladys Niles, and her sister, Jan.
A celebration of life is scheduled for both Gail and her mother, Gladys Niles, at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023, at Shalom Mennonite Church in Newton. In lieu of flowers, those who wish to honor Gail’s and Gladys’ memories are encouraged to make a gift to support Bethel College, Bethel College Mennonite Church, or Shalom Mennonite Church.
Sunday, November 26, 2023
Starts at 4:00pm (Central time)
Shalom Mennonite Church
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that those who wish to honor Gail's and Glady's memories to make a gift to support Bethel College, Bethel College Mennonite Church, or Shalom Mennonite Church. Petersen Family Funeral Home will not be assisting with the service.