Gail J. Dorsher (née Anderson) died May 22, 2020 from dementia, with her son at her bedside and compassionate care from all of the heroic women at Christian Community Homes in Hudson, Wis., and Lakeview Hospice. She was 85 years old on May 15; she was not a victim of COVID 19.
A single mother of two from the time she was 25, Gail got her family off welfare by embarking on college at age 34, earning an RN degree and serving as a head nurse for about 15 years, initially at Mt. Sinai Hospital and then at the V.A. Hospital in her native Minneapolis. While caring for a veteran, a syringe exploded in her face and left her disabled, in chronic pain the rest of her life.
She missed her patients and coworkers. “It’s not supposed to be fun,” she once told a disgruntled employee. “That’s why they call it work!”
Gail loved her children, her sister, their dogs and her longtime home facing Minnehaha Falls – not necessarily in that order. She reveled in walking the dogs, sitting on her deck and playing table games with friends and family. She knew all of the two-letter Scrabble words and liked to “go low” in Rummy 500.
Gail was preceded in death by her parents, H. Clifford and Dorothy (née Winter) Anderson of Minneapolis, and her recently departed younger sister, Barbara Wientjes (Ronald) of Lindstrom, Minn. The sisters lived together in south Minneapolis for more than 20 years.
Surviving Gail are her son, Michael, a journalism professor and Fulbright Scholar who lives in Hudson; her daughter, Michelle Wess, who owns a small business in Anoka with her husband, John; granddaughter Danielle Testin (Josh) of Nisswa, Minn.; and great-grandchildren Caidance and Cypress Testin of Nisswa.
In accordance with her wishes, Gail will have no burial service. Memorial gifts may be made to Christian Community Homes of Hudson or to her great-grandchildren’s college savings funds.