MISSOULA — Gail Page Roderick, 79, passed away on Feb. 5, 2019, at St. Patrick Hospital, Missoula. Gail was born on March 28, 1939, in Missoula to Harlan and Phyllis Kreycik Page.
Gail grew up in Missoula, graduating from Missoula County High School in 1958. After high school she attended Montana State University (now known as the University of Montana) for two years before beginning a life of new adventures. Gail’s parents purchased her a one-way ticket to Honolulu, Hawaii, where she moved in with her cousin Carolyn Long and friends. Gail worked for a CPA in Honolulu, during her time off the girls spent their time exploring the island, enjoying beach time and on one lucky day, she was able to watch Elvis Presley during the filming of his first movie, Blue Hawaii. It was in Hawaii that Gail met Jack L. Roderick, a good looking Navy sailor that won her heart. On September 16, 1961, Jack and Gail married in Honolulu, Hawaii, a marriage that happily lasted her lifetime.
Jack eventually left the Navy and joined the Air Force and he and Gail ventured the globe together with their children Jacquelyn Gail and Janice Louise. During the military years, Gail supported Jack in all of his career endeavors, in addition to her loving care of her daughters, she took time out to dabble in her own interests, for which she had a knack of keenly excelling in, including ceramics, sewing clothes without patterns, bowling and even leading a Girl Scout troop while stationed in England.
As the girls aged and Jack was looking towards retirement from the military, Gail went on to more schooling in Altus, Oklahoma, in preparation of their move (home) to Missoula in 1980. Gail was hired by McCullough Brothers in Missoula as their secretary/bookkeeper and this job eventually morphed into her working for The Women’s Club, where Gail worked for 25 years as their bookkeeper. At the Women’s Club, Gail quickly became an integral part of the workings of the club, but beyond that the friendships that she developed and the care, love and fun that she had with her co-workers and Women’s Club members was unmeasurable.
When Gail retired from The Women’s Club, her and Jack began their travel adventures with their fifth wheel in tow. Thousands and thousands of miles covered, so much life to see and do, and they did it all, together with their dog Sparky. As time went on, they found their most coveted place to spend time was Corpus Christi, Texas, where they enjoyed the warmth of their winters, the beauty of the gulf and the opportunity to eat at Joe’s Crab Shack, her lifelong favorite.
Gail’s life was filled with boundless love, giving and caring. For those that she held near and dear, you knew how special you were to her. In 2003 Gail’s granddaughter Rachel began playing travel softball, and for the next seven years, Gail and Jack cheered Rachel and her teammates through hundreds of games, including those played in the rain, sleet and blowing snow. Rachel and her teammates always knew that Jack and Gail’s trailer was their ‘meeting place,’ where there were always snacks, drinks and an ongoing commentary on the recap of their last game!
Gail cherished her time spent at their family cabin, visiting with her kids and grandkids along with enjoying the small moments, stories and s’mores by the campfire, picking up windblown sticks to burn, feeding the birds and squirrels, and when she was little, digging angle worms with her father to go out in the little boat for their father-daughter fishing trips.
Gail treasured her girlfriends from high school and from the Women’s Club — she was so blessed to have amassed a village of people that cared for her, like she cared for them. Gail’s biggest love was her family, daughters Jackie (Todd) and Janice (Nino), grandchildren, Jacob (Shealey), Rachel (Robert), Hunter and Kara, and to bring a big smile to her face, just mention her great-grandchildren, who loved her as she loved them, Sawyer Marie and Rowan Jaxon. Lastly, Gail loved and cherished her husband Jack — if two souls were ever meant to be intertwined it was theirs.
The family will be holding a graveside service at Sunset Memorial, 7405 Mullan Rd., Missoula, Montana, on Friday, February 15 at 2 p.m., immediately following the family invites you to join them in the Community Room for coffee and cookies, to share memories and moments of the remarkable person that Gail P. Roderick was to each and every one of us. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at whitesittfuneralhome.com.