Obituary of Martha 'Gail' Damkoehler
MARTHA “GAIL” ENTREKIN DAMKOEHLER
Martha Gail Damkoehler 05/17/40 – 09/18/21 Born in Gadsden AL, 81 years young, of Gulfport, FL, passed unexpectedly. She is survived by her husband of 62 years Gary Damkoehler; sons Tod (Lisa) Damkoehler, and Shawn (Jeanna) Damkoehler; brothers Neal (Robin) Entrekin, Stan (Linda) Entrekin, and sister Judy Dillashaw; grandchildren Ryan Damkoehler, Kyle Damkoehler, Taylor Damkoehler, Alexa Smith, and Kyle Smith; many nieces and nephews, her beloved Shipoo Daisy; and all of whom she loved dearly.
Gail, as she has always been known, was born at her parent’s home, a small shotgun house, in Alabama City, a suburb of Gadsden AL, which was a very poor cotton mill owned village. She grew up poor.In 3rd-4th grade she had no shoes to wear to school, but was always a happy and beautiful girl. The result was she grew up a coupon Queen. She was no longer poor, but understood that you could lose all your wealth in the blink of an eye. She attended Emma Sansom High School where she was chosen for the Queen’s Court for homecoming festivities; voted most popular senior for Who’s Who; Editor of the 1958 yearbook; a member of Alpha TRI-H-Y; Sigma Gamma; and Future Business Leaders of America.
Gail met her husband Gary Damkoehler at the Gadsden High Junior Prom in December 1955 when she was a high school Sophomore. They were a steady couple and married on February 7, 1959. Gail and her husband moved to Tuscaloosa, AL in September 1959 where her husband attended the University of Alabama until he graduated in January 1962. While there, Gail was a secretary in the Department of Physics. Prior to moving to the University of Alabama, Gail had her first child, Tod, born in Gadsden, AL. She had her second, Dane, in July 1960 in Tuscaloosa, AL Dane, an Air Force Veteran, passed away in April 1994. She had her third child, Lisa, in 1962 who passed away as an infant. She had her fourth child, Shawn, in 1964.
Upon her husband’s graduation they moved to Alexandria, VA in February 1962, where she was a homemaker. Gail’s family moved to Escambia, Michigan in January 1963 for one year, returning to Alexandria in January 1964. The family then moved to Kathmandu, Nepal in May 1966 with their three children where her husband was serving with the U.S. Foreign Service. Her son Shawn was speaking Nepali before he fully learned English. Returning to the U.S., Gail and her family moved to the new city of Columbia, MD in 1969. Gail returned to the work force working as a secretary with a number of British based construction firms until the family pulled up stakes again and moved to Saudi Arabia in 1982. While there, Gail worked as a secretary at the King Fahad Hospital until her return to Columbia in January 1984. She started working as a secretary again with Lovell, another British firm, and then with the Rouse Company, the developer of Columbia, where she retired from after the passing of her son Dane in 1994.
In 1994 she wanted to go to Florida, so the family yacht was taken to Maximo Marina for the winter. She loved the area so much a condo was purchased at Dolphin Cay. She spent the winter and her husband commuted. She convinced her husband to move his company to St. Petersburg, so they did (Happy Wife = Happy Life), and in 1996 they bought a house in the Pasadena Yacht and Country Club in Pasadena Estates. Her sons Shawn and Tod and their families also moved to St. Petersburg. In 2003 they moved to Kipps Colony Estates and her son Tod and his family moved into the house in Pasadena Estates. Not too many years later, her son Shawn and his family also moved to the Club. She loved her life at the Club. Many, many friendships were developed and happy times were enjoyed. She loved her crossword puzzles and became a supporter of many charities and of her grandchildren’s’ school, Admiral Farragut Academy.
Upon retirement she continued to travel extensively with her husband to Europe, Africa, Asia, Pacific Islands, Caribbean, Central America and all fifty states. All told, Gail traveled to over 100 countries. She loved vacationing in the British Virgin Islands, her last trip, and pulling the handles of slot machines in Las Vegas. She fought going on a safari in Africa for years, but she finally agreed and then proclaimed it was one of the best vacations ever.
Gail was deeply loved by her husband, her sons and daughters-in-law, her brothers and sister, her grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. Gail will be joining her beloved departed son, daughter and dear Yorkies Elvis and Delilah in heaven.
Gail had friends, oh, so many friends. Over 400 people have responded to her passing. So many have commented that….
She was… beautiful – greatly missed -- beautiful person inside and out – missed – such fun and spirited – privilege to have met – sorely missed –beyond wonderful in every way – very special angel to watch over all of us – amazing lady who was kind and loving to everyone she met and will be missed tremendously – such a beautiful lady – will be missed – remembered as a very sweet and beautiful lady – everyone loved Gail; she will be missed dearly – dear sweet Gail – a beautiful person – such a beautiful person and fun to be around – will miss her terribly; she was a great Aunt – such a tremendous loss; Gail was a beautiful person and one of a kind; she will be greatly missed – Gail was such a wonderful person – such a sweet and real woman – what a huge loss – she will be deeply missed – special and beautiful woman Gail was – was so kind and generous and loving; irreplaceable on every level – was so full of life, love, fun and such a genuine lady – such a privilege to have met her – was such a sweet and loving person who always gave to others – was such a treat to be around; you knew where you stood with her and it was refreshing – was truly delightful – adored her so, so, so very much – always loved talking to her as she always gave her time and honesty – loved Mama Gail so much; a tremendous loss – was lovely – created such a legacy of love – was a dear friend – a truly wonderful woman – such a sweet kind woman – beautiful inside and out; things won’t ever be the same without her; her heart will be missed by everyone; everyone loved her – beautiful – beautiful lady inside and out – beautiful Gail, gone too soon – she was an icon – such a wonderful and kind woman – Gail was a very special woman and dear friend; she will truly be missed – Gail was like a mom to me growing up – Gail was such a remarkable, loving and beautiful woman inside and out – such a beautiful woman inside and out; always had kind and loving words to share with people; so positive and strong; we will miss her greatly – absolutely love Gail – Gail is and always will be a beautiful angel to your family and friends; beautiful and loving Gail – she was adored and I am eternally grateful for how much love she showed me and my little ones always – Gail was a remarkable person; she certainly knew how to live and love; I have learned a lot from her; she will be forever missed and live on through so many great memories and the way she touched everyone who knew her – will always remember the wonderful times that we shared together; Gail was a wonderful, loving beautiful woman; we will forever keep her close in our hearts –Gail was a lovely person – she was a beautiful woman with a big heart – I will forever cherish my times with Gail; she was the most generous, kind, beautiful woman inside and out – we have lost a most beautiful soul – Gail was my favorite friend to step outside with and have a chat – Gail was like a mom to us and we loved her dearly; she will be truly missed – Mrs. Gigi we’ll see you again – loved your beautiful wife – there aren’t enough beautiful words to describe her; she touched so many lives in such a positive way; she was an inspiration in how she lived and how she loved – she was an incredible friend to my mom and I will always love her for that – she was an incredible woman – she was loved by everyone and was the sweetest woman; she will be missed very much – shocked to hear that momma left this earth so unexpectedly; she as loved by all and will be missed very much – Gail was a very dear friend for over 50 years, since the early Columbia years; we watched our boys grow up together, shared so many memories; I’m beyond words – she taught me so much over the years; an incredible woman on too many levels to even name; her strength was unbelievable and her passion to love and enjoy life boundless; she was always my hero and inspiration; I am so glad we enjoyed dinners together while I was home; she was the life of the party as always – she will be a beautiful woman, always in your heart and soul – she was such a wonderful, kind woman; I will miss our chats at the club and neighborhood – she was such a beautiful soul and touched so many hearts – Gail was such a wonderful and kind person – Gail touched so many lives; she was an amazing woman in so many ways; she lived life to the fullest and encouraged everyone else to do the same – I will never forget her beautiful smile; Gail was always full of grace and she had a heart of gold; how she loved her family; she never forgot where she came from and she always stayed true to her roots – Gail was such an incredible woman, strong, beautiful, caring and true to herself; what you saw was what you got from Gail and that’s what I really loved about her, her authentic self; I know she was your rock and the love of your life – It is too hard to imagine a world without your sweet Gail in it; Gail was a remarkable woman and will be sorely missed – such a beautiful and caring person; Gail was so down to earth and enjoyed life to the fullest – she was such a beautiful person and always has such encouraging words – we enjoyed Indian dinners with you both – Gail was a beautiful lady inside and out; she would light up a room with her smile; we had so many fun times together; I will cherish those memories – she was such a beautiful, kind, funny and generous person and was loved by so many; it was an honor to call her a friend – she will be missed by many – she was definitely one of those people that exuded joy and a big smile to all; she was a wonderful well-loved gal who will be missed – she was a very special and great friend – I will always cherish the time and was my privilege to be in her life; wonderful times we shared, the experiences we had, the trips, the celebrations we shared and the heartaches too; Gail was loved by everyone; she truly was a person who shared her wonderful self with everyone; Gail never met a stranger; she loved everyone – we will never forget the beautiful smile and stunning blue eyes of a truly wonderful and exceptional person; we all called “our friend” – she was a lovely lady and will be sorely missed – she always lit up the room and life – Gail was a truly remarkable lady – Gail was a bright and amazing light – she was a sweetheart – she was a second mother to me and our families have been close friends for over 50 years; we loved Gail – Gail was such a wonderful woman who was loved by so many – she was like a mother to me when I started working for her at 27 years old and has been good to me ever since – my heart is broken; I have lost my best friend of 47 years; we were like sisters; my love is with you forever Gail – forever remembered, forever loved – incredibly sad for the loss of Mama Gail – we loved Gail so much – Heaven gained a new angel – wonderful lady and I am going to miss her tremendously; will never forget her sweet smile – Gail will be dearly missed – she was a wonderful lady; I miss our fun times with each other and just catching up like we always did, even in our short times seeing each other – I loved Gail so much – to think I will never hear her wonderful voice say “hey girlfriend” or “how’s my BFF” is devastating – she was an incredible lady and sure to be missed – truly a remarkable woman, touching many lives with her great sense of humor, genuine persona and care for others – she was one in a million, such a huge loss – I loved your mom with all my heart – she was always so kind – she was a beautiful woman – I already miss you Gail/your mom – Mama Gail is such a treasure and loved by all – Gail is a beautiful flower – I absolutely love her – she was one of a kind – Mama will be missed for sure – we have all gained a beautiful angel today – we are so grateful we had a chance to love her.
There will be a Celebration of Life held at the Pasadena Yacht and Country Club from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm on October 10, 2021. Please tell the guard at the gate that you are attending the Gail Damkoehler Celebration of Life. No flowers, please. Donations can be made in memory of Gail to Alpha House http://alphahousepinellas.org her favorite charity.
The care of Mrs. Damkoehler and her family has been entrusted to David C. Gross Funeral Home in St. Petersburg.