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Gail Tanzman

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Gail I. Tanzman

1944-2010 POWNAL, VT Gail Ingrid Tanzman, 66, of Pownal, Vt., passed away quietly at home on Wednesday evening, June 2, 2010.

Born in Boston, Mass., on July 21, 1944, daughter of Adams and Patricia Terchner Garrett, Gail grew up in Plainfield, N.J., and graduated from local public schools in 1962. She attended Goddard College where she received her B.A. in 1966.

For the next two years she was a community organizer for the Tufts University Health Center in Boston's Columbia Point housing project. From 1968 to 1974 she went on to teach in Hollis, N.H., where she in her own words "fell in love with teaching."

Her first experience as a teacher sparked her long, varied and distinguished career in education. From 1974 through 1977, her teaching career continued at the pilot Northern Berkshire Mini-School for emotionally disturbed adolescents in Williamstown. While there, she completed a master's degree in counseling through Antioch-New England Graduate School in Keene, N.H.

In 1979 and 1980, she served as assistant superintendent at Belchertown State School. In 1980, she worked for the State Department of Education as their secondary-school coordinator for special education while pursuing a doctoral program in special education at Boston College and University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

She served as Assistant Superintendent for the BRSU Supervisory Union in Manchester, Vt. for eight years. While in Manchester, she received the prestigious Robert T. Stafford Award for Distinguished Service in Special Education.

She taught numerous courses at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, and Castleton State in Castleton, Vt., and did considerable private consulting. She gave numerous lectures and workshops. She participated in Reading Conferences both nationally and internationally, one being in New Zealand (2000) and also in Scotland (2002).

Her more recent teaching-centered activity was serving as president of the Oak Hill Children's Center in Pownal. Her standards were never higher for others than they were for herself. In her over forty years as a "teacher" her principle method was teaching by example.

She leaves her husband of thirty years, Dr. Irving J. Tanzman, local optometrist. She also leaves a sister, Joyce Kasuga of Tel Aviv, Israel; five children, Beth H. Murray of Burlington, Vt., George E. Tanzman of Oceanside, Calif., David J. Tanzman of Pittsfield, Jayson M. Tanzman, also of Pittsfield, Colin Barney of Cambridge, N.Y., and their spouses; four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Despite her active career and commitment to family, she had numerous other interests. With her husband, she traveled extensively. Also with her husband, she raised and trained Weimaraners for love and show. She was an avid gardener. She was an exquisite cook and hostess. She was a born storyteller.

Gail met her diagnosis of brain cancer with the same spirit that she met every other challenge in her life. She fought it with the support of family and friends. She persevered with realism, grace and even wit. She will be sorely missed by the many whom her life touched.

FUNERAL NOTICE: A memorial service celebrating Gail's life will take place Friday, June 18, 2010 at 7 p.m. at the FLYNN & DAGNOLI-MONTAGNA HOME FOR FUNERALS, WEST CHAPELS. Calling hours will be Friday from 4-7 p.m. at the funeral home.

The family requests that those wishing to honor Gail's memory contribute to the Oak Hill Children's Center in Pownal, Vt., through the funeral home, 521 West Main St., North Adams, MA 01247.

Published in Bennington Banner on June 7, 2010
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