Gail Morrison Bennett (1931 - 2012)

2 entries | 1 photo
  • "My mother was an inspiration for me to strive against the..."
    - Carl Bennett
  • "Gail was most probably the nicest person I have ever known...."
    - Nancy Chatelaine
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Gail Morrison Bennett, descendent of two pioneer Alaskan families, died January 23, 2012 in Tacoma, WA of cancer. Born October 19, 1931 in Juneau, she was 80, and the daughter of Malcolm Morrison and Renee Guerin Morrison (later Hill).

Gail grew up in Juneau, attended St. Ann's Catholic School and was in the Juneau High School class of 1949. She attended Seattle University.

Her father's family came with the gold seekers over the Chilkoot Trail to Dawson. They later settled in Juneau. Her uncle John was Fire Chief from 1960 to 1969.

On her mother's side, she was the granddaughter of Eckley Coxe Guerin, early day surveyor and head of the Territorial Land Office, and Amy Kinnicutt Guerin (later Fromholz).

Although she lived most of her adult life in Tacoma, Gail frequently visited family in Juneau: her grandmother, Amy Fromholz; her aunt, Amy Lou Barney; and her cousin, Renee Guerin (named after Gail's mother) often for the Fourth of July. She and Renee also celebrated their October birthdays together either in Juneau, New York City, or Seattle.

She married James Stoke in 1952 and had four sons. In 1962 she married William Bennett who adopted her sons. While raising the boys, Gail became the first woman to hold an engineering position with the City of Tacoma.

In addition to her family, Gail's passion was animals, and she was known for adopting anything with four legs and fur. After her retirement from the City of Tacoma she became a dedicated volunteer with the local Humane Society, The Tacoma Musical Playhouse, helped organize her church library, and was active with the Mary Ball chapter of the Daughters of The American Revolution. She also had full care of her stepmother, Dagmar Morrison.

Gail is survived by her four sons: James Bennett and his wife Alice of Tacoma; Marty and John Bennett of Tacoma; Carl Bennett and his partner John Jones of Los Angeles; sister Nancy Guerin Hill Chatelaine and her husband Richard of Big Pine Key, FL; cousins Cathy Guerin Gardner of Franklin, NH; and Renee Guerin of Juneau; grandchildren Joe Rossell and Jessica Nievens and great-granddaughter Emma.
Published in The Juneau Empire from Feb. 24 to Mar. 2, 2012