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Gail Gehrig

Gail Gehrig, of Oak Park, died March 19, 2021. Gail was born on October 25, 1946, in Kansas City, Missouri, and moved to the Chicago area in 1969. She became a resident of Oak Park in 1977. She earned a BA and MA in Sociology from the University of Missouri, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from Loyola University of Chicago. Dr. Gehrig taught Sociology at Lewis University in Romeoville, IL, for 44 years, and also chaired the Sociology department. She was most noted for her interest and advocacy for racial equality, criminal justice reform and cultural diversity. She was a long-term member of Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation, and had volunteered for the Oak Park Housing Society, Hepzibah Children’s Association and The Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry. She leaves behind a husband, Jacob, a daughter Blake (Amherst, MA) and a son Aaron (Denver, CO). The family requests no flowers or contributions, but welcomes cards or emails of personal remembrances, and will hold a private memorial in the future. Professor Emerita and former Sociology Chairperson at Lewis University, Dr. Gehrig was a full-time member of the Lewis Sociology Department from 1969 to 2013, and taught on-line part-time from 2013 to 2016. She was responsible for helping to direct the curriculum of the Sociology program and worked to establish academic minors in Women’s Studies, African American Studies, and Latina/o Studies. Dr. Gehrig was a co-developer of the university-wide Mission support course, Cultural Diversity and Intergroup Relations. With a colleague, she co-authored a text, Issues in Inequality, used for several decades in the course. Dr. Gehrig was passionate about teaching, especially encouraging students to study events and institutions outside of the classroom in order to apply sociological insights to current issues. To facilitate this goal, she established community engagement courses, and received two grants to further what was later to become the Lewis Office of Service Learning. At Unity Temple Gail had previously served on a number of committees, participated in lay-led Sunday services, and was a long-term member of UT women’s groups. She was also a Soul Connections member and facilitator, and an active participant in the Mindfulness Reflection Society. Gail loved nature, music, reading, and art. She took up hobbies learning the mandolin, African drumming, and song writing. She will forever be remembered for her loving kindness and Buddha nature. Arrangements entrusted to Chicagoland Cremation Options of Schiller Park, Illinois.


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