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Gail Kovanda

Gail Patricia Kovanda (nee Hartley) left this life on August 26, 2022, to be with her Lord and to be reunited with Robert, her husband of 58 years. Our cherished mother and friend died merely 9 months after her beloved. Out of this great love she leaves behind her dearest confidant and son Keith (Teresa), her kindred spirit, sweet "Angelina" daughter Kathryn Szamocki (Matt), and her "Dolly" daughter Kristina (Helica). Her pride and joys -grandchildren Jonathan, Connor, Madelyn, Joseph, and Robert. Her brother-in-law and steadfast friend “Uncle Joe” Niemiec. She was preceded in death by her precious sister, Sharon Niemiec, and wonderful in-laws Joseph and Joanne Kovanda. She will be further missed by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Gail was born in Chicago, Illinois on November 9, 1944, to the late Edward and Martha (Swazus) Hartley.  Gail and Sharon lived next to a convent and were often scolded by the nuns for making too much noise playing on their balcony. They had a carnival next door as well, where they spent time watching people playing games and riding the Ferris wheel.

Gail graduated from Providence High School in 1962. It was during this time that she fell in love with Bob and made what would end up being the lifelong friendships that she treasured so greatly. Bob and Gail moved to Arlington Heights where they raised their three children and lived for 49 years. Gail attended William Rainey Harper college and then began working at American Airlines where she retired 20 years later in 2002.

She enjoyed traveling and explore the world they did! She loved playing games, especially Scrabble, and youth was no excuse to allow an easy win. She created, crocheted, painted and could build or fix anything. She had a brilliant mind and gave the soundest advice. A true music lover who couldn't carry a tune but could knock you off the dance floor! Her life was full with true love, big laughs, and countless late nights making memories with family and friends.

A memorial gathering will be held at St. Mary Parish in Buffalo Grove on October 1, 2022 at 11AM followed by a funeral Mass at noon. There will be a luncheon immediately following to celebrate Gail's life.

In lieu of flowers, play a game, plan a trip, or squeeze your loved ones in her honor.


Arragements entrusted to Chicagoland Cremation Options of Schiller Park, Illinois


There is a tremendous void in my heart!

❤️ Toni Oct 1 2022 12:06 PM

I will miss her dearly..

T Paully Sep 25 2022 6:21 PM

Dear Keith, Kathy and Christina,
I am so sorry for the loss of your Mom, our Auntie Gail. I know how much you all meant to her and your Dad. May the angels carry her up to heaven.
Love Auntie Claudia

Claudia Marek Sep 25 2022 5:25 PM