HOUSTON, Minn. — Gayl Louise (Gleason) Vetsch, of Houston passed away peacefully at Gundersen Health System July 16, 2017, in La Crosse, at the age of 72, surrounded by her family.

Gayl was born in Cloquet, Minn., Aug. 26, 1944, to Lloyd and Harriette Gleason. She was raised with her 10 siblings in the Hokah/La Crescent area. She had many great memories of times spent with her family throughout the years.

She graduated from Saint Peters in Hokah, where she made many lifelong friends that she cherished. She went on to attend college in the Twin Cities.

In 1965, Gayl married Stephan C. Vetsch. They had five children, Marci Husman (John Morgan), Stephani (Alan) Smith, Nicole (Nick) Dahl, Stephan (Brooke) Vetsch, and Kendra (Steve) Van Gundy; 12 grandchildren and three stepgrandchildren, Tyaunna (James) Hickey, Kyle (Christy) Sorenson, Jacob Husman, Cody Smith, Adrian Polodna, Ally Dahl, Ava Dahl, Carter Vetsch, Evelyn Vetsch, Matt Van Gundy (Nicole), Shawn (Ashley) Van Gundy, Adam Van Gundy (Laura), Katie Van Gundy (Ryan), Deven Van Gundy, Mason Van Gundy. She was also recently blessed with two great-grandchildren, Desmond Sorenson and Maeve Hickey.

One attribute she passed on to her children through example, was an extraordinary work ethic. She was always busy either as a Girl Scout leader or working at a gold mine. Many times she had more than one job. The family moved all over the U.S., eventually returning back to La Crescent. She later divorced in 1982. In 1992, she moved to Houston. She enjoyed gardening, spending time with friends and her two dogs, Libby and Bitsy. Gayl also loved the Minnesota Vikings and NASCAR.

Gayl’s greatest accomplishment was the lives that she touched, the people she loved, and the people who loved her. She was a giving person who never expected anything in return. She selflessly gave her children and grandchildren a wonderful life full of love.

For 20 years she was a member of the Houston Chamber of Commerce, gambling manager for the City of Houston, and a member of the American Legion Auxiliary. She volunteered with many community events, including the Manor Party, HACS auction, and activities offered by the Houston American Legion, such as Santa Clause Day and the Easter egg hunt.

Thank you so much to all of the friends and family who supported Gayl during her last few weeks, whether it was a phone call, card, visit, prayers, flowers, you will never know how touching this was to her. To her “Angles,” who helped her and the family with care including the Hospice, Gundersen, Mayo and many others, “Thank You” can never express how much you are appreciated, especially to her good friend, Lisa Onsgard.

Gayl is preceded in death by her mother; father; sister, Susie; brother-in-law, William Hargrove.

Services will be held Aug. 26, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Houston. Visitation at 10 a.m. with a Catholic Mass at 11 a.m. with lunch following at the Houston American Legion.

Memorials may be directed to Houston Area Cancer Society (HACS) and to the Houston American Legion, toward the community activities Gayl loved.

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