Cover photo for Gail T. Hocker's Obituary
Gail T. Hocker Profile Photo

Gail T. Hocker

July 20, 1941 — February 28, 2024


Gail T. Hocker

Beloved wife, mother, grandmother (“GiGi”) and friend Gail Thomas Hocker passed away on February 28, 2024 in Shawnee. 

Gail was born July 20, 1941 in Boonville, Missouri. When she was a teenager, her family moved to Shawnee, where she met and fell in love with Phillip Hocker at Shawnee High. The two were married in 1962. They remained devoted and inseparable for the next 62 years as they built their careers, settled in Alaska where they reared two daughters, then retired to Oklahoma to be near their parents.

A gifted teacher, Gail studied education at Oklahoma Baptist University. She spent most of her career as a librarian and correspondence school teacher in Alaska, and particularly enjoyed visits (complete with dogsled rides) to her far-flung students. In retirement, she volunteered for church communities, the Salvation Army, and Mabee-Gerrer Museum, and served as a tutor and mentor.

Gail was a lifelong learner with interests that ranged from baseball, to gardening, to Irish ceramics, to Native American baskets and textiles. She loved to travel. She adored animals—especially dogs, wild birds, big horses, and miniature donkeys. She enjoyed swimming with her “Aqua-babe” friends. A dedicated genealogist, she embraced her Irish and Welsh roots with particular delight.

Gail’s bright spirit graced everyone around her. She had a sharp and playful wit and loved to share puns. Generous and deeply compassionate, she inspired trust, connection, and friendships that spanned decades and continents. She was devoted to family; in addition to her husband, daughters, and grandchildren, she shared a special bond with her brother, Bob. 

She leaves behind her husband, Phillip Hocker, daughters, Katherine Hocker and Carol Vanderville, grandchildren, Shaye and Aiden Vanderville, their extended families, and many friends—old and new, near and far. Gail was a blessing in our lives; we are so very grateful.

A memorial ceremony will be held on Sunday, March 10 at 2:30 pm, at University Baptist Church. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to a cause that Gail supported, such as education, the arts, faith, human service, animal welfare, or the environment.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gail T. Hocker, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Ceremony

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Starts at 2:30 pm (Central time)

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