In Memoriam
Gail M. Rink
January 06, 1944 ~ July 27, 2010

Gail was bigger than life and such a strong presence. She will be missed so much in this community.

As Lucy told me, "I can't imagine a world without Gail." Even though I didn't see Gail regularly, I always enjoyed the moments when our paths crossed. One of the joys of eating breakfast at the Brown Pelican was that Gail would usually be there having a breakfast meeting with Maryellen Kelley. Their breakfast meetings seemed to involve a lot of laughter. Gail's laughter was rich and resonated across the room embracing anyone in its path. After writing a book on medical decision making, Lucy and I were discussing the possibility writing something that would reach a larger audience... like a romantic travel mystery with recipes. Gail showed up at Lucy's during one of these discussions. Each of us took a character role. The setting was a Bed & Breakfast run by the daughters of a former Madam. Mom had died many years ago, but had managed to stay in touch from the great beyond to give us advice (sometimes unwanted) on solving mysteries, and offering us cooking tips. So, I'm sitting here this morning thinking about Gail--listening for echoes of her laughter and waiting for some cooking tips.
~ Nancy Oster

Dear Gail, You leave behind so many friends who loved you. The wonderful mix of people you gathered around you is legion. Your God daughters and their parents, for instance. When the parents asked you to be their children's God parent, you sought counsel with Father Virgil. He told you that you are their God on earth. How grand is that! You were determined to abide to that counsel, and so you did. In your last few months, you asked friends to bring you certain foods some from a regular grocer and some from the Farmer's Market. You were always very specific, and if friends showed up with not quite the request, you showed appreciation but you were convinced that they don't listen. You gave us another life lesson truly listening. You were indefatigable on the one hand, you were gracious and forgiving, and, on the other hand, demanding that your friends live our lives to our full potential. Life is good and be well were some of your favorite expressions, as was I'm doing it my way. You did it your own way, my friend. So, in addition to Willie Nelson music at your memorial ceremonies, maybe we also want to hear I did It My Way! As you slipped away from us quietly into the night in Montana at Beth's, we all bless you and your immediate and huge extended family.
~ Anonymous

Gail was a family friend. I first met Gail when I was a small child when she moved to our neighborhood with her family in the early 1970s. Gail was also my Brownie leader. How I loved Brownies, and a big part of that love of Brownies was fostered through Gail and her leadership. She inspired us Brownie girls to want to always do more and to be the very best we could be. She made Brownies so much fun with her sleepovers and activities. There was something special about our troop simply because Gail was our leader; when our troop would go to events with other troops, I remember feeling sorry for all those girls because they did not have Gail as a leader. After I bridged over from Brownies to Girl Scouts, I only stayed in Girl Scouting for one more year because now I was one of those girls who did not have Gail as a leader. As the years went by, I saw Gail less and less, but she remained very close to me in my heart. I last saw Gail about 12 years ago when I was pregnant with my oldest son Jake, and yet I feel as though it was just yesterday. So when I heard of Gails passing I was just sad beyond words; sad for her family, sad for me, sad for the community she so loved and was so much a part of, and sad for all the people who will never get to meet Gail now. Gail was an extraordinarily special person. I will always remember Gail.
~ Barbara Benda DeLaurier

Gail was a great gift and gem to Santa Barbara. She comforted so many with humor and heart.
~ Monie will be missed because your chair will be empty. I know Gail knows what this means and knows no one can fill that chair.
~ Linda Yawitz

Gail was a big energy, a driving force in our community and she leaves a big void. It sounds like she slipped away very peaceful and quietly.
~ Samvada Hilow

A lot of fond memories during our kids attendance at Kellogg School. Remember the Mary Kay party, Brownie meeting and the great parties we had at your house. Your infectious laughter was very catching. These memories will stay with us always. Beth, our heart felt sympathy at your great loss.
~ Katherine Benda

All of us at the Montecito Family YMCA will miss Gail, even as she struggled with her disease, she was filled with joy as she came here for a community of friends and some exercise. We will miss her.
~ Joan Price

Our family was blessed with Gail's presence, innate understanding of the death process, and guiding hand during my mothers passing. We will always hold her close to our heart and memories with extreme fondness and gratitude for all the gifts she gave us during a most difficult time, unconditionally, professionally, spiritually and personally. Gail, here is to mastering the "play of the hand" in bridge, like you mastered touching others lives. Be free, love Carey Berkus.
~ Carey Berkus

Such a huge loss for everyone who knew her- and even for those who didn't. She was an incredible woman. I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to say good-bye.
~ Lynne Jahnke

Gail was one of the most influential women I have known in my life. Gail walked with me through my grief in a dark period in my life, helped me understand, listened and truly cared. She remained a friend for over 25 years. I will miss knowing that I could run into her at any moment in town and we could take up right where we left off.
~ Marcia Reed

Gail had the ability to help friends and clients in incredible ways. I felt she could see my soul. Her spirit will live on in all she touched.
~ Lucy Thomas

Gail was always so loving and warm. She often reminded my sister and I of our mother. Even though my mother and Gail only had a chance to visit a handful of times (1 living on the east coast & 1 on the west). I know when my Mom heard the news, she shed many tears. Gail had a way of touching your heart and soul in a way I'm not sure anyone can truly explain. I do know this. The work she did. The love she gave. The articles she wrote. All these things inspired many on a daily basis. I ran into her shopping a few times, and you could see her changing physically. But not her heart, not spiritually, not her soul. This woman seriously is kicking back right now enjoying her afterlife with angels and saints. Exactly where she belongs. That would be how I would describe Gail M. Rink. In two words. Angel Saint. I was truly blessed to have had the opportunity to know her, speak with her and I will always look up to her. RIP Gail.
~ Kitti

Gail Rink was a larger than life figure in my childhood in Santa Barbara. I remember her with deep affection and thanks for her compassionate presence in my life. I recall her fabulous laugh and the joy she had for all parts of life. Peace be with her and her family.
~ Erin McNamara Horvat

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