Gail was born Oct. 11, 1938, to Everett and Anne Anderson Hess in Jacksonville, Iowa. He attended a one-room school through eighth grade and graduated from Harlan High School in 1957. Gail worked as an auto mechanic before serving in the Army. He married Jerilyn McLaughlin on Nov. 30, 1963, in Harlan. To this union one daughter was born, Linda Kay. Gail worked in the retail division of J.I. Case until his purchase of the Shell gas station in DeWitt. He later became self-employed as a truck driver, retiring in 2004.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 56 years, Jerilyn; a daughter, Linda (Scott) Bowman, of Maquoketa; four grandchildren, Brook, Nicole, Erin (Andrew) Mitchell, and Mitchell Bowman; two great-grandchildren, Theodore and Eleanor Mitchell; a sister-in-law, Karen Hess; and nieces and nephews.
Gail was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in DeWitt, and the Knights of Columbus.
He enjoyed following his daughter and grandchildren’s sports. He attended the first T-Ball game of his great-grandson this summer. He was an avid fan of NASCAR, the Hawkeyes, and the Cubs. He collected toy tractors for many years. Gail and his favorite daughter enjoyed toy tractor pulls, winning many trophies.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Floyd and Eugene; a sister, Judith; three nephews; and a great-nephew.
Services were held at St. Joseph Catholic Church, on Nov. 30, with The Rev. Fr. Stephen Page officiating. Burial was at Elmwood Cemetery in DeWitt.