Gail Hnatiow, 82, of Westborough


Westborough – Gail Sprague Zickler Hnatiow passed peacefully into Heaven July 4, 2019.

Born and raised in West Hartford, Conn., she graduated from The Northfield School for Girls (’53), Oberlin College (’57), and earned her Master’s in Science degree at the University of Pittsburg. As a research assistant at Pitt, she co-authored a study in audiology published in 1968. It has had several printings and is held by several college and university libraries.

Gail had a passion for travel both within the United States and abroad. She spent part of her junior year abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland, and then cycled and thumbed her way thru France, Switzerland, and Germany. She visited her brother and his family many times while her brother was in the Air Force so she got to visit Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Florida’s snowy white beaches, and England’s picturesque countryside.

After spending time in the Midwest, in 1974 Gail made her home in Westborough where she became an active member of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. Her passion was outreach to the sometimes-forgotten members of the community. At St. Stephen’s she sponsored an annual Christmas party for incarcerated boys making sure they not only received gifts but also helping them know that others cared about their welfare.

She worked at Glavin Regional Center and Westborough State Hospital in the field of speech therapy and audiology helping profoundly disabled children and adults. After retirement, she continued to work part-time for several years.

In 2015 she regretfully left her Westborough home where she had lived for over 35 years and which she had renovated just a few years before. She moved to the caring community of Cornerstone at Milford where she lived until she passed away.

At Cornerstone she continued to make friends and bring smiles to people’s faces with her “Hi, Friend” greetings as she met others at meals, at gatherings, or in her apartment.  Her “See you later, Alligator” was her cheerful goodbye. And so, Gailbird, your family and friends thank you for the memories, your love and friendship. See you later, Alligator… May God hold you in the palm of his hand forever.

Gail leaves her brother and sister-in-law, Malcolm and Linda Zickler of Niceville, Fla., and her nephews, Andrew Zickler (Gayle) of Richmond, Va. and Ian Zickler (Gretchen and Alden) to cherish her memory.

Our deepest thanks for their kind and gentle care to the staffs at Cornerstone at Milford, Right at Home, and Old Colony Hospice, and especially to her special caregiver, Susan, a great friend who has become family.

Gail’s memorial service will be held Wednesday, July 17, at 10 a.m., at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 3 John St., Westborough. All are welcome.

Feel free to contribute to your favorite charity in Gail’s name. No flowers, please, but feel free to buy yourself a bouquet in her honor to bring you smiles.