It is with great sadness the family of Gail Alexandra (Rockney) Szautner, 66 years of Humboldt, SK announce the sudden and unexpected death at her home on Saturday, December 25, 2021.
Gail was born on April 21, 1955 at the Yorkton regional Health Centre to Lionel and Frances Rockney. Gail’s childhood was spent in Yorkton, Melville, The Pas and in Humboldt where she would meet her future husband, Bruce Szautner.
Gail and Bruce were married on October 28, 1972, at Saint Peters Cathedral in Muenster, SK. In the early days of their marriage Gail and Bruce were owner operators for Trimack Trucking. They then moved to Prince Albert, SK in 1979 where they founded a new business B&G Fireplaces a business they operated until Bruce began working for the Saskatchewan Penitentiary. Gail focused on raising their two sons, later returning to school where she obtained her Diploma in Early Childhood Education from the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST).
Soon after, she became a Manager for Children’s Choice Child Development Co-operative at its original location on 28th Street in Prince Albert. Gail soon relocated the Centre to Dunn Drive. Later growing Children’s Choice to four centers in Prince Albert and becoming the centers’ Executive Director. Gail loved her work and she loved children. She could often be seen performing her daily duties managing Children’s Choice with a child on her lap. Through Gail’s 38-year career she transformed childcare from daycare to early childhood education. She worked on the local, provincial, and national level to advocate for the profession. Gail gave back to the profession as a member of the Saskpoly program advisory board for Early Childhood Education, a member and executive of the Canadian Childcare Federation and the Saskatchewan Childcare Federation. Her lasting legacy is one as a mentor to her many staff, as a builder of centers and an advocate for early childhood education. Gail and Bruce relocated from Prince Albert back closer to their roots in 2006 when they took a bare piece of land at Stoney Lake and made it into their new home. Gail continued to work at Children’s Choice by commuting weekly to Prince Albert until her passing.
She also was an amazing chef, there are so many favorite dishes that she would create in her kitchen for many friends. Gail would have a special glow on her face when she served up a meal. If you asked anyone that knew her, they would have a favorite but I think we would all agree her “Prime Rib and Yorkshires” were her #1 dish. There are also many people who have very fond memories of Gail’s Traditional Ukrainian Christmas Suppers.
There are many stories of how she would create gourmet meals out in the bush when they were camping or hunting. Just like anything Gail did she did it to perfection, nothing was done halfway. Gail loved entertaining at the lake and having people around her table with everyone having a good conversation and a hearty laugh.
In 2006, Gail and Bruce started their Market Garden. They were a good team, hand picking weeds, they worked well together and supplied many families near and far of Humboldt, with delicious produce that was homegrown and picked and prepared by hand. She worked hard at everything she did, but always had time for a visit if you were picking produce up.
Gail and Bruce were able to travel to a few destinations in Canada and USA, which she enjoyed very much, but her heart was at home where she was close to her sons and grandchildren.
Gail will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by her husband of 49 years Bruce Szautner of Humboldt and two sons and seven grandchildren and four great grandchildren: Bob (Rhonda) Szautner of Regina and family Austin (Megan) and children Lilly, Quintin and Nicholas, Taylor (Travis) and step son Kaiden, McKinley and Reid; and Jim (Liesl) Szautner of Calgary, AB and family Halle, Erland and Smith; one sister Connie; numerous nieces, nephews, members of the Szautner family and by many good friends.
A Private Celebration Of Life was held at Malinoski & Danyluik Funeral Home & Crematorium, Humboldt, presided by Bev Trach. Memorial donations in Gail's memory may be directed to Heart & Stroke Foundation or Jim Pattison Children's Hospital.
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Heart & Stroke Foundation of Saskatchewan
1738 Quebec Avenue Unit 26, Saskatoon SK S7K 1V9
Jim Pattison Children's Hospital Foundation
#1-345 Third Avenue S, Saskatoon SK S7K 1M6