Date of Birth: June 5, 1947
Date of Death: February 17, 2015
Memorial Mass: Saturday at 10:30 AM at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 14330 Eagle Run Drive, Omaha, NE 68164.
Graveside Service: Saturday at 2:30 PM at the Dow City Cemetery, Dow City, IA, with a reception to follow at Brasel Hall, also in Dow City.
Visitation: Visitation with the family will be Friday beginning at 6:00 PM at John A. Gentleman Mortuaries, Pacific Street Chapel, 14151 Pacific Street, Omaha, NE with a Memorial Wake Service at 7:00 PM, also at the Pacific Street Chapel.
Memorials: Memorials suggested to the American Cancer Society or the Omaha Public Library Foundation.
Kathleen L. (Kathy) Gehl was born in Denison, Iowa, on June 5, 1947, to Mathias and Frances Gehl, and was raised in nearby Dow City, where her parents operated Gehl’s Grocery. Growing up, Kathy worked in the family’s grocery business while also engaging in an active school life. She was a wonderful singer, an excellent saxophone player and organist, and was constantly surrounded by her many close friends. She began her college education at Northwest Missouri Teacher’s College in Maryville, MO. Throughout Kathy’s first marriage, she and her husband were located in various states, including Iowa, Minnesota, California, and Illinois, and son Tim and daughter Megan experienced early life in various cultures and settings. Throughout these various moves, Kathy was a supportive wife and mother while she continued to pursue her undergraduate degree in elementary education which she was awarded at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, IA.
Kathy eventually settled in Omaha, NE, where she worked at the Elkhorn Public Library while earning her masters degree in library sciences at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Shortly thereafter, Kathy became employed by the Omaha Public School system as a media specialist at Picotte Elementary School where she played an integral role in the reading and media advancement of all the children at the school. With Kathy’s lifelong love of books, reading, and education, her position at Picotte provided an excellent opportunity for her to share that passion. Kathy retired from OPS in 2013 following her diagnosis of lung cancer.
Kathy and her husband Bill Day were married in 2000, and actively enjoyed exploring and traveling across the United States and several trips abroad, including Kathy’s dream trip to Europe in the fall of 2014. Kathy also enjoyed partaking in the many entertainment and dining options in the Omaha area with Bill. Kathy also had a wonderful passion for the care and companionship of her mother, Frances Gehl, who moved to Omaha shortly before Kathy’s diagnosis.
Kathy was a wonderful and caring person who was taken from us much too early following a long battle with cancer. Kathy fought her disease aggressively without complaint, and was a model of optimism for us all. She leaves behind a loving legacy of family and friends who cared deeply about her as a friend, coworker, relative and as a strong Christian. She was a kind soul, and we will all miss her deeply and thank her for making each of us better people.
Kathy is survived by her mother Frances Gehl; husband Bill Day; son Tim Potter; daughter Megan (Filo) Florez; brothers Mike (Sharon) Gehl, Jerry (Lois) Gehl and Tom (Loreen) Gehl; grandchildren, nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
Visitation with the family will be Friday beginning at 6:00 PM at John A. Gentleman Mortuaries, Pacific Street Chapel, Omaha, NE with a Memorial Wake Service at 7:00 PM, also at the Pacific Street Chapel. Memorial Mass will be held Saturday at 10:30 AM at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, 14330 Eagle Run Drive, Omaha, NE 68164. Graveside service will be Saturday at 2:30 PM at the Dow City Cemetery, Dow City, IA, with a reception to follow at Brasel Hall, also in Dow City. Memorials suggested to the American Cancer Society or the Omaha Public Library Foundation.