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Obit: Gail Heil (1945-2013)

GUEST,Guest 31 May 13 - 03:58 PM
maeve 31 May 13 - 04:21 PM
Mark Ross 31 May 13 - 04:23 PM
maeve 31 May 13 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,Kathy Westra 31 May 13 - 05:23 PM
GUEST,Kathy Westra 31 May 13 - 05:26 PM
Phil Cooper 31 May 13 - 11:32 PM
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Subject: Gail Heil ?
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 31 May 13 - 03:58 PM

Folks, I've heard rumors of Fiddler Gail Heil's passing and am hoping it is a rumor..anybody know anything???

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Subject: RE: Gail Heil - Obit?
From: maeve
Date: 31 May 13 - 04:21 PM

I have no personal knowledge of the situation, but found the following:
"Gail Heil, great fiddler & banjo player, singer...wonderful human"
"I heard that her passing was posted on Facebook but just incase you hadn't heard- Gail Heil, great fiddler & banjo player, singer and all around wonderful human, passed away this morning around 7 AM. She will be greatly missed by all." Chirps

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Subject: RE: Gail Heil - Obit?
From: Mark Ross
Date: 31 May 13 - 04:23 PM

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Subject: RE: Gail Heil - Obit?
From: maeve
Date: 31 May 13 - 04:27 PM

Mark found it first- Here is the text for his link, above:
"Gail Heil
Posted on May 31, 2013 at 8:31 am

"Gail Andrea Heil, age 67 of Spring Grove, passed away Thurs. May 30, 2013 at her home after a courageous battle with cancer.

She was born on Aug. 20, 1945 in St. Louis, Mo. to William and Martha (Schoenle) Ferfecky. She attended college at the University of Missouri. In addition to Saint Louis, Gail had also lived in Minneapolis.She married Bob Bovee in 1988; the couple moved to the Spring Grove area in 1990.

Gail was a self-employed musician, a singer and dance caller, and performed from coast-to-coast. She continued to perform until her death.

Survivors include her husband Bob Bovee of Spring Grove and children John and Chris Heil and Lindsey Heil of St. Louis, Mo. and grandchildren Finn Dolan and Olivia Dolan."

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Subject: RE: Gail Heil - Obit?
From: GUEST,Kathy Westra
Date: 31 May 13 - 05:23 PM

There is a fairly long obit on the SingOut! website, written by Mark Moss. Find it

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Subject: RE: Gail Heil - Obit?
From: GUEST,Kathy Westra
Date: 31 May 13 - 05:26 PM

The SingOut! obit for Gail Heil also includes a great video clip of her playing/singing with her musical partner and husband Bob Bovee. Here's the text of that piece:

We're sad to pass along the news that Old-time revival singer, fiddler, banjo and autoharp player Gail Heil passed away on the morning of Thursday, May 30th, succumbing to colon cancer. Her husband, and longtime musical partner Bob Bovee, as well as their daughter and son were at her bedside.

Gail was from St. Louis, MO, where she began her musical career in the Mound City String Band and worked as a volunteer on the Frontier Folklife Festival. She learned much of her music and dance repertoire from older Ozark performers.She met and married Bob Bovee, and they moved to Minnesota where they helped create continuing music events including the Bluff Country Gathering, and toured as a performing duo for some thirty years. They became nationally known for their loving devotion to the traditional heritage of roots music.

Gail Heil had been a full time traditional musician/singer/dance caller/music instructor since 1976. Her dance calling reflected the styles of old time dances commonly done throughout the Midwest in an earlier day. She was a Master Fiddler with students in Iowa and Minnesota through the State Arts Apprenticeship Programs.

Posting online, St. Louis Folk Music DJ Paul Stamler wrote: "Gail was a lovely soul and a great musician, and her passing leaves a gap in the world. She inspired a lot of people, and we'll miss her terribly." We couldn't agree more. Gail's performances were infused with an honesty and infectious passion that exemplified the best of what the folk scene has to offer … a big part of why Gail and Bob are so loved by our community. Our profound condolences to her family and many friends.

For more on Bob Bovee and Gail Heil's music, check out their web site at, where you can find information about their terrific recordings. And here's a performance by Bob and Gail from the Big Muddy Folk Festival in Boonville, Missouri, recorded on Friday, April 3, 2009:

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Subject: RE: Obit: Gail Heil (1945-2013)
From: Phil Cooper
Date: 31 May 13 - 11:32 PM

Gail was one of the people you meet where you know it's a privilege to be around her.

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