Alice Gayle Hansen “Gayle” 66, of West Des Moines and formerly of Perry, passed away on Monday, July 8, 2019 at her home in Arbor Springs, West Des Moines.  In hospice care for six months prior to her death, Gayle died peacefully in her sleep.

            Gayle was born on September 21, 1952, to James Edmund and Alice Hansen in Chicago, Illinois.  She moved with the family in 1966 to Perry, Iowa, where the family owned and operated a Dog N Suds Drive-in restaurant.  Gayle graduated from Perry High School with the Class of 1970.  She continued her education at Northwest Missouri State University and graduated in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree.  Gayle worked in Human Services and decided to pursue advanced education, graduating from the University of Iowa with a master’s in social work.  Gayle spent most of her life advocating for children and families.  Most of her career was with the Department of Human Services, (DHS) State of Illinois, retiring 2010 as Associate Deputy Director DHS.

            Gayle was a member of the National Association of Social Workers, (NASW).  She was recognized in 1988 as Social Worker of the Year, by the NASW.  Gayle was proud that she achieved her License Independent Social Work. (LISW) and worked tirelessly for the children and the disadvantaged.  Gayle was an avid reader and animal lover devoted to caring for many cats and dogs over the years; Jenny, Morgan, Kimo and Fig.

            Long known as a private person, Gayle loved history, enjoyed fine dining and lively conversation.  She took pride in her home and garden.  She was a lifelong Chicago Bears fan and season ticket holder.

            In death she rejoins her parents Jim and Alice Hansen.

            Left to cherish Gayle’s memory are her siblings, Robin (James) McCauley, Perry, IA, Dawn (Randy) Bach, Ida Grove, IA, John (Tina) Hansen, Atlantic, IA and Regina (Tony) Schmitt, Dubuque, IA and 10 nieces and nephews.

            A private funeral service was held at St. Patrick’s Church, Perry, IA for family members.


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