The Fence Post obituary: Gail Evonne Hankins |

The Fence Post obituary: Gail Evonne Hankins

Gail Evonne Hankins, 72

Oct. 28, 1947 – Dec. 15, 2019

Johnstown, Colo.

Gail Evonne Hankins, 72, of Johnstown, Colo. passed away on Dec. 15, 2019, at her home surrounded by family. She was born Oct. 28, 1947, in Greeley, Colo., to Chris and Phyllis (Adkisson) Buckendorf before moving to Johnstown in 1949. She graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1965 and shortly after married Harlan Hankins, her high school sweetheart, in 1967. They settled down north of Johnstown where they raised their three children, Harlan Douglas, Darren and David. Gail worked for RE-5J food services, following her boys through their years at Milliken Elementary, Letford Elementary, and finally at Milliken Middle School. Her involvement and dedication to her family and community motivated her to serve on the school board from 1990-2001; serving as president during her final term.

Her family was very important to her, as was her support to her husband and the farm they shared throughout their marriage of 52 years. Gail was an avid wrestling fan, supporting Harlan as he wrestled and then coached, and then watching and sometimes even coaching her sons as they wrestled. It is estimated she spent 55-plus years on the bleachers supporting football and wrestling and then continuing on to watch her granddaughters through their volleyball and dance careers. As young teens, Gail and Harlan travelled many a mile on the back of Harlan’s Vespa. This love and commitment endured to the very end and was the type of relationship movies are made about. She found time outside of raising a family to get involved in community activities such as Estrellita and as a B.O.C.E.S board member. She was a den leader for Cub Scouts and assisted with the Bible School program at the Johnstown United Methodist Church during the summers.

She enjoyed cooking, reading, and spending time with her family. She was an excellent seamstress, making clothes for her family, friends, and for her granddaughters and their dolls. Gail enjoyed planning camping trips and vacations for her family. Holidays were always a special time on the farm, where she decorated, cooked and entertained. At the center of this love for her family was her grandkids. Many a summer you could find the grandkids dancing and performing skits in the living room or running through the old farmhouse with nothing more than a bathing suit on. Grammie’s as it was affectionately known, was the summer destination for fun. Gail also enjoyed her close relationship with her sisters, spending Fridays visiting over lunch and catching up on all the grandkids. Friday lunches often included several generations of extended family members. In later years, she enjoyed reconnecting with old classmates and reminiscing.

Gail is survived by her husband, Harlan, and their sons Harlan Douglas, Darren and David (Heather), grandchildren; Joey, Taylor, Sydney, Breanne (fiance Clayton Bengford) and Brittany Hankins. Katrina (Chris) Stone, Patricia and Nadia Vallejo, great-grandchildren; Joshua, Adalyn, Divinity, and Karson Stone, sisters and brothers-in-law; Patty (Dan) York, Sharon (Lonnie) Kruise, Joan (Leonard) Wiest, and Marsha Fischer, sisters-in-law; Terri Lovell and Patricia (Darrell) Thatcher, numerous nieces, nephews and their families including; Jeff (Jeanie) York, Danna York, Desiree Kruise, Becky Stewart, Mike and Bruce Newcomb, Robert (Kirsten) Wiest, Tracy Wiest, John (Patty) Hamer, Marc Renshaw, Paul (Jill) Renshaw, Aaron Renshaw, Brandy (Chris) Schaeffer, Jenny Buckendorf, Clifton Lovell, Cameron Lovell, Melissa Lovell, Molly (Peter) Wagener, Michele Olivia Lovell, Ila (Luke) Gies, Aaron (Tammy) Thatcher, as well as many special friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Robert “Bobby” Buckendorf, sister Darlene Blaha, nephews Matthew Lovell and Kenny Kruise and niece Daria Newcomb.

A Life Celebration was held on Dec, 21, 2019, at the Johnstown United Methodist Church. Memorial gifts may be made to “MD Anderson Cancer Center” for McKee Medical Center in care of Adamson Life Celebration Home, 2000 47th Ave., Greeley, CO 80634. Friends may leave condolences at


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