Gabriella Leo

Wednesday, September 14, 2016 7:19 pm

Gabriella R. (Gail) Leo, 92, of Windsor Heights, passed away peacefully Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016. Visitation and rosary are from 3:30 to 7 p.m. at Westover Funeral Home in Des Moines Thursday, Sept. 15. A Catholic burial service is at 10:30 a.m. at Saint Theresa’s Catholic Church Friday, Sept. 16, followed by burial at Glendale Cemetery. Donations in Gail’s memory may be made to Saint Theresa’s Catholic Church.
Gail Bollnak was born May 2, 1924, in the northeast Iowa town of Ft. Atkinson, as the second oldest of eight siblings. After completing high school in Ft. Atkinson, she moved to Des Moines to attend the Iowa School of Beauty. After graduation she worked as a licensed beautician in Des Moines. In 1948, Gail married Flory Leo from Des Moines’ south side. They settled in Windsor Heights in 1957. Gail and Flory were happily married for 60 years until Flory passed away in 2008. In 1969, Gail began a food service career with Drake University working at Hubbell Dining Hall and the Olmstead Center. She retired from Drake with nearly 20 years of service. Gail was very proud that two of her children graduated from Drake.  Gail was a member of the Woman’s Auxiliary from the Bellizzi-McCrea Legion Post. She was also a member of the Catholic Daughters of America and the Saint Theresa’s Altar and Rosary (STARs). Gail loved to cook. She was known for her delicious authentic Italian recipe for spaghetti and meatballs, but was accomplished at cooking many dishes. She loved the traditional, seven-different-foods meal on Christmas Eve. Gail was reputed for her green thumb in the garden. She was skilled with crochet needles and made many items for her family, in addition to newborn baby caps for donation to the Mercy Hospital Birthing Center. Gail also loved to play cards with family and friends. She and Flory were charter members of Saint Theresa’s Catholic Church in Des Moines where she remained a member until passing.
Gail was a loving and proud Mother of three surviving children: Cathy Leo, Gail Soesbe and Pete Leo (Maggie), all of the Des Moines area; four grandchildren: Shannon Soesbe (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates), Stephan Soesbe (San Francisco, Calif.), Catherine Leo Mello (Heath) and Peter Leo (Elizabeth), both of Omaha; and four great-grandchildren, Eric Leo, Sam Leo, Angelina Mello,and John Mello, all of Omaha. Gail is survived by her sisters Mary Dickman (William, deceased) of Newburgh, N.Y. and Catherine Darlene Wood (Harry) of Nashville, Tenn.
Gail was predeceased by her sister, Delores Lansing (Norbert, deceased), of Ossian.    

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