Life Story / Obituary
Gail Andrea Worm, 68, of Interlochen, passed away at home October 6, 2019. Gail was born February 27, 1951 to Lyle and Irma (Hakala) Lundberg in Pontiac. She is survived by her husband, Wilfred Worm, Jr., sons Kyle Axtell, Dustin Worm, Derrick Dornoff and Paul Nash, grandchildren, Abbie Nash, Mark and Mackenzie Worm, and niece Heather Grice. Her parents, daughter Andrea Axtell, and sister Priscilla Shepherd preceded her in death.
Whether you called her Gail, mom, sister, grandma, aunt, friend, or “Sweetie”… one thing was for sure: you knew she loved family and life and all the fun it had to offer. Her quick wit and snarky sense of humor was one of her defining qualities whether she made you laugh, or she made you cry. Either way, Gail was always honest and told it like she saw it. Her son Kyle inherited this same sense of humor, and can attest that it will sometimes get a person in trouble…
Gail had many passions in life, but Kyle was always her pride and joy. Gail laid the groundwork for him to become a successful adult by providing everything he needed to be successful in school. She, along with her husband Willie, taught him to respect others and be a responsible person. Watching him find a career and move away from home was challenging for Gail but knowing that Kyle and his wife, Emily, had finally settled into his own home (even though it was in Minnesota) brought her peace near the end of her life.
Gail was also immensely proud of her son Dustin. She helped raise him to become a teacher and a coach to middle school students. She was very proud of the patience and kindness Dustin showed to his students, their parents, and the kids he would coach in basketball. Gail was also happy when Dustin moved home with his wife, Emily, and their two young children, Mark and Mackenzie, who she would spoil whenever she had the chance. In particular, babysitting Mackenzie and helping teach her to read and learn at an early age filled a void in her life that opened when Gail’s daughter Andrea passed at birth in 1981.
Gail spent nearly 30 years working for Child & Family Services of Northwestern Michigan, where she positively impacted many lives and made many life-long friends. In retirement, she discovered a passion for reading, consuming well over 300 books in 5 years and making great use of the Interlochen Public Library.
Many evenings she could be found at home with Willie, the love of her life, glass of wine in hand and rock and roll on the stereo. The pair were intensely devoted to one another, only very rarely ever spending a night apart in 31 years. Willie and Gail made great use of their time together and of their shared interest in music to see numerous concerts over the years. Some of her favorites were The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney and Bob Seger. She even saw The Beatles in Detroit when she was a kid in the 1960’s!
Gail and Willie found the game of golf enjoyable for many years, logging countless rounds at the Interlochen Golf Course. Gail usually won. She enjoyed spending time at the casino where – against all odds – she routinely took home sizable winnings earning her the beloved nickname “Jackpot Mama” from her family. Like her mother, Gail also shared a blind love of the Detroit Tigers, cheering them on no matter how miserable their season was going.
Willie and the family would like to thank everyone who has reached out during this difficult time. It has been touching for so many people to have showered him and Gail with love and memories these past few weeks and months. A special thank you is also extended to the nursing staff at Munson Medical Center’s ICU and Heartland Hospice Services of Traverse City for providing kindness, laughter, and understanding, and for going above and beyond the call of duty.