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Gail Sparks Bauman

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Gail Sparks Bauman passed away peacefully on June 15, 2024, at the age of 95.

She moved to Yellow Springs in October 2017 and became a resident of Friend’s Care Community. She was raised in Chicago, where she was born in January 1929. She had one younger brother. Her parents highly valued and encouraged both academic and athletic achievement for both their children. Consequently, Gail graduated from the University of Chicago, became an avid life-long learner — exploring just about anything that piqued her insatiable curiosity — and was a lover of reading books, especially history and poetry.

Athletically, she became accomplished in tennis, down-hill skiing, horseback riding and figure skating; she even won some national awards as a teenager in Pair Figure Skating.

At age 21, after meeting him at U of C, she married John, a WWII B-17 bomber pilot who became a successful businessman. They lived most of their married life in the south suburbs of Chicago. By the time Gail was 30, they had four children: daughter Shawn, son Reid, and identical twin daughters, Linden and Brook.

When the children were older, John and Gail traveled to numerous foreign countries, and Gail continued her education by pursuing a master’s degree in art. Over time, she fully developed her own artistic abilities and became an artist. She created many works of art in her home studio; she loved to paint, draw and make sculptures, using several different media.

Gail was also a talented writer and became a prolific writer of poetry. Further, she was an avid patron of the cultural arts, attending many orchestral concerts, the opera and theatrical and dance performances in Chicago. She truly enjoyed spending time in Chicago, a city with abundant and varied cultural opportunities, including world-class museums, which she regularly visited. The majestic beauty of Lake Michigan was another captivating feature for Gail. Back on the suburban home front, she pursued her other favorite interests: love of plants, bird watching, flower gardening and nature photography.

Gail and John were very social and had many close and enduring friendships during their long marriage. Both of them were also very civic-minded and highly concerned with, and active in, many environmental and social justice causes. They supported and served numerous and varied organizations in their immediate community — and beyond — through charitable giving and by regularly volunteering their time, energy and expertise to help improve the well-being of others. John and Gail’s offspring blessed them with seven granddaughters, one grandson and 10 great-grandchildren, so far, to carry on their legacy.

There will be a private family memorial service in the fall in Yellow Springs, where her twin daughters currently reside.


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