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Gail Wellensiek Springer

March 6, 1934February 13, 2020

Gail W. Springer March 6, 1934 -- February 13, 2020

Gail Wellensiek Springer, the wife of Richard L. Springer, died on February 13, 2020, at Roland Park Place. Mrs. Springer and her husband came to Baltimore in 2001 to be near their son, Jeffrey, and his family. They resided for nine years at Berkeley House on 39th Street in Tuscany-Canterbury before moving to Roland Park Place in 2010. Mrs. Springer was a member of the Episcopal Cathedral of the Incarnation, 4 East University Parkway, where a memorial service will be held on March 28, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. with a reception to follow.

Mrs. Springer was a native of Grand Island, Nebraska, where her father, Herman G. Wellensiek, was a lawyer, banker, and state senator, and her mother, Blanche Swartwood Wellensiek, was a retired school teacher and homemaker. She attended local public schools and the University of Nebraska where, in 1955, she received a bachelor’s degree in music education. She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.

After graduation, Mrs. Springer taught music for two years in a public elementary school in Sidney, Nebraska. She subsequently attended Northwestern University where, in 1958, she received a master’s degree in music (vocal performance) and was elected to membership in Pi Kappa Lambda national music honor society. For the next three years, she was employed as a music coordinator in the public elementary schools of Hinsdale, Illinois.

In 1961, Mrs. Springer married Richard L. Springer, a Foreign Service Officer, whom she had met in the courtyard of Hull House, the Jane Adams settlement house in Chicago. Mr. Springer was then stationed in the office of the secretary of state in Washington, DC, where their first child, David, was born in 1962.

The following year, Mrs. Springer accompanied her husband to Florence, Italy, where he served as deputy principal officer in the U.S. consulate, responsible for U.S. interests in Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna, and the Republic of San Marino. Their second child, Jeffrey, was born in Italy in 1965. In addition to caring for their two children, Mrs. Springer was engaged in the protocol duties of the wife of a diplomat.

In 1966, the Springers were transferred to Barcelona, Spain, where Mr. Springer was assigned as commercial consul at the U.S. consulate general and Mrs. Springer took up the task of entertaining American and Spanish businessmen.

In 1969, the Springers returned to Washington, where Mr. Springer spent a year at American University before being assigned for five years to the State Department’s Office of International Organization Affairs with responsibility for U.S. relations with the UN Development Program. Over those six years, Mrs. Springer was active at Foundry Methodist Church and sang in the choir.

In 1975, Mr. Springer was assigned to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, in charge of U.S. participation in the UN Economic Commission for Europe. In addition to raising two teenage sons, Mrs. Springer sang in the Psalette de Geneve, a choir that often performed with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, and in the choir of Emmanuel Episcopal Church. . When Mr, Springer was assigned on loan to the UN Division of Narcotic Drugs in Geneva in 1977, the Springers purchased a home in Chens-sur-Leman, a small French village on the south shore of Lake Geneva. While enjoying life in rural France, Mrs. Springer was able to continue her activities in nearby Geneva. Their sons attended and graduated from the International School of Geneva.

Mr. Springer retired from the Foreign Service in 1980 and was hired by Webster University of Webster Grove, Missouri, as a director and professor at its Geneva campus. In 1991, he resigned as Webster campus director, and the Springers moved to a condominium they had purchased seven years earlier in Verbier, a Swiss Alpine ski resort, where they lived part time until 2005. Mrs. Springer was for several years a volunteer for the Verbier Festival, a summer music festival.

In 1995, Mr. Springer retired from teaching at Webster, and the following year they purchased a condominium for part time residence in Perrysburg, Ohio, near where Mr. Springer had lived a a child. In 2001 they moved to Baltimore. Here, Mrs. Springer was an active member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma alumni association and the PEO sisterhood and often hosted student members of the Johns Hopkins University chapter of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, where her husband served as president of the alumni board from 2006 to 2011.

In addition to her husband and two sons, Mrs. Springer is survived by daughters-in-law Sarah Hamilton Springer in Pittsburgh and Gayle Kinney Springer in Baltimore, four grandchildren, and a brother, Karl Wellensiek, and sister-in-law, Mary Janet Wellensiek, in Madison, Wisconsin.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation (www.donate.KKG.org) and to the PEO Sisterhood (www.donations.PEOInternational.org).


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Gail Wellensiek Springer

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