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Jane Gurley

My thoughts and prayers are with you. I had not see Mrs. Shults in 25 years but I will always remember her energy and wonderful personality.

Gail Aldrich Shults


In early spring 1935, Gail Aldrich Shults began her life’s journey in Barre, Vermont. Her life would be filled with love and humor. She and her sisters, Valencia and Nyla, spent happy days and nights in the Green Mountains of northern Vermont. The girls were devoted daughters to parents Cecil and Carlene. Gail’s life was comprised of bright, glittering fashion, motion and a quick wit. Just after graduating high school, she made her way to the Great White Way in Manhattan. A natural fiery red-head, Gail was briefly a Clairol Hair model, as well as an off-Broadway dancer spending several years in New York City.

One of her life’s greatest moments is when she married Deac Shults from Canajoharie, NY. Walden (Deacon) Shults, a tall, handsome, brilliant engineer literally lifted Gail off her feet. Their marital union took place on the Island of Jamaica on October 14, 1968. Their union of 46 years ended too soon when Deac passed away April 30, 2014 after a long illness. Christian, their son, continues the Shults family legacy along with his wife Dee and daughters, Alexandra and Rianna.

Gail spent a majority of her professional life in two organizations. She was a successful personal assistant to the Minority Leader of the New York State Senate in Albany, NY. During this chapter of her life, Gail studied part-time at the College of Saint Rose and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She was a member of the National Scholastic Honor Society Delta Epsilon Sigma, and the National Catholic College Honor Society Kappa Gamma Pi.

Weather permitting, Gail would often eat lunch in the Capitol Park. Sardines and crackers were her go-to choice. One afternoon, upon re-entering the Capitol, she was stopped by a smiling security officer. He inquired if her friends were joining her in the senator’s office? Gail had spilled oil from a sardine tin on to her hose. Unbeknownst to her, several cats had followed the scent of fish down State Street and into the building.

After Deac’s work eventually took them south to Florida, Gail served as Executive Director of the Nassau County Volunteer Center. Gail was instrumental in fund-raising for the neediest of Fernandina Beach and the surrounding communities in the county. In her career as Executive Director, she served the city and Nassau County with professionalism, integrity and compassion, growing the volunteer recruitment and referral program to over 3,000 volunteers a year.
Gail led a successful drive to become independent from the Volunteer Jacksonville agency. She expanded partnerships with local non-profit agencies on a countywide Adopt-A-Family program to help ensure happy holidays for hundreds of citizens in need. She also developed the well-known annual Taste of Amelia fundraiser event and the Volunteer Awards Luncheon, which partners with government, civic and corporate entities to honor extraordinary volunteers. She retired in 2016 after 30 years in the position, a pillar of the community and known to all.
The world is now a quieter place with her absence. Gail will be interred alongside Deac and a private family memorial service and burial will be held at a later date in Vermont.
To honor Gail’s long life of giving, donations can be made to:

Community Hospice Jane and Bill Warner Center for Caring


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