Bruce, I am so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers Take care.
Bruce, I am very sorry on the passing of Gail, my sincere condolences on your loss. I do have some very fond memories of the two of you.
On Saturday, we celebrated the life of Gail Champion (Champ). She was my teacher, coach, and friend who will be dearly missed. A thoughtful eulogy by family and photos showing lives of the many she touched. My deepest condolences to Bruce and her family.
At high school, Champ taught me culinary, teen living skills, and child development classes. She was the faculty lead for clubs I participated including Peer Mediation and Students Against Suicide.
I started playing 6th grade youth basketball for her and on Varsity for 4 years. She coached my JV Volleyball for 2 years. For players, she was like our second Mom… watching after us.
Over the many years, we remained friends. Champ wrote letters in college and even came to UW - La Crosse for a visit. As an impactful person and friend in my life, I included her in my wedding party. I brought my kids to her child development classes for demonstrations and shared insight with her students on my career path, the importance of financial health skills, and being a working parent.
I am sad that I can no longer call or catch a dinner with her, but I know she is at peace. I find comfort sharing in her memory and learning how many lives she has touched. Champ will always have a special place in my heart and many others.
Well Gail and I grew up in the same neighborhood and went to school together. I havent seen her for years, but I feel really bad. Her and I took Clarinet lessons together in 7th grade. I always remember her as being a very nice person and usually pretty calm. My condolences to her husband and sister, Shelly.
Champ coached me in middle school volleyball, basketball, and track, as well as in high school track. She saw potential in me that I didn't see in myself. What I achieved in track wouldn't have been possible without her signature combination of challenge and support. I can still hear her calling out times to me across the field, encouragingly saying "Come on, Megan! You've got this!" When she said it, I believed it, and was able to accomplish even more. Even know when I'm doing something difficult, I tell myself, "Come on, Megan! You've got this!" She's been in my head and heart for all these years!
It's valuable for youth to have people who aren't their family to rely on, to encourage them, to help them see that they are part of something bigger -- and Champ was certainly one of those people for me. I remember a teammate once asking her why she never had kids. I don't know what the entirety of her truth was, but she responded with a smirk "What do you mean? I've got hundreds of kids," referring to all her students whom she truly loved.
I and so many others wouldn't be who they are today without her love, dedication, and support. Her last name couldn't have fit her better. My deepest condolences to her loved ones.
Peace of mind is a call away. We’re here when you need us most.
I was sad to hear about Champ’s passing. Although we haven’t been in touch for many years, the impact she had on my life (and many others) is a testament to her dedication as a teacher and a coach. My heartfelt condolences go out to her family during this difficult time. I was trying to think of a specific story to share but what I remember most was that she was always there … at practice and games of course, but also at camps and summer league, or for rides, a pep talk or some tough love. I remember groups of us hanging out at her house on the weekend or getting together on college breaks. I am grateful for the time she spent with us. To her friends and family, especially Bruce, I wish you love and peace.
Jean Wollersheim Mitchell
New Berlin West Class of 1987
I remember a fabulous coach.
I remember a fabulous coach.
Bruce, I did not have the privilege to know Gail personally. I consider you a friend. I have watched your sorrow. I am very very sorry for your loss. Most sincerely, Todd
I read the news of Gail's passing with great sadness. I was in the NBHS class of 1981.
Coach Champion was my JV basketball coach. Girls' sports were beginning to benefit from Title IX rules granting equal access to gym time for practices and all the rest. We weren't athletes who had grown up through community teams, and she was also new to her sports. She committed herself to learning the sports she coached and learning the art of leading teams to be their best. And wow, did she!
I came back to the HS as a substitute teacher, sometimes subbing for her classes. It was such a joy to see her flourishing as a coach. She took a basketball team to state for the first time in those years. Her determination to be an effective coach was beginning to pay dividends. Later I watched her as a commentator during state tournaments. I was so proud of the recognition she was getting!
I got to know Coach as a person during the summer months of HS. I was a tennis player, and we played numerous times a week. The last time I saw her (at the open house for the substantial addition made to NB West's HS and MS), we talked about her success on the state level in tennis. She was kind to credit me for teaching her how to play tennis.
When I think back to those years, I see that the investment she made in my life -- listening, offering encouragement, and even playing tennis -- was a highlight of my HS career. She gave an insecure kid confidence, not so much as an athlete (I wasn't so much of an athlete), but as a person. She was willing to see me affirm me for who I was. I'll always be grateful for the ways our life paths crossed. She was a great teacher, an even better coach, and a significant presence in my life.
Bruce, I am so very sorry that you have lost your partner of 46 years. May your memories bring you comfort, even as you grieve her absence. And to the rest of Gail's family, I extended my sincere condolences. Gail was simply one of the best people I've had the opportunity to know. What a gift she was to all of us who called her teacher, coach, and friend.
Champ was a great coach and mentor. She knew how to bring out the best in us as individuals and to unite us as a volleyball and basketball team. She had a big part of making me tougher as and athlete and as a person, but so did running all the killers when we got a little to silly for her liking. I will always remember her fondly and continue to carry the never give up attitude with me that she instilled in her team. Sending love and support to Bruce and all those who loved her.
I will not be able to attend the service/visitation. I was a teacher, coach and referee at Franklin H.S. and retired before Gail taught and coached at FHS. My partner Jerry Sullivan and I refed Gail's teams in the 80s and 90s. I got to know her pretty well. She was a good coach, could be tough on refs but fair. I would see her when I visited FHS and we would have a nice visit. I was so sorry to read about her dying. My sympathy to Bruce whom I met a couple of times and the rest of the family. Tom Chvala firstname.lastname@example.org
Coach Champion was such an integral part of our 1984 New Berlin West girls volleyball state championship (varsity assistant coach). As the JV head coach, she had taught us all the skills we needed to be excellent volleyball players. I have fond memories of us grumbling about her not letting us drink soda and eat junk food when we were at tournaments. I also remember her standing next to a rack of balls and each of us having to take our turn of her 'peppering' us with them. She was a great coach and a great influence on all of us. My condolences to her family.
Bruce, so sorry for your loss! Gail was truly a Champion! She really valued her students and helped many achieve so much more than they could’ve accomplished without her guidance. I share fond memories of traveling to the Family Circle Cup and attending my first pro tournament with her. Her illness may have cut her time here short but she certainly made the most of those years!
Gail was an outstanding mentor to me as I started my teaching career. Her knowledge & experience in Family & Consumer Sciences was well- known in the Milwaukee area. So many students benefitted from her efforts in public education.
Gail’s dry sense of humor and supportive nature were important parts of her personality that her colleagues enjoyed. Franklin Public Schools were enriched by the redesign of the Family & Consumer Sciences department she lead upon transferring to Franklin from New Berlin.
In the name of the Father, Son & Holy Ghost may you be at peace.
Gail I love you. May you rest in peace after your long hard life the was cut way too short. One of my only two cousins from our mothers side.
Good Bye my friend, good bye. I cherish all the good times we had, walking the halls at FHS, Webb's on Saturdays before you went to school to work (most dedicated teacher ever). The tennis team of course with those great boys that you mentored, even when they got goofy. State tennis in Madison, and of course those visits when things weren't so good. Your smile was enough, and an encouragement that meant you knew. The world was a better place because of you, an now you can play the game in the big sky and continue to watch over your loved ones. May your family find peace in your absence. Love you, Joyce
Bruce and family, my most sincere sympathy to you in Gail's passing. I know you have so many fond memories with Gail, and I hope those carry you through this difficult time and beyond. Champ was not only a great coach, but also a friend and a mentor, something all kids need. She took us under her wing and we also had a lot of fun - many great memories. We tried to do her proud in all of our accomplishments. I'm glad I was able to keep in touch through the years, and got to see her in August. She was a great person and will be deeply missed. Sandy Scherer NBHS (West), Class of 1983
Please accept our deepest condolences for your family's loss.