Gail Susan Allen, age 61, passed away peacefully on December 30, 2021, with her family by her side. She had lived with cancer for several years.
Gail was born on July 27, 1960, and raised on the west side of Madison, WI by her mother Mary Ann (nee Roberts) Allen. She graduated from James Madison Memorial High School in 1978 and earned a degree in industrial engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At UW, she made lifelong friends as a varsity rowing letter winner and fell in love with her future husband, Jeff Hoerning. She chose to plant her own roots in Madison, and built her life on a foundation of family, friends and laughter. Gail married Jeff in 1988 and together they worked hard to give their two children a wonderful childhood.
Motherhood was Gail’s greatest joy and greatest strength, and she created and nurtured a close-knit, loving family. She strengthened family bonds with nightly family dinners, ski trips to Colorado and long hikes along Lake Mendota. Gail was also an adventurer, full of energy and fun. She swam, skied and biked, sometimes all in one day. Her enthusiasm and kindness brought people together, often at the family’s cabin in Hayward, WI. Gail’s compassionate nature and youthful spirit earned her many close friendships. Dubbed a “downhill wizard” for her mountain biking skills, Gail often shouted “Yahoooooo” as she flew down the trail with a huge smile.
After graduating and working for several years as a consultant and engineer, Gail returned to UW to pursue a career in medicine. She completed medical school and residency at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, where she helped create a part-time residency program that allowed her to spend more time with her kids. She joined the UW faculty in 1998 and practiced as a general pediatrician at the UW Health West Clinic for 20 years. In the last four years of her career, Gail served as Clinical Chief of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, diligently working to advance quality of care and community-based health initiatives. She was most proud of providing high quality medical care for challenging, high-risk patients. Gail cared deeply for the well-being of children and made a positive impact on the lives of many.
Gail is survived by her husband, Jeff, and their children, Steven and Elizabeth Hoerning, as well as her sisters Jane Allen and Ann Dee Allen. She is further survived by her nieces, nephews, in-laws and many friends. She was preceded in death by her mother Mary Ann and stepfather, William Ackermann.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, January 16, at 2:00 p.m. The service will take place at the UW Pyle Center at 702 Langdon St. in Madison, WI, in the Alumni Lounge. Attendees are asked to be fully vaccinated and wear masks. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Kids Forward at http://kidsforward.org/make-a-donation. If you are not able to join the family in person, please use the following link http://uwmadison.zoom.us/s/91962752232
Gail’s family is very grateful for the outstanding care she received at the UW Carbone Cancer Center and from the staff at Agrace Hospice at the end of her life.