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Honoring Jane Gast


Mary "Jane" Gast (Sept 5, 1923 – Feb 1, 2019 )

Caring Circle extends our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Mary “Jane” Gast following her passing on February 1, 2019. Her contributions have made a lasting impact on our organization, our community, and hospice care. Jane’s greatest passion and accomplishment was founding Hospice at Home in 1981, the first hospice in Berrien County. Our community and the care of the people who live in it will continue to benefit from her vision and generosity.

Jane Gast gave her heart to Hospice at Home. She made a profound impact on our organization and community. Caring Circle has grown from the vision of one woman who helped a friend die peacefully in her home to an organization that has assisted thousands of people since its inception in 1981.

Jane's contributions to Caring Circle and to improving quality of life care in our community began long before founding Hospice at Home. While in nursing school in Amarillo, Texas Jane met the love of her life, Karl “AK” Gast when he was stationed with the Army Air Corp. They were married on August 21, 1944 and upon Karl’s return from the service in 1946, they relocated to his hometown, St. Joseph, where they made their home until her passing.

In 1979, Jane Gast, a registered nurse, worked with Dr. Dean Ray and Dr. William Emery to help a mutual friend who was dying of pancreatic cancer. With that experience heavy on her mind, Jane discovered hospice services during a trip to England. Gathering all of the information she could, she returned to her St. Joseph home and continued to collect hospice information for about two years.

"I talked to anyone who would listen about hospice care. I think God chose me to do this. I was fortunate to be able to get in to see people I needed to see to get the jobs done. Every person I asked to help said 'yes.' I never had anyone say 'no.'”  - Jane Gast 

We graciously say "thank you" to Jane for her dedication and service to helping provide comfort and care to those facing a serious illness and their families. 


Service information and Jane Gast's obituary can be found here. If you wish to make a contribution in memoriam of Jane Gast, please click here

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