Mary “Jane” Gast (Sept 5, 1923 – Feb 1, 2019)
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 action of helping a friend die peacefully in her home to an organization that has assisted thousands of people since its beginning 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 weighing heavily on her mind, Jane discovered hospice services during a trip to England. Collecting all the information she could, she returned to her St. Joseph home and continued to gather hospice information for two years.
We are grateful to Jane for her dedication and service to helping provide comfort and care to those facing a serious illness and their families.