Patricia “Gail” Whyte was born March 9, 1940 in Chicago to Harvey and Mary (nee Whalen) Burgie. She died November 24, 2020, at the Lutheran Home in Arlington Heights after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease complicated with progressive aphasia.
Gail was a hard worker, a person who always kept herself very busy and made earning a college degree a lifelong mission. She had a brief stint in college after graduating from Wauconda High School in 1958 before she took an office job in downtown Chicago. Later she worked full time and attended community college to learn Cobalt computer programming while raising teenagers. Celebrating her Associate’s degree from Dutchess Community College wasn’t enough for Gail. After moving to Arlington Heights in 1994 she attended night school and eventually earned her Bachelor’s degree from Olivet-Nazarene University.
Until her illness robbed her of her ability to write and speak, she was a prolific communicator across several mediums. She initiated and maintained a penpal friendship over 40 years with a Japanese woman who she only met once, finally, in 2006. Gail loved theater, was a volunteer usher, performed with the Footlighters in Des Plaines and sang in several singing groups over the years including the Stuart W. Smith Singers of New Jersey in the 1960s and the New Beginnings Chorus in Arlington Heights in the early 2000s.
In her spare time, Gail was always a multi-tasker watching her favorite tv show or old movie while baking her annual bounty of holiday cookies or listening to a book on tape while working on the latest sewing project. The caring staff of Lutheran Home knew Gail’s boundless energy and inability to sit still manifested in her walking the halls greeting everyone in her path. From time to time she also attempted to escape to take herself out to lunch- something she always enjoyed.
Gail is survived by her sister Virginia Moriarity and by her daughters Heather (Gregg Hudson) Whyte and Lindsey (Emilio Di Benedetto) Whyte; her adoring grandchildren Cassidy, Marco and Annabel; many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her sisters Marjorie Harriet (late Daniel) Bobzin and Barbara (late Frank) DeSimone and by her parents.
Due to COVID 19 restrictions, memorial services will be held at a later date. Gifts in Gail’s memory can be made to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund through the link below or by mail to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund, 34 Washington Street, Suite 301, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481.