Gail Van Reen Acuff, age 89, died on September 22, 2022, at her home in Overland Park, KS, surrounded by her loving children. She was born February 9th, 1933, in St. Louis, Missouri, daughter of Henry Clay Van Reen and Virginia Rosbrook Van Reen. She grew up in Webster Groves, Missouri.
Gail graduated from Webster Groves High School in 1951. She graduated from the University of Missouri in 1955 with a degree in Elementary Education. She was a loyal supporter of the University of Missouri with memberships in the Davenport Society, The Jefferson Club, and Tiger Scholarship Fund, as well as being an enthusiastic Missouri Tigers football fan.
She was an active member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority at the University of Missouri. Gail was on the house boards at both the University of Missouri and the University of Kansas as well as holding several advisory positions. She also helped organize a new Kappa Kappa Gamma Chapter at Westminster College in Fulton, MO in the 1980’s. She maintained many lifelong friendships with her sorority sisters throughout the United States.
While at the University of Missouri, she met her future husband, Phil R. Acuff of Lee’s Summit, Missouri. They were married in 1956 and made their home in Prairie Village, Kansas where they raised their three children. They were married for 66 years and enjoyed traveling and spending time with their family and many friends.
Gail was very active in the community, serving as a Musette for the Kansas City Museum; a mentor at the Faxon School; and was an active and longtime member of the Village Presbyterian Church, where she served as a Stephen Minister as well as being active in many Church circles throughout her adult life.
Gail will be remembered as a devoted wife, loving mother, grandmother, and Great-grandmother to her entire family. Her ever-present smile and sparkling blue eyes could light up a room and she enjoyed the friendships of people and friends from all over the country. Gail was also an accomplished tennis player, participating (and winning), several tournaments in both singles and doubles at the Indian Hills Country Club. She encouraged all of her children and grandchildren to participate in sports and enjoyed going to their sporting events in Kansas, Colorado, and Missouri. She was an active participant in her family’s lives, never missing a graduation (high school or college), weddings, or other important events. She loved her family and so enjoyed large family gatherings with them throughout her life. Truly she was a wonderful matriarch to her entire family.
Gail was preceded in death by her husband Phil in July 2022 as well as her brother-in-law, Erwin “Dusty” Rhodes. Survivors include her children; Laura Acuff Tongate (David) of Sikeston, Missouri; Russell Van Reen Acuff (Carrie) of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Ann Acuff (Ray Olson) of Laramie, Wyoming; sister, Linda Van Reen Stonner (Ed) of Atlanta, Georgia; brother- in- law, John Acuff (Dee Anna); sister- in- law, Suzanne Acuff Rhodes; Grandchildren: Elizabeth Tongate Montgomery (Henley); Camille Tongate Carpenter (Michael); Claiborne Van Reen Tongate; Trenton Russell Acuff (Jena); John Cody Acuff (Jennifer de Haro), and Ryan Van Reen Acuff (Krista Thomson); nine great grandchildren and seven nieces and nephews.
Thank you very much to Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care for their loving care and many thanks to the special caregivers from Benefits of Home. Thank you so much Leah, Carla, and Elise, of Tallgrass Creek for your loving support to our family.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Village Presbyterian Church, 6641 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS 66208; Kansas City Hospice and Palliative Care, 9001 State Line Rd. #300, Kansas City, MO 64114; Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority, 512 E. Rollins St. Columbia, MO 65201
Funeral services are planned for November 18, 2022, at 1:00 pm at the Village Presbyterian Church, 6641 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS. Reception to follow the service. Burial will take place at the Lee’s Summit, Missouri Historical Cemetery.
Prairie Village, KS 66208