Gail Claire Cruwell (nee Heffernan) passed away on Monday, May 4, 2020, at the age of 77. Gail was born June 29, 1942 in the Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn, New York, and was last a resident of Ridgewood, NJ.
Gail lived a full life. Her family moved from Brooklyn to Maywood, New Jersey when she was 6, but she continued to maintain a connection to New York through her youth via many wonderful summers spent in Breezy Point with her Grandparents Mary and Andrew Rudloff. Upon graduation from Benedictine Academy in Paterson, she found a job in Manhattan, and soon after married her first husband George Heckel and began to raise her family in Hackensack, and eventually Paramus. During this time, she and her husband became owners of a bar and restaurant in Guttenberg, and after selling the business, she continued in the industry for 12 years. She moved to Maywood, remarried Frederick “Rick” Cruwell, started a cleaning business, and then at the age of 48 took the bold move of entering Holy Name School of Nursing where she earned her LPN degree in 1991. She truly enjoyed this career for 19 years, working for Dr. Andrew Kagan in Hackensack, until her retirement in 2010.
The second of ten children and oldest daughter of the late John and Claire Heffernan (nee Williams), Gail was predeceased by her son Matthew Heckel, husband Frederick, and former husband George. She is survived by her son George Heckel (Kathleen) and her grandchildren Erica, James, and Julia Heckel, and her daughter Eileen Cordasco (nee Heckel) (Michael) and her grandchildren Ava, and Mia Cordasco. All treasured her as a loving mother and grandmother. She was also the loving sister of Jack (deceased) (Maggie), Raymond (deceased), Eileen Rochford (Jim), Robert (deceased), Mary Bransfield (Ken), Claire Galletta (Nat), Mark (deceased), Tom, and Ann Schabilon (Ron). She was an adoring aunt to many nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. She was a friend to too many to list, but she would insist on listing her childhood and lifelong friend Gracie Herrmann, and mentioning how precious her last years were with the residents of Ridgecrest Apartments. She was loved and will be missed by many.
George and Eileen, would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Moshe Ephrat, who tirelessly watched over their mother, both night and day. In addition, they would like to thank Lynnanne Anderson, a friend and nurse at HUMC who was often by her side. Lastly, we would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff at HUMC.
As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be sent in honor of Gail Cruwell to the Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia Foundation, www.pcdfoundation.org.
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