Opinion: Gail Purtan will be remembered
“Outta’ My Mind on a Monday Moanin’ ”
In spite of Democratic Hawaiian Sen. Mazie Hirono's rude and ignorant command to all men (“Just shut up and step up; do the right thing, for a change.”), I immediately thought of the hundreds of thousands of men who did, in fact, do the right thing, by fighting and dying for our country, our freedom and for our right to “exercise our franchise" to vote. I hope with that thought in mind, you will indeed vote tomorrow.
As I sat down to write this, I found out that Gail Purtan had passed. If you didn’t know Gail, you certainly know her husband, Detroit radio legend Dick Purtan. I take that back, if you know Dick, you knew Gail.
They were high school sweethearts, together nearly 65 years, 60 in wedded bliss. A true lifelong love affair. Of course there is more to the story. Dick and Gail were blessed with six talented, beautiful daughters. And, as always, everything in his world could lead to yet another classic line (one of his best) in Dick’s own words: “Over the years, lots of people have said, ‘Dick, six girls! You’re amazing!' And I always reply, 'Hey, it took Gail 54 months, it only took me six minutes. But I don’t mean to brag.'"
Twenty years ago, Gail Purtan was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer and given a 20 percent chance of making it five years. Five years!
I am certain, with the love of her husband, daughters and grandchildren, and her own incredible strength, Gail was able to beat the odds, again and again and again.
Her brave battle has ended.
Everyone touched by her kindness will never forget her.
Paul W. Smith is host of The Paul W. Smith Show on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.