Obituary-Gail Habluetzel

Gail Habluetzel, 77, passed away peacefully November 16, 2023, at Linn Community Nursing Home from complications due to Parkinson’s Disease. Gail was born July 15, 1946, in Clay Center, the third son of Lawrence and Maxine (Strom) Habluetzel. He graduated from CCCHS in 1964 and earned a Journalism degree at the University of Kansas in 1968. Gail met and married the love of his life, Marsha Decker, while in college. He and Marsha lived in California and Texas, but eventually made their way back to Clay Center, where they have lived for 43 years. Gail served with Campus Crusade for Christ for many years, first as an editor of a Christian athletic magazine, then with a touring singing group. This led to quite a bit of travel around mainland U.S., as well as Hawaii, Canada and Europe. Gail’s faith in Jesus Christ was always the most important thing in his life.

 When Gail and Marsha moved back to Clay Center, Gail was hired as a staff member for Big Lakes Developmental Center and worked there for 25 years in various roles. He retired in 2006 as BLDC’s Clay Center Services Director. Gail was heavily involved in the Evangelical Covenant Church, serving in multiple roles throughout his years of membership. Gail was known for his love of music and his beautiful singing voice, and was happy to sing for special programs, weddings, and funerals in the community. He also enjoyed being “Uncle Sam” for nine years during Clay Center’s Fourth of July parades, which usually involved singing in costume in a special program on the Courthouse Square. 4-H was another place where Gail served in the roles of club leader, camp counselor, food stand manager, and fair board member during the years his children were involved. He also served on the boards of the United Way and the Clay Center Chamber of Commerce.

 Gail was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence and Maxine, and older brother, Loy Habluetzel.

 He leaves behind his beloved wife, Marsha, of 55 years, and one brother, Larry (Carol) Habluetzel of Overland Park, Kansas.  Children: Amy (John) Battenfield of Clay Center, Kansas; Carrie (Matthew) Macy of Wichita, Kansas; Adam (Angel) Habluetzel of Grand Junction, Colorado; Mark (Lisa) Habluetzel of Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Gail was also blessed with and survived by eight grandsons, three granddaughters, one great-grandson, three nephews, and one niece.

 Private Family Burial: Greenwood Cemetery, Clay Center, Kansas.

Celebration of Life Service: 1:30pm Tuesday, November 28, at the Evangelical Covenant Church, 1330 15th Street, Clay Center, Kansas.

Memorial donations can be made to the Evangelical Covenant Church or Big Lakes Developmental Center in care of the funeral home.

Online condolences may be made at

Sign up for the KCLY Digital Newspaper, The Regional