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Gail Frances Cortell

Birth Date: May 30, 1940
Death Date: November 6, 2018

On May 30, 1940, the life book of Gail “Wilma” Frances Scott was opened and the Lord began to write.  Gail was not only the first child born to the union of Walter Lewis Scott, Sr. and Wyomia Logan, but perhaps, more importantly, she was the first grandchild born to her beloved Mama Georgie.  It was Gail’s role as the oldest in the family that most shaped her life and personality. She was preceded in death by her parents, her grandparents, and her sister Goldie Jean.

A lifelong San Diegan, Gail attended Logan Elementary, Memorial Jr. High, Hoover, and San Diego High School.  Gail also went to nursing school and proudly completed her certification.

On May 23, 1959, Gail married Raphael Barbarus Cortell, Jr., and to this union, five children were born.  Gail and Raphael were married for 52 years.

Gail had a sharp mind, an unmatched memory, a strong sense of responsibility, and a hearty wit.  Whether she was hosting parties at her house on Melrose or attending to the details of important family matters, Gail was at her best when she was surrounded by her family, sharing stories, and taking care of the people she loved.  Over the years, she worked as a nurse’s aid, a housekeeper, she cleaned offices at night, and she was a teacher’s aid for more than twenty years.  But she was always – first and foremost – a doting daughter, granddaughter, sister, wife, mother, cousin, niece, auntie, grandma, neighbor, and friend.  And if that was not enough, Gail also opened her home to dozens of children over more than 20 years as a foster parent.  Her reach and loving influence can neither be measured or overstated. There was only one thing that Gail loved almost as much as she loved her family.  And we are sure that QVC and the UPS man will miss her as much we do.

On November 6th, 2018, God put His heavenly pen down and sent His only son to collect His daughter.  At 12:30 pm and holding her son’s hand, Gail closed her eyes for the last time here on earth and fixed her sight permanently upon the glory of the Lord.  And in her father’s mighty hand, Gail’s life book closed and all of heaven rejoiced to have her home again.

Though Gail was preceded in death by her husband, Raphael, she leaves her memory with her five children: Donald (& Dixie) Cortell, Georgianna Cortell, Ronald (& Sabrina) Cortell, Deborah Cortell, and Holly Cortell; ten grandchildren, Adrienne Wilson, Raphael McKinney, Annette McKinney, Robert McKinney, Janay Douglas, Ronald Cortell, Jr., Jayden Cortell, Logan Bell, Schyler Bell, and Ryan Bell, and four great grandchildren with one on the way. She leaves her cherished siblings who were also her lifelong best friends to mourn her passing: Marie Cannon, Carol Barnes, and Walter Scott, Jr. She also leaves her uncle Kenneth and aunt Lara Logan, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, family, and friends.

And the Lord said, “Wilma, you did good. Welcome home.”

November 15, 2018
4:00 pm
- 8:00 pm
Holmes-Kipling Slumber Room
Greenwood Memorial Park & Mortuary 4300 Imperial Avenue San Diego, CA 92113
Get Directions
Celebration of Life
November 16, 2018
10:00 am
Bethel Baptist Church
1962 N. Euclid Avenue San Diego, CA 92105
Get Directions
Committal Services
November 16, 2018
11:30 am
Greenwood Memorial Park
4300 Imperial Ave San Diego, CA 92113
Get Directions
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  1. Our beloved matriarch your in Gods arms now But forever in our hearts Thank you for all the wonderful memories.

    Love you always

  2. Debbie,
    I am extending my deepest condolences to you and everyone in the family in this loss. (I am sad. I have known your mom for a long time and your Grandma Y before her from when I was a little squirt running around. I will let my mom know.)

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