Mary “Jane” Gast passed away on February 1, 2019

Mary “Jane” Gast passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on February 1, 2019.


She was born in Dallas, Texas on September 5, 1923 to Grover and Margaret Goode and raised in Amarillo, Texas. While in nursing school in Amarillo, in 1944, she met the love of her life, Karl “AK” Gast while he was stationed with the Army Air Corp. They were married on August 21, 1944. Upon AK’s return from the service in 1946, they relocated to his hometown, St. Joseph, Michigan where they made their home until her passing.


Her greatest passion and accomplishment was founding Hospice at Home in 1981, the first hospice in Berrien County. Throughout her life, she was involved in her church, Riverview Park Christian Church where she served in various capacities as an elder, Sunday school teacher, youth leader as well as on the church board. During her life, she was actively involved in other various community organizations including Indian Hills Garden Club, Civic Benefit, Planned Parent Hood and the Girl Scouts.


Jane was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her loving husband of 74 years, AK Gast and their five daughters, Margy (Barb) Gast, Karla (Mike) Vernasco, Betsy (Mick) Thorrez, Mary (Tom) Rembowicz, and Andie (Sue) Gast. In addition to her children, Jane is survived by twelve loving grandchildren, eighteen great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. Jane touched many peoples’ lives. She will be greatly missed by family, friends, and her devoted care team from Private Duty Healthcare.


A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 2:00 PM, Tuesday, February 5, 2019 at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd. St. Joseph with Rev. David Stout officiating. Friends may visit from 1:00 PM until the time of service at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Caring Circle Hospice. Those wishing to leave a message of condolence for the family may do so online at


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