Gail Pebworth lives up to the hype
Tuesday, July 02, 2013 10:00 PM
First my husband, next Carol Homann, then Louise Winchell. Well, the list goes on as I heard, "You should feature Gail Pebworth in Around the County." My momma taught me to do as I was told, so... here's GAIL!
Karen Zach taught English at Turkey Run HS, has written columns for local newspapers for decades and is happy to be honoring interesting people in, "Around the County," which appears each Thursday in The Paper of Montgomery County. She is the editor of Montgomery Memories. Karen can be reached at email@example.com.
Some refer to Gail as the swimming lady while others comment, "Well, you know the lady involved with the League of Women Voters." Actually, these are only two of the many titles Gail holds.
Actually, it seems like Gail was born a swimmer and raised a leader. The love for her parents shines through as she talks of her father encouraging her and her sister to literally be the best! At Broad Ripple High School, Gail was valedictorian of her class, involved in student government, journalism and of course swimming.
From age two on, Gail trained, winning the state level competition at the young age of eight. Many competition wins, a marriage and a college degree later, and even a trip to Germany in order for Gail's husband, Robin to study for his dissertation, plus having twins culminated into Gail being Wabash College's swimming coach. Gail proudly told me that in her 18 seasons there, she never once heard one swear word from "her boys!" She tallied an amazing 87% win at Wabash and also spent 13 years as head coach for the Sugar Creek Swim Club where many individuals splashed to fame!
Definitely, laughter chimed through her house as Gail told me that she refers to her community and family involvements with the terms B.C. and A.C. (Before Coaching and After Coaching). I think that's a hoot!
Not only have numerous individuals whom she coached won special awards and her teams racked-up trophies galore, Gail, too has a long list of honors. These include Wabash's Athletic Hall of Fame; Wabash Coach of the year (7 times); James Clark Memorial Coach of the Year, the one that impressed me, "Indiana's Trail Blazing Woman" and many more.
After this brief outlook regarding swimming, let's venture on to Gail's community involvement. Seriously, I can barely cover this topic in the small Around the County space, so here is a quick overview. Her pride is reflected immensely when she discusses one of her real joys, the League of Women's Voters, a group she has been active with ... are you ready ... 48 years. I find that amazing! Working with the new leagues in Indiana is something she particularly enjoys, and is especially excited about a state funded training this fall that features only Montgomery and Shelby County as the pilot groups. The two counties will learn to use tools in order to make the area more effective for all, then I assume share what they learn.
Actually, being a leader paid-off big-time for Gail, as she met her husband in a college class at IU for leadership. She was the president of YWCA and he headed his frat, thus they took the class entering their junior years and love budded from there.
The Pebworths were actively involved in bringing the Aquatic Center connected to the high school. She was quite proud that conservative Montgomery County built one of the best in the country. It would probably be time to write a big book if I really tried to cover Gail's community service, and I kid you not.
As to their church involvement, let's just say, WOW! Both Robin and Gail have served as Elders of the Wabash Avenue Presbyterian Church. They became members almost as quickly as they arrived in 1967. This is the church their children, twins, Marjorie and Carl, grew-up in. Currently, Marjorie lives in Sheboygan, Wisc. and is thrilled that her husband, David Stonehouse, provides her the opportunity to be a very active school mother and community-involver. Carl and his wife, Anne are both attorneys in Indianapolis. Altogether, Gail and Robin have five grandchildren, very close in age from 7-13 years old, three boys and two girls.
Who'd guess Gail has time for hobbies, but she gets her love for gardening from her mother. The yard is beautiful with so many types of flowers and rocks. Of course, her other hobby is community involvement and she certainly has that covered. When I asked her if she had a bucket list, I wasn't surprised that it was not a personal wish, but one for the community and that is (although there's been great progress, still needs some work) that the people here see the beauty and culture in and around Wabash (music, art, theater, lectures are always available) and that the Wabash boys see the history a few blocks away. On top of all this, Gail served me the best brownies I've ever encountered. All this and a great cook, too, so I was sure thrilled I grabbed on to the suggestion of Gail Pebworth as this week's feature for Around the County!