COLUMBIA— When Laura Gail Sublett was just settling into town, she would stroll down Atkins Road, past the cornfields, to meet her new neighbors for a game of cards.
Times changed, and the cornfields along Atkins Road gave way to a strip mall, but one thing never changed: Mrs. Sublett played bridge with that same group of neighborhood women every week for 30 years. Some members died or moved away, but she rarely missed a game.
Laura Gail (Baumgartner) Sublett of Eldon, formerly of Columbia, died Saturday, April 26, 2014, in Jefferson City. She was 83.
She was born Feb. 26, 1931, in a farmhouse outside Millersburg to Benjamin H. and Pauline (Coats) Baumgartner.
The school she attended was just three miles from her house — a trip she made daily on her favorite horse, Nancy Bell. More than 70 years later, after Mrs. Sublett was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, those memories still came easy.
"You could always say, 'Mom, do you remember riding Nancy Bell to school?'" her daughter, Linda Hutton, said. "The answer was always 'Yes.'"
Her first date with Duane Sublett, the man she would marry, was in 1947. He was fresh home from the Navy and living in Stephens.
"I had a car, and we picked up another couple," he said. "We went to a show in downtown Columbia, probably only cost about 25 cents, and then we went to get ice cream."
After two years of ice skating, rollerblading and more movies, they married in 1949.
Mrs. Sublett's family remembers how close she stayed with everyone, whether it was distant cousins or faraway aunts and uncles.
"She was just a very caring, hardworking woman who felt very deeply for her family," Hutton said.
During her time in Columbia, Mrs. Sublett worked as an office manager for Sheep Breeder Magazine, where she dedicated much of her time.
"Back in the day, when we worked for someone, we 'worked' for someone," Duane Sublett said, laughing. "They have a big sheep sale once a year in Sedalia that still goes on, and she was involved with that for Sheep Breeder Magazine up until 1990."
When the couple moved to Eldon, Mrs. Sublett joined the board of the Rocky Mount Fire Protection District and the Rocky Mount Lions Club.
Mrs. Sublett is survived by her husband, Duane Sublett, of Eldon; two daughters, Linda Hutton and husband, Bob, of Columbia, and Amy Sublett of Jefferson City; a brother, James Baumgartner and wife, Anne, of Jefferson City; a granddaughter, Laura Hutton and husband, Frank Koch, of Columbia; a great-granddaughter, Audrey Hutton Koch; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Her brother, Bennie Baumgartner, died earlier.
Visitation will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Memorial Funeral Home, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. Services, with the Rev. Brad Stagg, will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Olivet Christian Church Cemetery, 1991 S. Olivet Road.
Memorial contributions may be made to Olivet Cemetery Association, 1991 S. Olivet Road, Columbia, MO 65201, or the Alzheimer's Association, 2400 Bluff Creek Drive, Columbia, MO 65201.
Condolences can be posted at memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com.