Gail Hartsfield, 53, a medical lab technician who took hospital patients' blood samples and left them with a kind word, died of cancer Friday at home in West Mount Airy.

Born in West Oak Lane, the former Gail Slott graduated in 1972 from Olney High School. After taking courses at Temple University, she was certified as a lab technician and phlebotomist in 1973.

She worked at Temple University Hospital, the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Medical College of Pennsylvania until joining a Chestnut Hill pediatric group in 1999. When she was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2004, she quit working.

She married Mark Hartsfield in 1985 and the couple raised two sons in Mount Airy. Her children attended Henry Elementary School and she was copresident of the Home and School Association there. She also volunteered for classroom and after-school activities.

Each summer, she packed up her sons and enjoyed weekends at the Beachcomber Swim Club in Blue Bell and family fishing trips to Lake Wallenpaupack in the Poconos.

She also organized Mount Airy clean-ups, fund-raising and tree planting, her husband said. She was named one of 40 Good Neighbors in 1999 by a Mount Airy organization, her husband said.

"Gail taught our sons to work in shelters and for Habitat for Humanity," her husband said.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Hartsfield is survived by a son, Michael; a brother; and a sister. Another son, Brian, died in 2006. Services were yesterday.

Donations may be sent to the Brian Hartsfield Memorial Fund, in care of Citizens Bank, 8616 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia 19118. The fund is for various charities, including shelters and Habitat for Humanity.