She leaves behind her daughter, Katherine (Barry) Gregg of Mount Vernon, Ohio; son, Jim (Diane) Nelson of Seattle, Washington; grandchildren, Allison Nelson and Troy Nelson of Seattle, Washington; sister, Carole (Lawrence) Dye of Gallatin; and relatives in Hohenwald.
Gayle was born at home in Hickman County, and attended Freed Hardeman College. Prior to marrying Jerry Nelson, who recently passed on May 10, 2018, she was working part-time as a model and going to beauty school. After their marriage in 1959, they moved to North Bend, Oregon, where they had two children. After a few interim moves, they ultimately settled in Newark, Ohio, in 1964.
Gayle was a stay-at-home mother for 10 years until she took a sales associate job at Sears. She completed her Associate’s degree at the Ohio State University Newark branch and was employed at the Licking County Services Center where she worked for 15 years.
In 1990, Gayle and Jerry began their retirement years by crisscrossing the country in a camper visiting friends and family. They lived for a few years in Rice Lake, Wisconsin, but the cold and snowy winters were just too much for them. They ultimately bought land and built their dream home in Walling in 1997.
Gayle was an accomplished artist in a variety of mediums including oils and acrylics, sculpture, pottery, crochet and sewing. She played the piano and organ, had a beautiful voice and loved to sing. Gayle was a wonderful cook. She was a voracious reader, reading thousands of books over her lifetime. She loved to travel. Jerry and Gayle took many vacations, going as far as New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Hawaii, and cruises in the Caribbean, Mexico, Alaska, and through the Panama Canal.
Gayle was a strong woman, and she had a beautiful smile. She was a three-time cancer survivor: breast, colon, and endometrial cancers. Right up until she passed, she was going to lunch with friends and family, calling and texting.
Gayle loved life, loved her family and friends and was a blessing to so many people.
Funeral service was held at 3 p.m. on Thursday, October 25, 2018 at Oak Lawn Funeral Home in Sparta with Mike Steakley and Ron Dyer officiating. Burial followed in Mt. Pisgah Cemetery in Walling.