It is with heavy hearts that the family of Gayle Smith, age 59, shares that she passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, February 26, 2023 in Davidson, North Carolina. She had recently relocated to North Carolina to spend more time with her older daughter and grandsons and to enjoy some nicer weather. Prior to this, Gayle was a resident of Plymouth, Indiana most of her life.
Gayle was born on November 17, 1963 in Howell, Michigan to Don A. “Buck” Whitaker and Lillian Lee (Harper) Whitaker. Gayle moved to Plymouth, Indiana as a young child and attended Plymouth Community Schools. She was an avid softball player in her youth.
Gayle married Joseph “Nick” Warner on September 28, 1979 and together they had one daughter, Andrea. Gayle married Phillip Smith on January 27, 1989 and were together until his death in 2009. They had two children, Elizabeth and Sean. Together they enjoyed bowling, softball, and traveling for their children’s sporting events.
Gayle was a hard worker all her life and at times was known as a “workaholic.” The bulk of her career was in insurance, and she was very knowledgeable in her field, which brought her a great deal of pride in her work and for serving her community. She enjoyed bowling and playing Boggle with a special group of ladies. Her favorite times were spent watching her children, Elizabeth and Sean, play sports, especially basketball. Her grandchildren, Austin Parker, Alex Parker, and Hudson Wood were her greatest source of pride. She would never admit to being a dog person but that is who she came to be over the last several years. Her favorite companion was Dakota “Kota”, a mini Pomeranian, which she tragically lost late in 2022 at the age of 15. She had recently adopted a yorkie named Murphy Bean. Gayle always had a sweet tooth and would never say no to a yummy dessert. She also loved sunshine, being outdoors, and working with tools and electronics.
Gayle was also known for the empathy, love, and support she gave to her family and friends. She was a caretaker for many in their final days, a difficult task for anyone. Gayle cared for her husband, Phil during his battle with ALS. She cared for her companion, Tom Williams when he passed away in 2017. She also cared for her friend, Cindy Procter of Plymouth, Indiana until her death in 2022.
Gayle was preceded in death by her parents, her in-laws, Bill and Kay Smith, her brother, Kirby L. Whitaker and brothers-in-law, Robert Spicer and Robin Smith. Surviving are her other four siblings, Bruce Whitaker and Linda of Fullerton, CA, Shelley (Whitaker) and Rick Shafer of Argos, Mark Whitaker of Indianapolis, and Anita (Whitaker) Spicer of Argos. She is also survived by her children, Andrea (Warner) and Bayan Reed of Davidson, NC; Elizabeth Smith (boyfriend John Reed) of Spencerville, and Sean Smith (long-time girlfriend Lacey Suess) of Plymouth as well as her three grandsons, Austin, Alex, and Hudson. She leaves behind many nieces and nephews, cousins, and special friends whom she loved so dearly.
To honor Gayle’s wishes, no formal funeral will be held. Instead, a Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday, March 9, 2023 from 2-4 p.m. at the American Legion Post #27 in Plymouth. Family and friends are invited to come share a meal, memories, or time with her family. There will be no formal speaker, service, or program. Burial will be at New Oak Hill Cemetery, next to her late husband, Phillip.
Memorial contributions may be made in her name to The ALS Association – Indiana Chapter 9449 Priority Way West Drive, Suite 130, Indianapolis, Indiana 46240 in hopes to find a cure.
Celebration of Life
1040 E. Jefferson St., Plymouth, IN 46563
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Kim Kyser says
You will be dearly missed. You definitely were special in my heart. Rest in peace.🙏
Phyllis GERSTNER says
It is truly with a heavy heart. I send this message of love and sympathy to Anita and the entire family. I am so sorry for this tragic loss and your family and I pray that God will wrap his arms around each and everyone of you. Blessings.
Sarah Young says
I am so sorry to hear this shocking and tragic news. Her family is in my heart and on my mind, especially Sean, whom I see frequently throughout each week in Plymouth.
I think of Gayle as a true gem. Please accept my sincere condolences.
Neysa and Liz McFarland says
For Gayle’s Family
We are so sad for your loss of Gayle. She was a wonderful person. So caring and giving to others.
Wonderful memories to all of you.
Neysa and Liz
Katie Plencner says
I’m so sorry for her family’s loss. I groomed her dog Kota for many years. Her and Cindy would always drop him off. Gayle always had a huge smile on her face. It could light up a whole room. She was a very caring and compassionate woman and I will greatly miss her.
Marcia Firestone says
Gayle was a childhood friend. She had a beautiful soul. RIP ❤️🩹
Wendy Stinger says
My deepest sympathy on the loss of this beloved lady. May she rest in peace, and may her memory be a blessing. Sending lots of love and prayers to Gayle’s loved ones.
Randy Danielson says
So sorry to learn this unexpected news of Gayle’s passing. She was a jewel of a person and always expressed her appreciation for others. I will miss bumping into her.
Marilyn J. Newbbould says
My sincere condolences to Gayle’s family.
Rest In Peace, Gayle
Janet. Newberg says
Shelley and family, So sorry for the passing of your sister. You are all in my prayers. Peace to her memory.
Sacha Deloney says
Since condolences to the family.
Jane Abair says
So very sorry for your loss. Sending love and prayers to the family.
donna cole says
Had alot of good times with Gayle. Such a wonderful gal. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family. God bless and keep you all.
Linda Lacher says
Bruce and I are so very sorry to hear of Gayles passing. She will be missed by so many. She touched many of us in many different ways through the years. May she rest in peace.
Bruce & Linda Lacher
Tina Bunton says
I feel completely heartbroken Gayle was one of oldest dearest friend I had I’m gonna miss her spirit in this cruel world. RIP MY DEAR FRIEND love you Gayle
Shane P. Albright says
Such a sweet person, she will be missed.
Donna Palbykin says
I’m so heartbroken to get that phone call that Gayle passed away. I have such great memories of her. As a teenager she would cancel her plans with her friends just so she could babysit my daughter Shanda that she truly adored & my daughter loved her in return. I sent her a message when she was packing up to move. I told her just how special of a angel she was to me and how much I loved her and was so blessed to have had her in my life. Gayle you earned your wings on earth, so I know you earned your wings in heaven. I already miss you. RIP sweet Gayle until we meet again. ❤️💔
Jennifer Beatty says
😢So sorry to hear of Gayle’s passing….
She was beautiful friend inside and out. Gayle loved her family deeply! 🙏🏼Praying for comfort at this most difficult time.
She will be truly missed.🥰
Betsy Story says
I an so very sorry to learn of Gayle’s passing. She and her family were so close to my parents. All my sympathy goes out to you.
Tracy Casey says
Gayle was such an amazing person ! I have known her basically my whole life! We played softball together for years and she even coached my team one year! Even though I haven’t seen her in years, I know without a doubt she will be missed greatly! By many! My heartfelt sympathy to all her family and friends! Hold tight to all the Happy memories!
Barb Lowry says
As a former co-worker of Gayle’s, I am extremely saddened to learn of her tragic passing. She was always such a sweet, caring person who would do anything for anyone. Never knew a stranger. I am so blessed to have her as a friend. My deepest sympathy to all of her family. Sending prayers of comfort during this very difficult time.
Sandra Thoden says
I am so sorry for your loss. Liz played b-ball with our daughter and Sean was a classmate of our daughter as well as a good friend. Thinking of you and your family and lifting you up in prayer.
Btidget Harrell says
I am so sorry for your loss.
Praying for your family as you go through this hard time.
Gary Montague says
My thoughts prayers are with Gayle and her family. Gayle was a child hood friend. she was a very good person. God Bless her.
Dawn Pynaert says
Neech, Andrea, Lyzz, Sean and Family,
We are so sorry to hear this heartbreaking news about Gayle. She was a dear friend to many including our family and one of the most giving and caring people we knew. She always went above and beyond. Please know how much she was liked and loved. Hugs to all, you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Mike and Dawn Pynaert