Gayle Joanne Thomas, 82, of Sweet Home stepped into eternity on May 1, 2021 where she joined her late husband, Larry. She was the 16th and last child of Otto and Pearl Slater, and was born at their home in Quartzville, near Foster, Oregon.
Gayle attended Sunnyside grade school, Sweet Home High School, and graduated from Seattle Pacific College in 1961. She married Larry Thomas in 1962, and they lived in North Hollywood and Burbank, California for 7 years, where their 2 children, Corey Thomas and Angie Emmert, were born.
They returned to Sweet Home in 1969, and Gayle became a first-grade teacher at Liberty School there. She continued her teaching career for 27 years, and developed friendships with many of her students that lasted her entire life.
Gayle and Larry were members of the Sweet Home Evangelical Church, and were also active in other churches in the area. They were known for their selflessness and generosity throughout the area. They both loved fishing and camping, and especially enjoyed traveling to Alaska via the Alcan Highway.
She is survived by her son, Corey Thomas and his wife Lisa of Sweet Home; daughter, Angie Emmert and her husband Greg of Salem; brother, Caryl Slater of LaPine; sister, Shirley Anderson of Sitka, Alaska; as well as 5 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.
Larry preceded Gayle in death on June 18, 2020.
A celebration of life service will be held at 3 pm on Sunday, May 16th at the Sweet Home Evangelical Church. A private burial will be held at Gilliland Cemetery.
Sweet Home Funeral Chapel is handling arrangements.