Gayle was born to Chester Melvin and Lulu Marguerite Goodnow at the family ranch near Esparto on Dec. 3, 1925. Last Sunday, June 5, 2011, Gayle died at age 85. She attended Capay Grammar School, in which her own aunt Edna was one of her teachers. In those days there was a row for each of the grades, and each was taught at their own level as the day progressed. Gayle also helped her father and mother on the farm, along with her big brother Art, during her growing-up years.
She graduated from Esparto High School in 1943 and then went on to Heald's Business College in Sacramento where she received her two-year degree and went to work for AAA when it was on Main Street near the State Theater.
Gayle met her future husband, Alvin Leroy Hiatt, at the wedding reception of her cousin Lois Parker, with Alvin being Rick's (Lois's groom) best man. Gayle and Alvin were married on May 24, 1947. For two years they lived with his parents while they built the home on Court Street which would be their home as well to their children, James Melvin, David Jeffrey, and Randell Daren Hiatt as the years passed. In time she would also be blessed with grandchildren, James Matthew Goodnow Hiatt, David Adam, Sarah Anne and Carrie Rae Hiatt.
Gayle was very active in the St. John's Church, and loved singing in the choir. She was devoted to her family, and had many wonderful friends who knew her to be giving and selfless.
She is survived by her three sons, four grandchildren, her cousin Lois, who is still with us, a grandson-in-law, Eric Laugenour; and in Arizona by her niece, Sara Stewart and her family.
There will be a viewing from 6 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, June 15, at McNary's Funeral Chapel, 458 College St., Woodland. A funeral service is scheduled at 11 a.m., Thursday, June 16, at St. John's United Church of Christ, 434 Cleveland St. A commitment service will follow at the Capay Cemetery, 24727 County Road 22 in Esparto.
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