Thomas Ronald Gayler, "Tommy" to all who knew and loved him, died unexpectedly April 16, 2014. Tommy was born on February 26, 1959, in Summerville, Ga. He currently was living in Cedar Bluff, Ala., at Weiss Lake.
Tommy Gayler was legendary throughout Northwest Georgia. He first began working at JD Hill Funeral Home, where he was required to wear a suit even when mowing the grass. He then entered the paramedic program at the University of Alabama in Birmingham at the young age of 17. After completing the program, he went on to work for Tri-County EMS, where he worked with some awesome folks who became lifelong friends. From there, he went south to Douglas County, where he worked as a Paramedic, Firefighter
and Educator. He was one of the first medics hired to work at Douglas General Hospital Emergency Department.
He studied at West Georgia College and Floyd College to obtain his Associate Degree and become a Registered Nurse. He worked for many years at Redmond Regional Medical Center in the Emergency Department; first as a medic, then staff nurse and educator. He then went on to fly as a flight nurse for Emory LifeNet air ambulance service. He progressed from flight nurse to educator, and then became the program director for LifeNet in Georgia. He flew with a great bunch of people; nurses, medics, pilots and mechanics. He was also privileged to participate in rescue efforts during Hurricane Katrina.
Tommy also had many great adventures to foreign countries flying fixed wing medical transport. From South America, Italy, Egypt and even Russia and China just to name a few. The China trip was quite an adventure if you ever have heard the story!
He finally came back to earth from flying and became the Director of the Emergency Department at Redmond Regional Hospital. He worked with a wonderful group of nurses and support staff and has many friends throughout the hospital.
Tommy, however, wanted to spend more time with his family and stepped down as director. He became a contract worker for Floyd Medical Center, helping with the transition to electronic medical records. He went on to work PRN at FMC in the Emergency Department. If his wife was lucky enough, some nights he got to work there with her. He also did some shifts in CCU at Floyd.
He got the opportunity to travel as a contract nurse helping hospitals transition to electronic medical records with the company Training Wheel.
Tommy finally decided it was time to slow down and spend more time at home; enjoy the lake, his friends and family. Tommy had been hired at Polk Medical Center in the Emergency Department. He truly enjoyed working with the staff there.
It wasn't all about work. Tommy had many friends whose company he enjoyed. His BBQ skills, musical taste and ability to host phenomenal parties at the "Gayler Hacienda" at Weiss Lake were simply out of this world.
Most of all, he loved his family. His wife, Sharon, and son, Matt, were his world as he was to them. He and Sharon would have been married 26 years this August 28th. He still proposed to her on a regular basis. Their most recurring disagreement was over who loved the other the most.
His son, Matt, was his heart, his buddy, his pride and joy. Tommy was very proud of the young man that Matt has become. Matt and his dad were a pair, both enjoying each other's company, whether watching SEC football, working on projects or trying to see who was the better shot at the gun range.
Tommy leaves behind his wife, Sharon; and son, Matt, both of Cedar Bluff, Ala.; his mother, Magge; and brother, Randy Gayler, both of Summerville, Ga.; uncle, Marvin Jones; aunt, Bobbye Jones; aunt, Margaret Henderson; and numerous cousins. Also friends, Milford, Beth, Larry, Jessica, Adam, Jean, Susan and Rusty. There are many, many more than can be listed here.
A celebration of life service will be held at Centre First United Methodist Church, Centre, AL, on April 25th at 1 p.m. CST. Perry Funeral Home, Centre, AL, directing. www.perryfuneral.net