Raychelle La Jean Gaston was born on April 11, 1964 in Memphis, Tennessee. She is the first born daughter of James and Jean Gaston. She got her wings on Saturday, May 4, 2013 when she was killed in a tragic accident.
Shortly after her birth, Raychelle moved with her family to the west coast. After living in San Diego as a child, the family moved to Milton, Florida in 1970 and then to Pensacola in 1975. As a teenager, Raychelle gave her life to Christ and frequented local churches. She attended Escambia County public schools.
In 1979, she began Booker T. Washington High School where she was a freshman, junior varsity, and varsity cheerleader. She was voted Homecoming Queen and "The Most Spirited" during her senior year.
Raychelle graduated high school with honors in 1982 and went on to attend Pensacola Junior College after winning a two-year-scholarship from Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. While attending PJC during the day, Raychelle spent her nights as the lead vocalist of "The Touch" R&B cover band.
In 1983, Raychelle left Pensacola again for the West Coast where she worked several jobs including being a sales representative for Pitney Bowes. She remained there until 1988 when she returned to Pensacola to be with her family. Raychelle worked a variety of jobs including as a salesperson for Fashion Fair cosmetics and a customer service representative for Cox Communications.
Raychelle loved people and her biggest joys were becoming a mother in 1990 and a grandmother in 2012. She also met and married Carlton Andrew Shoemoe. They remained married for eight years.
In 1998, Raychelle rededicated her life to Christ and joined Deliverance Tabernacle Christian Center. She started volunteering her services after being led by God to do so. After about one month of volunteering, she was hired as an administrative assistant. As the church grew, Raychelle's roles and responsibilities also grew. From Director of Ministry Operations to being named Chief of Staff in 2005, Raychelle became instrumental in almost every facet of the ministry. She was also a member of the ministerial team, the Singles' Pastor, the Secretary of the General Board and was ordained as an Elder of the church.
Raychelle also attended the University of West Florida where she majored in communications. With a natural radio voice and the gift of gab, Raychelle became the morning news host on WRNE-AM 980 in Gulf Breeze from 1990 to 2003. She also served as emcee, host, and speaker around town to various community and church events including the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. parade. Her list of television and radio shows include Community Central and Single but not Alone. Raychelle's face and voice can also be seen and heard on local promotional videos, television and radio commercials and public service announcements.
Raychelle was preceded in death by her grandparents, Arthur and Kate Black of Memphis, Tennessee and grandfather, Clyde Gaston of Springfield, Illinois.
She leaves behind to cherish her memories: a daughter, Haley (Dante Sr.) Morrissette and grandson, Dante Jr., all of Pensacola, Florida; her loving and devoted parents, James and Jean Gaston of Pensacola, Florida; sisters Sharon (Richard) Gaston-Halttunen of Potomac, Maryland and Taja Jordan of Pensacola, Florida; a brother, Quintin Brittenum of Memphis, Tennessee; a grandmother, Magnolia Gaston of Springfield, Illinois; special niece Courtney Brewington of Portland, Oregon; numerous uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, nephews, her Deliverance Tabernacle Family, and a host of very close and loving friends.
Raychelle was a phenomenal woman who was dedicated to God, her family, her church family, and friends. She never met a stranger and she touched the lives of everyone she encountered. To say she was well-loved is an understatement, and no words can express how much she will be missed.
A public viewing will be held May 10, 2013, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Joe Morris & Son Funeral Home, located at 701 N. Devilliers St., Pensacola, FL 32501. A wake will be held the same day from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Deliverance Tabernacle Christian Center, located at 1780 West Detroit Boulevard, Pensacola, FL 32534
Her celebration of life will be held Saturday, May 11, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. also at Deliverance Tabernacle Christian Center. Both the wake and the funeral can be viewed live on line at www.deliverancetab.org/streaming.html
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