Gayle Reese Riehl passed away on Thursday, July 18, 2013. Loving wife of Dr. Paul A. Riehl. Gayle was the daughter of the late Wanda Vallo and the late Milton Reese. She was preceded in death by her brother Henry Reese of Gueydan. She is survived by a sister, Joni Bearden (husband Michael of Huntington Beach CA) and brothers Milton 'Mickey' Reese (wife Gaynell) and Kevin Reese. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews, who lovingly called her "Aunt Gee": Christopher Reese, Amanda Terkanian, Charles Reese, Morgan Bearden, Reese Bearden, and Anna Catherine Reese. Gayle was born in Gueydan, Louisiana on January 20, 1949, and was a resident of New Orleans for many years. She attended LSU, where she was awarded a degree in Music Education. She later attended University of New Orleans and Loyola University. A tireless student, she was fascinated by languages and studied Italian and German. Gayle was an accomplished singer and lover of great music, especially opera, and held season tickets for over 30 years. An advocate of the arts, she supported the symphony and ballet, encouraged and promoted local talent, taught both voice and piano, and was the voice student of the late Michael Presti. She was a member of the "Spumanti Italian Singers," who performed at the Italian Village in the 1984 World's Fair, the New Orleans Hilton, and numerous Italian festivals throughout the state. She was also a member of a German singing group which performed for various local Oktoberfests, as well as the Louisiana Folklife Festival. A community activist, Gayle was a founding member and past president of the East Lakeshore Citizens Against Crime; a board member of the Lakeshore Property Owners' Association; past president of the Lakeshore Garden Club; and past president as well as current president of the Lakeshore Women's Club. A dedicated member of St. Dominic Parish, Gayle was a member of the Missionaries of St. Therese and St. Dominic's Monday Night Fatima Rosary Group. Gayle volunteered at Ronald McDonald House and for many years at Tulane Medical Center. Most recently, she volunteered at the New Orleans Museum of Art for the Pope John Paul II exhibit. A world traveler and avid gardener, Gayle's love of New Orleans history led her to research and organize tours to plantations throughout Louisiana. Gayle's tireless energy and love of life will be missed by her family and numerous friends. Relatives and friends of the family are invited to attend the Funeral Mass to be celebrated at LAKE LAWN METAIRIE FUNERAL HOME, 5100 Pontchartrain Blvd. in New Orleans, on Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 1:00 PM. Interment will follow in All Saints Mausoleum. A visitation will be held at the funeral home beginning at 10:00 AM. To view and sign the guest book, visit www.lakelawnmetairie.com.
Published in TheAdvocate.com from July 21 to July 24, 2013