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Gayle Countryman Jones

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Gayle Countryman Jones Obituary
Gayle Countryman Jones Resident of Los Gatos October 26, 1941 - November 24, 2017 Gayle Countryman Jones lived large. Her zest for life was contagious and admirable. A strong passion for helping others drove Gayle to impact many lives, and was felt throughout our community. Complications from Lewy Bodies Dementia brought her to heaven far too soon. Born to Jim and Edna Countryman, founders of Countryman Oldsmobile Cadillac, Gayle was a proud Los Gatos resident. She attended boarding school at Hillbrook, Los Gatos High School, UC Berkeley and Cal State Long Beach. Gayle was a natural beauty with a strong presence that led her to become Miss San Jose and runner-up for Miss California. Gayle began a successful modeling career where she hit the runway for Saks, Macy's and many top brands. Her entrepreneurial spirit sparked the creation of her own modeling agency, Dahl-Jones. In 1965 Gayle married Robert Jones, and Bob began managing Countryman Oldsmobile Cadillac. Eventually they moved to Almaden and began a family with the birth of Robert Jones Jr. in 1968. Jennifer Jones (Jennifer Jones Filice) arrived in 1971. Gayle's generous spirit bloomed when she joined the Junior League of San Jose. She became involved in many League projects, and also devoted her time to Hope Services (producing their annual Fashion Show), Eastfield Ming Quong and Valle Monte to name a few. She joined a number of boards, including San Jose Sports Authority and United Way. Helping in the schools and school district became a major focal point for Gayle. She saw a need to improve the education system, help raise funds and build awareness. When SJUSD considered cuts for sports, Gayle launched the Celebrity Waiter Luncheon. Over 100 celebrities like Ronnie Lott, Bill Walsh, Peggy Fleming, Pablo Morales, many 49ers and SJ Sharks players, and the Mayor of San Jose waited tables on the SJ Arena floor wearing schools' football jerseys collecting "tip money." The event was produced for over 8 years, raising more than $1 million. This led to the Business Partnership office at SJUSD where Gayle donated her time to drive efforts for 150 business-school "adoptions" and sponsorships. She wrote grants and devoted countless hours to help children with resounding results. Gayle was known for producing the annual "Snowball Fashion Show" benefiting Almaden Valley Youth Counseling along with Los Gatos High's Show for CASA. She made it her mission to find students that she could "bring out of their shell" to model. She created a lively show where students of various schools walked the runway and danced to fun music. She brought the community together year after year. It was the highlight of many students' high school years. In 1996 Gayle received her most memorable honor when asked to run the Olympic torch for her work on behalf of children, schools and the community. Gayle excelled at almost all sports but most important was her love for tennis. As one of the best amateurs in her age group, playing on club teams and competing in tournaments locally and nationally, she formed some of her greatest relationships. Gayle loved to travel. She adored Lake Tahoe for its spectacular natural beauty and bought a house at Northstar to enjoy skiing and the mountains with family and friends. Hawaii was another favorite destination. She spent many days with friends and family on the tennis court or at the beach of Mauna Kea. Paris was beloved by Gayle for the wine and food, and for shopping that appealed to her superb taste. Yet, she was a California girl through and through, and Newport Beach was her favorite spot to socialize and play tennis. A loving mother who took great pride in involvement with her kids, Gayle coached soccer and tennis, never missed her children's games, and devoted herself to her family and their friends. One of her greatest joys was that both of her children attended USC. Go Trojans! Once the children were grown, Gayle started a new chapter. She divorced and spent most of her time socializing and playing tennis in Newport Beach where she had a beautiful waterfront home. She also had a home in Los Gatos where she was active in the community, raising money for the LGHS Theatre Improvement Project, was an active member of the Los Gatos Social Club; and she eventually moved back to Los Gatos full time. Gayle was often out and about socializing at Steamer's, Viva's or various events. She loved to dance. It didn't matter what song was playing, she danced, smiling and laughing all the while. Gayle loved art. She loved music. She loved people. She loved Los Gatos. She loved her family. She loved adventure. She loved helping others. She loved Elvis! She loved life! Gayle is predeceased by her parents, Jim and Edna Countryman, and will be missed by many dear friends as well as family. She is survived by her two children, Robert Jones, Jr. (wife Lindsie) and Jennifer Jones Filice (husband Michael Filice), four grandchildren Lauren, Matthew, Braden and Brody. Friends and family are invited to a Celebration of Life honoring Gayle on Friday, January 19, 2018 at 2 pm at La Rinconada Country Club, 14595 Clearview Drive, Los Gatos. Special Thanks to Nora Lawrence for the years with Gayle, Sunrise of Sunnyvale and VITAS Hospice. In lieu of flowers please consider donating to The Lewy Body Dementia Association www.lbda.org/donate or VITAS Hospice www.vitas.com/about-us/how-to-donate.
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times from Dec. 10 to Dec. 15, 2017
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