Gayle Gorden (Rhea) Barrett, 82, of Madisonville Texas, passed away on Saturday, June 23, 2018. A celebration of her life is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 27, at First United Methodist Church in Madisonville, with the Rev. Jim Jackson officiating. Burial will immediately follow at Madisonville City Cemetery. Visitation will be from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, June 26, at Day Funeral Home Chapel in Madisonville.
Gayle was born March 22, 1936, in Wharton, to Floyd Raymond Rhea and Jewel (Gorden) Rhea. She graduated from Wharton High School in 1954. Gayle was named Miss Wharton County, Miss El Campo Splash Day and Miss South Texas. She attended Wharton Junior College where she was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, the debate team, the Starlettes Drill Team and was a cheerleader. She graduated with honors from the University of Texas in 1958, with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Upon her graduation, she worked for Humble Oil Co.
Gayle married Melvin Harold “Buddy” Barrett on Jan. 31, 1959, in Wharton. Subsequent to their marriage, Buddy and Gayle moved to the family home place in Madisonville, where they raised their four children, Tammy Ann (Barrett) Hoke, Tina Louise Barrett, William Harold Barrett and Raymond Basye Barrett.
Gayle was a member of First United Methodist Church in Madisonville. Along with her husband, she was a charter member of Oak Ridge Country Club. She was President of the Country Club’s “Fun and Frolic” Ladies Association, and oversaw the publication of their cookbook in 1986. She was also a member of the Madison County Museum.
Gayle’s greatest love was for her family. She cherished family day each Sunday, with church, lunch and quality time together. She believed the greatest accomplishment anyone could ever have was to raise their children with Christian values. God blessed Gayle with incredible strength, wisdom and grace. She was a beautiful person inside and out, and always thought of others before herself.
Gayle was preceded in death by her parents and by her sister, Margaret Ellen McMullen. She is survived by her beloved family; husband Melvin Harold “Buddy” Barrett, children Tammy (Barrett) Hoke and husband Jimmy, Tina Louise Barrett, William Harold Barrett and wife Angela, and Raymond Basye Barrett and wife Laura. She is remembered in love by her grandchildren, Lance Edward Hoke, Dana Louise Hoke and Brynna Rhea Barrett. Also left to cherish Gayle’s memory are her sisters, Judy Rhea Barbour and Mary Ann Rhea, along with her lifelong helper and friend, Ruby Merchant.
Serving as pallbearers are Woody Barrett, Lance Hoke, Atwood Standley, Duane Standley, Jim Standley and Craig Stover. Honorary pallbearers are Kenneth Andrews, W.C. “Bunkin” Bennett, Ray Brown, John Hardy, Don Lasiter, David Stiver and Dave Ward.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be given to First United Methodist Church of Madisonville, 102 S. McIver St., Madisonville, TX 77864.