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Bonnie Belle Gayle

Bonnie Gayle PicIt is with deep sadness that the family of Bonnie Gayle, a loving mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend, announce that she passed away on Monday, June 29, 2020 at a local health facility. This dark-haired beautiful, gracious lady began her life’s experiences in Lovelady on April 12, 1935. She was the youngest child born to Benjamin Eason Smith, Sr. and Irma Sullivan Smith. Bonnie joined her older siblings, brother, Ben Eason, Jr. and sister, Barbara. The three youngsters enjoyed a pleasant childhood in that small town playing with great neighborhood friends. Unfortunately, brother, Ben Eason’s brain tumor operation at age eleven created health complications which included paralysis. This situation prompted a move of twelve miles for the family to the town of Crockett where Bonnie entered elementary school. Her academic achievements, talents, and friendly personality traits were always visible during her high school years which contributed toward many honors, including being drum major in the band. Bonnie graduated from Crockett High School in 1953 and entered The University of Texas in Austin. She continued her baton skills as she was chosen to be a Texas Star majorette with the well-known Longhorn Band and was a nominee for the Annual Bluebonnet Belle of U.T. Bonnie earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in education and later in life, she acquired a Master’s Degree in Administration. While at U.T., Bonnie met a fellow student, Kenneth Wersebe, who became her husband in 1956. Her teaching career began in Pensacola, FL while Lt. Ken Wersebe was training to become a Naval Pilot. His next assignment was in Quonset Point, Rhode Island, and Bonnie was thrilled that her faculty colleagues there were pleased to have a Texan as a fellow teacher. A few years later, Bonnie taught at several Texas school districts including Houston, Fort Worth, and Austin. She completed her career as an educator at Crockett ISD. In 1968, Bonnie married Vernon Oliver Gayle, Jr., a former resident of Crockett, and the family lived in Mississippi for many years. A person could always depend on some laughter when visiting with Bonnie because of her sharp wit and humorous comments. She could quickly write a clever little jingle or poem. Bonnie began each day with reading Bible Scriptures and a devotional book with her cup of coffee. She had an extraordinary faith and relationship with God. Bonnie dearly loved her family. A light has definitely disappeared from our lives, and Bonnie Belle will be greatly missed by her family and friends, —gone but never forgotten.

Bonnie is survived by son, Vernon “Buddy” Gayle, III; daughter, Karolyn Wersebe Killian and husband, Don; grandchildren, Kayla Killian Hirsch and husband, Derek, Sara Jane Killian, Christopher, Zachary, Gabriella Wersebe; step-granddaughter, Deshonda Durrett; great-granddaughters, Delaney and Sunnie Hirsch; daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Wersebe; sister, Barbara Parker and husband, L.A; many loving nephews, nieces, cousins and friends. She was preceded in death by her son, Kent Wersebe who died January 2020; parents, Ben and Irma Smith; and brother, Ben Eason Smith, Jr.

Graveside services for Bonnie Belle Gayle will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, July 11, 2020 in the Lovelady Evergreen Cemetery. Visitation will be held Friday evening from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Callaway-Allee Funeral Home.

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  1. I am so deeply saddened at Bonnie’s passing. She and my brother Carl Renfro were classmates. Made many band trips with CHS as my mother was always a chaperone and I was officially taken care of by Bonnie and the girls. ( I was about three years old). Think of her so often and know she will be missed. Prayers and love to you all.

  2. Worked with Barbara in Crockett. You could always expect a big smile and lots of laughter when she was around. Prayers for her family and may God bless.

  3. I am so saddened to learn of Bonnie’s passing. We have been friends for many years and enjoyed lots of fun and experiences during our high school years. She was always the “life of the party”! Our friendship continued through the years to this very day. I miss her and extend my condolences to her family.

  4. Am so sorry for your loss. Although I was older, I crossed paths with Bonnie many times. Bonnie and my brother, Norm, were good friends in the same 1953 class. When she entered University of Texas, I was a graduate student there and loved watching a Crockett girl perform as a Texas Star. In addition to being a fun loving person with a great personality, Bonnie was very thoughtful. I discovered (and still have) a signed and dated booklet of inspirational articles my mother received from Bonnie when my father was ill. She will be missed!

  5. I am sad to hear of Bonnie passing away. I’ve known her my entire life and she was such a high quality person. She was beautiful both inside and out. She was great at everything she did and accomplished much. Prayers go out to the family!!

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