Life Dates: -
City Of Birth: North Brook, IL
She is predeceased by her mother Ellen (Vinje) and father William Ponticell; her mother and father-in-law Trudy John Aylward; brother-in-law Drew Eubanks.
Her soul-mate and loving husband of 35 years Peter Aylward; their children Brian and Jonathan; daughter-in-laws Cathy (Grant) and Kelly (Boyce; granddaughter Rebecca; her sister Jane Eubanks, niece Kristen Eubanks, nephew Jay Eubanks, his wife Olivia and son Adlai; Brother in-law Philip Aylward, his wife Kathleen(Lovejoy) and their children David, Andrew and John-Michael; sister in-law Suzanne Aylward.
Gayle grew up in Northbrook, Ill. where she excelled in both academics and athletics. She has many fond memories with her childhood and life long friend Candice Bouchard. She earned a B.S. degree in Medical Technology from Western Michigan University in 1971. She married Peter in August of 1972 and moved to Rochester, NY. She worked at Rochester General Hospital part time while raising their family. Then she worked at Ortho Clinical Diagnostics for over 15 years as a quality assurance engineer and group supervisor. Gayle was content with the simple pleasures of life and loved to be at home with family and friends. Working in her gardens, watching the birds, playing with her granddaughter, teaching her children and watching them grow and mature into outstanding adults, reading a book, singing in the church choir and walking on the beach brought her great joy. To know her was to be her friend. She loved to laugh and smile and always lit up the room - even from her hospital bed. The best medicine for cancer is laughter. "It may claim my body but never my spirit." She always wore an angelic smile in both sickness and health. She was content with her life and wanted to be remembered as a kind and caring friend. To her family and friends: "I'll see you in heaven but don't hurry." She leaves her family and friends with heavy hearts and a void that can never be filled. While we have many fond memories, they are no substitute for holding hands, a loving embrace or seeing that smile. She has touched our lives and has provided us with a lesson in living even while facing adversity. She was courageous yet stoic in her battle and the most graceful person you would ever know. She faced cancer without asking why me. She lived by her belief--See the positive, be a loving friend and you will have loving friends. Gayle loved life The simple things were all she needed. She loved her family and tried to make it special She was the glue that helped to hold it together. She was the doctor, the nurse, the teacher, an example of how to live, the loving mom, and the loving life-long partner. She lived the life that she wanted - simple and not requiring a lot. She liked her home. She was content to stay home and curl up in a chair, sit by the fire, snuggle on the sofa Watching the birds Reading a book,Sleeping in on the weekends. Gayle was a beautiful person on many dimensions. She loved to be with her friends. Keeping in touch with family and friends. Gayle loved to laugh, Laughing was her favorite thing to do. She saw the humorous side of things and lived her life with a laugh and a smile. To know Gayle was to laugh with her. To know her was to be her life long friend. The best medicine for cancer was laughter. She cared for others more than herself. Her belief in God, Her never-ending optimistism, Always encouraging others Setting an example of how to be a good person. Her ability to find the good in everything. Her knowledge of many topics. Her desire to learn and share with others. Her desire to teach others. The best way to teach is to be an example of how you lead your life. Her loving and caring nature. Her reassuring voice Her kindly presence. Her loving embrace. Her strong work ethic. She seldom complained even with cancer. She didn't want her loved-ones to worry. She didn't like cancer but she embraced it. She would say that it's not what you have but how you deal with what you have that demonstrates what type of person you are. She was a very strong person and wasn't afraid. We are all dying from the minute we are born. I just know what I will die from. Sooner than I would like. Cancer sucks! She never said, why me. She hated cancer and going for treatments but She loved being with her friends She loved seeing the nurses and other people at the chemo center. She loved to be pampered with the manicures and foot massages. She loved to exercises during the treatments. She loved it when they were over and it was time to go home. She loved to sing. She always had a song on her lips. It made her smile. The choir was great. A lot of good long lasting friendships. The shower was great for singing too. Listening to a song on the radio was also reason enough to sing. To her friend Jean- "Remember our song Rocky-Mountain Way." She loved to dance. A great teacher, too bad Peter had two left feet and was death-of-beat She had tough feet. She used this as an opportunity to take the lead. Gayle always found the positive in every aspect of life. Her nickname was at work was Pollyanna. Gayle loved ice-cream. She would never passed an Abbott's without suggesting that we stop for an ice cream or a sundae. Her favorite ice cream was chocolate, vanilla, cookie dough, pistachio, pumpkin, cherry or any other flavor being offered. She never found a flavor she didn't like. She loved long walks. A walk around the block every morning before the sun. A walk on the pier or along the canal or in the woods. She loved to fly a kite. A slow walk around the block holding hands was great. Skipping stones was a lot of fun. She just loved to be outdoors. She loved to ride her bike. She loved quiet evenings by the fire. She loved a quiet night at home with a special dinner. She loved a glass of wine but she really loved a Manhattan with a cherry (a good Kentucky bourdon or Crown Royal was the best). She loved spring, the warm sun and the cool breezes of summer. The smell after a warm rain. She loved to work in her gardens. Planting flowers was the best. Smelling flower was a favorite past time. She would get excited with the first crocrise and daffodils of the year. The roses always brought a fresh smell to the house. Lilacs were her favorite She hated the bunnies when they ate the flowers but on the other hand they had to eat to live. Growing vegetables was never easy especially when a couple of boys would use them for target practice with their BB guns. She loved the birds. The hawks were always great fun to watch. Bluebirds were her favorite. Cardinals and Orioles were a close second. The bird feeder by the kitchen window was always great. She loved it when the chickadees would eat seed from her hand. Her eyes would light up and she would get very excited. She didn't like the cat next door especially when it lay in wait for the birds but the cat was OK if it would catch a mouse. The cat was just being a cat and doing what was natural. Just stay away from my birds! She loved to travel. Learning new phrases, New places to explore, New places to eat, Warm sandy beaches, The many sights, sounds and taste of Italy. She really didn't like the Autobon or at least the high speeds. Getting lost in the back streets of Venice,Varenna and the Lake District was her favorite. Sitting on the patio with a glass of wine and eating some great cheese and bread was great. Having to soak her feet in a cool tub of water because of Chemo. The wildlife and scenery of Alaska Up close and personal with the glaciers. The never ending, ever-changing landscape, bays and mountains. The eagles were the best.The bears were neat. The sound of the surf in Hawaii all night long. Snorkeling with the turtles and sharks was exciting. Still looking for the Petroliths in Volcano National Park. Florida was great, Lots of birds and alligators. Disney World was lots of fun. She didn't care of the tower of terror, The rock and roll coaster space mountain were more to her liking. Sailing was OK. She didn't care much for racing. An afternoon summer sail on a Shirley day. A moonlit sail with a glass of wine. Sailboat cruising was fun. Time to kickback with friends Charlie and Renee'. Time to watch the moon rise and feel the warm summer breezes. The glacial waters of Primners Coves were exhilarating but someone else is going in first the next time. The docking drill wasn't her favorite. She suffered with migraines and upset stomach and that made travel difficult but on the other hand there are a few trees here and there that owe their size and health to the extra fertilizer. She loved her granddaughter and watching her grow. The unbridle excitement and the uncontrolled giggles. Rebecca was a wild woman and always on the go. Pulling things out of the cupboards Stacking the bowls, knocking them down, restacking them. Looking through the JC Penny Christmas catalog. Looking for the bunnies. Looking for the nays and the moos. Having grandma read to her. She loved the big hugs and kisses. She loved her work. Or at least the people. Crossing the "t's" and dotting the "i's" wasn't what she liked but you better make sure your documents are correct. It was the social aspect that was the best. Eating lunch at the beach. Staying in contact with her friends. Sharing stories about her granddaughter. She loved to go gambling. The casinos were great. The U-Key (Ukrainian) fest was a good time. The food was good but over and under was better especially when she won. She loved to play the slots. BAR! BAR! BAR!What she loved the best was laughing with her friends Dave and Deb. She loved her jewelry, Rings, pendants, earrings, bracelets -- She never meet one she didn't like. She loved the small little boxes in her stocking gifts at Christmas or any other time. Diamonds were her best friend but sapphires, emeralds, rubies, pearls, gold, silver were always good friends. She always wore them in good taste and didn't try to wear them all at the same time. Christmas time was a different story. The wooden elf and snowmen earrings and Santa bracelet were a favorite. Jon never wanted to be seen with her at work at Christmas time. She loved the playgroup when the kids were young. She loved it more when the kids were grown and it was just her friends. She developed a lasting relationship with her friends Renee', Donna, Vicky and Marybeth. It was a time to talk with someone taller than a doorknob. It was an excuse to have lunch, a glass of wine. It was an opportunity to regain her sanity. The playgroup (minus the kids)still gets together for birthdays- anyone that has a birthday is a reason enough to get together. She will be there is spirit. She loved her children and the memories: Watching them grow and learn, Watching them master new skills, Teaching them to share, Teaching them to care more about others than themselves. Being a medic and helping them heal, Setting a good example, Watching all those ball games in the cold, Despite the gray hairs, Pulling Jon out of the tree on his first day of school because he didn't want to get on the school bus. Jumping off the roof into the snow banks Shooting their BB guns at her tomatoes, Chasing the birds away, The late nights, The social gathering spot for the neighborhood-Mark, Matt, Nate, Ted, Shawn and Jimmy. Many nights with little sleep, Shooting BB's at his brother in the corn field, Seeing them getting married, Becoming a grandmother, Watching her children become the teacher, She lived by her convictions, A strong relationship with God, A belief in doing good, A belief in others Be content with your life (Making someone smile or laugh is all you need), Thinking of others before yourself, Teach others to share There is good in everything (well maybe not cancer, but on the other hand I'm am a strong person), She loved people and loved life. She loved everything and everyone. You were all her friends. At death we live on in the memories, in the hearts and minds of our loved ones and friends. I guess that I will be living-on for some time. "Remember" that I love you forever. "See you in heaven. I'll save you a seat but don't hurry".
Donations may be sent to Webster Comfort Care, 700 Holt Rd, Webster NY 14580 or the U of R Women`s Cancer Fund, 125 Latimore Rd, Rochester NY 14620
Gayle`s calling hours will be Thursday, August 30th from 5-8PM. Her Memorial Mass will be held 9:30 AM on Friday at St. Mark`s Church. Inurnment private.
Special thanks to: Our family and friends for their prayers and support. The play group: especially Renee and Donna--being there for both of us and our family-- you are the best! The Deb's for your caring support and making Gayle feel special. Mrs. Z, Sandy, Deb and Deb, Renee', Donna, Paula, Suzanne, Vicki for the food. Stan, Dave and Jim for keeping the lawn cut so I could be with Gayle. St. Marks' support group, The bible study group, Her OCD work colleagues and especially the group that came to the house for spring planting, The caring doctors, nurses and staff at Dr. Angel, Dubeshter and Toy's office and chemo center (Kim, Gina, Tracy, Sandy) The nurses and staff on 5-East at Highland Hospital- thanks for the compassionate and caring support.
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