Gayle Wilson Olson passed away peacefully on September 11, 2021, at age 92.
She was born October 12, 1928, in Payson, Utah, to Lloyd H. and Eleen McClellan Wilson. Gayle grew up in Payson with her four sisters who remained her dearest friends throughout her life. Gayle attended Payson High School where she excelled as a student and in extracurricular activities including acrobatic dancing, yearbook editor, and President of the Thespian Club. She enjoyed two years as a cheerleader, “yelling my lungs out and wearing myself out at every game.” She worked at City Drug Store, and was Rodeo Day Queen and Onion Days Queen. Gayle received the prestigious Knight Scholarship to attend BYU but “romance won out” and she opted for marriage over college.
Gayle married her high school sweetheart, Darwin W. Olson, on February 5, 1947, in the Salt Lake Temple. They were happily married for 56 years. Darwin preceded her in death on February 19, 2003.
In 1957, Gayle and Darwin purchased a home in Provo which offered room for a bakery oven and a growing family. While raising 11 children, Gayle helped create wedding cakes for thousands of happy couples, never failing to deliver. She made tiny birthday cakes so parents could surprise their college students with a “happy birthday” delivery. Gayle catered pastries, bread, and desserts for local cafes, hospitals, country clubs and motels.
Gayle was a living example of tireless and caring service to her community. She was never about social status, fashion, or possessions. She only cared about service to her family and others. She taught her children by example as they delivered her homemade bread, cinnamon rolls, and meals to neighbors in need. Gayle was known to stop frequently and offer rides to BYU students. She was a faithful member of the LDS Church, serving as a Sunday School and Primary Teacher, Drama Director of Mutual, and President of the Relief Society. She and Darwin served as Ordinance Workers in the Provo and St. George LDS temples.
In her later years, Gayle enjoyed traveling with Darwin and her sisters. She commemorated their trips – from Hawaii to New York City to Canada to the Rose Bowl – by writing creative poems about their adventures. Gayle dearly loved her four sisters: Donna Peery, Helen Davis, Kay Hansen, and Linda Renzello. They were the best of friends who enjoyed playing games, attending band concerts, and going to the temple and out to lunch. Gayle passionately cheered for her beloved BYU sports teams and Jazz basketball.
Gayle’s family was her greatest joy – everything she did was for her family. Darwin and Gayle have 6 sons, 5 daughters, 49 grandchildren and 85 great grandchildren. She was particularly proud that her six sons served LDS missions and all her children were married in the temple.
She will forever be honored and cherished by her children: Barry (Bari), Dallan (Angelia), Kevin (Ellen-Anita), Paul (Luanne), Gordon (Annette), Martin (Lori), Darla (Don Lyman), Shauna (John Horn), Mary Ann (Mike Morley), Karen (Jim Gardner) and Susan (Bryant Lawrence). She is survived by three sisters, and two sisters-in-law, Erma Measom and Lynette Gardner.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Primary Children’s Hospital.
The funeral service will be streamed live starting at 2:00 pm: http://mywebcast.churchofjesuschrist.org/Events/paysonutahmountainviewstake.
There will be a private family gathering to remember Gayle’s life. Burial will be in the Payson City Cemetery.
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