Gayle Marie Nelson, 57, of Hailey, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 3, surrounded by loving friends, after a valiant battle with metastatic breast cancer.
Gayle was born in Minneapolis, Minn., on Aug. 28, 1949, to Sue and Lloyd Nelson. After graduating from St. Louis Park High School, she attended St. Cloud State College where in 1971 she completed a degree in sociology.
In 1972, she moved to the Wood River Valley where she developed a love for the valley and the mountains. While living in the valley she pursued athletic and outdoor interests in backpacking, camping, skiing, mountain biking and river rafting. Also, Gayle was an accomplished sailor, which, with her adventurous spirit, led her to sign-on as a paid crew for a five-year around-the-world voyage.
With her entrepreneurial spirit and versatile talents she pursued several occupations which included employment with Comtek, Silver Creek Press, Expedition Inspiration, White Otter Outdoor Adventures, Sun Valley Trekking, and chef of her own business, Ethnic Elegance. Gayle was a devoted and compassionate volunteer for the Crisis Hotline for many years.
Gayle was not one to sit around and let other people plan activities. She usually was the person with the inspiration, the organizing skills ("a maestro with the pointer finger") and the motivating force behind activities. Seldom did she allow work to interfere with her life and fun. Her friends saw her as a fun-loving, limitless, no-nonsense, independent and enthusiastic person while being committed to her friendships. It was said that "Gayle's capacity for forging new relationships while maintaining old friendships was legendary."
A devoted daughter, Gail had a small guesthouse built next door to her house for her father, Lloyd, in 2002. He and Gayle shared many special and close moments and adventures over the past five years.
Gayle was preceded in death by her mother, Sue; brother, Bill; and stepmother, Blanche. She is survived by her father, Lloyd Nelson; her cat, Bandito; and an endless number of friends who will dearly miss her.
Friends and her father gathered Tuesday, Jan. 9, to celebrate Gayle's life and memory. Another memorial service to honor Gayle will be announced.
Memorial contributions in her name are suggested to the Crisis Hotline, P.O. Box 939, Ketchum, ID, 83340, the Lance Armstrong Foundation, P.O. Box 6003, Albert Lea, MN, 53007-6603, or to your favorite charity.
"Life is a daring adventure or nothing at all."—Helen Keller.
Admired by all who met her, she will be dearly missed. All who crossed her path have felt blessed.
Safe passage, Gayle.