Gayla Kaye White, age 57, of Troy, Alabama, passed away Wednesday, October 20, 2021. A celebration of her life will be held Saturday, October 23, 2021, at 4 p.m. in the chapel of Green Hills Funeral Home. Honorary condolers will be her special friends from the Pike County Board of Education Transport System. A memorial service will also be scheduled for a later date at Trinity Baptist Church in Headland.
Growing up in Dothan and attending Northview High School, Gayla kept busy and stayed fit. She was a champion water skier perfecting her skills across the glassy waters of Highland Park at Lake Eufaula, a member of the school band’s percussion team ringing the bright and lively sounds of the xylophone, a skilled and competitive tennis player, and a high-caliber dancer depending on which family members you ask. “Sissy,” as she is still cherished, often played role of caretaker to her younger brother, JJ, regularly preparing what was laughingly described as atrocious meals, and rarely letting him escape any of the blame for any kind of dukes of hazard mischief that may have arose.
Gayla made her way north, calling home to Troy where she blossomed and flourished. She enrolled as a friendly face and bus driver with the Pike County Board of Education, where she devoted many years to safe travel. She honed her skills in the kitchen experimenting with recipes like weenies ‘n’ rice and baked chops smothered in a custom blend of ketchup and mustard, both nostalgic family favorites. Gayla mastered the Southern tradition of cornbread and the art of pound cake, and you could always count on her to pack-together a lip-smackin’ meatloaf. Gayla longed for the weekends when she could travel about in hunt for hidden gems and promising piles of junk. She had a knack for envisioning new life for bygone pieces and the creative spunk to see her projects turn masterpieces. She loved to soak in the goodness of the sunshine and took to her yard tending her beds and lawn and embraced the breeze from a quick dirt-road ride on her Ranger.
Gayla was perceptive, intuitive, enduring. She walked through miles of darkness but always could find the light and lead others to a brighter spot along their way. She logged her journey through the years, sharing her story over countless pages all jotted with priceless sidebars of wisdom. She had grown bounds in her faith, reading more deeply into His word, and seeing the importance of its application today. Her light will no longer lead the way, but if you listen closely, her lingering laugh can guide you home and her constant promise can wrap you tight, “love you, mean it.”
Gayla is survived by her husband, Eddie White; children, Davey Jones (Brooke), Kaylee Davis (Jim), and Kaitlin White; grandchildren, Wyatt, Waylon, and Weston Jones, and Jaelynn Nelson; parents, Shirley and Jackie Hand; brother Jay Hand (Brandy); nephews, Addison Hand (Cait) and Conner Hand; great-niece, Nora Hand; numerous extended family members and friends; and her beloved pet ensemble, good dogs Xena and Tootie, lovable cats Gracie and Pickachu, and a flock of pecking chickens.
In lieu of flowers, charitable contributions can be made in her honor to the Pike County Animal Shelter (904 Henderson Hwy., Troy, AL 36079). Friends and family can sign the guestbook and share condolences online at www.greenhillsfuneralhome.net. The staff of Green Hills Funeral Home is honored to serve the White family.