Life Story / Obituary
Gayle Lynne Daniell was known for her dedication to living a full life, her savory cooking, and her ability to be an insightful mother figure to many. She left this world unexpectedly but left behind many wonderful memories for her friends and family. Though she will be sadly missed, the memories of her will forever last in our hearts.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s first term in office during the year of 1953 proved to be an exciting and popularly historic time. Marilyn Monroe and Peter Pan were common household names, and families everywhere anxiously anticipated the half hour airing of “I Love Lucy.” Though that particular program never broadcasted in color, this was the year a lucky viewer could actually purchase a color capable television set. The standard of living was steadily growing, and people were happily hula hooping while listening to rock -n- roll. Times were pretty good - especially for Howard and Helen (Valisco) Podein, as they prepared to meet their precious daughter. Gayle Lynne was welcomed into the world on April 10, 1953 in Muskegon, Michigan. As it turned out, her birth was extra special because she was their one and only child.
Gayle enjoyed life, with the full attention of her parents, in a house on Shettler Road. They were members of Samuel Lutheran Church where Gayle’s grandparents had attended for many years long before. It was a special place for the family, and it is where Gayle was confirmed as a teenager. In addition to regularly attending church activities, Gayle had many other passions. She was a dedicated dance student specializing in both Tap and Jazz, and she participated in dance performances often. She also found a deep interest in learning to play the accordion; she took regular lessons from her talented teacher, Del Lankfer. This talent took her to many exciting places, such as Cedar Point and the Wisconsin Dells, to perform with several quartets and accordion bands. Though very busy, she found time to graduate from Fruitport High School where she was very involved in providing school spirit as a cheerleader and maintained a very busy social calendar!
During her high school years, she fell in love for the first time with a young man named Joe Wedholm. The two dated for some time and even attended prom together - true high school sweethearts from two different schools, as Joe attended Grand Haven High School. It was a tender, young love, and they were engaged with grand plans for life. Shortly after graduation, they were married. The newlyweds moved to Connecticut because Joe had joined the Navy, and it was where he was stationed. A few years passed, and before too long, Gayle returned home without Joe, but with a heart that led her in a different direction.
Gayle was not one to dwell on what once was, instead she enrolled at Muskegon Community College and then later to Grand Valley State University. Upon graduating, Gayle found work as a teacher’s aide at Wesley School helping special needs children. During this period in her life, she was lucky to find love again. This time, the love she felt was deeper and more mature - everlasting. Cliff Daniell became the love of Gayle’s life, and they were married on December 1, 1978. The happy couple endured their new life together while living with Gayle's parents, but moved out shortly to a house they made a home on Van Allen Drive.
After several years of renovations in the kitchen and bathroom, amongst other parts of the home, Gayle and Cliff had experienced all the ups and downs in marriage to finally feel ready to begin a family together. They celebrated the birth of their first son, Brent, in 1984; Cory followed in 1987 to make their family of four complete.
Gayle was an exceptional mother to her boys. She was the mom involved in all the activities, so much so that sometimes the other kids would endearingly call her ‘Mom’ as well and seek her advice on matters of teenage importance. She was active in the PTA, played the accordion for music class during their elementary days, and made sure the boys made it to all their sporting and other school activities. One memorable activity in which Gayle participated was a band trip to Disney World. She was a parent chaperone, and this was quite a gift, for she joyfully celebrated her 50th birthday with the entire group! Just like in her youth, she was very busy - but through it all, she kept the family organized and grounded. They faithfully attended the long standing traditional church of previous generations; Samuel Lutheran Church provided the family with a strong Christian foundation.
As her boys grew older, Gayle was able to find time to enjoy cross stitch, knitting and many other arts and crafts. She could lose herself in the art of scrapbooking for hours, and her creations were always remarkably skilled. Her housekeeping preferences were equally high in standard; sometimes the pride she held in her vacuum marks on the carpet would leave her irritated if ruined by her boys walking on them. They were always forgiven, and quickly - but then she would vacuum again soon. Her culinary skills were great, as she was able to make even leftovers taste scrumptious. Gayle also thoroughly enjoyed the holiday seasons, and her house would always be decorated with such amazing love - making those special times so nostalgic.
The Daniell Family shared many memorable times together. They also endured a very difficult period of life when Cliff passed away in 2005. Gayle lost a cherished husband, and her boys lost their father. It was not an easy time, but Gayle had the love and support of Brent and Cory along with many friends and other family members. In time and with lots of distraction, various hobbies and some solitude, Gayle looked forward to happy days ahead. She continued selling scrip to help raise funds for local elementary schools, an activity she did for over 20 years. Eventually, she even found room in her heart to adopt a dog she named Schatzie. She was a loving, furry and constant companion bringing her much joy and slobbery kisses!
As Gayle lived her life, she began to experience some health issues. Her knees did not work the way they once did, and she had difficulty walking easily. Every day life became more challenging in many ways; however, she sought out the goodness in each day living it to the fullest.
Gayle left this world too soon and without having the chance to say goodbye to so many of her loved ones. She leaves behind many treasured artifacts created with care and love. Her spirit will continue to shine upon this Earth with warmth and great affection. We will never forget the life Gayle lived, and she will be greatly missed.
Mrs. Gayle Lynne Daniell, age 63, passed away Saturday, March 11, 2017.
She is survived by her sons, Brent (Lisa) Daniell, Cory (Sarah) Daniell; father-in-law, Philip Daniell; her dog, Schatzie. She was preceded in death by her husband, Cliff in 2005 and parents.
Funeral services will take place on Friday, March 17, 2017, 11:00 am at the Clock Chapel - Muskegon with Rev. William Uetricht officiating. Interment will follow in Sunrise Memorial Gardens. Friends and relatives can meet with the family on Thursday, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm and Friday, one hour prior to the service at Clock Funeral Home - Muskegon. Memorial contributions can be made to Samuel Lutheran Church or Pound Buddies.