Cover photo for Gayle Vandorn Smith's Obituary
Gayle Vandorn Smith Profile Photo
1925 Gayle 2015

Gayle Vandorn Smith

January 6, 1925 — February 7, 2015

Gayle VanDoren Smith, 90, a longtime resident of Altoona, Kansas, died Saturday, February 7, 2015 at Heritage Health Care in Chanute, Kansas. He was born January 6, 1925 in Berkley Springs, West Virginia, the son of Karl V. and Louise (Miller) Smith. When Gayle turned 18 years old, he was called to active duty with the U.S. Army, where he served 1942-1946, receiving five battle stars for his service overseas during World War II. Upon his discharge, he enlisted in the Army Reserves and was called back into active service during 1952 at Fort Riley, Kansas. During the period between active military service, Gayle returned to high school, where he graduated in 1947 at Altoona High School. He also attended Independence Junior College. On July 31, 1948 in Neodesha, Gayle was united in marriage to Anna E. Hearson. They enjoyed 53 years of marriage until her death on August 1, 2001. Gayle worked several jobs during his lifetime, including Star Mills in Independence; Old Mill and South Elevators and P&G Grain in Altoona; B.C. Christopher Farms in Kansas City; the Neodesha Co-Op and Self Service Grocery in Fredonia. In 1973, he began working for USD 387 Altoona/Buffalo as a custodian, retiring in 1988, but remaining on-call for eleven years. He also worked part-time for the City of Altoona Water Department for 16 years. Gayle was a member of the Altoona Christian Church and the Royal Neighbors Camp #394 for more than 50 years. He was a kitchen volunteer at Hidden Haven Christian Camp for many years. His hobbies included watching old movies, working in his yard and garden, and walking. His survivors include: Two daughters: Diane (Rick) Myers of Humboldt, KS Kathy (T.J.) Davis of Independence, KS Brother: Karl W. Smith of Ajijic, Mexico Grandchildren: Dawn Pouncil of Independence, KS Barbara Shoop of Independence, KS Cassandra (Wayne) Campbell of Cherryvale, KS Cade (Meghan) Myers of Humboldt, KS Great Grandchildren: Heather McDonald, Jonathan McDonald, Jensis Jabben, Hailey Campbell, Christopher Campbell, Isaiah Riley, Gabriel Myers He was also preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Gene Smith. Funeral services will be at 10:00 A.M. on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 at Timmons Funeral Home with Pastors Arlin Pefley and Stephen Pefley of the Faith Bible Church officiating. Burial will be in the Altoona Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Tuesday, 5:00-7:00 P.M. at the funeral home. A memorial has been established in Gayle"s name with Wilson Medical Center Foundation and contributions may be sent to Timmons Funeral Home. Words of condolence for the family may be left on this website. Timmons Funeral Home, PO Box 168, Fredonia, KS, 66736, is in charge of the arrangements.

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