Gayle Taysom Kress, the eighth of nine children of William and Ruth Hutchinson Taysom, was born on August 3, 1926 in Logan, Utah. On December 17, 2019, at the age of 93, she graduated and joined her husband, Paul Eugene Kress, in heaven. She will continue to share her wonderful sense of humor and caring spirit throughout eternity.
Soon after Gayle’s birth in Logan, she returned with her mother to Rockland, Idaho where she lived for most of her life. Her parents were farmers in the Rockland Valley and taught their children to work hard and give service wherever it was needed. She attended Rockland Elementary School and High School and was a conscientious student, even the Valedictorian of her class of 1944. She was very athletic and was the Drum Major for the marching band. She loved twirling her baton.
She and Eugene Kress, the handsome boy from the American Falls rival school, married on August 8, 1943 in Rockland. They were later sealed for eternity in the Idaho Falls Temple. Together they raised six children: Margene, Gaylene, Karalee, Evan, Devonna and Sheralyn. This eventually gave them a wonderful posterity of 36 grandchildren, 143 great-grandchildren and 19 great-great-grandchildren (with 2 more arriving next month)! They all adored “Grandma Kress” and enjoyed spending time with her.
Gene and Gayle farmed in the Roy area, south of Rockland, until just before Gene’s death on November 21, 2011. A model farm wife, Gayle could run any piece of farm machinery, milk cows, shoot a gun and teach 4-H sewing. She wore out her old treadle sewing machine mending jeans and making Easter and Christmas look-alike dresses for her daughters, whom she also taught to sew. A favorite family pastime during the summer season included rousing ping pong (table tennis) tournaments in the basement of the farmhouse almost every evening after dinner. Gayle was still playing ping pong the month before she died. She loved walking, especially her almost daily walk from her Rockland home, up the hill past the Church towards the cemetery. She attributed her longevity and great health to those walks!
Gayle was very active in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served faithfully in many callings. She especially enjoyed being the “Singing Mothers” choir director. Gene and Gayle served together as ordinance workers for 13 years in the Idaho Falls Temple until Gene’s death.
Gayle loved being involved in politics and was one of the community’s spark plugs behind getting school bond elections passed and any other good cause that benefited the school and community. She was always willing to give aid to help God and country.
A major change came when Gayle moved from her home in Rockland to the Legacy Retirement Center in South Jordan, Utah. She hated leaving Rockland, but soon made many friends and enjoyed the big variety of activities offered there. Even though she missed being near 2 of her children in Rockland, she loved having 4 daughters near her in the Salt Lake City area. And, of course, the ping pong table in the basement and the Jordan River Temple in walking distance were added bonuses! She loved looking out her windows on the third floor and seeing “her” Angel Moroni on the top of the temple spire.
Gayle was preceded in death by her husband, Gene; seven of her siblings; one grandson, Jay Arnold; and twin great-granddaughters, Jessica and Cheryllynn Winters. Her youngest brother, Wayne, is still living in Arizona. All of her children, with their spouses, are alive and well.
The celebration of Gayle’s life will begin with an 11 AM viewing and will culminate at her funeral at noon, both held at the Rockland Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building on December 28. Burial will be in the Rockland cemetery, next to her beloved husband.
Her family is especially grateful to Aspire Home Health and Hospice and Legacy Retirement Center for the loving care given to Gayle during her last days.
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