Gayle Foster Thigpen ended her journey on this earth and passed peacefully into the arms of her Lord and Savior on December 10, 2009 with her daughters Gaylen Sims and Gwen Nichols by her side. This passing ended a three year, courageous battle against Leukemia.
A memorial service celebrating Gayle’s life will be held at the Leach First Baptist Church in Rose, OK on Saturday, December 19 at 2:00 p.m. Officiating the service is Pastor George McFerron, obituary and eulogy by Pastor Don Marshall, and scripture by Vance Blackfox.
Gayle was born on December 8, 1935 in Claremore, OK to John Hobert Foster and Letha Marie Russell Foster. Gayle was a tribal member of the Cherokee Nation. She attended Chilocco Indian School where she excelled academically and won the hearts of the student body to be named “Miss Chilocco” upon graduation.
Gayle was married to Eugene Ray Thigpen for 46 years. Before their retirement to Abilene, TX, they were business owners of Oaks Mini Mart. Eugene preceded her in death in July, 2002. Shortly after, she moved to Weatherford, TX to be with her family. Her greatest joy was to have the family all together enjoying meals prepared by her son-in-law, Jim. She adored her grandsons, Kyle and Carson and took great pleasure in hearing about all of their achievements.
Among Gayle’s many interests were travel and adventure with family and friends. Her comment of late was “if this disease is going to be the end of me, it is going to have to catch me first”. Her light heartedness and laughter will be her legacy. She enjoyed church activities. As a member of Ebenezer Lutheran Church she travelled as a representative of the Cherokee Tribe in Multicultural Events centered on women of color. She loved her Bible Study groups, membership in the Cherokee Choir and all activities with her church family. She travelled in Mexico and NE United states on mission trips as well as contributing money for the education and well-being of children in indigenous tribes. She always felt that she was blessed to have her extended family and wanted to share what she had with others.
Gayle recognized her childhood as the best one could ever hope for. She felt blessed with siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles with whom she could play, visit, and grow into the beautiful person she was. She especially treasured her time with her grandparents, Daniel and Lizzie Russell, Ollie (Ma) Foster and her great-grandmother, Lila Kingfisher.
Survivors include her daughters Gaylen Sims of Weatherford, TX, Gwen Nichols of Lubbock, TX, son-in-law Jim Nichols and grandsons Kyle (attending Texas Tech) and Carson of the home. She has two brothers, Jack Foster and wife Yvonne of Continental Divide, NM; Dan Foster and wife Debbie of Rose, OK; one sister, Ollie Yellowhead and husband Milo of Grants, NM. She was a favorite auntie to her nieces and nephews, Glenna Yellowhead Losito, Rhonda Yellowhead Bednorz, Wynema Foster Gonzales, Neal Foster, Jackie Foster Sandival, Chris Foster and Corrie Foster Drake. Gayle has many treasured friends that blessed her journey here.
Gayle has requested that in lieu of flowers, a contribution be made to a favorite charity.