February 22, 1949, marked the arrival of Gayle Roberta Cameron. She was the first child born to Beatrice and Robert (Bud), and they would welcome three more in the coming years: Dana, Melanie and Bonnie.
Gayle was born in Port Arthur, Ontario. Bud worked on the railroad and the children were raised in Arborfield until the family settled in Melfort in 1960. Gayle and her siblings were close to their maternal grandparents and spent a lot of time at their farm.
When Gayle was 12 years old, her father left the family and she helped her mother raise the three younger siblings. She took a job at the drive-in theatre at 14 years old, making and serving French fries. In school, Gayle excelled in English and writing skills and won a speech contest. She continued writing throughout her life, keeping meticulous notes in a daily diary. She had many close friends that she made as a teenager that she kept throughout her life, and she cherished those people always. Gayle and Dana were best friends throughout their childhood and adult life, until his passing from a tragic work accident at the age of 36.
Gayle met Murray Whittome through their circle of friends, and he asked her out during the Melfort fair. A year later, they were married on October 14, 1967. Gayle moved out to the Whittome family farm and helped manage the family farming business while they raised their four daughters: Connie, Carol, Chanda, and Cheylene. She was blessed with seven grandchildren: Alysha, Branden, Jalyn (Connie), Tressa, Tregan (Chanda), Livia, Chase (Chey), and three great grandchildren: Asher, Ella (Alysha) and Grayson (Tressa). Gayle was extremely proud of all her grandchildren and boasted of her large family whenever she could.
She enjoyed many aspects of farm life and loved gardening, canning, and making delicious home-cooked meals. She could make something out of nothing, and often packed up the motorhome with hot food and drove it out to Steve, Murray, and the farm hands. After Murray retired from farming in 2005, they enjoyed traveling in Canada and the United States, where she loved to meet new people and try different food. Perhaps Gayle’s greatest love was the one and only Elvis Presley, and she was forever grateful to finally get to Graceland.
Gayle suffered from health issues later in life, predominantly after breaking her hip. She later developed diabetes and kidney complications but stayed in good spirits and found strength in her relationships with family and friends. She always took the time to listen to others and provide tremendous support, but she also retained her stubborn streak; once she made her decision, there was little wiggle room to change her mind. Her stubbornness was part of her charm.
Mom, grandma, sister, friend – Gayle, you have been welcomed back to Graceland, surrounded by Dana, Murray, Beatrice, Elvis, and all your beloved family and friends who passed before you. Those left will forever cherish your warmth, understanding, resiliency, and sound advice as we take the strength you gave us and continue to pass on your legacy.
Gayle is predeceased by her parents Beatrice Cameron and Robert (Bud) Cameron, brother Dana Cameron, husband Murray Whittome, in-laws Steve and Emma Whittome, and sister-in-law Deanna Lawson.
Gayle left behind to honour and celebrate her life her sisters: Melanie Clift and Bonnie Cameron Keenan; her daughters: Connie (Connie), Carol (Lee), Chanda, and Chey; her precious grandchildren: Alysha (Jason), Branden (Breanne), Jalyn, Tressa (Dylan), Tregan (Sarina), Livia, and Chase; her beloved great-grandchildren: Asher, Ella, and Grayson.
Memorial contribution in memory of Gayle may be directed to the Canadian Kidney Foundation.