He was born February 7, 1923 in Cabool, the only child of M. Mae (Chaney) Helterbrand and Eula M. Helterbrand. He graduated from Cabool High School in 1941.
Gayle was united in marriage to Maxine J. Hall on August 26, 1944, in Houston, Missouri. Gayle attended Southwest Baptist College in Bolivar, Missouri, Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma, and Eastern New Mexico College in Portales, New Mexico, where he majored in theology. After college, Gayle was ordained as a Southern Baptist minister and pastored some small churches, but eventually felt led to serve as a layperson. Gayle served 24 years as a rural mail carrier in Cabool for the U. S. Postal Service, having previously owned a local insurance agency. Gayle was also a longtime member of First Baptist Church, Cabool.
Those familiar with Gayle know of his great sense of humor and his lifelong love of cars including his favorite, a red Mini Cooper. Gayle also exhibited a very competitive spirit. He loved to play tennis and won the first of his eleven tennis trophies at 50 years of age. His love of checkers was widely known as he was the past Missouri State Checker champion, and Seventh District Checker Champion (over a seven-state area), earning 167 checker trophies. The Missouri House of Representatives honored Gayle with a resolution recognizing the checker champion. After the recognition ceremony, he proceeded to beat the Speaker of the House at checkers — not once, but twice. He and Maxine both enjoyed traveling to checker tournaments in many different states over the years.
Gayle was preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by his wife, Maxine, of the home, and his daughter, Deanna Scott, and grandson Dustin Scott, both of Springfield. He is also survived by several other family members and many good friends.
The family especially thanks Beulah and Bunny Allen, Arlen Davis, and Dorothy Etter for their kind support and assistance in his final days. Gayle will be greatly missed by all those who knew and loved him.
Services were at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, October 16, 2012, at Cabool First Baptist Church. Pallbearers were Tim Whetstine, Lyle Frisbee, Mike Malberg, Glen Williams, Bob Brill and Kevin Hensley. Interment was in Cabool Cemetery under the direction of Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home of Cabool.
Online condolences may be made at www.egcfuneralhome.com.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to either First Baptist Church, P. O. Box 238, or Cabool Senior Center, 910 Cherry Street, both in Cabool, Missouri 65689.