ASTORIA — Described by many as a wonderful lady, Gayl L. West, Ocean Park, passed away on March 10, 2016, in Astoria. She was born in Colfax, Washington on Aug. 4, 1940, and lived her early life in Anchorage; Hooper, Washington; and the Seattle area, where she graduated from Highline High School in 1958.
Gayl attended Central Washington University, University of Puget Sound and Washington State University where she hoped to find a young man majoring in agriculture. Unfortunately, she “learned” to play bridge and attended a local duplicate game in Pullman and there found a non-farmer named Doug, a chemistry graduate student at WSU. They were married June 6, 1964, at her parents’ home in Moscow, Idaho with Gayl, a cateress, doing the wedding cake.
She typed Doug’s PhD Thesis and on receipt of his doctorate they drove across country to East Orange New Jersey and Upsala College. The next year they moved to Mount Pleasant, Michigan, where Doug joined the faculty at Central Michigan University. Duplicate bridge continued to be a pleasant activity but somewhat curtailed by the births of their sons in 1969 and 1970.
The family spent a leave in England in 1973 with Doug at the University of Leicester. Gayl and the boys drove an “old banger” all over England and Scotland. In 1975 the family moved to Bloomington, Illinois when Doug was named chairman of the Chemistry Department at Illinois State University. Gayl, always a flower and vegetable gardener, had more space for her efforts and enjoyed the longer growing season. Doug’s professional efforts got Gayl stays in Santiago de Compostela, Spain; Poona, India; Mansoura, Egypt; Bela Horizonte, Brazil; Mexico City; Angers, France; Innsbruck, Austria; and Ioannina, Greece. Gayl loved the travel and saw everything she could at these places.
Both gave up duplicate bridge in 1977, but later she and friends started a club in Bloomington with Gayl as the Director. That club was named the Gayl L. West Duplicate Bridge Club when she moved to Seattle. Here they resumed their bridge partnership.
After a couple of enjoyable visits to the Peninsula, they chose to move here in December 2001. Gayl joined the Shoalwater Birders and the Peninsula Garden Club and enjoyed the activities of both. She was an avid reader, always had classical music on during the day and enjoyed having friends for dinner. When Gayl brought food for the Peninsula Bridge Club, it was like a special event. One of the members got a big laugh when he stood up and asked, “Where is the ice sculpture?”
Gayl was a Ruby Life Master and ranked fifth among the 120 members of the Seaside Duplicate Bridge Unit. She collected an extensive recipe file made up from friends when she liked the dish.
Gayl was preceded in death by a brother Gregory Lucas and half-brother Clay Standish and is survived by sons, Gregory J. West, Oakland Park, Florida and Gabriel D. West, Austin, Texas, as well as husband Doug. She will be missed by her many friends and family.
A memorial will be held at the Taylor-Ocean Park Cemetery at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 3 with refreshments to follow. Her guestbook is available at www.penttilaschapel.com.