Ambassador of good will Gayle Teachout dies at 80

Aug 08, 2012
Gayle Teachout, a former Chamber of Commerce member, passed away on Aug. 3 at his home in Mukilteo. Among his many hobbies, Teachout loved to fish.

The concept of a “sergeant-at-arms” generally brings to mind a gruff, surly sort. Gayle Teachout, who served 14+ years in that role for the Mukilteo Business Association and its successor, the Chamber of Commerce, was just the opposite, an ambassador of good will.

While most MBA and chamber attendees were still rubbing the sleep out of their eyes at the morning meetings, Gayle – always the first to arrive so he could set up the equipment – was exuding sunlight and warmth. He had a smile at the ready for one and all.

That smile will be missed. On Friday, Aug. 3, Gayle passed away peacefully at his home with his family at his side. He was 80.

He was born in Farmington, Minn., to Edgar and Ceil Teachout on July 15, 1932.

They moved to Marysville, Wash., in 1942 where Gayle eventually met Barbara, his wife of 58 years. He was 13 and she was 11. It was love at first sight, although it took a few more years for them to figure that out!

Gayle joined the Navy in 1950 and enjoyed three trips to Japan on the USS Bryce Canyon. In later years, the reunions with his “R Division” buddies were very special to him.

Gayle was good at everything he did, and he did everything he wanted to. As he told Barbara recently, his bucket list was empty.

He was a pilot, and owned a Cessna 170. He also rode motorcycles and was considered quite the daredevil on dirt bikes, usually with his son Gary, daughter Karen and her husband Craig.

He also was an avid fisherman. Beacon readers may recall seeing a picture every year of his annual “trophy,” usually a king salmon, which he’d proudly display.

Gayle and Barbara spent 25 years on the water, on the “Gayle Warning” and then the “Obsession” (his ’38 Bayliner) with friends and family, especially their grandchildren, Shannon and Cory.

He loved to fish and to fly. After piloting his own plane, he flew in an aerobatic glider, hot air balloon and helicopters.

An excellent carpenter and construction superintendent, he built many commercial businesses as well as three new homes and flower shops for Barb.

After retirement, he would introduce himself as “Mr. Barb” and was truly loved by his “harem” at Barbara’s Floral in Mukilteo.

After Gayle became ill, he endured seven years of treatment – BCG, chemo and radiation – with humor and a smile on his face. Not once did he complain. Even in sickness he brought that same sunlight and warmth to those around him.

Gayle is survived by the treasures of his life: wife Barbara; daughter Karen Hempel (Craig); and son Gary. He also is survived by his precious grandchildren, Shannon Fitch (Mike); and Cory Hempel. Also surviving him are his brother, Dallas Teachout (Bev); sister, Marilyn Finke (Bob); Barbara’s sister, Patricia Byers (Gary); and many special nieces, nephews and friends.

The family extends many thank you’s to all the folks at the Everett Cancer Partnership – all warm, wonderful people, including Jovanna, Dr. Jiang, and all the oncology staff (Gayle really loved his nurses in the infusion room). Also thank you to Dr. Cole; nurse Kim; and the Radiation group; the volunteers Bob and Margaret; and to the Teachouts’ many, and fabulous, family and friends.

In the spirit of Gayle’s personality, a public graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 9, at the Marysville Cemetery, 8801 State Ave.

A reception will immediately follow in a covered, outdoor area at the Marysville First Baptist Church, 4011 81st Pl. NE.

Please come share Gayle’s afternoon tradition and enjoy some of his many memories of a long, very full life.

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