Mrs. Gayle Elizabeth Nance (née Meanor) died peacefully at her home, surrounded by family, on September 12, 2019, in Orlando, Florida, at the age of 95.
Gayle was born on October 11, 1923, on her parent’s peach farm in Pinebluff, North Carolina. She was the first of four children born to Isaac and Winnie Meanor. Her hometown was so small that her high school graduating class had only 20 people. After graduating, Gayle immediately went to work and eventually became a patent secretary for the U.S. Military. This is where she met her then boss and future husband, Clem Andrew “Andy” Nance.
Gayle and Andy married on July 14, 1949, in Pinebluff, North Carolina. After they married, Andy was stationed at what is now known as Travis Air Force base in California. Andy’s last military assignment took them to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he was the Provost Marshall at the military prison. Both of their sons were born in the prison hospital. Andy retired as Lt. Colonel from the U.S. Air Force in 1957, and moved the family to Orlando, Florida, where they built their family home. Once in Orlando, Gayle continued to work as a Patent Secretary on the Orlando Naval Base until her retirement.
Once retired, Gayle did not slow down. She loved to travel. She went to Europe several times, Canada, Hawaii, Alaska, and numerous trips around the United States. Her favorite trips though, were visiting her sisters, Nancy and Joan, on their annual trip to Sunset Beach, NC. Eventually, these annual trips included the sisters’ adult children and their families. The sisters loved to tell stories which always ended in fits of laughter.
Gayle was an active and dedicated member of the First United Methodist Church since 1957. At 95, she continued to surprise everyone on just how active she was. She lived independently, continued to drive herself and since she retired in the mid-80’s, she volunteered almost every week, at the Church as well as with the Orlando Science Center. The family was told she had nearly 3,500 volunteer hours at the Science Center. Gayle was also a member of the Retired Officers Wives Club, volunteering to help when needed. She enjoyed the symphony and had season tickets to the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra. To relax, she enjoyed reading on her Kindle.
Gayle is survived by her loving sons, Andrew (Mary Ann) and David; grandchildren Tom (Patricia), Matthew and Rebecca, all of Orlando, FL; nephews Paul (Helene) Stancil, Dale (Leslie) Stancil, Doug (Dayna) Stancil and niece Sandy (Joe) Simmons, all of Maryland; nephew Jeff (Patrice) Little, of Florida; and several grand nephews and nieces. She is preceded in death by her husband Andy, her parents, Isaac and Winnie Meanor; brother Paul Meanor, sisters and their spouses Nancy and Thornton Little and Joan and Mark Stancil.
A memorial service is scheduled for September 21, 2019, at 11:00 a.m., in the Sanctuary at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Orlando on Jackson. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Gayle’s life. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Gayle’s memory to the First United Methodist Church at www.firstchurchorlando.com (>Give) or the Orlando Science Center at www.osc.org/support. Online condolences may be made at www.careyhandcolonialfh.com/listings.
Arrangements entrusted to Carey Hand Colonial Funeral Home of Orlando, Florida. A private, family only, graveside service will be held at a later date, at Glen Haven Memorial Park in Winter Park, Florida.