Our beloved wife, mother, sister and friend, Gayle Elaine Pelkey, entered peacefully into eternity with her Heavenly Father at age 68 on August 31, 2023, after a quiet but courageous two-year battle against breast cancer.
Gayle was born to Wayne and Lois McQuillin on July 27, 1955, in Kankakee, IL. She graduated from Bradley-Bourbonnais High School in Bradley, IL. During her lifetime, Gayle lived in Illinois, Massachusetts, Quebec, California, and Maine. Balancing full-time motherhood with a passion to contribute to her community, Gayle held jobs over the years as a dental hygienist, school and office receptionists, and as a private nanny. Gayle always enjoyed being around people, especially children and had a friendly, uplifting presence about her that everyone admired.
In 2011, Gayle met Max Douglas Pelkey, a match truly made in heaven. Gayle and Max (also known by their alias' Natasha and Ezwar) went on to have many adventures together over the next 12 years, including cross-country road trips, watching many sunrises over the Atlantic Ocean, adopting their sweet pup Abbie, and traveling around the country to visit family and friends. One of her favorite moments during her fight with cancer was eating with her siblings and husband at Stutesy's in Wells, ME. In addition to being a dedicated and loving wife, Gayle loved sewing, taking road trips, enjoying meals with Max at their favorite local eateries around Wells and Berwick, and spending time with her children and grandchildren. To her grandchildren, who called her “Nana” or “Maimeo”, she was known for her silliness, her laugh, and faithfully sending birthday and holiday cards, with her specialty being Christmas packages filled with treats and handcrafted coloring pages.
Throughout her entire life, Gayle held an unwavering faith in God, which she shared with those who surrounded her all the way through her final days on Earth. A loyal servant to God, Gayle spent many of her hours dedicating her life to leading Sunday school classes for the little ones, and teaching during summer programs and Vacation Bible School.
Gayle loved her family more than anything in the world. Gayle joins her father and mother, Wayne and Lois McQuillin, and her mother-in-law, Joyce Pelkey in Heaven. She is survived by many loving family members, including her husband, Max Pelkey of Berwick, ME; her children, daughter Aubri Hutchins (Lang) and husband Benjamin of Acton, MA, daughter Dylani Marchesani of Dover, NH, stepdaughter Melissa Bryant and husband Wade of North Waterboro, ME, and stepson Michael Pelkey of North Carolina; her beloved grandchildren, Averi Bryant, Molly Bryant, Adrian Hutchins, Owen Lang, Wyatt Hutchins, Amos Bryant and Makenna Bryant; her siblings, sister Danice Joplin and husband Mike of Bend, OR, sister Allison McQuillin-Eaglerider and wife Omei of Phoenix, AZ, brother Dale McQuillin and wife Miok of Bradley, IL and sister Shannon Wright and husband Matthew of Savannah, GA; and many loved nieces, nephews and extended family members. In addition to her family, Gayle made many close and special friends through the years of her life- she loved you all, and you know who you are!
“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” -Psalm 23:1-6
A celebration of Gayle’s life will be held on Saturday, November 11, 2023 at 10:30am at the Durham Evangelical Church (114 Dover Road Durham, NH 03824). In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the healthcare professionals who cared for her over the past years: York Hospital’s Caring for All and Living Well with Cancer funds (https://www.yorkhospital.com/giving-back/) and Wentworth-Douglas Hospital and Hospice Care (https://www.wdhospital.org/wdhf/giving/how-to-give).