In Memory

Gayle Gordon (Petrey)

Gayle Gordon (Petrey)

Sandra Gayle Gordon Petrey

JANUARY 3, 1943 – JULY 7, 2022

Obituary of Sandra Gayle Gordon Petrey


Sandra Gayle Gordon Petrey, of Raleigh, NC, passed away on Thursday, July 7, 2022 after extended illness. Born January 3, 1943 in Gaston County, she was the daughter of the late Marie Barnhill Gordon and J. C. Gordon, the grandchild of Thelma Bumgardner Barnhill and W.C. Barnhill, and Margaret Grayson Gordon and Bert Gordon.

Educated in Gaston County, she graduated from Ashley High School in 1960 and attended Flora McDonald College, St. Andrew's College, and Charlotte College. A devoted volunteer, she served in Gastonia with Presbyterian Women, First Presbyterian Church, Southminster Presbyterian Church, the Junior League, and the children's ministry of Community Bible Study for many years. Gayle was a teacher at St. Michael's School, First Presbyterian After School program, and Southminster Presbyterian Weekday School. Gayle owned and ran The Stork Shop clothing boutique for children and expectant mothers. She was a member of the Gastonia Debutante Club and White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, where she participated in the Christian Fellowship Sunday School class and Cancer Companions. Gayle grew up at Armstrong Presbyterian Church and was a former member of First Presbyterian Church and Southminster Presbyterian Church, all in Gastonia, NC. She loved her years on Greenstreet Mountain near Elkin, NC and cherished her time and community there with the Church in the Wildwood.

An exceedingly generous and kind mother to all children, Gayle was strict and fiercely protective. A lifelong student of the Bible, she began teaching her children verses and hymns before they could speak. She expected good manners, proper table etiquette, and academic dedication (though not perfection). Gayle cultivated appreciation of all forms of music in her children, and was the best swim team, soccer, Scouting, karate, theatre, and dance Mom. She dedicated herself to ensuring success, and cleanliness, in her children’s pursuits; outfitted various dorm rooms, apartments, and houses; and was famous for gigantic care packages. She was always available for answering endless phone calls about housekeeping, cooking, gardening, and scripture. Gayle was an accomplished cook who loved to welcome and entertain family, neighbors, friends, and any nearby children. She loved playing bridge, especially with her sisters and their husbands, and enjoyed treasured cookouts, dinner parties, beach adventures, international travel, and times at the river and lake. The consummate grandmother, "Mimi" was known for soothingly and magically rocking her grandchildren to sleep, making them laugh, outfitting them in smocked dresses and john-johns, providing tea parties, taking golf cart rides, and making their favorites - pecan and lemon meringue pies, pimiento cheese, and chicken and dumplings. She will forever be remembered for singing "You Are My Sunshine" to her children, grandchildren, and countless other children she loved and cared for.

Gayle was preceded in death by her parents, grandparents, and sister, Dianne Gordon Myers. She is survived by her children: Martha (Cissy) Petrey Livengood and husband Grant of Raleigh, NC; John Petrey and wife Michelle of Augusta, GA; Harry Lee (Hal) Petrey II and wife Kathleen of Arlington, VA; and Margaret Petrey Smith and husband Jim of Gastonia, NC. Gayle is also survived by grandchildren Lauren Petrey of Arlington, VA; Abigail, Marshall, and Sam Livengood of Raleigh, NC; Hannah, Bret, and Kayla Petrey of Augusta, GA; Luke Petrey of Salisbury, MD; Farris and Copeland Smith of Gastonia, NC; sisters Jeannie Gordon Brown and husband, Paul, and Elaine Gordon Brown, all of Eden, NC; and brother-in-law Albert Myers III and wife, Linda. Gayle loved and was loved by many precious cousins, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews, her aunt and uncles Lois and Lander Barnhill and Robert Barnhill of Gastonia, NC, and her lifelong friends Sandra and Jim Moseley of Inman, SC, Marg and Frank Ivey of St. Louis, MO and her former husband, Harry G. Petrey of Gastonia, NC.

The family thanks the staffs of Transitions Hospice, Rex Hematology and Oncology, Wake Nephrology Associates, and caregiver Janice Hepburn for their dedicated, diligent, and loving care.

A Witness to the Resurrection service will be held Wednesday, July 27 at 2pm at White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh; a service in Gastonia will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Least of These Carolinas, Gastonia, NC; or the Black Mountain Home for Children, Youth & Families.

Services by Brown-Wynne, 300 St. Mary's Street, Raleigh.

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07/09/22 07:37 AM #1    

Barbara Stribling (Edwards)

Happy to hear Gayle is no longer in pain and has now taken her place in God's Promised Home as 
Head Cheerleader and helping Him prepare for our Homecoming Game. 

Holding each of you close in my heart and my prayers, I know His loving arms hold each of you bringing you peace.



07/17/22 06:51 AM #2    

Scotty Wise (Price)

It's always sad to hear of a classmate's passing and doubly so since Gayle was also one of David's many Gordon cousins. She will be missed.  Love to all her family. 

07/20/22 10:02 AM #3    

Rosalind Ratchford (Thomason)

We will always appreciate the love and care Gayle gave to many children in her classes as the Director of Children's Ministry for years in Gastonia Community Bible Study.  She encouraged us all!

07/21/22 10:38 AM #4    

Chip Brunnemer

What an absolutely wonderful obituary! Reading this wonderfully expressed tribute to Gayle would convince anyone that she was a women who loved mightily and was loved in the same way. Rest in peace sweet lady.

07/22/22 06:20 PM #5    

Gayle Gordon (Petrey)

Hi, all. This is Margaret, Gayle's youngest. I hope this goes through. . . 

If you are able, we'd love for you to share your kind words, stories, memories, or anything else at the Brown-Wynne website here:

We are all trying to keep up with the dozens and dozens of different methods of communication between us (multiple email addresses, texts, phone calls, voicemails, social media messages and comments). It would be so very wonderful if you might share your thoughts here, so that we could have as many in one place as possible. Plus, this wonderful site is private, as it should be, so not everyone will be able to see your beautiful words. 

Service information is at the above link, too. One is scheduled in Raleigh for next Wednesday, July 27 and we are working on a date for a service in Gastonia in the coming weeks. 

Thank you so much,



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