Gaylene Ann (Watson) Searcy
November 17, 1938 – March 31, 2021
The beloved daughter of Marcella and Monroe Watson, Gaylene Ann was born in Council Bluffs, Iowa on November 17, 1938. A 1956 graduate of Shelby High School, her class motto “Reward Is in The Doing” was a hallmark of her life.
Gay attended Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, Missouri, which became the alma mater for her daughters and where she met her husband. Gay and Ron were married in Shelby, Iowa on June 1, 1958.
She was a gifted educator who set her sights on teaching as a third-grader. She believed “a child should develop early in life a sense of self-worth and self-esteem and an awareness that his teacher cares about him.” “Every child must be recognized as an individual with certain strengths and weaknesses and work in a program designed for the child.” She wanted to be remembered “as a teacher who was interested in them as a person, who showed love and was concerned about their futures.”
Gay earned her undergraduate teaching degree and a graduate degree in early childhood education from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She taught at Manilla, Jefferson, Johnston, and Council Bluffs, Iowa, and retired from Loess Hills Area Education Agency as a Birth to Three Education Specialist.
She was a member of Broadway United Methodist Church, Council Bluffs Service League, P.E.O. Chapter GQ, American Association of University Women, and numerous local, state, and national education associations.
Gay, a devoted loving mother and Tutu (grandmother), assured that her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchild were known and loved. She cherished each individually and let them know in word and deed how much they meant to her.
Gay loved entertaining, laughing with friends, world travel, and Irish music. A lifelong supporter of the arts, she would be found settled in her seat 30 minutes before showtime.
Gay was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her daughters, Jill Grundy and Jane Parry (Gordon); her grandchildren: Morgan Burnham (Randy), Parker Grundy, Hannah Parry, and Hunter Parry; her great-grandson, Wesley Burnham; former husband, Ron Searcy.
VISITATION observing CDC guidelines: Friday, April 9th from 5pm to 7pm, and Saturday, April 10th from 10am to 11am, West Center Chapel. CELEBRATION OF LIFE: Saturday, April 10th at 11am, West Center Chapel. Private interment: Shelby Cemetery, Shelby, Iowa. Memorials are suggested to Omaha Community Playhouse or The Arts Center at Iowa Western Community College.
To view a live broadcast of the CELEBRATION OF LIFE, please go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button on the home page.