Lynda L. Gayler passed away on May 16th, 2023 in Lavon, Texas. Her daughter, son, son-in-law, and four of her grandchildren were by her side as she made her final transition from this world.
She was born to Edith Huckaby on June 2nd, 1949 in Lafayette Louisiana and adopted soon after by Betty and Howard Johnson of Houston Texas. Her adoption meant that she left behind many siblings; some of whom she would finally meet many years later along with their children and other extended family. Albeit a relatively short bonding time, getting to know and spend time with some of her sisters and other biological family was one of the greatest joys in her life. She now had a much fuller picture of her history, many details of which were unknown until a little over 4 years ago. She was much more whole and complete.
She spent a large portion of her youth in the arts as an actress, stage performer, dancer, and acrobat. At one point she was even chosen to be a Mouseketeer on “The Mickey Mouse Club” television show- a role she declined and which was subsequently awarded to Annette Funicello. She shared the stage with people such as Yul Brenner and even had her own car in what is now known as “The Hollywood Christmas Parade”.
In her mid-teens she opted for a more normal life away from the glitz and glam of Hollywood. She graduated from Granite Hills High School in El Cajon, California and went on to work in the banking industry for many years in the 1970’s and 1980’s for such companies as Bank of America and Wells Fargo. She married, had children, and attempted to enjoy her life much the same way we all do.
She possessed a playful and loving spirit and had the ability to stay positive even in the most trying of times. She was sometimes trusting to a fault; an endearing trait from which we sometimes had to protect her, but not to the point of robbing her of it. That’s just who she was, and was its own brand of good energy and almost childlike innocence. She never gave up on the world being a good place, no matter how many examples there may be to the contrary. Linda just had a beautiful way of seeing things.
Whether you knew her as “Mom”, “Grandma”, “The mom unit”, “Sister”, “LG” or simply “Linda” she touched countless lives with her easy and calm demeanour. She will be missed every single day.
Linda is preceded in death by her husband and love of her life, James Gayler, brothers and sisters - Howard “Duke” Johnson Jr, Wayne Bihm, Rufus Nelands, Amos Dangler, Nancy Dangler, David Lafleur, Barbara Deshotels, Etta Vannoy, and Nora Shepherd. She is survived by her son Legion Myers, daughter Jennifer Gayler-Hernandez and her husband Richard Hernandez, her granddaughters - Celena, Iris, Gabi, and Kora, her grandsons - Jacob and Isaac, as well as her sisters - Betsy Adams, Pearl Squires, Ruby Doucet, Gayle Riviere, and Barbara Burns.
Linda will be laid to rest at Riverside National Cemetery in California with her late husband at a time and date yet to be determined. While there are no formal funeral services planned, there will be a celebration of life gathering at Grand Heritage in Lavon, TX on Saturday, May 27th from noon until 3 PM. All family and friends are welcome to attend. Light refreshments will be served.
An additional celebration of life gathering will be held in California at a place and time yet to be determined.