Gayle I. Howell (Overton)

Gayle I. Howell (Overton), 84, of Gering, passed away Monday, January 14, 2019 at Heritage Estates in Gering.  She set a fine example of fighting cancer with dignity.  A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, January 26, 2019 at Central Church of Christ in Gering with Pastor Herb Rainey officiating.  Casual attire is welcome.  Interment will follow at West Lawn Cemetery in Gering.  Visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m., Friday, January 25, 2019 at Bridgman Funeral Home in Scottsbluff.  Memorials may be made in care of the family.  Online condolences may be made by visiting

Gayle was born August 29, 1934 in Clay Center, Nebraska to Clarence and Dorothy (Leiter) Overton.  The family moved to Alliance when Gayle was four months old.  She graduated from Alliance High School with the class of 1952.

Gayle married Darnello H. Howell on May 29, 1953 in Hot Springs, South Dakota.  Seven children were born to this union.  She loved Darnello to the day she passed.  She was always saying he was handsome and the best thing in her life.  She was full of forgiveness and Darnello said she was the wind beneath his wings.  They loved each other to the end.  They could often be found drinking coffee together with friends.  Their Friday night dates were spent people-watching at the old Wal-Mart in Scottsbluff.  They would grab a hamburger and a drink and hang out in the parking lot watching people come and go.

Gayle worked for Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services as a secretary for 33 years retiring in 1999.  She made many friends and acquaintances through the years. 

Gayle was a giving and caring person.  Her smile said it all.  She loved going to garage sales and auctions.  She enjoyed spending time at her daughter, Janet’s house.  Janet especially appreciated all the time her parents spent together taking care of her place, mowing and feeding the birds, geese and fish.  Gayle said going to Janet’s was her “relaxation”.  She liked the outdoors and also spent time visiting the Riverside Zoo and the Wildcat Hills. 

Gayle was an amazing mother and always busy with her family.  She took a lot of time attending parent teacher conferences for seven children, going to band concerts and rooting for the Gering Bulldog football team.  She loved the Nebraska Cornhuskers and proudly wore her red Nebraska shirt.

We as her children are proud of our Mom.  She was a good example of faith and she always read her Bible and prayed when hard decisions needed to be made.  She was also an example of endurance through good and bad times.  We’ll miss her wisdom and guidance, but most of all we will miss her big, beautiful smile.  Her previous boss, T.J. always told her, “keep smiling or you will get wrinkles.”  So everyone keep smiling!

Survivors include her children, Janet Howell, Jeane Warfield, Julie (Gary) Ballinger, James (Mary) Howell, Jeff (Caroline) Howell and Jodell (Andy) Augustyn; grandchildren, Bryan (Billie), Derrick (Monica), Troy (Kyna), Tracy (Aaron), Madison, Zachary, Alison, Tamara (Paul), Trevor, AJ (Candy) and Michael (Elizabeth); great grandchildren, Angello, Calin, Aspen, Arkaya, Lane, Oden, Rylee, Brodee, Kolter, Samantha, Grace, Drew, Emily, Grace, Avilene and Aspen; brother, Larry Overton; nephews, Mike, Dan and Allen; and sister in law, Donna Bolek and family.

She was preceded in death by her husband; son, Jay; and grandson, Travis; father and step-mother, Clarence and Rachel Overton; mother and step-father, Dorothy and George Yoakum; and sisters in law, Delores Jensen and Geraldine Overton.

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