Gayle A. Thole, 54, of Highland died on Monday, April 11, 2016 at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Belleville.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, April 15 and from 8 to 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, April 16 at St. Paul Catholic Church in Highland. A funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 16 at St. Paul Catholic Church in Highland, with Father Pat G. Jakel, pastor, officiating. Burial will be in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Highland.
She was born on Nov. 25, 1961 in Highland to Virgil and Adeline (Frey) Wilhelm. On Dec. 4, 1981, she married Ronald J. Thole at St. Paul Catholic Church in Highland. He survives in Highland.
Mrs. Thole grew up on a farm south of town. She graduated from St. Paul High School in Highland in 1979. She attended Eastern Illinois University and Southern Illinois University, with an emphasis in English education.
She worked for Widmer Floral Co. in Highland for more than 30 years, and she purchased the business in July 2011. Anything that was delivered from her shop had to be “right/perfect.” Work was never a 40-hour week; it included Saturdays, Sundays and all hours of the day.
She enjoyed knitting. She knitted all of her grandchildren a baby blanket.
She enjoyed shooting pool at Scooters and Beagle Inn, playing euchre, solving word and jigsaw puzzles, and she was in a bowling league at Hi Top Bowl. She raised her own vegetables, canned them and was known for her salsa.
She loved her children and grandchildren. Annually, with her siblings, in honor of their mother, they did a Christmas tree for the Louis Latzer Homestead and the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows.
She was a member of St. Paul Catholic Church in Highland and the Highland Garden Club.
Other survivors include her father, who lives in Highland; a daughter, Rebecca L. (David) Roth of Troy; a son, Joseph W. (Joyce) Thole of Troy; grandchildren, Adele K. Roth, Amelia R. Roth, Charlotte J. Thole, Malcolm J. Roth, and Evelyn M. Thole, all of Troy; a brother, Kenny A. (Susan) Wilhelm of Bend, Ore.; sisters, Kathleen M. (R. Leland) Grant of Edwardsville, Connie J. (John) Tauser of Florissant, Mo., Carol Sue (Kelly) Kimmitt of San Diego, Calif., Nancy J. (Mark) Gilbert of Seattle, Wash., and Trina M. (James) Zurfluh of Seattle, Wash.; and many nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her mother, who died on Dec. 26, 1998.
Memorials may be made to the Multiple Sclerosis Society or American Lung Association.