Mother & Community Leader

Mother and Grandmother

Gayle’s most important job was that of mother. She devoted herself tirelessly to raising her four children and instilling in them the values of honor, integrity and service above self.


Harrell Family 1992

The accomplishments of their children, both in their education, work experiences, and relationships, have been a great source of enjoyment for Gayle and James.

Stephanie has her Ph.D. in creative writing and lives with her husband and 3 children in San Francisco. She is a stay -at -home Mom working on a new novel. Her husband, Adam Johnson won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel, The Orphan Master’s Son in 2013.

Jennifer, a Yeager Scholar at Marshall University, now lives with her husband in Denver and is the Chief Operating Officer for the Colorado Department of Higher Education. She received her MBA in Finance and International Business from Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

James, Jr. lives with his wife in Atlanta with his 2 children. He is a computer engineer from Georgia Tech and works for an international company. He is currently working on an MBA from Emory University.

Melinda had an Air Force ROTC scholarship and graduated from Georgetown University and spent 4 years in the Air Force including 15 months in the Middle East. She and her husband, a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force, have three boys and are stationed at Eglin Air Force Base in Ft. Walton Beach, Florida where she is pursuing her MSW.


Gayle’s mother’s 95th birthday celebration

Community Leader



Gayle began her service to her community in high school and has been a dedicated community volunteer ever since. She has served her community for over 44 years giving of herself to benefit others. Her business, organizational and teaching skills have benefited many organizations including Hibiscus Children’s Center, Inc., The Barn Theatre, Martin County Schools, Helping People Succeed (formerly Tri-County Tec), American Association of University Women, the Pan American Round Table, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Hospice of the Treasure Coast and many others. Gayle is committed to building a better community.

The political process has also benefited from Gayle’s commitment to service. Whether helping candidates get elected, serving on the Executive Committee, or presiding over meetings as President of the Republican Club, Gayle has been an active member of the Republican community for over 22 years.



Gayle and her family worship at The First Presbyterian Church of Stuart. She has served as Deacon and Elder and chaired the Personnel Committee, as well as having been a Sunday School and Bible School teacher and member of the finance committee. She currently serves as a Lay Reader.



Gayle has been recognized for her contributions to the community by various organizations. In 1992 she was selected as the United Way “Outstanding Volunteer in Social Services”, in 1996 by the Palm Glades Girl Scout Council as the “Distinguished Woman of the Year” in the Private Sector and in 1998 received the Florida Belle Chenault Award for patient advocacy from the Florida Medical Association.

Father's day Council-118


In 2012, Gayle was overjoyed to learn her husband, James, was honored as Father of the Year by the American Diabetes Association. (Click here for information on this wonderful organization.) Some of the past recipients are Ronald Reagan, Colin Powell and Rudolph Giuliani.