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August 30, 1943 ~ September 6, 2023 (age 80) 80 Years Old
Read more about the life story of Donna and share your memory.
Donna Gayle Proctor, born on August 30, 1943, in Coronation, Alberta, passed away peacefully in Lethbridge, Alberta on September 6, 2023, one week after celebrating her 80th birthday with family and friends. Gayle had a life filled with adventure, achievement, and unwavering love for God and her family and friends.
Growing up with her big brother, Bill and her sister, Gerri on a farm at Silver Heights in Eastern Alberta, Gayle's early years were marked by her love for horses, a passion she inherited from her father, Johnny Leigh, a rodeo cowboy. She spent her childhood playing and exploring the wide-open spaces of her family's farm, developing a deep connection with the land and the animals that called it home. Gayle had a special bond with her grandparents, Cameron and Christina Leigh, cherishing their time and affection.
Gayle earned both a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Education from the University of Alberta, providing the foundation for a remarkable career in teaching and educational leadership. In 1962, she began her teaching career in the Edmonton Public School system, where she touched the lives of countless students through her work in elementary schools and special education programs. Her passion for education led her to become the Principal of Windsor Park Elementary School in Edmonton at a young age. Gayle's visionary leadership, coupled with her ability to build strong relationships with parents and teachers, created a nurturing and inspiring learning environment for students.
In 1975, Gayle acquired a horse named Brandy and she and her husband, John Proctor, purchased a farm for Brandy in Kingman, Alberta, where she and her family embraced the joys of rural life. With this move, Gayle’s career path shifted, and she took on Principal positions in Strathcona County at Ministik School and Wes Hosford Elementary. Gayle's commitment to education continued to shine through her leadership and dedication to her students.
Gayle retired in 1994 and embarked on a new chapter in her life. She and her husband enjoyed winters at Venture Out in Mesa, Arizona, where they formed lasting friendships and cherished many memorable moments. In her free time, Gayle pursued various hobbies, including reading, silver smithing, lapidary, and exploring garage sales for hidden treasures.
Though she may have been small in physical stature, Gayle was a giant in the hearts of those who knew her. Her influence as a leader, educator, mother, and wife was profound and far-reaching. She was a wonderful mother to her sons, Marty and Bradley, and a devoted wife to John.
Gayle is survived by her son Marty (Pam) Proctor; grandsons Chad (Danielle) Proctor, David (Ema) Proctor, James (Alison) Proctor; great-granddaughters Wynter and Leni Proctor; brother Bill (Marg) Leigh; sister Gerri (Len) Wahlund; nephew Darcy (Barb) Leigh; and nieces Vickie Houk and Erin Wahlund. Gayle was pre-deceased by her parents John and Marion Leigh, her husband John Roger Proctor, and her son Bradley Roger Proctor who passed away only three weeks earlier.
Gayle’s family appreciates the compassionate professionals with the Lethbridge MAID program for helping her leave her broken body with dignity.
Gayle's passing reminds us of the strength and grace that she displayed throughout her life. She faced her final moments with bravery and elegance, leaving behind a legacy of love and learning.
At Gayle’s request there will not be a memorial service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Gayle’s memory to a charity of your choosing.
Cremation has been entrusted to Martin Brothers Riverview Chapel.