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Gayle Walters Olson, 83, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 5, 2019, at the Trinity Center at Luther Park in Des Moines. Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Thursday, June 13, at Grace Lutheran Church, 5201 Urbandale Avenue, Des Moines, where the family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow at Resthaven Cemetery in West Des Moines.
Gayle was born on February 26, 1936, at Ellston, Ringgold County, Iowa to Donald and Alice (Adams) Walters. She attended Ellston schools and graduated from Ellston High School in 1954 and played basketball. Gayle received her Associate’s Degree from Capital City Commercial College in 1955. She worked for Pioneer, then Equitable Assurance until 1960. Gayle met the love of her life, Virgil, at a YWCA dance in 1958 and they were married on August 16, 1959, in Tingley, Iowa. She stayed home to raise her family until their boys were in junior high. She then worked for Des Moines food service at Hoover High School for 28 years, retiring in 2001. Gayle was a member of Grace Lutheran Church since 1961.
Gayle enjoyed the many gatherings in Omaha with family and daughter-in-law, Sandy’s family. It was tradition that she always brought her special potato salad, kringla, sour cream sugar cookies and strawberry salad. She also enjoyed the many years of camping with their two boys and traveled to many parks and states and baseball games. After the boys were grown, they traveled to all 50 states, all but two Canadian provinces and three cruises. They also went to Grand Turk Island to see Jerry and Sandy in the Peace Corps and trips to Norway and Denmark. They enjoyed fourteen winters spent in Texas and she enjoyed all the music jams and potlucks with friends. Gayle was an avid reader and loved her crossword puzzles and playing scrabble and other games.
Gayle is survived by her husband of almost sixty years, Virgil, two sons, Jerry (Sandy) and Brian; two grandsons, Jacob (Dryden) and Luke (Alexandria); two great-granddaughters, Joey and Jacey; two brothers, Bruce Walters and Bernard (Jeanine) Walters; brother-in-law, Vern (Sandy) Olson, and many nephews, nieces and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents and sister-in-law, Martha Walters.
Visitation will be Wednesday, June 12, from 5-7 p.m. at Iles-Westover Chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Grace Lutheran Church or UnityPoint Hospice. Online condolences will be welcomed at

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