Obituary: Gail Harley


Gail Harley, 84, of Batesville died Tuesday, July 14, 2020.

She was born in Benton on June 2, 1936, to Wilbur and Dora Leale (Baker) Ferguson.

Gail was a member of several clubs, which include the Collectors Club, Master Gardeners, Daughters of the American Revolution, UDC, Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, Civil War Roundtable, Independence Historical Society, Dulcimer Club, Red Hat Society, and was an officer in the Batesville Preservation Society. She taught classes at UACCB, had a master’s degree in industrial engineering, and was a high school science teacher. She was also a graduate of Arkansas Teachers College.

Gail was a loving mother and friend who was an avid antique collector. Her great-great-grandfather was the first rector at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. Her family actually donated stained glass for the church. In the ’70s, she was an advocate for adoption, a substitute teacher, started the local Miami Crime Watch, and worked as a school teacher. She was also a dispatcher for California Highway Patrol and a member of Paper Chase Writers Club.

She is survived by two daughters, Christina Merrell (John Vilardi) of Leesburg, Fla. Mary Elizabeth Falen (Walt) of Eustis, Fla.; two grandchildren, John Hammond, Jacob Falen; and niece, Samantha Ferguson Langley (Jimmy).

Preceding her in death is her parents; her loving husband, Jacob Tobe Harley; and her brother, Bud Ferguson.

Pallbearers are John Vilardi, Kenny Gerhardt, Terrell Tibbits, Walt Falen, Jacob Falen, and John Hammond.

Graveside services will be held Saturday, July 18, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. at Oaklawn Cemetery with Jim McDonald officiating under the direction of Roller-Crouch Funeral Home.

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