Over the course of 65 years of life, Mary Louise “Mary Lou” Crutsinger Gayle was called daughter, sister, Mom, aunt, GrammyLou and friend. She lovingly answered to them all with an open heart and warm smile—a smile remembered by many as among her most captivating features. Mary Lou is survived by her son Matthew Gayle and spouse Carrie Gordon, daughter Sarah Leonard, and her beloved grandchildren Jeffrey and Genevieve. She was a sister to Barbara and spouse Joe Wood, Robert “Bobby” and spouse LaDona Crutsinger, Cathy and spouse Richard LaBranche, and Patricia “Tricia” and spouse Cecil Smith. Her memory also lives on in the hearts of nieces, nephews and devoted friends.

Before she was a doting mother and grammy, she was a spirited Falcon at Cox High School. She graduated in the Class of 1972 and was the eager coordinator of class reunions. Mary Lou went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from St. Leo University and master’s degree in Public Administration from Troy University. She used her earned knowledge to serve as an employee of the City of Virginia Beach for 24 years—starting her career as a legal secretary in the City Attorney’s Office and ultimately advancing to Public Works Right of Way Agent. Before her death, Mary Lou was slated to be honored as the Regional Professional of the Year by the International Right of Way Association—chosen as the best in her field, from Virginia to Maine.

Mary Lou was a devout Roman Catholic who taught catechism classes for years at St. John the Apostle Catholic Parish. She enjoyed the calm of crafting through knitting and crochet and loved the roar of laughter and comradery of a Bunko night with friends. She gave of her heart as an all-purpose community volunteer at Ocean Lakes High School, cheerleading coach through the Courthouse Recreation Association and, for 30 years, made gingerbread houses for each household in her extended family every Christmas season.

Mary Lou’s loved ones agree that her grandchildren Jeffrey and Genevieve were the light of her life. The two of them along with many others will ensure that her radiance continues to light the world.