Anita Gayle Wells Barnes, 70, died December 30, 2022, at home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, surrounded by her family.
Gayle is the daughter of the late Charles and Dot Wells. Gayle is survived by her daughter, Jennifer Barnes Haynes and her grandchildren, Brooklyn Gayle Butler and Leland Haynes. Gaye is also survived by her brothers and sisters, Larry (Sherry) Wells, James (Denise) Wells, Tina (Sam) Law, and Tammy (Norman) Samuel, as well as her many nieces and nephews, whom she adored.
Gayle began her career in retail management before pursuing her education in Hydroelectric Engineering. Gayle’s many and varied educational accomplishments are too many to name but include two master’s degrees. At a time when it was unheard of that a woman be employed in such a “male only” environment, Gayle quickly rose through the ranks at TVA and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In 1994, Gayle became the first female in the U.S. to manage a hydroelectric dam, managing the Richard B. Russell Dam in Elberton. At her retirement in 2014, Gayle was the highest ranked woman in hydropower ever in the U.S. Corps of Engineers. She mentored many woman and men who work in the energy industry and leaves behind a great legacy.
Gayle’s retirement plan was to move to Myrtle Beach and spend her later years enjoying her time living near Jennifer, Brooklyn, and Leland, and cruise the world and “dance the Carolina shag” with all of her many friends. Happily, she was able to do all that for a while. She was diagnosed with dementia/Alzheimer’s disease approximately one year after her retirement. She lived out her remaining years with her precious daughter taking good care of her in her home.
There will be a graveside service on Saturday, January 14, at 1p.m. at Franklin Memory Gardens, 2710 Waterloo Road, Russellville, Alabama, followed by a private Celebration of Life.
In lieu of flowers, the family hopes that any donations be made to either a hospice organization of your choice or to Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, 322 8th Avenue, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10001. Checks should be made payable to “Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.”
Announcement courtesy of Berry Funeral Home.