Our beloved mother, grand-mother, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend died in the early morning of February 11, 2023 due to ALS, just seven months after receiving the awful diagnosis but over two years after first exhibiting symptoms of the disease.
Gay Lynne was born in Salt Lake City in 1946 to Thomas Drury (d. 1997) and Celia Jensen Drury (d. 1960). She was named after her father’s favorite college professor, Galen Price. Gay Lynne was the third of seven children: Tom Drury, Sharron Furness, Dan (“Snake”) Drury, Marjorie Drury, Virginia (“Pooney”) Drury, and Tonya Baxter. As a child, she loved to sing and dance around the house with her older sister, Sharron. Sadly, Gay Lynne’s mother, Celia, passed away when Gay Lynne was only 14 years old.
Gay Lynne attended South High School where she was very active as a cheerleader, in student government, and in the theatre department. She played the lead role of Peter in the musical “Peter Pan,” fondly remembered flying across the stage while belting out the lyrics to “I’m Flying.” She also played the role of a step-sister in the musical, “Cinderella.” She and her co-step-sister stole the show with their rendition of “Why would a fella want a girl like you?” Gay Lynne was also very active on the debate team. She was featured on a weekly high school debate television show and was undefeated for several months in a row.
After graduating from high school in 1964, Gay Lynne began studying drama at the University of Utah. She married Lynn Hemingway in 1965 and she and Lynn had four children, Tracy Hemingway (b. 1966), Tiffini John (1968-2022), Tami Smith (b. 1969), and Craig Hemingway (b. 1974). Gay Lynne and Lynn divorced in 1975. In 1976, Gay Lynne married Jay Maddox. Gay Lynne and Jay had a daughter, April Maddox (b. 1978) and divorced in 1983. In 1995, Gay Lynne married Ron Lillie.
Even while raising five children, Gay Lynne managed to maintain a very busy life professionally. Initially, she worked in the financial industry. She was a stock-broker for Cutler Hunsaker Securities and later worked as an auditor for Smoot, Miller, & Cheney. After the market crashed in 1987, Gay Lynne began working for the airline industry. First, she worked as a reservation agent for Eastern Airlines but soon became a flight attendant, first for Morris Airlines and then Southwest Airlines. Gay Lynne was an exemplary flight attendant. She was best known for singing silly made-up songs to familiar tunes over the loud speaker and probably had more letters written to the corporate offices applauding her exemplary service than any other flight attendant in Southwest Airlines from 1994 until retiring in 2016.
She was also very active in the Mormon church. She served as president of the Relief Society and as the chorister for the children’s primary. She loved teaching children how to sing.
Gay Lynne was incredibly generous and hard-working. She worked tirelessly (oftentimes as a single mom) so that her children, grand-children, and other family members could have all the “extras” in life. Even after her children were grown and while she was nearing retirement she would continue to spoil her grand-children by taking them to Disneyland every chance she got. Gay Lynne was also incredibly generous with her extended family, whether it be flying family or friends across the country on one of her “buddy passes” for fun and adventure or hosting monthly “taco nights” at her house so that family members would have some place to congregate and enjoy one of Gay Lynne’s famous greasy tacos.
Gay Lynne is survived by four children, three siblings, and a loving extended family. In addition to losing her mother, Celia, in 1960 (also on February 11th), she lost her father, Thomas in 1997; sister Marjorie in 2012; husband Ron in 2016; brother Dan in 2018; brother Tom in 2019; and daughter Tiffini on December 11, 2022, exactly two months prior to Gay Lynne’s death.
We would like to thank the loving staff of Carrington Court’s Memory Care Facility in South Jordan as well as Active Hospice for caring for Gay Lynne throughout the last months of her life. Services will be held on Monday, February 27, 2023 at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 308 6th Avenue, Midvale, UT 84047. Visitation will be from 10am to 11am with services beginning at 11am followed by interment at Midvale City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in Gay Lynne’s name to the ALS foundation,
, or your local animal shelter.