Gayle Page Strickland Elkes, 86


Gayle Page Strickland Elkes, age 86, passed away peacefully on March 12, 2024, at The Windsor of Ocala under the care of Hospice of Marion County after a heart-breaking journey with dementia. A memorial service was held Friday, March 15, at 2 p.m. at Ocala First United Methodist Church in Ocala, FL.

Gayle was born April 17, 1937, in Kite, to the late Burley and Annie Ruth Fortner Page. She was a loving mother, a caring friend to innumerable, and one of God’s faithful servants. Gayle enjoyed the simple life of a country girl. She fondly remembered visiting extended family with her grandparents and often shared her recollections with interested family members. Gayle returned to Kite often for visits, but she always returned annually each Thanksgiving for the Page Family Reunion and to attend the Masters Golf Tournament during her visits in April.

A 1955 graduate of Swainsboro High School, Gayle attended the Barrett School of Nursing in Augusta where she received her degree in nursing. There, she met the love of her life, Edmond Thomas Strickland, Jr., who was a native of Calhoun. They were happily married for 26 years and had three children. Sadly, Dr. Strickland predeceased Gayle on July 10, 1986. In November 1994, Gayle married Frank Elkes with whom she shared 20 years until his death in 2015.

After Dr. Strickland returned to the United States from his Navy Deployment to Vietnam as a field surgeon in 1968, the couple moved from Georgia and made their home in Ocala, FL. Gayle enjoyed entertaining and was a gracious hostess. She was a member of the Marion County Medical Society Auxiliary, the Ocala Chapter, NSDAR, the J.J. Dickison Chapter No. 56, UDC, HUGs Charity Board, PEO, Reviewer’s Book Club, and her special bridge club for over 55 years. As an active member of Ocala First United Methodist Church, Gayle faithfully served on many committees and was active in The Open-Door Sunday School class as well as United Methodist Women.

Mrs. Elkes is survived by her children, Edmond Thomas Strickland, III (Jody) of Perry, Gayle Page Branson (Rusty) of Ocala, FL and Stuart Burley Strickland of Gainesville, FL; six grandchildren, Tyson Strickland (Anna) of Comer, Morgan Grizzle (Gordon) and Samantha Lineberger (Luke), all of Perry, Tucker Branson (Kaeley) and Sawyer Branson (Ashley), all of Ocala, FL and Bryson Strickland of Gainesville, FL; seven great-grandchildren, Harper Ann and Mary Elizabeth Strickland, Thomas, Evie, and Owen Grizzle, and Sam and Sutton Lineberger; two siblings, Burley Page, Jr. (Connie) and Annelle Norris of Kite.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to HUGs Charities, PO Box 34, Ocala, FL 34478 or; Hospice of Marion County, PO Box 4860, Ocala, FL 34478 or; The Alzheimer’s Association,; or Minton Chapel Cemetery Fund, c/o 732 Page Garrett Road, Kite, GA 31049.

Roberts Funeral Home and Crematory of Dunnellon was in charge of the arrangements.