CEARLOCK HONORED. American Legion Auxiliary Arthur Unit #479 surprised Gayle Cearlock with the 2021-2022 Community Service Appreciation award. Members present included (front row) Joyce Sapp, Unit President Barb Eckstein, and honoree Gayle Cearlock. (Back row) Gaye Davis, Arlone Doan, Linda Perrine, and Marty Jones.
Gayle Cearlock, a resident of Arthur since 1961, has been an outstanding community member and willing to help anyone in need. Her background in the community earned her the American Legion Auxiliary Community Service Appreciation Award at a special presentation on Thursday, January 20, at the Arthur United Methodist Church.
The focus for the 2021-2022 American Legion Auxiliary is on members in the local communities who care for others. While many members often care for veterans, there’s always that one unit member who does outstanding work in the community, even though they are not caregivers for a veteran. Gayle is that one unit member who stands out in the community as the “go-to-person” to get things done.
Gayle’s pastor Doug Davis, pastor of the Arthur Southern Baptist Church, gave Gayle high praise in her work for the community. Doug stated, “Gayle Cearlock genuinely loves the Lord and the life that He has given to her. She uses the gifts of hospitality, mercy, and serving that He has given to her to make a difference in countless numbers of lives.”
He added, “Gayle has a servant’s heart. She provides rides to church, checks on those who are shut in or ailing, helps with ministries and meals, has taught Vacation Bible School for over 50 years, and opens her home up to host Bible Study. Through all of these incredible accomplishments she continues to think of others above herself, approaching life with a genuine humility that we all love.”
Pastor Davis continued, “Gayle Cearlock blesses me on a regular basis. It is a pleasure to be her pastor and her friend. I am grateful to love and be loved by Gayle.”
Gayle doesn’t let any time go by that she is not busy doing something helpful. If she is not out in the community working, she is at home baking cookies or making meals for neighbors. She volunteers monthly at the Southern Baptist Church food pantry, Arthur MCC Thrift Shop, helps put out the flags with the auxiliary and spends time at the Arthur Home and Eberhardt Village filling in for whatever task they may need. She loves volunteering.
She retired from cooking at the Arthur Community Unit School District #305 after 26 years. Gayle has been a classroom helper for kindergarten teacher Emily Crossman for three years and loves every minute of it. “There is nothing more satisfying than working with young kids,” says Gayle.
Gayle lost her husband of 67 years on September 6, 2018. That is a long and happy marriage and one that leaves Gayle with spare time. She was used to helping others and she knew that is what her husband Tommy would want her to do.
Tommy was 85 when he passed away. He was a U.S. Army Veteran of the Korean War, a 50-year member of the Arthur Southern Baptist Church and a member of the Arthur VFW. He was seen around town frequently because he was an Arthur Postal Carrier for 20 years and worked as a mechanic & service manager for Collins-Daugherty Garage in Arthur.
Gayle and Tommy have three children, Jerry Cearlock of Paris, Randy Cearlock of Carmel, IN and Cathy Slover of Flora. She also has several grandchildren and great grandchildren.
What makes a person want to volunteer in so many ways and help wherever she can? Gayle states, I am not a very good loner, I would rather be doing something for others that need it. I guess when you come right down to it, it is just a spiritual gift.”