Setliff, J. Gail

October 9, 1938 - November 8, 2013

In memory of Joie Gail Taylor Setliff, forever loved and forever missed.

Sweet and adored mother Joie Gail Taylor Setliff, passed away last November 8, 2013 at the age of 75. It has been a struggle to accept her absence. She is still so present, and that is why this last part of closure is the hardest. Time to say goodbye, as her birthday and the one-year anniversary of our loss approaches. Time to share with all those who loved and miss her, a little bit of her life.

Gail suffered a stroke in August of 2011. She coped with the life changes and the new limitations with very few complaints. She accepted the challenges and worked to overcome them. As her body became weaker, these challenges became more difficult. She was hospitalized in late October 2013 for pneumonia and sepsis, and, while treated for her acute illnesses, she never fully recovered.  She finally shut her eyes as if to say “enough”. After much prayer and sadness, her doctors and her immediate family, decided she was weary of this world and deserved peace.  The day we let her go was filled with visits from all of her family, including her husband, her four children, sons and daughters-in-law, grandchildren, and close friends and relatives. Others said goodbye to her with a phone placed at her ear. On the evening of November 8, 2013 her spirit left us to be with the angels. As she drew her last breath, her husband and two daughters were by her side.

Gail was born to the proud parents, Lois and Daniel Taylor. Named Joie Gail, her besotted father affectionately called her “Dub”. She was born October 9, 1938 in Clarksville, Arkansas.  Her father spoiled her, as she often recounted, bringing her hot chocolate in bed, as one memory of many she shared. She grew up in Arkansas, and, as an only child, had two very close friends who were like sisters to her until the day she died. They are the lovely Martha Rosenbaum and Polly Whitlow, both living in Little Rock, Arkansas today.  The three girls giggled their way through childhood, their youth, church, and college.  Even as adults, they often fell into fits of laughter together. True sisters.

Gail was very bright and attended college at the tender age of 16. She attended Ouachita Baptist College, now Ouachita University, and achieved her BA there, majoring in French. She also met the man she would marry, Reuben C. Setliff III.  His lucky day! They were married in Little Rock, Arkansas at the Second Baptist Church on November 21 1958. They had been married over 50 years at the time of her death.

Following Ouachita she obtained her Masters in Audiology at Vanderbilt University. A teacher at heart, she adored working with children who had hearing and speech difficulties and dedicated much of her working life with them. She worked alongside her husband in his ENT practice as the audiologist, and opened two Montessori schools, one in El Dorado, Arkansas and another in Sheridan, Wyoming. She was very dedicated to the practice of Montessori, and believed learning should be fun.

There are many special things about Gail.  She loved babies and children of all ages.  She loved the holidays, decorating for them and cooking the special meals.  She welcomed anyone that was brought into her home at dinnertime. She always had enough to go around.  She always made chili and cinnamon rolls the first snow of each winter the family lived in Wyoming.  Family and friends all recount the delicious meals they shared with her while in her home.  She made wonderful Mexican food that she learned to make in Guadalajara Mexico, tasty Southern dishes she learned from her mother and the best pies of all time. She was a Southern girl at heart, but she also loved the mountains.  She loved old-fashioned fragrant roses, and she also loved wildflowers.  Her trademark smell was Chanel No. 5, for her entire life, and she always smelled so beautiful and elegant.  Her favorite things to do with her own time included gardening, reading (and re-reading) old mysteries, cooking, playing with grandchildren, taking a “snooze”, drinking a “fizzy water ‘coke, reading her bible, doing puzzles and being outdoors.  But she cherished her family above all.

We all miss her voice. Her often used phrases…. Such as “ I swan”; “Just you hide and watch”; “Just tend to your own knitting”; and “Honey do you by chance have a coke?” said upon entering your home, as she was usually hot and needed to cool off.  There was always a coke for her.  The best thing Gail said all the time to her family and friends was “I love you”.  We didn’t just hear those words, we felt them.

With Gail now in heaven, her loved ones are left to look forward to seeing her again.

Gail is survived and missed dearly by her family and friends: Sonny Setliff, her husband; Stephanie Setliff Collins and husband Bryan Collins of Dallas; Taylor Setliff and wife Angela Setliff  of Dallas; Jennifer  Setliff Veltkamp and husband Daniel Veltkamp of Dallas; Adam Setliff and wife Annette Setliff of Dallas.  Her grandchildren range in age from early 20’s to not yet born. Grandchildren include, in order of her children listed above, Alexander and Christopher Bryan,(father Greg Bryan of Dallas), Cate Collins; Chantal and Cruz Lang, and Lexi and Gabi Setliff; Cooper and Wyatt Veltkamp; Jordan Setliff  (and mother Tricia Setliff  of Sarasota, FL); Audrey and Caroline Setliff, as well as a new Setliff baby on the way; Greg and Barbara Bryan and their son Wade Bryan of Dallas; Mary Dean Setliff of El Dorado. Arkansas; Barbara Geddie of  Palm Desert, California: Ginger Taylor of Magnolia, Arkansas; Max and Marianne Setliff of Ontario, Canada; Don Setliff of Delmar, California; Greg Ross of Denver, Colorado. There are more, and you know she loved you so very much.

From the immediate family:

Thank you to Aria Funeral home of Plano, especially to Crystal Bovaird, for helping our family through this very sad time.  Crystal has been precious to us. We appreciate you so much.

Mom is definitely in a better place. She is happy in heaven with her parents and has left her broken earthly body behind. She is now healed.  No more pain. Mom lives on in her children and grandchildren and that means she is still here with us.

We hope they have lovely gardens, lots of books, and “fizzy water” cokes in heaven, Mom.

We love you so much,

Sonny, Stephanie, Taylor, Jennifer and Adam

(and Riley, her constant canine companion)


Arrangements are under the direction of

ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252

2 replies on “Setliff, J. Gail”

Barbara Geddie says:

Rest sweetly, Joie Gail.

May loving memories remain in the hearts of your loving children & grandchildren who will miss their mother & grandmother very much.

Your cousin,

Mary Dean Setliff, Gary and Pam Setliff Swilley says:

Our beloved Gail Setliff Family:
Please know we will hold special memories shared with Gail close to our hearts now and forever. She was an incredible blessing to our lives and the lives of our children. We miss her but know that we will see her again in Heaven. Our love and prayers are with you all.
Aunt Mary Dean Setliff
Gary and Pam Setliff Swilley
El Dorado, Arkansas

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