Gayle Suzanna Saunders – Manchester

Gayle Suzanna Saunders, 85, of Manchester, Iowa, passed away on Saturday, July 10, 2021,  at Regional Medical Center in Manchester.  She was born October 19, 1935 in Farley, the daughter of Paul and Philomena (Kertels) Gearhart. Gayle attended Buck Creek High School and graduated in 1953 as the valedictorian.  She worked at the Monticello bank until her marriage.

On April 18, 1954, Easter Sunday, Gayle was united in marriage to Lyle J. Saunders at Buck Creek Methodist Church. Seven children were born to this union.  Gayle and Lyle started farming near Hopkinton after their marriage and then farmed in the Manchester area. They retired from farming in 1998 and continued living in the Manchester area.

Gayle enjoyed butterflies, cooking, puzzles, word books, flowers, and playing cards. Playing games with her grandchildren always made Gayle happy.  She most enjoyed spending time with all her family and friends.

Survivors include her husband, Lyle of 67 years; her seven children, Craig (Brenda) Saunders of Manchester, Krista (Denny) Meyer of Manchester, Kerri (Rick) Linderwell of Dundee, Scott (Sandy) Saunders of Marion, Kevin (Lisa) Saunders of Winthrop, Kenda (Art) Gourley of Earlville, and Karla (Gary) Francois of Manchester; 18 grandchildren; 22 great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.

 Gayle was preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Herbert Gearhart and William Gearhart; two sisters, Margaret Reth and Sandra Jacobson; and a son-in-law, David Ager.

 Online condolences may be sent to

Funeral Service: 11:00 a.m., on Wednesday, July 14, 2021, at Leonard-Muller Funeral Home in Manchester, with Reverend Tony D. Ede officiating.

 Visitation:    4:00 to 7:00 p.m., on Tuesday, July 13, 2021, at Leonard-Muller Funeral Home in Manchester. Friends may also call from 10:00 a.m. until time of the service at the funeral home on Wednesday.

 Interment: Oakland Cemetery – Manchester, Iowa




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