On November 11, 1958, Alexander and Lucille Williamson welcomed their fifth and final baby into the world. Sorry Alex! It’s another girl! Her mother’s sister, Ona, named her Gayle Lynette. Most people just called her “Gay.” She loved fish’n on the pond, playing basketball & pick’n cucumbers by the tons. (Not!) As evening turned to dusk, you could often hear sounds of music ringing throughout the neighborhood by a band Gay put together with cousins Benny June & Faye.
Since her birthday came after the school registration date, she graduated from Blevins High School in 1977. Following high school, she dabbled in college and worked in various food service industries where she would meet her calling. Gay met a couple also working in the industry who thought her talents would serve well in Dallas where they were heading. Gay later moved to Dallas and became widely known in the restaurant business. Her customers adored her. She never met a stranger. The girl could talk! While managing The Diner, she was frequently featured in the Dallas Morning News cooking delicious meals and serving people in and with a great atmosphere. She would later open The Caboose, a train-style eatery, where she was beloved from business executives to the diner’s waiters. It’s kinda hard to believe the chef she became once asked sister Charlotte how to fix chili in a can.
The Dallas Cowboys was her favorite team! And trying out for the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders became one of her dreams. Although she didn’t make the cut she could mark that off her bucket list of dreams. No doubt about it, Gay filled her life doing the things she loved, like hopping on a plane with little notice to visit family or friends and sometime just flying to states she’d never been. Gay loved entertaining friends and loved ones with elegant dinner parties. Now, don’t make her mad or arrive late! There’s reason she was called “Gator Bait!
A friend’s call led her to California where she lived many years. She loved the beach and became a California girl. Again, she heard a call leading her back to the Natural State. She made her home in Arkadelphia with Myrt and family for many years. Since she was known as a Southern Girl in the City Lights, Hot Springs caught her eye. And so did Harold Pickney who lived there. They were later married until God called him home in March, 2021. Gay said wanted to fly east one more time. After a brief illness, she took wings in flight in the early morning of October 12, 2022, but in a different direction: North, the friendly skies of heaven. “Fly on Gay”.
Her laughter and giving spirit will be cherished by her sisters, Myrtle Smith of Arkadelphia, Charlotte (Rondy) Briggs of Nashville; many nieces, nephews, cousins and beloved aunts, Bobbie, Essie and Helen; many loved ones and friends; and a special friend through the years, “Cres” of Dallas, Texas.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Alexander (Bear) and Lucille Williamson, of Emmett; sisters, Annie (Larry) McGill, of Little Rock, Brenda Hayden and nephew Chabli Hayden, formerly of Prescott; and a special brother-in-law, the late Rev. Raymond Smith, formerly of Arkadelphia.
Services commemorating the life of Gayle Lynette Williamson Pickney will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, October 22, at Antioch Cemetery in Emmett, with Rev. Rondy Briggs, eulogist.