Gaynell Downey Grant, aged 86 of Fairhope, entered heaven’s gates on Monday, December 30, 2019. She was born of the late John Calvin Downey and Beatrice Sorrels Downey on December 21, 1933. Gay graduated from Murphy High School in 1951 and Auburn University with a degree in Business Education in 1955. She met C. Wesley Grant while attending Auburn and they married in December of 1955.
She was a wonderful loving mother to her four children as well as a dedicated teacher for over 32 years. She started her career at Baldwin County High School in 1956. After a few years at Fairhope High School, she taught sixth-grade math for many years at Fairhope Middle School until retiring in 1989.
Gay was an active member of First Baptist Church of Fairhope where she and Wesley raised their family. She worked in the Sunday School records office for over 50 years. Gay learned to smock when she retired and made many beautiful garments for her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She taught herself to quilt and participated in a local Quilt Club. She spent many hours making beautiful quilts for every member of her family. Gay loved to travel and was able to do so with her husband, friends and family for the past several decades. Her last big trip was with her three daughters to see the northern lights in Iceland. Gay was a competitor and loved to play games, especially cards and dominos. She arranged a family vacation, “Beach Week,” for over 20 years where she enjoyed marathon games.
Gay was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, John C. Downey, Jr. She leaves behind her husband of 64 years, C. Wesley Grant, her four children, Brenda Saltz (Vann), Sharon Jones (John), Byron Grant (Kelly), and Susan Runnels (Paul). Her eight grandchildren, Grant Saltz (Amber), Jared Saltz, Katie Gable Robinson (Ryan), Ben Gable, Brooke Runnels, Wes Runnels, Lauren Grant Minor (Wayne), and Camden Grant and seven great grandchildren. She also leaves behind two brothers, Ray Downey (Sue) of Spanish Fort, and Delbert Downey (Lou Ann) of Glencoe, Alabama.
Services will be held at First Baptist Church of Fairhope on Thursday, January 2, 2020. The family will receive friends beginning at 11:00am and a celebration of life will begin at 12:00 noon. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Missions or the Building Fund at First Baptist Church of Fairhope, 300 South Section St., Fairhope, AL, 36532. Expressions of condolence may be offered at www.hughesfh.com. Arrangements are by Hughes Funeral Home, 26209 Pollard Rd., Daphne, AL, 36526.