On February 11, 2020, surrounded by her children and precious puppy, Gaylene McDougal Matthews passed from her earthly home and returned to her Heavenly Father.
Gaylene was born to Edmund and LaRea McDougal on October 11, 1955 in Murray, Utah. She grew up on her family’s dairy farm in West Jordan, UT where she worked side-by-side with her family and learned the value of hard work and serving her fellow man. She loved the outdoors, especially gardening and taking care of animals. That passion for gardening and animals would lead her to win multiple awards in 4H at the Salt Lake County and Utah State Fairs.
Gaylene graduated from “the old Bingham High” in Copperton, UT in 1974. She was a member of the marching band where she played clarinet. Her love for music would carry on through multiple callings in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints including ward chorister, primary pianist, Relief Society chorister, and various other callings.
Gaylene’s faith was a counterpoint of her life; from faithfully serving in the Massachusetts Boston Mission between 1976-1978, to her over 40-year career working in accounting for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She said she did not work for her managers or bosses, but rather she worked for The Savior. She created lifelong friends and companions working in Downtown Salt Lake City at Church Headquarters and alongside various offices around the world. She had a tender-spot in her heart for working with international offices, especially the offices in West Africa. One of her finest accomplishments and joys came from receiving her retirement plaque from The First Presidency as recognition for her over 40 years of service with the Church.
Gaylene was a strong and independent single mother to her children, Amelia and Benjamin, always working to give them the best life she could. What could not be given with monetary items was given tenfold with unconditional love. Gaylene was a shinning example of compassion, unconditional love, and service even in her final days while her health declined.
Gaylene was heavily involved in the figure skating community in Salt Lake County. She did everything from being the chairperson for competitions like Utah Winter Games, hospitality coordinators for national and international figure skating competitions, venue and athlete coordinator for the 2002 Winter Olympics, and being an overall rink mother to many skaters. Some of the fondest memories she had was having the whole family together at the ice rink for shows and competitions; Benjamin would be skating while Amelia and she would be backstage running the show or working as volunteers. Many family vacations revolved around skating, from going to St. Louis for The State Games of America, to visiting Amelia in Evansville, IN while Benjamin was in town performing with Disney on Ice.
Thank you to all of Gaylene’s medical care teams that have worked hand-in-hand with her family over the past few years. These include the doctors and nursing teams at Utah Cancer Specialists, Intermountain Medical Center, Riverton Hospital, Nephology Associates of Utah, Rehab Without Walls, and all arms of Rocky Mountain Care. Special thanks to her friends and family for their love and support, and for fulfilling her final wishes of looking after her children.
Gaylene is preceded in death by her loving parents Edmund and LaRea McDougal; her brothers Wilburn and Dennis McDougal; sister-in-law Judy McDougal; and her niece Shawn McDougal.
She is survived by her children Amelia and Benjamin Matthews; her puppy Meeka; her siblings (Charlotte) McDougal, Carmi McDougal, (Pauline) McDougal, Karen (Edward) McDougal, Vaughn (Raelynn) McDougal, Craig (Sherri) McDougal; and her 36 nieces and nephews.
As much as Gaylene loved the outdoors, flowers were not kind to her. In lieu of flowers, which she had many allergies to, we are asking for written memories of Gaylene’s impact on your life, these can be submitted online in the condolences section of this website or personally given to her children.
A viewing will be held at McDougal Funeral Home located at 4330 S. Redwood Road Taylorsville, UT 84123 from 6:00 PM-8:00 PM on Monday, February 17, 2020. The funeral will be held the following day, Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at 10:00 AM, with a 9:00 AM visitation before, at the Riverton Central Stake Center located at 12852 S. 3200 W, Riverton, UT 84065. Interment, West Jordan City Cemetery.