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Paul Gayle DeHaven

Paul G DeHaven.jpg

Paul Gayle DeHaven

Paul Gayle DeHaven passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 23, 2024. Gayle, as he was known to family and friends, was born on August 1, 1931, in Winchester, was a life-long resident of this area, and proud graduate of John Handley High School, Class of 1950.


He was the son of Paul B. and Dorothy DeHaven who preceded him in death along with his sisters, Hazel Mason and Naomi Trenary. Gayle is survived by his loving wife Betty Layman DeHaven and brother Stewart DeHaven (Susan, deceased) of Alexandria, VA. Also surviving are nephews, Steve Orndorff (Virginia) of Broomfield, CO, Scott Mason (Judy Maguire) of Front Royal, VA, Paul DeHaven of Herndon, VA, Kevin DeHaven (Joy) of Huntersville, NC, Bryan Layman (Elaine) of Leesburg, VA, and their children, Maddy, Katy and Bennett, nieces Kathy Benson (Chris) of St. Augustine, FL and Kelly Rehrer (John) of King George, VA, and their daughter, Frances.

As a young man growing up in Winchester, Gayle built a reputation as an industrious youngster selling garden fresh vegetables door to door in the summertime from a little red wagon, operating a Root Beer stand in his front yard selling his mother’s homemade root beer, working part time jobs at several stores, and assisting his father in his construction business. During World War II, Gayle collected scrap metal to aid in the war effort and took candy and cigarettes to the guards at the prisoner of war camp in the Virginia Avenue area of Winchester where Russian and German prisoners of war were held.

Upon graduating from Handley and as the Korean war broke out, Gayle enlisted in the United States Air Force where he served his country for four years, rising to the rank of staff sergeant. After basic training in Texas and advanced training in Arizona where he attended Arizona State University, he was stationed at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton, Virginia. From there he was assigned to the 3rd Air Force, 49th Air Division, 47th Bomb Wing and stationed at Royal Air Force Station Sculthorpe, Norfolk County, in the United Kingdom. It was while stationed in England that Gayle had the great experience of meeting and talking with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip. In 1953, Hunstanton, England had been ravaged by floods. Gayle volunteered to assist the British Army clear flood damaged areas. While engaged in this task, the Queen and Prince visited where Gayle was working. He was introduced to them and on behalf of the British people, they thanked him for his volunteer work. He also often enjoyed Sunday Brunch with friends at the American Embassy.

Gayle’s love for travel also began while he was in England. Taking advantage of US Air Force transportation, he visited many countries in northern Europe. Upon completion of his enlistment and before returning to the United States, he spent over a month traveling across all of western Europe and the British Isles visiting historic sites.

Three weeks after his return to Winchester in 1955, Gayle met the love of his life Betty Lou Layman whom he married on October 27, 1956. So began their life-long adventure of 67 years. Betty worked for the telephone company and Gayle, after working for several financial companies, went to work for the United States Department of Defense in 1960. He was an information technology specialist and retired in 1986 after 26 years of government service.

During all their years together Betty and Gayle loved traveling. They were indeed world travelers touring all the United States, Western Europe, British Isles, Australia, Indonesia, and other destinations. Gayle chronicled their travels with souvenirs and maps of the places they had visited which he displayed in his man-cave garage that became a neighborhood gathering place. Gayle would regale friends with his and Betty’s worldwide adventures.
Gayle was a member in good standing of the Winchester Hiram Masonic Lodge No. 21. He was a member of the Winchester Jaycees and the Northern Virginia Builders Association. He served as a Board member to Carpers Valley Golf Course and was a member of the Millwood Golf Course. He and Betty were members of the Winchester Country Club for 50 years. They also served on many Apple Blossom committees.

Gayle was a man with a great sense of humor, keen wit, and astute political views. All conversations with him were laced with these virtues. In later years, most mornings, he would meet with a group of friends at a local McDonald’s. They called it “going to the office”. Here, often led by Gayle, a wide range of topics would be discussed in a lively manner for an hour or more. All who were part of that group would agree it was a great way to start the day with humor, laughter, and comradeship. They thank Gayle for this and we along with all that knew him will cherish this memory.

A graveside service with military honors will be held at Mount Hebron Cemetery in the DeHaven family plot on Monday, July 9, 2024 at 11:00am.

Honorary Pallbearers will be his nephews: Steve Orndorff, Scott Mason, Paul DeHaven, Kevin DeHaven, and Bryan Layman.

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