Richards, Gayla June


The Reverend Gayla June Richards

September 24, 1933 – February 5, 2021

It is with heartfelt gratitude that we acknowledge the impact Gayla June Richards made on our lives. Gayla June passed away on February 5, 2021 at the age of 87 after a journey with dementia. She is survived by her children Heather, Leah, Kevin (Dar), and their families which include her grandchildren Kate (Robyn), Lauren (Kevin), Stephanie (Dan), Mitch, Amanda (Josh), and Nathaniel; and great-grandchildren Ellie, Cara, Sadie, Guinevere, Ali, and Finn; as well as her brother Bruce, her sister Beth, and her nieces and nephews. Gayla June was predeceased by her sisters Joyce and Colleen.

Gayla June spent most of her life on the prairies. She started post-secondary education when her children were still young and earned a B Ed degree. She taught junior high in Ft. McMurray for a few years, then moves back to Edmonton where she earned a B A degree, followed by a Masters in Anthropology. Her quest for education and her wish to help people led her to the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Saskatoon where she earned a Masters of Divinity at the age of 63. Gayla June did her internship in Bawlf, Alberta, then accepted a call to Ryley and Holden parishes, where she served as pastor for 13 years until her retirement in 2009. After 5 years of retirement in Camrose, Gayla June moved to Edmonton to be near family as she entered care.

A memorial service will be live streamed with Pastor David Melax officiating on Friday, February 19, 2021 at 2:00 pm online. Go to YouTube and enter the following:

The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the care providers at the Good Samaritan Southgate as well as to the congregations of Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Edmonton, Bawlf Lutheran Church, Holden Lutheran Church, and Bethel Lutheran Church in Ryley for their support of Gayla June over the years.

In memory of Gayla June, express gratitude to someone this week and wear something blue on the 19th.


Serenity Funeral Service – South Edmonton, (780)450-0101

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Tribute wall - a place to share your memories and condolences

Mickey Wilson

I had a wonderful relationship with Pastor Gayla June when she was here in Ryley. I attended church regularly and listened to her wisdom and care. Especially her care and kindness. We shared many cups of tea at her home where we discussed faith and theology and life. And most especially what we DIDN’T know about those very things. I connected with her regularly after I moved. Went to church here when I visited and often went for a cup of tea before going home. What I remember is that Gayla June’s mind and heart and door were always open. She was the model of what it’s like to be a good neighbour and how to share the love of God, without the trappings of religion, into every corner of her community. She was a blessing to me and our community.


Thank you for sharing these wonderful memories of GaylaJune. She was a strong compassionate woman. She helped me get into nursing school and helped me with assignments. She was there for many special occasions in my life. High-school grad(she made my Grad dress), getting my first job in edmonton at daycare, my Registered Nursing Grad, The birth of my children. She was such a blessing! I loved her and her sense of humor very much. We had many laughs together. I look forward to catching up in Heaven one day with her. Loved hearing Harry and Heather sing together as well, so very special. Hugs and love to the whole family from the bottom of my heart.
It was nice seeing you all in the video.

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