Gayle Ann Barrett

OAKLAND – Gayle Ann Barrett, 77, died at Scarborough Terrace in Scarborough on Feb. 4, 2020. Her sister was by her side.

Gayle was born in Waterville on Jan. 11, 1943, daughter of Ann (Anderson) Burton and Oreland R. Burton. She attended schools in Maine, California and Florida and graduated from Williams High School, Oakland, Maine in 1961. She went on to graduate from Grahm Junior College in Boston, in 1963, with a degree in broadcasting. She moved back to Maine and found employment in the Waterville area. She married her husband, Rodney Barrett in 1965.

Gayle had many talents and interests, but her love for animals was in her soul. It was her very spirit! She loved and protected all animals big, small, domestic and wild. She was constantly rescuing animals, too numerous to count. There were always several animal friends in her home. She was an advocate for animals’ rights and a member of many animals’ rights groups. She was a huge supporter of the Humane Society and in her early years was a member of its leadership in Waterville.

Gayle loved Maine. She loved nature. She loved the land and was a believer in protecting the environment long before it became the thing we all need to do! She launched a campaign to protect her land and the animals on it from pesticide spraying that included the land of her surroundings neighbors as well. She spent many years communicating and negotiating with several State of Maine agencies and officials to make changes.

Gayle was a published writer, a cartoonist (she had a great sense of humor) an avid reader (E.B. White was a favorite), an amateur photographer and she enjoyed gardening. She loved music. She played the guitar and taught herself to play the mandolin. She loved listening to Mickey Newbury, Johnny Cash and Frank Sinatra.

Gayle is survived by her sister, Joanne Burton of Florida; her aunts, Elaine Burton of Oakland and Eva Gardener of Warwick, R.I.; several cousins and grandcousins; and her stepchildren, Brad Barrett and his wife, Kathy and Lynne Cates and her husband, Gerald and their children and grandchildren. Also, Gayle is both survived by and predeceased by her many special and beloved animal friends.

Gayle was predeceased by her husband of 47 years, Rodney Barrett; her parents; and several aunts, uncles and cousins.

Gayle wished to be cremated and have no formal funeral. A small graveside memorial at the Lewis Cemetery in Oakland will be announced early summer.

The family would like to thank Dr. Eleanor Sabean and her staff at Lakeside Veterinary Clinic for their longtime friendship and the special care and support they gave to Gayle and Rod’s animal family throughout the years. Gayle always had a copy of a poem on her desk. The name of the poem was ” Making a Difference”. She said it “kept her on track” and that it also reminded her of Dr. Sabean.

Also, the family would like to thank the wonderful and caring nurses and staff at Scarborough Terrace and Gayle’s incredible team from Beacon Hospice in Scarborough.

Gayle was a good person and she lived her life with kindness and compassion for those who had no voice. She devoted her life to animals and animal causes. That is what she lived for and what made her happy. That, and the people she loved so much. You did good Gayle! Rest In Peace. We love you and we will miss you.

An online guestbook may be signed, and memories shared at

Arrangements are by Wheeler Funeral Home and Cremation Care, 26 Church St., Oakland.

Donations may be made to Gayle’s favorite charity:

The Waterville Humane Society

100 Webb Road

Waterville, ME 04901