John Concannon, Publicity
This month’s edition of the IMGA golfer of the month features a member who is well known to most if not all the members of IMGA. I guess every club has a member who stands out from the pack. One who, because of his physical presence, or his booming voice, or his outgoing personality is easily recognized. Our golfer of the month, Gayle King, possesses all these traits and often stands out from the crowd by the colorful clogs he wears playing golf.
Gayle was born and raised in St Louis, Missouri. He attended Roosevelt High School and while in school started his career in the funeral business by taking a part-time job with a local funeral home as a floor manager. He assumed additional duties while there and so impressed his employer that they had him participate in an intensive work/study program resulting in Gayle taking and passing a state embalming exam, making him the youngest certified embalmer in the state of Missouri. Soon after, the state revised their requirements for certification to include a college degree. He became the youngest certified embalmer who could not do his job.
Upon graduation, he attended Pierce College of Philadelphia, earning a degree in business. While at Pierce he played football and baseball and continued to work in the funeral business part-time.
Gayle returned to St. Louis and took a position at Washington University’s Medical school where he remained for 28 years. While employed at the university, he started St. Louis Cremation Inc. as a part-time business and later added Hartland Pet Cremation providing cremation services for both people and animals. His company, now run by his sons Justin and Oliver, employs over 15 people. In 1996 Gayle founded a not-for-profit program, National Body Donor Program that provided cadavers to medical schools to support education and research. In 2014, Gayle provided almost 300 bodies to medical schools around the country.
Gayle retired from Washington University in 2004. In 2005 Gayle and his wife of 33 years, Susan, moved to Sun Lakes. Even in retirement, Gayle keeps busy with his body donor program and was hired as consultant at Midwestern University of Phoenix to support the development of a medical school and establish a body donor program there.
He began playing golf at the age of 14 has been active in the sport ever since. Since joining IMGA he has been very supportive of the league. I’m sure most of you have used tees provided by Gayle who has provided gifts for the Member/Guest Tournament. Gayle sponsors the annual Gayle King Invitational, a three-day event that brings significant revenue to the IronOaks golf facilities.
Gayle and Susan are avid RV enthusiasts and have visited all but four states. He is also a car enthusiast and recently purchased a 1985 Rolls Royce. I’m not sure what Gayle does in his downtime, but personally, I’m exhausted just writing about all that he has done in his short lifetime. v