Gayla Lee Snell Jones

Gayla Lee Snell Jones

Oct. 1, 1934 – Jan. 17, 2023

It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our beloved mother, Gayla Lee Hodson Kelsey Snell Jones. She passed away peacefully Jan. 17, 2023, at Pioneer Memorial Hospital in Heppner, Oregon.

Gayla was born Oct. 1, 1934, in Greybull, daughter of Willis and Pearl Hodson.

She was raised in Burlington and graduated from Burlington High School, where she was active as a majorette, cheerleader and choir member. After graduating she volunteered as a candy striper at the local hospital. 

Gayla met and married her husband, Robert Kelsey, in 1954, living in Montana and building their life until his passing in 1969. Later, meeting and marrying Clifford Snell in 1971, she lived in Lovell until his passing in 2003 after 32 years of marriage. She later moved to Heppner, where she met and married Robert Jones in 2007, who was by her side until her passing.

Throughout her life Gayla worked many professions, ultimately working as a senior citizen director. She was dedicated to her profession and was respected by her colleagues and the senior community alike. Retiring in 1991, she moved from Lovell to Corvallis, Oregon.

But her greatest accomplishment in life was her family. She was an amazing mother to her children, Gordon Kelsey and Lola Milburn, and a devoted grandmother to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. They were the light of her life. She passed on her love of creating music, gardening and sports to her family. We will always think of her when listening to a choir, smelling an iris or watching a touchdown celebration.

Gayla was preceded in death by her parents, Willis and Pearl Hodson; brothers Guy Hodson, Al Hodson and Wayne Hodson; sister Gwendolyn Richardson; and grandson Tyler Kelsey.

Gayla is survived by her loving husband, Robert Jones; children Lola Kelsey Milburn and Gordon (Joni) Kelsey; grandchildren Jason Milburn, Tobey Milburn (Mike) Garrett, Whitney Kelsey (BJ) Haley, Colton (Sammie) Kelsey and Paige Kelsey (Declan) Orth; great-grandchildren Lauren Garrett, Kaitlin Garrett, Alexis Garrett, Clarine Garrett, Justin Milburn, Jeffrey Milburn, Wyatt Milburn, Hunter Milburn, Lucy Haley, Ada Haley, Callum Kelsey, Graysen Kelsey and Kinley Orth; brother Gordon (Maryanne) Hodson; and sister Joan (Ronnie) Gamble. 

We will miss her dearly, and she will always be in our hearts. A celebration of her life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to a charity of your choice. Gayla’s memory will live on through all of us, and we will always cherish the memories we have of her.