Gayle V. Sturdevant (M.S. ’76)

On Thursday, October 15, 2020, Gayle Sturdevant, loving husband and father of three passed away at the age of 83. Gayle was born on April 7, 1937 in Cherokee, Oklahoma to Jessie and Alta Sturdevant. He received his electrical engineering degree from the University of Wyoming in 1960 and his Master of Geophysics in 1976 from the University of Houston. He worked various jobs as a young man including at the Nuclear National Lab in Idaho, for the government at White Sands, and as a short order cook at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. The majority of his career was spent as a geophysicist at Shell Oil where he found many oil fields throughout the world, including two discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico which he named “Rocky” and “Bullwinkle.” Gayle met his wife Jan McLaughlin while working at Shell Oil. They married on April 20,1968 and lived in Denver until 1972, then they moved to Houston where they raised their three children Tim, Sallie and Mary. Jan Gayle moved to New Orleans for 2 years until Gayle retired from Shell and they settled in The Woodlands, TX. As a young man, Gayle spent time in Wyoming where he went hunting, fishing, skiing and climbed Devil’s Tower. Later on, he loved spending time with his family, from watching and coaching his children’s sporting activities to taking the family on vacations throughout the country. After retirement he enjoyed playing golf, fishing and travelling. He had an “upside down” smile with a wry, witty sense of humor. He was also known for his very kind and compassionate spirit. Preceded in death by his parents and brother David, Gayle is survived by his wife Jan, his brother Steve, and his three children, Tim Sturdevant, Sallie Waters, and Mary French along with his eight grandchildren, Avery Alsobrook, Max French, Shea Sturdevant, Sara Jane French, Megan Waters, Natalie Waters, Mac Sturdevant, James French. Gayle’s funeral service will be held at St. Anthony of Padua in The Woodlands, TX on Thursday, November 5 at 11am.

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