Gayla Suzette Messarra
August 26, 1970 – February 10, 2018
Gayla Messarra, BHS Class of ’88, passed away at her family home.
A service celebrating her life with a reception to follow will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, February 23, 2018 at the First Baptist Church of Bryan with Rev. Bill Wiman officiating.
Gayla was born in Bryan, August 26, 1970, to Abe and Pat Messarra, and lived most of her life here except for about five years traveling for ministry support and project management positions, coming home when her health became more of a struggle. She managed two local property management businesses in B/CS before she was forced to retire in 2016 due to her declining health.
Gayla’s was a life beautifully lived, with an infectious cheerful spirit despite her health challenges. She and her older sister, Greta, grew up in the family business, A. B. E. Office Supplies and Equipment located in Downtown Bryan. They learned wonderful lessons from their parents about honesty, hard-work, giving back to and love for our community. For a D. E. C. A. high school project, Gayla wrote an article about revitalizing Downtown Bryan which won awards locally, regionally, and statewide with the ability to compete at national competition, but was unable to travel to California because of her health.
Gayla loved baking special creations for her family, friends and co-workers. Most of her cakes or cheesecakes were pieces of art as well as absolutely delicious. She learned to cook from her grandmothers, and like them, rarely if ever used a recipe. As she started losing the use of her hands for crafting, Gayla learned to enjoy gardening and decorating the yard.
Gayla has now joined her beautiful mother, Patricia Ann Brock Messarra, grandmothers Helene Ammar Messarra and Thelma Rush Brock, grandfathers John Spiridon Messarra and Manuel Lee Brock, uncles Elie Messarra, George Messarra, Fred Messarra, precious Aunt Peggy Messarra Midgett, and Great-Uncle Johnny Rush in the arms of our Loving Heavenly Father.
She is survived by her father, Abe Messarra, sister, Greta Messarra Woodward and husband Bill, nephews Charles Koby Elliott and Jay Elliott, uncle Anthony Messarra and wife Mereda, numerous cousins and family members on the Messarra/Midgett/Ammar side, uncle Gary Brock and his three sons.
Gayla was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in her teen years, collapsed while crossing the stage at graduation, underwent multiple major surgeries, dealt with numerous specialists, and endured terrible pain and side effects from medications, but she kept the beautiful sweet spirit for which she is so well known. During the 1990 hospital visits her mother was always by her side, researching cutting-edge treatments, informing doctors, praying and advocating for many of our local community also struggling with this disease. After her mother was killed in an auto accident in 2001, Gayla took up the role of advocate via the Crohns Colitis Foundation.
Gayla will be missed by her family and friends and fondly remembered for her unconditional love, kindness, playful nature, and her heart for our Lord and all people.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to www.CrohnsAndColitis.com or First Baptist Bryan Missions or Prayer Ministries in memory of Gayla.