Obituary: Lorna Gayle Gotchall Tovrea

Lorna Gayle Gotchall Tovrea was born in Lebanon, Neb., on Jan. 11, 1938, the third child of Alferd Vernon and Edna Frankie (Mays) Gotchall, the granddaughter of Albertus and Anna (Kincaid) Gotchall and Thomas and Minnie (Landis) Mays. She moved with her family to Goodland in 1941, where she attended public school, graduating as valedictorian in 1955.

She was united in marriage to Leonard Barton Tovrea of Brewster, Kan., on Aug. 14, 1955. They had three sons, Gaylen, Gregory and Gavin.

The family lived in various locations while Leonard served in the Air Force. After the death of her husband in May 1966, Lorna briefly returned to Goodland before moving the family to Colorado Springs in 1968. In 1989, Lorna again returned to Goodland until 1996, when she was appointed as a pastor to the Methodist Church of Conway Springs, and ultimately retired to Fort Walton Beach, Fla., in 2010.

Throughout her life, Lorna worked as an accountant, a Christian Education Coordinator, a Certified Methodist Lay Speaker and ultimately a Methodist Minister.

Her hobbies included theater (participating in productions of “The Gazebo,” “Camelot,” “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” “Lovers,” and “A Thurber Carnival”), writing (including the newspaper column “I Don’t Know About You, but…” which ran for 10 years), singing in community show choirs, dancing, traveling, counted cross stitching and jigsaw puzzles.

Lorna completed her life and faith journey at UAB hospital in Birmingham, Ala., on Dec. 19, 2017.

She is survived by her sons and their wives, Gaylen “GT” and Jeanie of Longmont, Colo., Gregory Todd and Jennifer of Japan and Findlay, Ohio, Gavin Barton and Laurel of Shalimar, Fla.; seven grandchildren, Lauren (and husband, Robby Busick), John (and wife, Jessica), Christopher, Bryant, Honour, Alexa, and Faith; and five great-grandchildren, Evan, Drew, Ella, Von and Rex.

Prior services were held in Shalimar, Fla., on Dec. 27, in Goodland on Jan. 4, and a memorial service is to be held at the Conway Springs United Methodist Church at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 13, in Conway Springs.