Cover photo for Barbara Gayle Lankford's Obituary
Barbara Gayle Lankford Profile Photo
1936 Barbara 2024

Barbara Gayle Lankford

July 28, 1936 — January 6, 2024

White Bluff

Barbara Gayle Lankford passed away peacefully January 6, 2024 at NHC The Trace in Nashville, Tennessee. Her wishes were to be cremated and to have no funeral service. There will be a memorial at a later date. Gayle is a Christian.


Gayle, as she preferred to be called, was born July 28, 1936, in White Bluff, Tennessee. She was born at her parents grocery store, located at the back entrance of Montgomery Bell State Park.


She was preceded in passing by her father, Frank Lowell Lankford; her mother, Oakley Rose (Robinson) Lankford; sister, Carol Ann (Bartee);  and sister, Jeannine Rose (Brown). She is survived by her sister, Kathy Jane Lankford; brother, Frank Lowell Lankford, Jr.; brother-in-law, Dan Brown; sister-in-law, Ginger Brown; and nephews, Daniel Lankford Brown and Thomas Lowell Brown; Thomas' wife Summer, and their children, Noah, Lydia, Tabitha, Emerson, Lily, and Stella.


After graduating (as Salutatorian) from William James High School in White Bluff, Gayle worked at First American National Bank in Nashville. After seven years, she said: “enough of this, I want to follow my passion, I want to help people, I want to help people who need help”. She decided to be a nurse. After three years of study, she received her degree at Mid-State Baptist School of Nursing in Nashville. Then she enrolled in The Frontier Nursing Service School in Eastern Kentucky. Fifteen months later she received a degree in Midwifery. She worked in Eastern Kentucky for six years. She drove a jeep, rode a horse, and when the horse couldn’t get through, she walked; to families planning childbirth, delivering babies, and helping people survive.


After Kentucky, Gayle was a nurse in South Central Florida for two years. Then she moved to the Mississippi Delta where there was a serious need for nurses and midwives. She stayed there for 25 years. She retired and went home to care for her father, until he passed away.


One of Gayle’s favorite car stickers was: MIDWIVES HELP PEOPLE OUT! 

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