Gayle  Webb Ecton
Gayle Webb Ecton

April 21, 1941 - January 18, 2017
Born in Winchester, KY
Resided in Bowling Green, KY


Gayle W. Ecton, 75, of Bowling Green, passed away on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at the University of Louisville Hospital in Louisville after suffering a heart attack five weeks earlier. He was born in Winchester and was preceded in death by his father Eugene Ecton, who died in the Pacific Campaign during World War II, his mother Ruth Browne Hays and his Step Father, Robert Peyton Hays.

Upon graduation from the University of Kentucky in 1963, Gayle was a first Lieutenant for the Army and was stationed at Fort Killeen, Texas. Upon discharge from the Army, Ecton began a career in education that stretched for 48 years, including time as a teacher, Assistant Principal and Principal in Junior Highs in Louisville and as Superintendent in Owen County, Elizabethtown and Henderson County Public Schools. Dr. Ecton moved into higher education in 1996, serving as Assistant Dean and Professor at Midway College in Midway and then finished his career at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green from 1997 until his retirement in 2015 as an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Administration, Leadership and Research. Four years, from 2001 to 2004, Dr. Ecton was Interim Department Head and then Department Head at WKU in the same Department where he taught.

Besides his Bachelors Degree, Dr. Ecton also earned his Masters and Doctorate Degrees from the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

In 1992, Dr. Ecton was named the Kentucky Superintendent of the Year by the Kentucky School Boards Association and in 1996, was the Kentucky nominee for the National Superintendent of the Year for the American Association of School Administrators.

Gayle is survived by his wife Debbie of Bowling Green; a brother, Ron Hays and his wife Jan of Oklahoma City; three children, Stacy Ecton of Bardstown; Air Force Colonel Scott Ecton and his wife Sheri of Honolulu, Hawaii and Susan Hampton and her husband Aaron of Louisville. Also Stepchildren Mandy Gaitskill and her husband Clay of Charlotte, North Carolina; Ashley Williams and her husband Ryan of Brooklyn, NY and Casey Key of Henderson. Grandchildren include Taylor, Zachary, Elizabeth, Noah, Kaleb, Zoe, Carter and Parker.

Gayle was a lover of travel (especially to Siesta Key, Florida), reading the next great novel and following his beloved Kentucky Wildcats.

Funeral services will be 11:00 AM, Monday, January 23rd at J.C. Kirby and Son, Lovers Lane Chapel, Bowling Green, KY. Visitation will be Sunday, January 22nd from 2:00 PM until 6:00 PM and Monday, 10:00 AM until time for services at the funeral home.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers- memorials be given to Henderson, Kentucky Hospice or the Broadway Methodist Church in Bowling Green.




Cremation was chosen
Thursday, January 19, 2017
J.C. Kirby & Son Lovers Lane Chapel
Woodburn, KY 42170
Sunday, January 22, 2017
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Monday, January 23, 2017
10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
J.C. Kirby & Son Lovers Lane Chapel
3219 Nashville Rd
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Monday, January 23, 2017
11:00 AM