Gaye McCutchen passed away quietly at home on May 3, 2014, surrounded by loved ones. Her parents, Vonly Buel McCutchen and Wilma Irene (Crosby) McCutchen, preceded her in death.
She is survived by one brother, Don Keith (Valerie)McCutchen of Cleveland, Texas and their daughter, Dina Legendre Null (Drew) Doebbler; her great-nephews, Cade and Hunter Null; her great-niece, Ryleigh Doebbler, all of Pasadena, Texas; her half sister, Margaret “Margo” McCutchen Crosby of Corpus Christi, Texas; her aunt, Jean Crosby Carr of Houston, Texas; and numerous cousins. She is also survived by her dear friend, Bea Nugent.
Gaye was born in Oklahoma City, Okla., and was reared in Jennings. Her age is not included here to honor her wishes. She used to say, “Age is a number, and mine is unlisted.” She led a very full, interesting and diverse life. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Music Theory and Composition and completed a Pre-Medical Curriculum at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She completed an internship in Medical Technology, Clinical Laboratory Science, at Charity Hospital in New Orleans; she received the Master of Science in Health Care Administration from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas, and she was certified in Long Term Care (CLTC).
She began her professional career at Mercy Hospital, New Orleans, serving as Laboratory Supervisor. From there, she took her considerable talents and skills to The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, from where she retired after 25 years. Among her many positions, she became the First Clinical Laboratory Manager, Dept. of Laboratory Medicine, Acting Administrator, The Institute of Hemotherapy and Member, Donor Recruitment Task Force of The America Blood Commission. She completed her tenure at MDA as the First Director, Department of Quality Improvement. The providing of quality data to third-party payors and accrediting agencies resulted in MD Anderson Cancer Center being designated as a “Center of Excellence.”
After her retirement, she became the First Administrative Director of the recently established Tulane Cancer Center, Tulane University Medical Center in New Orleans. Then, after retiring from there “for one day,” as she said, she changed careers and became a Specialist in Long Term Care at G.E. Capital Assurance, and a Registered Representative specializing in Long Term Care at both John Hancock Life Insurance Co. and Northwestern Mutual of LA, where she served as the Statewide Long Term Care Specialist. She was still a representative with Northwestern Mutual at the time of her death.
Thankfully, her foresight in purchasing long-term care insurance many years ago made it possible for her to use her policy to pay for excellent home care during her illness. We thank all of the caregivers provided by Home Care Solutions, but special thanks go to Emelda Buezo and Charlene White. Gaye loved these dear ladies due to their warm and caring nature and upbeat spirit.
Gaye worked from “can to can’t” daily. She did not like to be bored and her work was her hobby. Hence, she couldn’t stay retired! With all the positions she held, she still found the time to be a member and officer of 20 professional organizations. While in Houston, she was the first president of the Barclay Homeowners Assoc., a 300-plus unit condominium community, and served for three years. She was a volunteer in Private Sector Initiative Home Repair Program, Trees of Houston, and Habitat for Humanity, Houston and New Orleans.
She was an active chair and member of various committees at Munholland United Methodist Church, Metairie. She was an appointed member, New Orleans District Building and Location Committee, Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church and she was an elected member, Committee on Finance, Louisiana Conference of The United Methodist Church.
Among her many talents, she was also an accomplished horse woman, riding “American Saddle-Bred Horses” in horse shows on the Southwest Circuit, beginning as a child. Her two favorite venues were the Pin Oak Charity Horse Show, Houston, Texas, and the Dixie Jubilee Horse Show, Baton Rouge. At one point, she was a field correspondent, “Horse World Magazine.” Those participating in this beautiful sport became lifelong friends.
Her active memberships include: American Society for Quality, Whitney-Cecile Home Owners and Improvements Association, Inc., New Orleans Museum of Art, American Society of Clinical Laboratory Science, American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Tulane University Women’s Association, Friends of Jefferson the Beautiful, and LSU Alumni Association.
Family and friends are invited to attend a memorial service at Munholland United Methodist Church, 1201 Metairie Road, Metairie, on Tuesday, May 13, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. with visitation beginning at 9:30 a.m. A celebration of Gaye’s life will be held immediately afterwards in the fellowship hall.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Munholland United Methodist Church, 1201 Metairie Road., Metairie, La. 70005, (504) 834-9910, or Habitat for Humanity, 2900 Elysian Fields Ave., Suite A, New Orleans, La., 70122, (504) 943-2240. The family invites you to share your thoughts, fond memories and condolences online at www.lakelawnmetairie.com.
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