R. Gayle Layfield, a retired Friends School official who worked in fundraising, died of cancer Feb. 1 at her North Baltimore home. She was 64.
Born Ruth Gayle Layfield in Richmond, Va., she was a 1966 graduate of the Collegiate School, where she was class president and played sports. She earned a bachelor of arts degree at Hollins College, where she was active on the trustee and alumnae boards. She also received a master's degree from the
After moving to Baltimore in the mid-1970s, she was an English teacher at
While her daughter attended Friends School, she was its Parents Association president and a member of the trustees board. She went on to become the school's director of development in 1994 and was later the school's assistant head for development. She retired in June 2012.
"Her belief in the school motivated people to dig a little deeper," said Friends' head, Matthew W. Micciche. "She transformed the development office and the culture of philanthropy here."
He recalled her as a classic Southern "steel magnolia" and remembered her "refinement, grace and class on the outside" and said she was "tough as nails in the best sense." He said she was a determined advocate for the school.
"She lit up a room when she was in it," Mr. Micciche said. "She had a love of life and an exuberance. She was also very good at listening and then conveying what was unique and special about Friends."
Ms. Layfield also enjoyed reading and spent her summers at
"Her focus outside of her job was her children," said her son, Daniel Layfield Latshaw of
A memorial celebration of life will be held at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Second Presbyterian Church, 4200
In addition to her son, survivors include a daughter, Jane Layfield Lancaster of Rodgers Forge; a brother, Thomas Gaylon Layfield III of Richmond; and two granddaughters. Her 1975 marriage to Robert Latshaw ended in divorce.