About Cathy & Gayle

Catharine J. Gray

Born June 26, 1970 Cathy was raised in Medway, MA and graduated in 1988 from Medway High School. She attended the University of New Hampshire where she graduated with a degree in family studies. While in college, she spent one year studying in Australia and upon graduation, worked as a nanny in Milan, Italy. Cathy then moved to California where she had always dreamed of living on the beach and being that “California Girl”. She worked as a Montessori teacher and enjoyed living in California more than anywhere else she had traveled. No matter where Cathy’s travels took her, she made everlasting friendships. She always made that extra effort to keep in touch with all her friends, new and old. Those who knew Cathy felt lucky and honored to have her as a friend. While in California, Cathy was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. She battled the disease for more than two years, never giving up or giving in. Before she died, one of her wishes was to have her friends donate a beach wheelchair to one of her favorite beaches. She loved the beach and wanted to make sure those who were not able to walk in the sand, could still somehow enjoy being on the beach. Cathy is missed by so many and for that reason we have establish this memorial fund. Our initial fundraiser in 2004 was so successful that we were able to make a generous donation to the Wellness Center in Newton and present a 2005 Medway High School graduate with a generous scholarship. Our goal is to raise money each year and donate to such were the causes that meant so much to Cathy.

Gayle L. Nylander

It’s funny, there is an ongoing joke with “outsiders”, those not originally from Medway. If you were to ask someone outside her crew how they would describe us they’d say, “everything is great in Medway. It could be pouring rain outside the town line. We’d drive up and stop, knock at the gate and someone would pop out and ask, “what’s the password”? We’d say ‘Mustang’, then the gates would open up, the sun would shine, and the birds would sing, and there be a rainbow. Everybody’s one big happy family here”. And that’s how Gayle viewed her friends, like one big family. Not only did she have her childhood friends, she had her college friends, nursing school friends, and the nurses she work with whom Gayle considered so special to her. We’re not even sure Gayle ever realized how easy it was to be her friend. You see, Gayle was so beautiful, outgoing, funny, and dare we say, the life of the party. You were just drawn to her and wanted to be around her. She just had that way of making all her friends feel special. 

Upon meeting Gayle, you knew instantly she’d be a true friend. She was the one person in our circle of friends who always held us together so tightly. No matter how far apart we were, she would find ways to keep us together and always remained close. We were like a big family which meant the world to Gayle. 

We will never forget what a loving, caring, and sensitive person she was. She always worried about everyone else, always concerned about everyone else’s happiness, never wanting to hurt anyone’s feelings or leave them feeling left out. She was the “go to” girl for us. Her closest friend would go to her when she was down and Gayle would know how to make her laugh and feel better. A good example of her kindness and concern was a few weeks before she passed. Her best friend’s grandmother passed away and in an attempt not to cause concern with Gayle while she was battling cancer, her best friend didn’t tell Gayle. Well, Gayle found out and the next day when the best friend visited her, Gayle said with a little bit of anger in her voice, “I tried to call you. I’m so sorry for your loss, please let me know the arrangements and I’ll be there”. As sick as she was, she was still always so concerned about others, and wanted to be there for us. She was always putting someone else before herself. We’ll never forget the wonderful mom she was with her daughter. Her face was so filled with pure happiness, pride, and love whenever she was around her daughter. She cherished every moment being a mom; whether she was frog catching, at the zoo, playing at the park, going to Story Land, or just at her parents pool…she made every moment count. As her daughter grows, we promise to share all the stories of our friendship so she understands what a wonderful and loving mommy she had and how much Gayle loved her. There’s a sparkle missing now from this world. We will miss her, and remember her through this fund. Brigham and Women’s Hospital fondly remembers her to.