Anna Gayl Phillips Squires passed away Oct. 20, 2015, at the age of 51.
She was born April 3, 1964, in San Antonio. Her parents were T.R. and Bettye Phillips of Commerce. Gayl worked in the oil and gas industry as an accountant. She attended Southside Baptist Church in Denison.
Gayl lit up any room she entered with her gorgeous smile and infectious laugh. She was known for graciously giving of her time and talents. She regularly participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and other charitable endeavors. While living in Commerce during her early life, she was active in the First Baptist Church, participating in GA’s and Acteens, and several outreach and music ministries.
Music was a large part of her life. Gayl was an accomplished pianist, studying for 11 years with Gwen Bauschka in Commerce. As a young student, she was active in the National Guild of Piano Playing Auditions, National Federation of Music Clubs, Commerce Music Teachers Association, Hunt County Music Teachers Association, and Dallas Music Teachers Association. Gayl was a regular ensemble winner, representing Hunt County nearly every year in the annual Texas Music Teachers Association ensemble performances. She was also a regular finalist and prize winner in the prestigious Mountain View College Piano Competitions. Gayl was also organist for First Christian Church in Commerce during her high school years.
With her stunning beauty and exceptional piano skills, Gayl successfully competed in the Miss America Pageant system, serving as Miss Commerce in 1985 and Miss Mesquite in 1986, competing in the Miss Texas Pageant both years. Highly intelligent, Gayl was valedictorian of the Commerce High School class of 1982, attended Austin College and obtained a BBA in finance from East Texas State University in 1985. The jewel of her mother’s eye, she will be greatly missed by all whose lives she touched.
Gayl is survived by her son, Keaton Quinn Squires, 18, and daughter Kylar Marie Squires, 16, both of Plano; her mother, Bettye Phillips of Denison; and brother and sister-in-law Casey and Brandi Phillips of Hattiesburg, Miss.; her former husband and father of her children, Mark R. Squires of Plano; and numerous friends and family.
Gayl was preceded in death by her father, T.R. Phillips.
A funeral service was held at 12 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 24, in the Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Funeral Home chapel in Allen. Interment will follow at Ridgeview Memorial.
Online condolences may be made at www.commercejournal.com.
Published on  October 29, 2015