STONINGTON – Gayle Ashburn Hadley died March 10, 2008, at home. Gayle was born April 7, 1937, in Jacksonville, Fla., the daughter of Ira Landrith Ashburn and Helen Lutz Ashburn Roberts. Gayle was valedictorian of her class at Northville High School, Northville, Mich., in 1955. She became interested in social work and education when she served as summer staff member at Delray Neighborhood House, Detroit from 1956 to 1958. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 1959 with a Bachelor of Art in sociology and a secondary teacher’s certificate. She completed course work towards a master’s degree from the University of Rhode Island. She was active in the Civil Rights Movement and helped start an integrated day care center in 1964 in Ypsilanti, Mich., the site of one of first two War on Poverty Community Development projects in the nation established by President Johnson, the Willow Run Association For Neighborhood Development. She taught there, and helped design a cognitively oriented curriculum for low-income children, this was prior to Head Start. In Ann Arbor, Mich., Gayle was head teacher at Beth Israel Nursery for several years. In 1969, she and Dan moved to Barrington, R.I., when Dan was hired to teach at Brown University. She and Dan lived there until 1997. During this time she raised her children, taught in Providence at St. Raphael’s Day Care Center and was director of Mount Hope Day Care Center, a large inner city, United Way agency serving mostly black families. She operated an antique store for six years in Warren, R.I., while also participating in antique shows for eight years. In the early 1990s she was a social worker for a large Head Start program serving the East Bay area of Rhode Island. Upon moving to Stonington in 1997, Gayle became active in the Deer Isle community and helped start and was the first president of Islanders Against Domestic Abuse. She was a member of Deer Isle Congregational Church and Sunset Congregational Church. A member of Deer Isle Writers group, she published her work in the Eggemoggin Reach Revue, Vols. I and II and Working Waterfront. She attended the Stonecoast Writers’ Conference in 2003, where she read selections from her work in progress. In 2007 she published her novel, Eternal Vigilance. She is survived by her husband of 49 years, Danny Hadley of Stonington; daughter, Jennifer Helen Hadley of Los Angeles; and son, Michael Landrith Hadley of Montclair, N.J. She is also survived by her daughter-in-law, Deborah Villarreal Hadley; and four grandchildren, Benjamin, Alexander, Olivia and Michael of Montclair, N.J. A memorial service is planned April 5, at Deer Isle Congregational Church. Contributions in her memory may be made to Islanders Against Domestic Abuse, P.O. Box 284, Deer Isle, ME 04627 or Hancock County Home Care and Hospice, P.O. Box 156, Blue Hill, ME 04614. A review of her life in photos and writing may be found at