The multi-faceted service of Gaydon

By DAISY WASHINGTON / Community Columnist

“We want people to know about the National Cemetery and the services it provides for the families of veterans,” Sharon Gaydon said.

A member of the Alabama National Cemetery Support Committee since its inception, Gaydon’s volunteer work includes Wreaths Across America, Memorial Day programs and the Spirit of 45.

Gaydon serves her community through her work with Cahaba Valley Elks Lodge No. 1738 in Pelham. It provides financial assistance to through grants, cash donations plus “in kind” donations of other items (food, clothing, etc.) to charities like Family Connection, Shelby County Foster Parent Association and Oak Mt. Mission.

The Lodge supported the National Alliance on Mental Illness project designed to provide information about the challenges of parents, children and adults facing mental issues. Sharon and husband John filmed one of a series of videos which focused on ways to help children with Attention Deficit Disorder.

The Lodge assists deployed military units through partnerships with American Legion and Veteran of Foreign Wars Post and through their 3 Hots and a Cot and the Central Alabama Veterans Collaborative efforts as well as providing fund raising for high school Scholarship Programs and Junior ROTC high school programs.

Gaydon was manager of a Lodge outreach program to serve and assist eight area dialysis centers. The program provided Comfort Care Kits to new patients, approved snack bags and other charitable patient needs. Local schools were supported through efforts to improve their facilities, provide educational supplies and tools. CVEL has promoted patriotism by sponsoring a Veteran’s Day Program that provided the history of our nation’s flag and the offering of an Americanism Essay Contest every year for the past 15 years.

Gaydon is a member of the Church of the Highlands, Alabaster campus church’s Dream Team, which is responsible for meet and greet and make information about events available to congregants.

A Missouri native, her maiden name Crockett, 74-year-old Gaydon is a direct descendant of the famous Davy Crockett.

Gaydon has been married to John for the past 54 years. They are the proud parents of three children, eight grandchildren and one great grandchild. She earned her M.S. in elementary and secondary education from the University of Montevallo in 1978. She spent most of her 30-year teaching career at Thompson Middle School.

“I formed lasting friendships made with my coworkers,” she said. “It was very rewarding to see students mature and become good citizens.”

One of her students became mayor of Alabaster and several local school principals were former students of Gaydon.