Gaye Emma Eaton Matthews

GayeGRAY - Gaye EmmGRAY - Gaye Emma Eaton Matthews passed away at her home in Gray on Nov. 9, 2017, leaving family and friends to mourn the loss of a singular and spirited woman. She was 67.

Gaye was born on April 13, 1950, in Wolfeboro, N.H., the daughter of Gilbert D. and June (Kennett) Eaton. She grew up in Cape Elizabeth, where she attended local schools, graduating from Cape Elizabeth High School in 1969. She attended Westbrook Junior College and the University of Southern Maine and earned a B.A. in both English and history.

In 1972, she joined United Airlines as a flight attendant and served proudly with them for 46 years, taking her around the world more times than you can count. On October 14, 1980 she married William "Biff" Matthews in New York City.

In addition to her career with United Airlines, Gaye was a co-owner of the Recovery Room restaurant in New York City and the Gorham Connection restaurant in Gorham. She also ran her own baking company, Emma's Edibles, producing pies that were, hands down, the best around! During the holidays and summers, she was a seasonal worker for L.L. Bean. Even while she was pregnant in 1984, she worked at the Paint Pot in Portland. It's safe to say that Gaye never stopped, and always went above and beyond in everything she did!

To say that Gaye was a light in this world would be an understatement; she was a beacon. Bringing equal parts wit, empathy and fairness to all situations, Gaye was a fearless and courageous spirit. Caring for and comforting others were among her many strengths, and all who ever had the privilege of meeting her know that. Whether she was with a stranger in an airport or a close family member, Gaye put all of her will into every word and action.

She also had a taste for glamour. She could spot a camera a mile away and manage to strike a perfect pose. In her words, "Anything worth doing is worth overdoing…," and Gaye lived that on a daily basis. 

Gardening was Gaye's lifelong passion. For her, spending a day in the yard and getting dirty was a special experience. But her talents didn't end there. Gaye could do anything she put her mind to, tackling carpentry, wallpapering, upholstering furniture, baking, sewing, basket weaving, knitting and so much more. She found true pride in completing a task.

Gaye leaves behind countless friends around the world. She is survived by her husband, Biff Matthews, of Gray; and a son, Will, of Florida. She also leaves a brother, Gilbert "Specs" Eaton, and his wife Grace Eaton, of Chebeague Island; and sister, Vicki Marion, and her husband Peter Marion, of Windham. Gaye also had many nieces and nephews across the country.

A memorial service will be held Dec. 2, 2017, starting at 2 p.m. at the Portland Club, 156 State St., Portland. Friends are invited to share stories during this time.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to:
Shriners Hospital for Children
516 Carew Street
Springfield, MA 01104