Dorothy Mary-Alice Thomas was born October 1, 1922 at Magee Women's Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA to Carolyn and Robert Thomas. She and her siblings, Clarence and Bernice, grew up in Savannah, GA in the care of their Aunt Alice, a school teacher in Atlanta. The children took care of each other while Alice worked in Atlanta during the week. As a young woman, she left home to attend Tennessee Agricultural and Industrial State College where she worked on the yearbook staff and pledged the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She graduated in 1945 with a degree in Business Education and Library Science. After college, she moved to Chicago where a friend from school helped her get a job with the Social Security Administration. She met and dated Edward Richardson Gayles, and they married two years later. On December 24, 1949, they welcomed their loving Daughter, Dorothy. "Big Dorothy" became a stay at home mom to take care of the little girl named after "the most beautiful woman" that Edward had ever known. She became an avid Bridge player and traveled to tournaments extensively, making many friends for life along the way. She eventually went back to work for the Chicago Housing Authority where she worked until she retired in 1985. By that time, she had become a grandmother three times over! Darryl, Candace and Christopher were her pride and joy. She was a dedicated grandmother, and her grandchildren remember fondly her taking them to the beach, the library and the museum all the time as children. She had taken up Preschool teaching and her passion for learning and fun played an influential role in the adults they have become. She will always be remembered for her beauty, her spunk, her kindness and the love she had for her family and friends. She left this life the way she lived it, with grace and dignity, on November 14, 2011. She joins her parents, her brother Clarence, her Grandson Darryl, and a loving group of family and friends. She is survived by her daughter Dorothy and son-in-law Melvin, her sister Bernice, her grandchildren Candace and Christopher, great-grandson Ian, and her nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, in-laws and god-daughter. She is greatly loved and deeply missed. A Service will be held Friday, November 18, 2011 at 10 a.m. at Scot Ward Funeral Services with Rev. Danny Alexander officiating; interment will follow at South View Cemetery, Atlanta. Condolences may be submitted on-line at www.scotward.com. Scot Ward Funeral Services, 699 American Legion Road, Conyers, GA 30012, 770-483-7216.