January 11, 1936 ~ May 19, 2019

Born in: Little Rock, AK
Resided in: Denver, CO

On January 11, 1936, Murlene Gayles was born to Charles Gayles and Freddie Duncan Gayles in Little Rock, Arkansas. She was the third of seven children born into this large and loving family. Murlene’s parents were hard working people creative, and resourceful, who created resources whenever there was a need and with little or no money. Her mother, fondly known as “Muddie”, was very talented. She could sew, knit, crochet, macramé, decoupage embroidery, quilting, and made ceramics. Her father, Charles “Charlie” was also innovative. He could fix anything and if he didn’t know how, he would figure it out.

Murlene and her sister, Clara came to Denver in 1943 to be with their Grand-mother, Mary Duncan. They were educated in the Denver Public School system, attending Whitter Elementary, Cole Junior High and graduated from Manual High School in 1954.

The rest of the Gayles family moved to Denver, Colorado, in 1946.

An important part of relocating to Denver was finding a church home. The family became members of the Zion Baptist Church in the late 40’s and Murlene has been an active member since that time. During her lifetime membership with Zion Baptist Church, she has been faithful. She has served in numerous capacities including, the Trustee Ministry and The Solace Ministry,

As a young girl, Murlene worked in her Uncle Alexander’s men’s store, “Duncan Shoe”, located on 26th Ave at Ogden. He was one of the early entrepreneurs in the Five Point’s neighborhood. Duncan’s was the place to go for stylish men’s clothes, shoes, hats and accessories. Uncle Alec was a master cobbler who also repaired shoes. Working in his store gave Murlene experience in running a business and providing customer service.

Following high school, Murlene married John Dudley Jackson Sr.in 1955. To this union came three sons, John Jr., Alvin DeWayne and George Alexander. Unfortunately, the marriage ended in divorce. Murlene later married Louis Threet, and to that union came one son, Louis E. Threet, Jr.

Murlene became very ill with thyroid cancer at age 13. Dr. Henry Swain was in charge of her care. She was treated with radioactive iodine, which was experimental at that time. She was the first black patient to receive this treatment and she credited Dr. Swain with saving her life. Her condition was life treating. During the time of her illness she became even closer to her parent, her mother in particular. After her father passed, Murlene and Muddie became inseparable. She lived close to or with her mother and eventually cared for Muddie unit her passing at age 96.

Murlene was a very determined person. She would try her hand at anything that captured her interest. During her lifetime she worked as a Nurse Assistant at Mercy Hospital; Denver Urban Renewal Authority in the Relocation Department; Western Electric; drove a bus for RTD; entered a business venture with her mother, known as Gayles Enterprise, a ceramic and craft shop. You could always depend on Murlene to be busy doing something. She baked fruit cakes at Christmas, sew a dress or make a suit and hat for church on Sunday. Murlene planted a garden, cooked the greens and raise African Violets. She would knit her own dishcloths, crochet an afghan, macramé a hanging coffee table with a lamp, knit a vest or bake a sweet potato pie. She was a jack of all trades.

Family was the center of activities for Murlene and her siblings. When the children were young it was nothing to get a call from her older brother, Charles, or his wife Carrie, informing her that the family would be gathering at their home on 26th and Gaylord. Everyone would be there, children and all. There was a lot of love and support among the family that has stood the test of time. Although the links in the chain of her siblings grows smaller, the love gratitude, and memories can never be taken away.

Murlene’s sons were the apple of her eye. She taught them the same work ethic that her parents had instilled in her. Much like Murlene had done for her parents, Murlene’s sons rallied around their mother. John and Alvin took care of Murlene in the years leading up to her passing. George and Louis in spite of not living in Denver, were very active in their mother’s life. Love is boundless.

Murlene departed this life on May 19, 2019. Preceding her in death are her parents, Charles and Freddie Gayles; husband, Louis E. Threet Sr.; brothers, Alexander, Charles, Sr., Robert and Ellis, Sr., Gayles, great grand-daughter, Aayla Johnson. Left to cherish her memory are her sons John D.. Jr., Alvin Jackson, both of Denver, CO; George A. (Namfon) Jackson, Ratchaburi, Thailand, and Louis (Gail) Threet, Jr. Holland, OH; sister, Clara (Edward) Holloway, brother, Frederick Gayles, Sr.,: sister-in-law; Carrie and Julia Gayles, both of Denver, CO; grandchildren, Onya (Brandon) Hendricks, Charles Jackson, both Tacoma, WA, Shane and Anthony Jackson both of Denver, CO, Taylor and Jania Johnson, both of Holland, OH; great grand-children, Camren and Aiden Hendricks both of Tacoma, WA. Hailey Jackson, Copenhagen, Denmark, and Jayden Jackson of Buxham, Germany, host of nieces, nephews, other relatives, and many friends.


Visitation: May 27, 2019 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Pipkin Braswell Chapel of Peace
6601 Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80220

(303) 996-0869

Celebration of Life: May 28, 2019 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Zion Baptist Church
933 East 24th Avenue
Denver, CO 80205

(303) 861-4958

Interment: May 28, 2019 1:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Highland Cemetery
10201 North Grant Street
Thornton, CO

Reception: May 28, 2019 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Zion Baptist Church
933 East 24th Avenue
Denver, CO 80205

(303) 861-4958

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  1. I’m grateful to God to have meet Ms. Murlene and her Mother. I purchased many ceramics from them.

  2. To my friend Murlene what wonderful memories I have of being around you while we laugh and expressed love one to another. May God continue to richly bless the family as you go from Labor to Reward. May you rest in peace.

  3. Sending my condolences and prayers to the Threet Family in the loss of Sis. Murlene. I have many fond memories of Sis. Murlene and how she so lovingly cared for Sis. Gayles when she was alive. The two of them, sitting side by side in the sanctuary on the side by the Hammond, keyboard and piano on Sunday mornings, both in their hats is a visual that I will never forgot. I remember the correction as a young kid and youth, and their encouragement and love when I grew into a grown man. Sis. Threet always took time to inquire about my Grandmother, and was a warm and welcomed smile every time I saw her. So sad to hear about her passing, but can only imagine the joy she has found in that great reunion in heaven! Rest is love!

  4. ᗯITᕼ ᗪEEᑭEᔕT ᔕYᗰᑭᗩTᕼIEᔕ ᗩᑎᗪ ᑕOᑎᗪOᒪEᑎᑕEᔕ TO TᕼE ᖴᗩᗰIᒪY Oᖴ ᔕIᔕTEᖇ TᕼᖇEET. YOᑌ ᗯIᒪᒪ TᖇᑌᒪY ᗷE ᗰIᔕᔕEᗪ.

  5. George, I am awfully sorry to hear about your lost of your mother. I know how close you both were , as very close son to her. Please accept my deep condolences on this sorrowful loss.
    I am sure she will be remembered fondly by those who got to know her.
    Let God bless you and your family with the strength to sail though this tough situation. I Please take care and accept my sincere sympathies.

  6. George, thinking of you and your family during this difficult time. Sending a big hug to you and asking God to hold you up in the days ahead. Ron and I both send our deep sympathies for the loss your family is going through.

  7. My deepest condolences to the family, we are so sorry for your loss, may God give you peace and strength in this time.

  8. Rest in paradise Murlene. I will always cherish the time she took with me to teach me ceramics and sewing. And the kindness she always showed my mother…she will be truly missed!!

  9. May God continue to hold you in his arms during this time of loss and the Lord’s gain.. Absent from the body is presences with the Lord.

  10. Condolences from the Dedrick Allen, Tranny Carr, Lydia Napue and Delyette Jackson families. Psalm 23

  11. Sympathy, condolences and prayerful grace as you journey though the loss of you mother and loved one Sister Murlene Threet.

  12. It was a pleasure meeting Mrs. Murlene. She was small in stature but mighty in her presence. Our conversations were pleasant and knowledgeable and, I thank you for the wisdom, smiles and laughs. May you rest in peace.
    Sending my condolences to John Jr. and the family.

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