In Memoriam: Dr. Gayle W. Ecton

The WKU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences and the WKU Department of Educational Administration, Leadership, & Research mourn the passing of retired professor and department head, Dr. Gayle Ecton, mentor to a generation of school superintendents.

Gayle W. Ecton, 75, of Bowling Green, passed away on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at the University of Louisville Hospital in Louisville after suffering a heart attack five weeks earlier. He was born in Winchester and was preceded in death by his father Eugene Ecton, who died in the Pacific Campaign during World War II, his mother Ruth Browne Hays and his stepfather, Robert Peyton Hays.

Upon graduation from the University of Kentucky in 1963, Gayle was a first Lieutenant for the Army and was stationed at Fort Killeen, Texas. Upon discharge from the Army, Ecton began a career in education that stretched for 48 years, including time as a teacher, Assistant Principal and Principal in Junior Highs in Louisville and as Superintendent in Owen County, Elizabethtown and Henderson County Public Schools. Dr. Ecton moved into higher education in 1996, serving as Assistant Dean and Professor at Midway College in Midway and then finished his career at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green from 1997 until his retirement in 2015 as an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Administration, Leadership and Research. For four years, from 2001 to 2004, Dr. Ecton was Interim Department Head and then Department Head at WKU in the same Department where he taught.

Besides his Bachelors Degree, Dr. Ecton also earned his Masters and Doctorate Degrees from the University of Kentucky in Lexington.

In 1992, Dr. Ecton was named the Kentucky Superintendent of the Year by the Kentucky School Boards Association and in 1996, was the Kentucky nominee for the National Superintendent of the Year for the American Association of School Administrators.

Source: J.C. Kirby & Son Funeral Chapels