Friends remember elderly Dayton couple killed in crash - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Friends remember elderly Dayton couple killed in crash

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RHEA COUNTY, TN (WRCB) - Friends are remembering the elderly Dayton couple that died after a crash Wednesday. Gil and Anna Kyle were well-known in the Rhea County community, especially for bringing people together with music.

Although Gil, 89, and Anna, 82, never had any children, close friends said they made the community their family.

"They loved life, they loved music, they loved people," said David Lester. "How does it get any better than that?"

And for Gil and Anna Kyle, it didn't get better than good music.

"This was a theme park Gil built just for music," said Lester while standing at Dream River, the Kyle's Dayton home-turned-music venue.

Lester played music there often in the 70s and 80s. The rusted pianos are still on stage where Gil and Anna ran the show.

"Anna would be right here by his side," Lester said. "She'd come out and ask if we needed tea, hot dogs, hamburgers -- anything you wanted."

"They were like all the local musicians' Mom and Dad," said Jeff Hill, who played in a band with Gil nearly 30 years ago.

In their older age, the Kyles took their talents to the Dayton McDonald's. They started a new trend several years ago -- Fast Food Gospel Music every Thursday night.

"Not only were they husband and wife, they were best friends," Hill said.

They were best friends who died together after police said their car turned in front of a semi outside the Dayton Walmart on Wednesday morning.

"You'd rarely see just Gil or just Anna. They were always side by side doing the music thing," said Brad Putt, owner of Main Stage Music, a store Gil frequented. "They even had little matching chairs with their names on them."

For years the Kyles traveled around Rhea County with their own music equipment, volunteering to run sound at many local events, like the Strawberry Festival.

"In the middle of a song, Gil might make some sort of comment like, 'Aren't these guys great?!'" Putt said. "He was just so excited by it."

Still lugging around loudspeakers in their 80s, music was the Kyles labor of love. But their real love was for each other.

"I think they were probably in God's plan to take them both together," Lester said. "Because they were always together."

"They lived together, they loved together and they loved the whole community together."

The couple's funeral arrangements have not been announced.

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