GAYLAN KEITH ZANT, beloved son, brother, nephew, cousin, and friend, lost his brief and courageous battle with lymphoma and pneumonia on December 23, 2018. Family and friends will gather to celebrate his life of 57 years at 1 pm on Saturday, January 12, 2018 followed by a reception at Lake Ridge Chapel and Memorial Designers.
Gaylan was born on September 19, 1961 in Denton Co., TX. Gaylan was adopted when he was just a few days old by Cates and Juanita Zant, and their family then consisted of an older brother, Randy Ray and a sister Vicki Lynn, who was exactly two weeks older than Gaylan, so the two were raised as twins. Cates and Juanita had always wanted children but were not able to conceive, so as infants, God placed these three children in their loving, caring and home. There was always an abundance of love and devotion to God in their home.
Gaylan attended and graduated from the New Home Schools in 1980. He was a member of the New Home Church of Christ and often led singing in the church until he graduated high school. He attended Abilene Christian University for a short period of time, and was part of the Big Purple Marching Band where he played the cymbals. Gaylan lived all of his adult life in Dallas and considered Dallas his home. As a young adult, he had many interests and talents ranging from selling retail fashion, hair design, music and dance, management and entertaining, and cooking. He was known to cook many festive holiday meals for his friends and family.
In February 2008, Gaylan’s Uncle, A.D. Reed, proposed a life-changing challenge to Gaylan. Uncle A.D. had said to Gaylan, “… (that he) should make something of himself”. From that moment on, Gaylan went back to school with aspirations of becoming a Lawyer. For the next 10 years Gaylan devoted most of his time to his education and to bettering himself. He worked diligently at all of his studies. He was graduated with honors from El Centro College in Dallas with an Associate of Applied Science Paralegal in May 2013. Continuing his education, Gaylan was graduated from the University of North Texas at Dallas with a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences in June 2017. Gaylan often achieved the highest GPA possible, and was added to the President’s List at UNT. He was a member of the PHI THETHA KAPPA honor society. He was part of the Dallas Area Paralegal Association, and was certified to practice as a Paralegal. Gaylan was certified to be a legal Mediator and volunteered to help people with low income to resolve their issues.
Gaylan was beloved by many and an exceptional man. In life, and now in death, he would not want for us to be sad, but would want us to remember the kind, strong, humble, funny, smart and charismatic man he was. His warm smile taught us that love reigns supreme, and those of us that were fortunate enough to have truly known him will remember him by it. You could always count on Gaylan to tell a joke or make a funny comment. He often would share his invaluable wisdom and advice with those closest to him. He was loyal and protective of those that he loved. He was dedicated and organized, and offered true friendship and refused to let another down. He always did his best to fulfill his obligations. His word was his bond, and everyone knew it.
Gaylan relished the good things in life including art and music, travel, food, Dr. Pepper, friends and family. Within the list of things he liked were; pickled okra, fresh buttermilk, vanilla ice cream, Cracker Jacks, Dr Pepper, and good coffee in the mornings. He liked to read and watch TV, and his favorites were Judge Judy, Dallas, Roseanne, The Golden Girls, Will and Grace, Two and a Half-Men, cooking shows and travel shows.
We will miss his adventurous and fun nature. He loved to travel, and enjoyed riding bicycles and flying kites. He traveled to Cancun Mexico, Nassau Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Cayman Islands, Peru, and visited most of the United States. There were two of his most favorite places, the ruins in Chichen Itza, and Macchu Pichu. He fell in love with those two places and always wanted to revisit them. He had spoken many times about visiting Egypt. He studied their culture and he decorated his home with many authentic pieces of Egyptian art.
Gaylan loved ziplining and any place that had zip-lines! He enjoyed swimming, playing with dolphins, jet skiing and water skiing. He was always ready for a new adventure. He loved racing David on Go-Carts, and sometimes even won. He loved the thrilling rides such as the Batman, Superman, and the scariest of them all, Mr. Freeze. He was a big fan of the Texas Rangers and of the Dallas Stars, and attended their games with his friends every opportunity he had.
Gaylan had many dear friends, family, co-workers and classmates. Gaylan met David Delgado in December of 2008, while working at B Braun in Dallas, where they worked in quality control building infusion pumps for hospitals. There was a gift exchange that Christmas and David drew Gaylan’s name. They became the very best of friends, and Gaylan always thought of David as the son he longed to have in his life. The love they shared for each other was a very special bond. They blessed each other’s lives in countless ways. It was such a blessing that David, and Gaylan’s oldest and closest friend, Jimmy Bartlett, were at Gaylan’s bedside when he passed from this life.
Survivors include his sister, Vicki Zant; and his closest friends, David Delgado, Jimmy Bartlett, Lyndon Davis, and Chris Knisley; and lots of family.
He was preceded in death by his parents Cates and Juanita Zant; brother, Randy Zant; paternal grandparents, H. N. “Da” and Zona Zant; maternal grandparents, W. G. and Lorene Reed.