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Obituary Gaynell “Gus” Tinsley



Gaynell “Gus” Tinsley, 87, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, lover of Tennessee Walking Horses, LSU’s first football All-American and a former LSU head football coach, died Wednesday, July 24, 2002 at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, following an extended illness.

“Gus” Tinsley accomplished many things during his life, and he had many interests. One of his loves were his horses. He purchased his first Tennessee Walking Horse in 1940 named Sun’s Quarterback. Gus then purchased Little Joe’s Dimple, the dam of Quarterback, and bred her to Sir Mau Mac, a stallion owned by Hoyte McCrary of Shreveport, Louisiana. The result was a stallion named Tombstone. Judges at the National Celebration determined that Tombstone should get Reserve Champion honors.

Another horse owned by Tinsley was a stallion named Triple Threat, sired by Quarterback. Triple Threat was foaled May 1, 1956 and was known as “Traveler” in his younger years. Gus Tinsley did not own Triple Threat right away, but he was interested in the colt from the time he was a week old. Consequences would not be in his favor to purchase him until September 19, 1958. On September 4, 1958, Triple Threat won the Grand Championship Walking Horse Stake in Shelbyville, Tennessee.

During his football career, Mr. Tinsley coached Louisiana State University (LSU) from 1948 to 1954. He was also the first All-American football player for LSU in 1935. He was named All-American again in 1936 and made All-Pro with the NFL Chicago Cardinals and was Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year in 1949. He was inducted into the National Football Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and was selected for the top 25 athletes of the century for Louisiana.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Ann Tarver Tinsley of Baton Rouge, Louisiana; a daughter, Annell Tinsley Oatley; a son, Gaynell Charles Tinsley, Jr. and wife Dany Atkinson Tinsley; a sister, Beverly Jean Elkins and husband Joel C. Elkins; three grandchildren, Bryce Steele Tinsley, Shannon Elise Oatley, Jennifer Oatley Thibodaux and husband Steven Paul Thibodaux Jr.; and a great grandchild, Alexandra Marie Thibodaux.

Services for Mr. Tinsley were held at Greenoaks Funeral Home. He was laid to rest at Greenoaks Memorial Park in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

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