Gayle Balyeat, 74

Gayle A. Balyeat, 74, of 703 Michigan Ave., Sturgis, Mich., died Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009, at her home, following an extended illness.

She was born July 25, 1934, in Chenoa, Ill., a daughter of Russell and Vernice (Harkrider) Dunham. She had been a Sturgis resident since 1998, coming from Kalkaska, where she lived for 21 years. Prior to that, she lived in Constantine.

She married Jim Balyeat on Feb. 9, 1973, in Centreville.

She was a lifelong homemaker, and was employed by Owens Illinois in Constantine.

She attended Riverside Church in Three Rivers. She most enjoyed her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She also liked sewing, baking, ceramics, crocheting and her Jack Russell, Buddy.

Surviving are her husband, Jim; a daughter, Patsy (Mike) Wertz of Constantine; three sons, Mark (Gale) Vercler of Sturgis, Paul (Jana) Vercler of Aurora, Colo., and Phillip Vercler of White Pigeon; two stepdaughters, Christinia (Scott) Strawser of Belding and Lore Balyeat of Constantine; a stepson, Tyler (Connie) Balyeat of Burr Oak; 15 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; a brother, Dell Dunham; and three sisters, Ruth Martin, Lillian Yergler and Marilyn Dempsey, all of Illinois.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Sonny Russell; and a grandson.
Visitation is 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at Farrand Funeral Home in White Pigeon. Funeral services will follow at 1 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home. Burial will be in White Pigeon Township Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Three Rivers Health Hospice. Envelopes are available at the funeral home.

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