Cover photo for Gayle P. Brevitz's Obituary
Gayle P. Brevitz Profile Photo

Gayle P. Brevitz

December 24, 1934 — March 9, 2024

Battle Creek

Gayle P. Brevitz

Gayle P. Brevitz, of Battle Creek, Michigan, died on March 9, 2024, after a long struggle with Parkinson’s disease. She was 89 years old. Gayle was born in Niles, Michigan, on December 24, 1934. She was the second of three children of Esther and Frank Miller. Like many children of the Shirley Temple era, she and her siblings took tap dancing lessons. Adorable as she was, Gayle sadly did not achieve national fame with her dancing, so she turned her attention to academics. She graduated from Benton Harbor High School in 1952, and worked in the local hospital’s radiology department. 

Gayle then attended Michigan State College where she was a proud member of the Delta Gamma sorority.   A striking redhead with a radiant smile, Gayle met her future husband, John W. Brevitz there. They married in 1955 and moved into on campus married housing. Son David was born in 1956 in Lansing.   The young family then moved to fulfill John's ROTC commitment to an assignment at Wildwood Station, an Army Signal Corps base in the Kenai Peninsula near Anchorage, Alaska.  Gayle loved her time in Alaska where she made lifelong friends, won a polka contest, and best of all son Bob was born in a military hospital. The family then moved to the Chicago area when John accepted a job in sales with Kellogg Company.  Daughters Betsy and Laura were born in Elmhurst, Illinois. In 1967, the family moved to John’s hometown of Battle Creek, Michigan, when John was promoted to Kellogg Company’s main office.  Son Toby was born in Battle Creek in 1969.

Gayle was known for her cooking and baking.  She was also talented at all kinds of needlework. She sewed, knitted, embroidered, and did needlepoint. She took basketweaving classes, and fell hard for the medium. She wove scores of baskets, experimenting with different materials, shapes, and patterns. Gayle was an active member of Chapel Hill United Methodist Church and its United Methodist Women, including hosting and attending regular meetings (“Morning Circle” and “Afternoon Circle”). She kept the minutes of UMW meetings and organized the annual holiday bazaar. She was also one of the first Stephen’s Ministers at Chapel Hill, a group that offers spiritual and emotional support to those going through difficult periods in life. She also volunteered for many years with the Leila Auxiliary (now Bronson Battle Creek Volunteers), and the radiology department at Leila/Bronson Battle Creek Hospital, where she was known for the home-baked treats she would bring for the staff on her workdays.

Gayle was preceded in death by her beloved husband, John, as well as her brother, Terry Miller, and her sister, Annette Hood. She is survived by her five children, David (Maryanne) Brevitz of Kansas, Bob Brevitz of Albion, Betsy (Peter Carbonara) Brevitz of New Jersey, Laura Brevitz of New Hampshire, and Toby (Amy) Brevitz of Battle Creek; 10 grandchildren, Jennifer (Dave) Brevitz-White, Andrea (Darrin) Wiggin, Kathleen (Derek) Brown, Alex (Yana) Brevitz, Angella Brevitz, Steve (Lagé) Brevitz, Nick Carbonara, Helen "Nellie" Carbonara, Colin (Samantha) Brevitz, and Jenna Brevitz; 15 great-grandchildren, Allexis, Trevon, Devon, Kamarian,Tucker, Tate, August, Greyson, Brooks, Ellie, Landry, Elias, Walter, Sybil, and Effie; and two great-great-grandchildren, Aziekel and Ashtyn.

Gayle’s family is grateful to the staff of Reflections Memory Care and Centrica Care Navigators for their cheerful and genuine caring during her long illness.  The family will receive friends from 5:00 to 7:00 on Thursday, March 21, 2024 at Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Cremation Preneed Care, Battle Creek where funeral services to celebrate her life will be held 11:00 a.m., Friday, March 22, 2024. Interment will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider making donations to the Chapel Hill United Methodist Church, 157 Chapel Hill Drive Battle Creek, MI 49015 or The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Grand Central Station, PO Box 4777, New York, NY 10163-4777 (https://www.michaeljfox.org/).  Personal messages for the family and favorite memories of Gayle may be placed here at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, March 21, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Cremation Preneed Care

105 Capital Ave NE, Battle Creek, MI 49017

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Celebration of Life

Friday, March 22, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Cremation Preneed Care

105 Capital Ave NE, Battle Creek, MI 49017

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