Cover photo for Gretchen B. (Bower)  Humiston's Obituary
1936 Gretchen 2022

Gretchen B. (Bower) Humiston

May 26, 1936 — May 10, 2022

Battle Creek

Gretchen Bower Humiston reached the end of her magnificent life and was eternally reunited with her beloved husband on May 10, 2022, at the age of 85.

Born on May 26, 1936, Gretchen was raised in Marshall, MI.  She was a 1954 high school graduate of Kingswood School Cranbrook and was a 1958 graduate of Albion College where she was affiliated with Zeta Tau Alpha sorority.  During her youth she began her love of the arts by playing her cello at various galas and participating in the Marshall Trinity Church Choir.  This is also when she began courting her future husband, Paul (Sonny) Humiston.

Their love affair was officially celebrated at their wedding on June 20, 1959, and the blessings continued over the next 62 years.

She devoted her life to raising their three daughters wherever life and Paul’s career took them, yet always found a way to stay involved with the Arts.  A few of the countless board positions she held over the years include the Art Center League of Battle Creek, Kalamazoo Ballet Company, Women Who Care, P.E.O. Sisterhood, St. Thomas Episcopal Church Guild, and the Battle Creek Symphony.

She and Paul also treasured their social time, with numerous activities they immersed themselves into over the years.  It’s hard to hold back a grin when thinking of their Battle Creek Country Club Bowling Team days, or the stylish outfits Gretchen would wear to Chesterfield Dance Club … and her golf swing was equally impressive!  However, Gretchen and Paul’s love of travel was by far their biggest passion.  As someone recently said, they can picture Gretchen, Paul, Alice, and Jack “cruising through heaven” right now with an impressive 60+ cruise itineraries that spanned numerous seas and continents.

Alice Townsend was her lifelong friend, meeting when they were in grade school. Their friendship continued to grow after their marriages and the foursome treasured all aspects of life together - family, travel, and lake life!

The delight of her later years centered around spending time with Sonny, close friends and their daughters, spouses, and treasured grandchildren.  Francie Winslow, a dear friend who was with Gretchen through her final days perfectly conveyed; “Gretchen will always be remembered as the artistic, generous, and gracious woman that she consistently was.”

Gretchen is survived by her three daughters, Kimberly (David) Berzina of Fort Worth, TX, Michelle (Duane) McPeak of Kingwood, TX, and Suzanna (Rieger) Lesiow of Battle Creek, MI, and six grandchildren, Madison, Lenae, Peyton, Christopher, Haley, and Brooke.

She was preceded in death by her husband Paul (Sonny) Humiston, Jr., her parents, Lester and Katherine Bower, and grandson, Hunter Ty Lesiow.

Services have been entrusted to Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services, 2838 Capital Ave SW, Battle Creek, MI 49015. Per Gretchen’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a joint memorial service to honor both her and Paul’s lives will be held at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 16 E Van Buren St, Battle Creek, MI 49017 on Saturday, May 21, 2022, at 11:00 am, with Rev. Brian Coleman officiating.

Memorials are suggested to St. Thomas Episcopal Church, or Battle Creek Community Foundation, The Hunter Ty Lesiow Memorial Fund at . Please visit to view the online obituary, to sign the online guest book, or to leave the family condolences.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gretchen B. (Bower) Humiston, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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