Joyce Maxine (Towne) Bayle passed away peacefully in her home on Saturday September 4, 2021 surrounded by family. She was born on April 3rd, 1931, in Newaygo County, Wilcox Township, five miles north of White Cloud in a farmhouse. She was born to Clyde R Towne and Myrtle V. Smith Towne. She attended Lakeview and Donahou Schools before going to Fremont High School and eventually Hesperia High School when her parents bought an 80-acre farm northeast of Hesperia.
She married Marvin Gleason in the spring of 1948 and lived in Muskegon where she worked as a waitress at Campbell Cannon Restaurant. A few months later they bought a small farm north of Hesperia and started their family of six children. She was a housewife and loving mother who did home canning, milked cows, and worked in the field picking pickles and beans. During the school year she worked in a restaurant in Fremont where she met her best friend Louise Heckman, the two were like sisters from then on.
In 1964, Joyce married Ray R. Bayle who had five children and worked in the oil fields. Over the next several years she sold Minnesota Woolen clothes, was a caregiver, and worked in the Hesperia Bakery. They moved to Shelby in the Spring of 1968 and they both worked at Lakeshore (Shelby) Hospital for the next 20 years, her as a cook and Ray in charge of maintenance. Active members of their community, they joined the American Legion in Hesperia and the Oceana Eagles in 1980. In 1986, they moved into the Rosewood Apartment complex as managers and over the next nine years installed and explained the use of Life Lines for elderly Shelby residents. In 1994, the two moved to the Pine Street duplex, where they would spend their remaining years.
Joyce saw Ray as the best thing that happened to her after her six children. During their time together they joined the First Congregational United Church of Christ and became very active members. A kind and social woman, Joyce lent her beautiful voice in the church choir, became the Vice President of Women’s Fellowship, was a member of the Lay Ministries of Pastoral Care and served on the Diaconate Board for four terms. Joyce became an active and skilled bowler in 1975 at the Oceana Eagles. Over the next 44 years, she toppled countless pins and won many awards at State, National, Northern, and Eagle tournaments and Travel Leagues. Her smile lit up the lanes over that time as she carried an average high 174 and had many 600 series. Her high game was 264 and high series was 634. She enjoyed bowling on the mixed league with her son Clyde and at the age of 80 had an average of 161.
She warmed family and friends with her close, tight hugs and with the crocheted Afghan blankets and knit neck scarves of which she made many. She will be remembered for her kindness to all and service to her community.
She is survived by her children Carl (Linda) Gleason, North Carolina; Clyde Gleason, Bitely; Marvin Gleason, Big Rapids; and her stepchildren Norman (Royette) Bayle, Hesperia; Tim (Sandy) Bayle, Hesperia; Linda (Larry) Fessenden, Ferry; Martin Bayle, Bitely; Fay Bayle, Hart; her very close friend Jack Laisure, Hesperia; twenty eight grandchildren, many great-grandchildren and several great-great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Joyce was preceded in death by her loving husband Ray R. Bayle, 2004; three children—Melvin Gleason, 1955; Larry (Gomer) Gleason, 2007; Betty Geldersma, 2018; her parents Clyde R. Towne and Myrtle V. Smith Towne; her sister Elaine Towne; brothers Jack and Robert Towne; sisters-in-law Jessie Towne and Grace Bayle; and her very special friends Louise Heckman and Marguerite (Sis) Reames.
Visitation will be held Sunday, September 12th from 6-8 pm at Harris Funeral Home in Shelby.
The funeral service will be held Monday, September 13th, 11 am at Shelby Congregational United Church of Christ with Pastor Dan Barnum-Steggerda officiating. Interment will be in East Hesperia Cemetery. Memorials to the Shelby Congregational UCC Women’s Fellowship, 51 E. Third Street, Shelby, MI 49455 are appreciated.
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