Date of Death:  April 28, 2022

Service Details

Visitation will be Friday, May 6, 2022 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. at Riverside Church, 207 E. Michigan Ave., Three Rivers, with a memorial service to follow at 2:00 p.m. at the church with Jeff Kolbe officiating. A video of her service is available here.

Obituary Notice

Gayle Arlene Hackenberg, 69, of Three Rivers, passed away Thursday, April 28, 2022, surrounded by her loving family.

She was born November 25, 1952 in Coldwater, the daughter of Urman and Hilda (Bogart) Bartholomew.

Gayle graduated from Three Rivers High School with the Class of 1971, then graduated from Western Michigan University with a master’s degree in social psychology.

She worked as a human resources assistant at Three Rivers Health, where for 23 years she loved interacting with staff and patients, and touched many lives with her positive spirit.

On September 6, 1986 Gayle married Curly Hackenberg. The couple enjoyed serving together at Riverside Church and traveling everywhere on their motorcycle. Their grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the light of their lives, and Gayle and Curly loved attending their sporting events.

Remaining to cherish her memory are her husband, Curly; sons, Ryan (Nikki Hess) Glass and Chauncey (Nicki) Hackenberg; daughters, Lealah (Mike) Herbert and Lana (Scott) Bowen; grandchildren, Dylan (Ashton), Emily, Nicholas, Rylie, Brynn, Lanie, Olivia, Dani, Cale, Anna Kate, Micah, Caleb and Valor; great-grandchildren, Makiah and Dawson; brother, Carl (Joan) Bartholomew; sister, Sheryl (Gene) Ehrhardt; many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Gloria Souers; and nephew Joel Bartholomew.

Additional Information

Donations in Gayle’s memory may be directed to Three Rivers Hospice. Envelopes are available at the funeral home in care of her arrangements.

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21 Comments

  1. Our deepest sympathy to you and your family. May you take comfort in loving memories and the friends and family that surround you. Holding you in our thoughts and prayers.

    Hugh and Debra Hudson

  2. The world has lost a beautiful, kind and loving wife, mother, grandmother snd friend. So many memories from years ago when our kids were growing up together. I am so very sorry for your loss and send to all of you my heartfelt sympathy!

  3. Approaching 50 years ago, I was honored to have this beautiful soul as my Maid of Honor in my wedding. Gayle was a true friend. I will forever cherish our memories and fun times together. She was not only a wonderful lady, but a great wife, mother, grandmother, and faithful friend. May her enthusiasm, luster for life, and positive energy be carried on by all that knew and loved her. Curly and family, may you find peace and love in all the memories you cherish.
    Love, Lyn and Scott

  4. To one of most special friends a person could ever have. Gayle walked in faith every step of the way. Her faith never wavered. She would always tell me, “God has a plan for me.” As the time went on she endured every possible treatment without ever a complaint.
    Gayle is truly walking with Jesus!
    We will all remember those big blue eyes and beautiful smile. We will always love you Gayle❤️

  5. Chauncey, Nicki and Cale,
    I am so very sorry for your loss of a cherished mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother. To lose a matriarch shifts the communication in the family network. Stay close together as you find your new “normal.” Sending love and strength until you feel ready to take on the world again.

  6. Thoughts, prayers, love, and hugs to the family. Gayle was one of a kind. A smile was always on her face and she always offered kind words. A positive outlook on all she did and toward all those she encountered. I worked with Gayle for many years at Three Rivers Health and will certainly miss her. Until we meet again.

  7. Gayle Hackenburg had a special gift that drew people to her very soon after meeting her. I was one to those people. She was kind, funny, strong, courageous and resilient! How many times did she bounce back from negative results of yet another unsuccessful treatment for her cancer? Yet she never, ever considered quitting because quitting was not in her spirit. She loved her Curly so very much and wanted to stay with him and her family as long as she possibly could. Gayle absolutely left this world knowing that she was loved and supported by so many. Gayle is fine now but all that are left behind are grieving for her…..I pray for comfort and strength for Curly and their families and for continued healing as time goes on.

  8. Curly and family,

    The memories we made over the years traveling the US and Canada on our Harley’s will never be forgotten. We shared so many laughs, little tip-overs and happy times together. We will cherish those memories forever and look back on her balancing her cup of coffee while going down the road. Keeping you all in prayers and let us know if we can do anything for you Curly.
    Hugs and love.

  9. Oh my. There are no words. My prayers are with all you during this time of heart breaking loss. Gayle was an amazing kind woman who lived out her faith. Her love for her family and God were the driving forces in her life. I will miss her. My love to you

  10. Gayle touched so many lives over time in a very great way. I am grateful I got a chance to know her as a work mate for many many years, an as a friend.

    Curly, wishing you and the family comfort and peace during this very difficult time.
    Hugs and love

    Kathy and Andy Jones

  11. Sending my thoughts and prayers to you, Curly, and your entire family. Gayle is gone way too soon. Hopefully, the wonderful memories you have will carry you through this difficult time. Diane Gross, Holton, KS

  12. My deepest condolences to Curly and the family and all I’m so sorry to hear of Gayles death she was loved by many a great friend and a faith lead life as a memory she has left she will be missed prayers as you move forward Sending love

  13. Dear ones. Curly and beloved family of Gayle.
    There are no words to describe the sadness we are feeling over the loss of your dear one.
    So many memories, though long ago, they live on in our hearts.
    Gayle was the most genuine, faith filled friend I have ever known. Her love ❤️ and kindness changed me in ways I will never forget.
    Always kind, always loving, always filled with God’s Holy Spirit. Thanking God for this truly remarkable person that we called friend.
    Sending love and hugs to each of you with whom she shared her life. Richard and Nancy Boyd

  14. Love, hugs and prayers to the family. Gayle was one of the kindest people I have ever met. She was such an inspiration with her positive outlook. She was a blessing and will be missed but heaven sure gained an angel.

  15. So sad to wake up today and hear of Gayles passing. She was an amazing person. She was so sweet and kind and positive under the worst circumstances. A shining star, always. I am so thankful that I got to meet her and see the amazing grace that was Gayle.

    Daune Overman

  16. My husband, Michael and I, had the blessing of meeting and spending two winters with Gayle and Curly in Florida. I remember hearing of her cancer diagnosis and finding it hard to believe that this precious smiling woman was facing a life threatening illness. No matter when you had the joy of spending time with her, she was always uplifting! She was a perfect example of a Christian woman whose love for her Heavenly Father shined through her eyes! She will be greatly missed by us here in earth, but it is comforting to know that as believers in Christ, we will see her again in Heaven.

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